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Country Discussion Topics
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Question regarding making money with animals
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Jen in N Florida    Posted 06-29-2004 at 11:21:04       [Reply]  [No Email]

Hey ya'll I've got a question for ya.

I live on 10 acres...fenced and crossfenced. No barns. 8-9 acres of it is pasture. Most of the pasture is real good. There was 6 full grown cows grazing my property last summber (belonged to my neighbor) and they couldn't even come close to keeping up with the growth. Anyways, I'm a stay at home mom and I'd like to make some extra money from home. I really like working with animals and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what I could possibly raise here that would bring in a little extra income. Or anything else I could do with our property to bring in some money. I'd rather it be something with animals if it's feasible. I figured this would be a good place to ask :)


Sid    Posted 06-29-2004 at 18:49:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
I can't add much to what has alread been said. But another thought would be to buy weaned calves and put them on grass and sell in the fall especialy when baby calves are bringing a high price.


Jen in N Florida    Posted 06-29-2004 at 11:29:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
P.S. For those of you who may not know I already have 2 calves. 7 & 9 months old. A bull & a heifer.

My neighbor next door raises Boer goats for meat. He takes the bucklings to auction. He's been doing it for about 4 years and I think he's basically only breaking even. But then his management leaves a lot to be desired. I know of several things he's doing that I would be doing differently if I was him that would raise the profit margin and wouldn't even affect the goats whatsoever. I've helped him quite a bit with his goats when needed. With worming, kidding, feeding. Lordy I even had to get up in there and help a new doe deliver her kid when he was out of town. Lol I acutally know more about goats then cows. Anyways I'm rambling now. Just thought I'd add that bit of info.


Deadcarp    Posted 06-29-2004 at 11:26:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Right now i'd try a couple head of beef cattle. My neighbor just sold an angus steer for $2000. Pays the taxes. :)


Jen in N Florida    Posted 06-29-2004 at 11:32:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good lord how much did the steer weigh? Who in the world would pay that much for a steer unless they were gonna show it. Then again I don't know much about all this but that just seems outrageous to me.


mike    Posted 06-29-2004 at 12:04:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
don't expect to "make" money. Instead look at it as a forced savings account. Buy yourself some hfr calves for dairy replacements. Up here in NY they are bringing 3-500$ for 2-3 day old calves. Up here I can raise hfrs for about a dollar a day. So ya take your initial investment of 3-500$ and add 700+ days/dollars to sell them as a springing hfr for 1500-2000 dollars or more depending on the quality of the hfr. In other words your hrly rate is preety pitiful and if one dies on occasion it will take all the fun out of it. Do it cuz you want to do it, not as a get rich plan. Good luck. I paid for a couple semesters of college raising hfrs


Burrhead    Posted 06-29-2004 at 12:35:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I never raised replacement heifers but here's my opinion on beef calf crops. I think Mike and Deadcarp are both right.

It aint all that outrageous to get a good price like deadcarp or Mike mentioned. If folks know you have a good breed and usually keep good stock they will pay to get a better brood stock from you.

There is no great BIG money to be made with calves or goats but if you watch the overhead and manage your time and animals they do make a good investment that Uncle Shug can not find to take away from you.

On my calves besides the ones born here I try to make every cow sale for 100 miles around me every fall & winter to pick up any orphans or pull offs that appear to be healthy.

I pay anywhere from $5 to $125 per head. I bring them home and put them on a nurse cow. To heck with mixing bottles. A nurse cow is a natural calf bottle without the mixing. I just let the cow in with the newbies in the morning and in the evening.

A good holstein will nurse out 6-8 calves at a time with no problems. You can wean the calves and start a new batch every 8-10 weeks if you want mass production. Plus you get all the milk a family needs as a side benefit.

I bale up all the hay I will need and put it at the feedshed.

I keep every ounce of good hay in front of them they will eat.

I usually have from 10 to 20 head of yearlings to sell every year. The gross income from selling them is anywhere from $350 to $750 per head. The market floats and is never the same twice in a row.

Not counting my time, but by counting every cent I use to produce them I never have had over $200 in a yearling.

It's no big money return but it does make Santa Claus happy.

My last calf money was to buy my son and new dotter-in-law a very nice $11,000 Ford Explorer for a wedding present.

In the last 12 years I paid off 55 acres of land with 2 rentor houses with my calf money. Yes it was aggravating and hot in the hay patch and it was cold in the windy rainey walks to the feed sheds.

I am a firm believer that it is not how much money you make, the important thing is how much money you keep and how you use it.




Cynthia Smith    Posted 09-16-2005 at 07:30:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
This is exactly what we are looking for. My son is 14 years old and really wants to get started in the farm business. We have 14 acres of land with barns, horse stalls, corral, and have 3 horses. (He rodeos with Little Britches.) He wants to buy some nurse cows and yearlings to start. It sounds like you would recommend this. How many nurse cows and yearlings do you think he should start with?


Jen in N Florida    Posted 06-29-2004 at 13:11:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
I totally agree with yer thoughts there Burrhead. I'm not looking to get rich by no means but would like to put some money in the savings account for this and that or just to help out with unexpected things. Even just extra spending money that we normally wouldn't have. I wish I had someone around here where I live to take me under their wing so to speak and teach me the ropes. As you said in your reply about what you did/do that's all I'm looking to do. Of course I didn't know about that whole nurse cow thing I thought that would only be possible in a perfect world. lol Where does one acquire one of these nurse cows? Are Holsteins just that good natured that they have no problems nursing other calves or are only some like that? I already thought about going to the auctions and picking up any decent calves they had. I've never been to one so that would be a new experience as well. I'd like to find someone who knows what they are doing.

As far as counting my time... I know some people do but I don't count that into my profits. I enjoy working with the calves so it's not so much like work to me. Except like you said when it's cold & nasty out but hey ya gotta take the good with the bad. :) I would only count the acutal money I had invested in them. That profit you were talking is that from private sales or taking them to auction?


Burrhead    Posted 06-29-2004 at 15:48:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
It's just according Jen

Sometimes I sell out right but most are thru an auction.

You can make a lot more money if you can find a rare breed or show club niche to get in on.

On the nurse cow I get most of mine as yearling heifers and breed them to brahan when they age up to it.

For me it's easier and it's best to get a 12-16 month old heifer and wait for her to calf the 1st time to use her for a nurse. Some older cows are hard hard to break to it. Then when she freshens I just put her up in a milk stall or if you have one a squeeze chute and turn the calves to her while her calf is nursing, but yes Mam a holstein is easier to break and more docile than a jersey or guernsey. Plus if you want her for calf nursing the holsteins give about twice as much milk as either of the others.

It cost a little more to feed and keep the holstein but in apple vs apple comparison for what you get back she is equivalent to keeping 2-3 jerseys.

I wish you were close enough I could show you some points on it. What some of us folks have learned along the way won't be worth a flip when the undertaker comes around.

Nearly forgot something. If you don't have a milking stall or squeeze chute just halter the cow and tie her in the fence corner to feed her, now while she's eating just hobble her back feet and turn the calves loose on her. After 2-3 days she will go to the corner and wait for the feed.

If I can answer any questions give me a shout burrhead@bubbajunk.com. I work the drive up winder at Krusty Krab but I will get back to you.

I'd lots druther talk to you if I can be of help to raise calves than get in on these goofy politic post that have been going around here.


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