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1271 Views 16 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  RedGeranium
We the "new cow people" are interested in raising beef for our own consumption. 1 or 2 aninmals is all we are interested in raising naturally. Land is not an issue nor is vegitation or water. We just want to know how to get started, we want to start with probably Angus or Herford and raise them post castration. Any help will be appreciated.


The new cow people
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I would buy some weaned calves from a local farmer. Don't buy calves that are just weaned...preferably they would be weaned at least 30 days. Make sure they've had their vaccinations, been wormed and were either banded when very young, or the castration is totally healed. If you are worried about what they might have been fed/given before you get them, check on that as well.

Weaning is a really stressful time for calves and they are more prone to sickness right when weaned. That is the reason for waiting 30 days. A castration gone bad is something you don't need to deal with, so that is why it's good to wait until it is totally healed. Vaccinations prevent illnesses so you would not have to worry about that. You never know what you are getting at a sale barn and being new, you are much better off buying straight from the farm!

All these things really help a steer to have a good start and if they have a good start, they really aren't hard to raise! Sick animals are a bummer when you know what you are doing, but extremely disheartening when you don't! Sale barn calves are sometimes cheap, but it can catch up with you later! If naturally raised is very important, than you want to avoid having to use antibiotics, so avoid sick animals!

If you must buy at a sale barn, look for a special feeder calf sale where the calves have all been enrolled in a health program. We have "Green Tag", "White Tag" and "SureHealth". Some programs are sponsored by a state or association, some by animal health manufacturer's, but either way the calves are supposed to basically fit all the requirements I stated before.

The next thing would be bringing them home. Do you have adequate fences? Do you have a smaller area to confine them to catch them (if nothing else).

Do you plan only to graze them? Can you graze all year or will you need to deal with a winter? I don't know much about grass finishing beef...but is that what you want, or do you want to feed grain?

Good luck. I think everyone ought to have cattle!

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