Sold!!

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Karin L, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    We finally sold our steers to the feedlot yesterday. :dance:

    Took two cattle liners to ship them out (about 50 cattle in each), as well as four people to actually get them on the trucks (me, Dad, and the two truckers). Turned out to be a bit of a rodeo around the farm yesterday morning, with a number of kickers and some stupid ones too, lol. There were a couple stubborn ones who refused to either go up the shute, or go into the alleyway, but finally gave up their resistance after a few zaps with the cattle prod, and a good tail twist, as well as some whooping and hollering... (I've got some pics too of the whole ordeal, if you wanna see 'em ;) )

    Got about 96 cents/lb for them, total weighing 935 lbs. Which made for a pretty great payday! :hobbyhors

    So now I can't wait for some new calves to come (they're due to be shipped here anyday, anytime), as everything's set up, ready to go to welcome some new faces to the farm!
     
  2. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Naturally we'all wanna see pics!..YeeHa Rodeo Action.
     

  3. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    Well, it wasn't THAT much of a rodeo, but it seemed like it, LOL!

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    That's Dad giving a stubborn steer a good tail twisting...

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    Steer getting a prod in the rear to get him moving into truck #1...

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    More "rodeo" action! Dad tail twisting, one of the truckers (actually our neighbour) ready with the cattle prod to hurry up the slowpokes... That little steer, last in the pic, we decided to let him go with the others simply because it wasn't worth keeping him around anymore when we could just make some extra $$ off him. He was thin in the summer time due to some respiratory viral infection that brought him downhill (he got hit twice with the illness) which caused him to not eat enough thus get emanciated looking. He's been doing better since Dad's been treating him, and gaining a bit more weight, which is a good sign. But we decided enough was enough and it was time for him to go.

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    The last I'll see of that little one again...up into the trailer of truck #1...

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    Getting ready to get the first bunch for truck #2...

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    THEE most stubborn steer of the morning! Took those guys about two minutes to get that one moving, he did NOT want to go in!

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    Truck #2 (our neighbor's driving that one), Dad going over to meet with the truckers to sign some papers and have a friendly chat after all the work is done...

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    And truck #1, sitting idle, waiting to go to ship the first 50 steers to the feedlot.

    I was doing some help working the cattle in between the pics, and after all that I'm glad they're gone!
     
  4. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Excellent photos,,,,awesome operation!!!! Thanks Karin..Tennessee John
     
  5. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    A Good Day. Sure is pretty up in them parts.
     
  6. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Karin:

    Tell us please how you operate.
    Are these feeder calves you bought and grew out, or do you winter over mother cows?

    Do you grow your own feed? It appears that you have feed bins in the background there. If you feed, WHAT do you feed?

    Do you do it all on pasture, on the lot, or do you do both?

    If you buy calves and grow them out, how heavy do you buy and to what weights do you try to take them?

    If these are feeder calves that you grew out, how many days can you keep them there before you should sell them?

    You aroused my curiosity with the 96 cents per pound and the 935 pounds.
    You may have meant 935 pound average, but I did not think the cattle looked that heavy. If they were that heavy, to what weight will the feedlot take them? Will they go to a Canadian feeder or to a US feed lot?

    Brrrr: Your country looks beautiful but it must be a booger to work there in the winter. I can understand why your dad did not want to keep a lightweight steer around to feed and tend.
    Ox
     
  7. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    Well, to start, yes, these are feeder calves that we bought and grew out. Dad gets them from a few ranches up north by Grande Priarie, Alberta (that's about a four hour drive northwest from home) through private treaty (the person through private treaty (the same guy we sell the calves to to finish at the feedlot)) goes up there, and picks out the calves for us, depending on how many we want, and hires a trucker to come up there to ship them to our farm for us to background and take care of).

    We grow our own feed, both silage barley and grain barley, as well as canola. Those are not feed bins in the back ground, they're graineries (on hopper bottoms for better management purposes :) ) for storing the barley and canola (the barley and canola seed are in separate bins) to sell them to Schmidt Livestock (the feedlot we sell the steers to) and other places that Dad wants to sell to. Those are not the only graineries on the farm, we have about 10 more: 1 big grainery just on the south side of the quanset, 2 by the neighbors kitty corner to us (on our land), 2 on my uncle's place, and I think 6 on my grandpa's farm; and they are not small, they're big enough to hold A LOT of grain. Not only that, but we also use the barley as grain feed, chopping it up and putting it into a feedhouse which we call the chop-house, and feed it to the calves as a supplement to the hay and silage they get in the winter. Can't feed them too much otherwise they'll bloat, and we also use the chop for taming the calves and to help making them go where we want them to go (like to the pens by the barn (those in the pics) to get their needles and dehorned, and other things.

