OK have land need help

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by MICHAEL B OHIO, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. MICHAEL B OHIO

    MICHAEL B OHIO Well-Known Member

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    ok have 25 acres no fence some woods maybe 3-4 acres has 2 small creeks on the property that join and make 1. no buildings want to have cows on 16 acres have weeds currently what is the minimum I need to put up and have to raise cows for beef and sell. want to pasture feed no milking at this point. how many cows can I realisticly support on 16 acres in Ohio all sloping allexcept 4 acres Highly erodible land according to ag department. Thanks Mike
     
  2. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Don't plan on making lots of money in the cattle business.

    Talk to your local ag agent at the Extension office and find out the stocking rate for your area. He can also come out and look at the natural vegetation and tell you what to do to improve the pasture.

    You MUST have shelter for them to get out of the weather, too.

    Plus, you need to be close enough to check on them at LEAST three times a week, if not more.

    Plus, you'll have to feed them in the winters.

    Help me out here, folks who know more about north country, but I'm thinking unless it's really good soil, you may only be able to have four or five momma cows there. That's so you don't over graze.
     

  3. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not going to comment much because I'm not a beef cow person. But I did want to say that if you have some woods to break the wind and maybe a hollow or something, there is no need for shelter for cows. Calves, yes, unless they are on their dams. But cows shouldn't need shelter as a given. We raised Jerseys in Ohio and they never had shelter, just woods and a hollow or two. We tried the barn one year...they prefered the woods, calves and cows.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Weeds are good! If a property will not grow weeds it will not grow a crop. Good ground cover will hold the erosion in check. I pasture very rolling ground and have little erosion once I get ground cover established. Good sod will stabilize hillsides better than anything I know. I figure you are in zone 5 or 6. Those zones should grow decent forages. I will have to let someone more familiar with your location give you the headcount that you can carry. I would expect that you can carry a cow/calf per 1 1/2 acres during the growing seasons. If you do not want to buy or produce hay you could buy calves in early Spring and graze them until Fall and sell, restarting each Spring. For a fence, if there is no busy highway, 3 each 12 1/2 gauge high tensile wires with one hot on a good high output energizer will be adequate. With your acreage you will be either hobby farming or supplemental income producing. Either way, you should enjoy your cattle.
     
  5. MICHAEL B OHIO

    MICHAEL B OHIO Well-Known Member

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    one of my questions would be the best grasses, clover or ?? for beef taste. Also what to avoid for wierd taste, undesirable flavor. for my pasture thanks Mike
     
  6. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    Nooo clover. That causes bloat, probably more easier than alfalfa. For your area, you'll have to see you're local ag advisor for best grasses to grow for best beef. Up here in Alberta, timothy, fescue, and other grasses that are associated with the mixed-grass prairie are sowed for pasture for beef (we buy, raise and sell steers).

    Just my two cents.
     
  7. vallyfarm

    vallyfarm Well-Known Member

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    As always, the first thing you need is good, very good perameter fencing. I firmly believe in paige wire. This will keep in whatever you want to raise, but will also keep out the stray dogs, coyotes, etc. I live in upstate NY and a barn is NEEDED if you want to raise healthy animals. Winter feeding will be a large expense. I would guess 1 cow/calf pair for every 2-3 acres with the fields in the condition you describe. If you want my HONEST opinion, I would start off with some goats and/or sheep to try to get those fields in order. Also the expense is much less for the animals, and the feed, and the housing. Try them for 2 or 3 years. If you still enjoy the idea then start the beefers. You will now have years of knowledge for little expense to decide what you want to do. Mike
     
  8. MICHAEL B OHIO

    MICHAEL B OHIO Well-Known Member

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    is there any breed better for grass fed, or will they all do about the same if given the same feed program (grass) only.Mike The fields were farmed previous last crop was corn. in 2003 so I need to plant something. unfortunately I will have to brodcast seed have no tractor.
     
  9. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Fencing can be simple, depends on the beef you get. Angus I have found to be more of an issue for fencing. Herefords I run one single strand of electric, and it keeps them in better than 4 strands of barbed wire (overall). However, dont put a single strand up if its going to be permanent. You can put up high tensile, or if your going to rotate, the temporary fence plan would work. The question is cost. How much do you want to spend? High tensile isn't super expensive, but it does take time.


    As far as grasses go. I feed our beefers simply grass, and for grazing whatever there is out there. Usually it is grasses/some clover here and there, and other things. Generally a good orchard grass, or timothy works well for them. For grazing, I never planted anything, but any type of grass works (orchard when it isn't mature looks like an overgrown lawn).

    Feeding during the winter or when there isn't any pasture I would reccomend making that as easy as possible. You also want a feeder that wont let them waste hay. I bought a feeder from a place in Iowa. Its called "New Vienna Metal Works". They make a feeder that can utilize both square and round. It does sit high, roughly 6' with skids, but it does work well. It isn't cheap, but the key here is waste. If you have a feeder that wastes hay, such as ring feeders, you will loose money through the waste. If you have a feeder that has 5% or less waste, you save money.

    The key will be a good feeding system, and inexpensive, yet effective fencing.


    Jeff
     
  10. RLStewart

    RLStewart Well-Known Member

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    In my area of Pa alot of people have beef without barns. I think a 2 or 3 sided shelter would be a good idea but not absolutly necessary. The less calories burned by keeping themselves warm the fatter they will get on less feed.

    You can make a bit of money around here with beef if you sell it direct to the consumer. My uncle who was disabled sold around 10 freezer beef a year and made a decent amount. Alot of people around here no longer live on farms but remember how much better the meat was and its actually hard to find a half of beef to buy.
     
