Need Advice on Cows (from a goat person)

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Helena, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    north central Pennsylvania
    We have 5 acres and raise dairy goats for our own milk and cheese etc.. sell the bucks... chickens and have the horses and peacocks for enjoyment. Was thinking of a way to make a few bucks extra. Would it be more profitable to get a couple of jersey heifers and raise them for a year and resell them and hopefully make a profit. Would it cost too much in feed etc since I don't have a lot of pasture. My goats graze about 1/2 acre but still feed hay year round too. I have bought horses in the past and put time into them for a year or so but I get too attached to them and it just about broke my heart last time I sold a horse hearing it calling all the way down the road in the trailer that day it left. (sniff sniff).. I'm hoping a couple of cows won't find their way into my heart as easily...but I don't know about that either. Raising calves for meat I think would be harder to sell the meat and don't know if I want to deal with people selling actual meat for the table.... SO....would it be worth my time and $$ ...Was thinking about pigs...but thought the cows would sell for me better. Any advice ??
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    I see very little opportuntiy for you to make any money with having to purchase the bulk of the feed. Feeding veal calves provided you can find a source and a market could generate some income and you would have higher numbers of animals to sell. Have you considered something like birds to sell to pet stores? Animals profits as you know are small per animal unit and you need volume to get amply rewarded.
     

  3. Regardless of the hay questions, you would probably need to add some cattle handling equipment, thus taking away any profit for a year or so. It is still costly even if purchased at auction used.

    Headgate/chute or calf craddle. Do you have a trailer to haul goats that would serve to haul cattle? Buying small doses of vaccines can be costly. Cattle waterer vs. goat waterer. Stock tank heights, etc.

    When there is profit in cattle, some of it is often from grazing them on pasture. Since you can't graze, no profit there.

    What happens if the US has another BSE scare, will you be able to sell your animals at anything but a loss?

    The reason so many farmers get bigger is that they can spread equipment costs over more acres or over more animals. Small producers just don't have that chance.

    Yup, you get attached to cattle just like other animals. They each have their own personality.
     
  4. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    NW IL
    Especially when you look into a Jersey's eyes. They'll drown you everytime!
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,267
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    Grazing beef cattle & selling them can make you a few bucks. Jersey cattle make great milk cows, but really lousy beef cattle.

    Unless you have a market for the cattle other than 'just regular beef' livestock, I'd proceed with caution. You are missing the profitable part of the operation - grazing.

    What the others said has a lot of merrit.

    --->Paul