Monday, September 24, 2007

Cattle Breeding Groups

Its true, I just offered quite a few of my cattle up for sale. However we are quite set with feed and pens to allow them to stay on here if we do not find the proper homes/buyers for these cattle. I've been working heavily with the cattle for near 20 years and I can't just send them off to the local livestock sales barn anymore. They are worth much more than what I can get commercially. That is the problem with raising registered purebred breeding stock. Everyone thinks that they should be worth what the butcher/feeder animals are going for. In case they don't remember, this is a huge portion of my income each year and its a pity people don't realize that. What also irritates me is that most of the buyers are my dad's age or older and the moment they see me, a kid in their 20's, they brush me off as someone who doesn't know what they are doing and want to talk to my dad or try to discount my animals because of it.

Slowly they are coming around. Even the owner of the livestock auction told me that I could be getting more with private sales, and he would help me find those sales, of course with commission! What a nice guy! (sarcasm here) At any rate I am going to be selling our two large mature herd bulls. They are proven sires and can be found in the latest American Simmental Association list of proven sires. We are taking our yearling bull (going on two now) to the butcher as we lost our entire large chest freezer full of meat in the garage earlier this summer.

I am keeping back 5 bull calves for further evaluation. Since we won't have the large herd bulls this winter, we can keep the younger guys out in their pasture. I'm keeping the two free martins to feed out and butcher next fall and will be keeping for sure three replacement heifers, with possibly 5 more. Or I might sell those 5 as a group package this fall as a breeding group. They are the best I've ever raised and feel due to the lack of funds I currently have from buying all these sheep and goats this year that they will bring the most income back in for me. Sad but true reality, every cattle producer must face.

On that note a very highly nationally recognized farm in Minnesota is getting out of the Simmental breed and farming in general! Gramms Farms is selling out of their entire herd, cows, calves, bulls, heifers. Everything. If only I had enough money to bring some of their bloodlines in.

I need to get some photos of the calves from this year. I'm quite proud of them. If it was sunny out today I'd go get photos of their shining coats, their well developed muscling (all on grass mind you) and how great their mothers look (body condition scores). I'm quite happy with the lot of them. But I have 50 head myself and need to cut back again. If money and feed wasn't an issue I'd have a lot more ;)

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