  11. MICHAEL B OHIO

    MICHAEL B OHIO Well-Known Member

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    so if I got calves in early spring( what is your definition of early spring) and sold butchered sold in fall would they get big enough weight wise. from the responses I am thinking 4 calves 1st year. I will split the pasture in half probably high tensile for rotation. Fence with atleast 1 hot. will use a solar electric fence charger. I have put up electic fence before not yet don high tensile. 1 small 3 sided building. what do you think.thanks Mike
     
  12. MICHAEL B OHIO

    MICHAEL B OHIO Well-Known Member

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    also I saw that beef grass fed no anibiotics is desired in some areas. do they do well without wormers excetra. I remember when we had horses we gave them a wormer. Mike
     
  13. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    They can do without worming, but if any animals look thin, even with a lot of feed, then you should use a pour on wormer. A lot of the other methods dont work when they have a case of worms, they usually only work as a preventative (Diatomacious Earth).



    Jeff
     
  14. JulieLou42

    JulieLou42 Well-Known Member

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    We're in ag zone 5-6 with orchard grass, some timothy, and a few patches of clover and brome [they don't eat brome, tho'] and I do have to feed hay in winter months...Oct -Apr. We also have lots of English daisies on our hills, but they don't eat them either.

    Land is on a hill, with mostly grasses; there is a gully with some trees alongside of it, but not all is perimter fenced yet...next spring!!! So I don't turn them onto it.

    I have one 8 x 16' three-sided shed that Ginger has nearly destroyed in the five years she's had it. There's only half the siding remaining on the back side of that. She doesn't go in there much, mostly when it rains. The calf gets out of any inclement weather in there, tho', as the roof is still there, after a fashion.

    No trees where her 1.3 acre pasture is, tho', not yet. When the rest of the pasture is fenced in, she'll be able to get to the trees, but, being new to having a milk cow, I wanted to keep her as close to the house as possible, where I could see her easily from my windows that face onto it, and handle caring for her needs without having to go very far...bad knees.

    Neither she nor either one of her two calves seems to have suffered any for lack of shelter. Calf is still gaining at about 3# per day.

    Because the bales we're getting now are the large rectangular ones at about 120# ea., I've decided to just dump them on the ground as best I can every other day, and let them eat it and use it for bedding, we've had snow coming and going since a month ago...only about 2" on the ground presently.

    Supposed to be up to 40 degrees tomorow; we'll see, it's been all over the charts lately!!!

    Happy Christmas and New Year everyone!
     
  15. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Are you saying you are going to buy weaning age calves in the spring and just summer them there? Not have momma cows?

    Sounds like a plan.
     
  16. MICHAEL B OHIO

    MICHAEL B OHIO Well-Known Member

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    what weight should I be trying to get at sale. early or late April? Do I need momma cows. I am 100% new to cows
     
  17. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The best breeds for feeding on grass are the most primitive breeds, not the ones that have been highly developed for feed-lots. However, the all black or white-faced blacks sell for the highest prices at auction houses.

    If you intend to sell your beef by private sale, you can do well with exotic breeds. Dexters, Devons and Highlands do very well on rough pasture, but will really take a beating on price at an auction house. They really make some good beef, though.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  18. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Depends how old they are. There is a sweet spot for beef prices, as far as age goes. Many experienced buyers can tell what they are getting, and from the local barns prices, the younger animals seem to bring more. For example, a holstein bull calf will bring more than one that is 3 months old, because the weight does give it away. Some animals will bring more than others, mainly because some look better, beefy etc.


    The best time to sell is in the spring, best time to buy is when the market is saturated. The way to actually make money off of beef is to have a set of adult cows, breed them each summer, and calve them in the spring. The mothers would raise them 6-7 months, then you sell them in the spring as yearlings. That 6 month period you aren't putting much if anything into the calves. During the winter they need to be fed. Another option is to calve them in the summer, and time it so you dont have to feed the calves as much hay. Some do buy in the fall, sell in the spring. But IMO, having cows you AI, which adds another equation, will make you money, because your initial investment is the cows. There are different ways to do it. The way I have done it is have cows, sell the calves. I cut down on numbers, but I do plan on building them back up.


    Jeff
     
  19. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    buy steers/hiefers at 500 lbs, when freshly weaned from their mommas, if you're planning on raising feeders, and if you want, sell them at 600 lbs, or keep them longer until they're 1 000 lbs, which take a year to get up to that size, if you got good feed and grain diet.
    My advice is to buy em when the prices are down, sell when theyre high. we buy in fall, and sell in fall, but that's 'cause we get about a 100 animals for a good size profit, if prices get $1/100 lbs.

    Cows...mean work, as in more feed (100, 500 lb heifers/steers eat half of what 10 1200 lbs cows do), AI (which costs money to get semen straws), and keeping an eye out for dystocia (depending on particular breeds). And then you gotta watch for sicknesses, snotty noses, and everything else (same with the new calves; shipping fever is especially something to watch for when you get fresh, new calves).

    Just my two cents.
     
  20. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Mike here's my quick thoughts: Your original question was how many cattle can my land support? Realistically you described only 12 acres of average quality open land, which of course needs planting and maintenance. So my answer, sight unseen would be eight and that may be pushing it. There are so many factors to consider, size of animal, drought, too much rain, pasture damage by cattle primarily in the winter, buying hay, water, cows, bulls, shelter, and lastly you just don't realize how much they eat until you own them. I could go on and on!!! Not sure what your motivations is but consider what I have written. Owning cattle is rewarding, however proper planning is a must!!!
    Sorry I didn't read all the posts, so I may have repeated other people's valuable input...