    Barley isn't the only thing we feed, as I mentioned before: we feed silage barley (sowed, grown, and harvested on our own fields), alfalfa-timothy-fescue mix hay, and straw (bedding) from the barley and canola harvested in the fall.

    We do both. They're in the corral for the winter, and until the silage is cleaned up and the grass has grown to a good enough size for grazing, then we let them out to pasture for the summer, rotating them every few weeks to different pastures (currently have three pastures for them). We had separated herds this year (I don't know why), so the herd that wasn't on pasture was fed hay, but there still was enough gress where they were eating their hay to give them a bit of mix in the diet.

    Calves are bought when they're about 500-600 pounds (that's what we aim for), and freshly weaned. They're all 6 months old when they arrive to the farm.

    We keep them for 12 months, sometimes it goes to 13, depending on the prices and how busy things get.

    Oh there were a lot of big animals in there alright, and the 935 pounds was an average for all 99 steers sold, even though there were some in ther herd that were lower or higher than that. They got that through weighing the cattle liners when they were full and when they were empty. Some feedlots take the calves when they're 600 pounds, but the one we sold them to take 'em at 900 lbs or higher. These big boys went to a Canadian feedlot, which is only a couple miles as the crow flies from our farm (we can actually see the lights of the feedlot from our place, 'cause we're on a hill, which is straight south from us). And I have to say that this paticular feedlot is not a private one, even though it is a family-owned business. As an aside, the meat packers take them finished steers at 1100 pounds, after they've filled out for a few months on the feedlot.

    These steers are pretty tough, they're outside all the time, and they're mommas come from a cold environment north of us, so yeah, light weight is not good for us if we get one like that.
     
  8. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Great post Karin. I love to see the pics you post, keep 'em coming!
     
  9. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info, Karin. I can see that your family is pretty darn busy planting and harvesting crops as well as feeding out the stockers. I am sitting her shivering thinking of those momma cows wintering north of you. It is in the low 40's here today and my angus are already bellowing and bawling "hey, more hay! How about some cubes?"

    The reason I asked about the weights is that here the growers seldom let a calf get over 600 pounds--they like them to leave the pasture at less than that because of the price break at 600. The only fellow I've talked to in several years who grows out stockers said that he had learned that he had to get his calves from South and East of him; he could not do well in the OK summers with calves from the North. Like your folks, he bought truckloads of calves at around 550-600 pounds, summered them here on grass in the Osage Hills (good limestone ground that grows fat cattle) then shipped them to the feed lots. He does not feed grain or silage but will feed a bit of commercial ration when he has a fresh batch of calves getting acclimated to his pastures.

    He pays on the trucker's weights just as you do, but he checks the weights by running his cattle across a scale he bought from an abandoned railroad loading chute. Told me that he knows about how much shrinkage he should get and if it exceeds his limits he does not buy there again. Brings the cattle in, weighs, vaccinates, tags and turns them into a holding pasture for a few days, then lets them out on the range.

    He has several thousand acres. On some of this he runs the wild horses the govt has taken off the western ranges--gets paid so much per horse per day. A ripoff of the taxpayer orchestrated by some irrational nutcases who see horses as pets. (In my opinion, of course.)

    Wheat farmers out in Western Ok buy stockers too, but we never see any of that in Eastern Ok. The farmers here who grow wheat generally have cattle enough to graze their own mostly modest acreages, 80 here, 200 there.

    I'd give a lot to have the scenery you have, but I can do without the weather.
    Ox
     
  10. Bret

    Bret Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good job and thanks for the pictures. I say brrrrr too.

    Do not put your tounge on the cattle chute. That is some serious frost.
     
  11. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    Thanks all of you. :)

    The frost on the panels did make things fun a bit, especially when you have a pair well-worn boots on with slippery soles. An ice fog went through earlier that morning turning everything solid white and making things even colder than when we were working.

    Can't wait till the temperature goes down to -35 C! :rolleyes:

    Ox, that's interesting that some folks won't sell above 600 pounds, just because of the prices. Isn't there anything else that has to do with selling at 600 pounds other than the prices?

    I'll let you know when the new calves come home, and post some pics (they're gonna be kinda cute, just to warn yall!)