Would love some input~ Business proposition

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by allenslabs, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. allenslabs

    allenslabs Saanen & Boer Breeder

    Feb 5, 2005
    I had a guy come here and buy my sarah (he pd me 1400 which I was happy cause I just pd 600 for her in february) and upon looking at all my animals noticed they were all very healthy and fat and asked me if I could like to raise dairy heifers for him. He said he would bring me 2-300lb heifers, I would feed them and stuff and he would pay me .80 per pound of gain (although I think I'd tell him just a flat out 1.50 per day). He said he'd bring over as many as I would want.
    What are the risks here? How would it work if one died? I've only lost 2 animals in 5 years and those were both this year and neither one had a shot. 1 actually I kept alive for 3 weeks and he couldn't even stand and I finally gave him to a woman and he died at her house so I guess I didn't let him die. The other one was a little angus heifer from a 1st timer and was born in a very deep feedlot and not fed any colostrum for about 13hrs. I oculdn't save her. Her eyes were blue and stuff when I got her and he said that was from all the urine in her eyes and she was caked when he got her out of the pen and then just used a hose of cold water and sprayed her. I felt so bad for her..........
    Anyway....... so I'm somewhat able to care for animals. I know about worming and what they need to eat and raise pretty nice animals I must say. Is this something I should put in writing? I would love to hear from anyone who has done it before and let me know. THanks a lot!
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    You need to discus these same questions with him. You can't afford to pay vet bills or cover the death losses. However if a calf died you could only afford to forgo the gain it had made, and not deduct 80 cents a pound for its entire weight. Your idea of pay for daily feed and care is a better system for you as it wouldn't penalize you so much for death losses. or poor doing calves. It could also be more profitable for him as the calves may gain two pounds or more per day if feed well enough. It should be understood that you will furnish roughage, and minimal grain.

  3. john in la

    john in la Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Ok lets assume you know how to raise dairy calves to springer age.

    Do you have a business plan?
    What are you feeding?
    What is the cost of this feed?
    What is your feed conversion rate?
    What is your land and fence cost?
    What is your time allowance and cost?
    Will you AI or have a bull and at what cost?

    Now when you have all this and more you can see what it is going to cost you to raise a calf. You are not really doing the full job because the farmer is getting them weaned and getting them past the high death rate area.

    So now we need to see how your price fits in with cost of cows.
    Figure what the cow is worth at 300lbs and then at 1000lbs. The difference is the most you can charge for their stay.

    The farmer will want a per lb charge because if you do not feed for maximum weight gain he will not loose as much. A per weight charge gives you more incentive to keep feeding for weight gain when feed prices are high.

    You will need a option to cull slow growers. Every herd has some.
    All vet bills should be extra.
    Deaths will be handled on a personal contract. I have seen some where both loose (you loose all feed and farmer looses cow) and some where only one party looses. Most deaths occur with small calves and not older animals. The reason for the split lose is because it is the farmers cow that died but it was under your care and you should have noticed it was sick and called a vet. I can tell you if you get a high death rate you will not be doing it long. Contracts where you take all responsibility in death pay more per lb.

    Now you are looking for 1.50 per day. A springer weighs about 1000lbs at 23 months - the 270lbs (4 months old) he brings the cow to you. That means you will have her for 19 months or 580 days x 1.50 = $870
    1000lbs - 270lbs = 730 lbs of gain
    That’s $1.19 per lb. Is springes selling for $1.19 or more per lb in your area?

    I can go on and on but will not because you get the idea by now.
  4. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Dec 13, 2004
    New York
    As john said, have options. Some animals also put more feed away than others. I have a heifer, she plows feed down as if it wasn't there. She can wolf 20lbs of haylage in about an hour, or less. She wolfs 3lbs of grain in 5 minutes or so, while others take their time. Then I have the heifers that take several hours to eat 20lbs of haylage, and 15 minutes or so for 3lbs of grain. The ones that eat heavy could eat some others as well, depending how you do it!

    Also I have seen with mine, some grow faster than others. Some are at 55", while I have a couple at 52-53". Heck one about the same age is 2-3" different, due to her genetics (had the same feed, quantity). So that should be kept in mind, in some cases maybe it would be handy to know the sires, and dam's sires. IMO that would be helpfull as some sires tend to throw some fast growing calves, and some sires throw slower growing. I have a heifer (thea), her dam's sire was Ca-Lill. I talked to someone and mentioned thea's dam's sire. He said that he was a small bull. Thea's sire is Braedale Spy. There is another spy I have, and she is 2-3" taller than thea. She must have some of that bulls genes, that effected stature some. No biggy, she could milk heavier than the taller heifer anyways. I am not familiar with replacements, I would however know some backround info on each heifer, could be handy.. It isn't overly important, but what if a couple heifers seemed to be smaller, maybe you think "they aren't getting enough feed". Well what if the sire wasn't known for throwing big calves, and the eventual cows weren't super tall anyways. Just some thoughts. Because genetics do play a big role on a heifers size, feed yes, but aside from feed. I have a heifer, due in April. She will be 24 months in April. She weighs currently about 1200+lbs, another heifer due in June, who will be 24 months in April weighs 100lbs less. Same age, same feed, different genetics.