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Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:06 am
As a guy who travels, let me tell you two things.
Set things up easy. By that, I mean calve on grass, have the vet palpate replacement heifers for Pelvic Size, and don't keep any problem cows. They need to drop a calf and raise it. No excuses. They need to be independent. Do you see a theme here? ;-}
Second, have great fences but even better relationships with neighbors. Someone that can handle things while you are gone is worth so much. Make sure they are appreciated and compensated.
One other thing, I run my yearlings with another guy who stays home. Some form of that may be advisable. Partnering on pasture isn't always great if you have different ideas though.
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:08 am
Also, I started paying someone to winter a portion of my herd. It seemed like it was spendy up front. However we likely will have them winter all of our mother cows this coming year. After we looked at it, the ones we kept at home likely will cost us more.
One thing I have done is source feed and sold it to them to reduce costs to him. However, our costs before taking the feed out were better with him feeding. It just makes it even better when we do this.
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:21 pm
Interesting points, and maybe #1 re your fence should be to check the fence laws in your state and/or county.
If you mentioned what sort of cattle (cows, weaned calves, yearlings?) I missed it. Someone else mentioned the possibility of good neighbors who might be willing to at least keep a watchful eye on them and contact you quickly if there is a problem. Good neighbors are a wonderful asset for anyone ranching or farming!!! We are blessed with some great ones, and hope you are, too. NEVER take unfair advantage of them, tho, not even if they somehow invite it! The Golden Rule is especially important if one is keeping or raising animals on their land.
It seems to me it is pretty important that you spend plenty of time planning and preparing for this adventure before even putting up your fence. Have in mind how you are going to do everything from starting the fence, to caring for and handling the animals. This is assuming you don't have much, if any, experience. There can be enough problems for people WITH worlds of experience and lack thereof can cause nightmares!!!! A calm personality is a real asset whether working with your animals, or your neighbors.
Well, you sure do know where to go for 'free advice', so you already have a good start toward success.
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:07 pm
This is some of the best advise, some i haven't even thought of.
As far as a friendly neighbor..... The neighboring properly, me and him don't get along very well. He has cattle and a horrible fence.... cows kept destroying my wife's newly planted trees.... You can see where that situation went.
I love the idea of hiring a high school kid to check in on things while i would be out. That is probably going to be the route i would take.
I do plan on taking a lot of time setting up my operation, being very green, I want to make sure its right from start to finish.
As far as what kind of cattle i want, two types, One being texas longhorn. I love the beast of an animal and think they would be great. And i will also go into a more popular beef cattle, though which breed i haven't decided.
Also, i have my interview today for the job i mentioned earlier that would really jump start this goal/dream of mine.
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:29 pm
Good luck to you!
You have already realized the other side of "good fences make good neighbors", which is "bad fencing creates problems with neighbors."
I'm curious as to how many head of cattle can you run on 60 acres in your area?
Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:36 am
Kosmo, your idea re. stapling on the side of fence your cows are to stay on, but around here, there are cows on both sides of most fences, so....would it work to alternate on each post which side the staples are on? May be a dumb q. but everyone else here is sleeping, so have no quick reference. It would look interesting, tho.
MBingsley7, what is the terrain like on your land? Mostly flat, or rolling, or rough with distinct hills and valleys, creeks, trees of grass only, old fields of crops, or current ones, for that matter? What types of grasses, weeds, other plants? Have you talked to a 'county Ag agent type person, or the federal Ag office (I'm assuming there is one in each county) and suppose some could be of vast assistance on everything from fencing laws to tips on how to deal with the 'non' fencing neighbor. Rule here in SD is each adjoining land owner stands on the center of the line to be fenced and fences to his/her right. Get to the corner and repeat the process. You may have multiple neighbors to complicate matters.,
Re. breed of cattle. Do you need to do some research on that? It would be easier and make sense to do that 'on paper' and in person by visiting with owners of various breeds to see what their practical experiences have been. If you like the Longhorn breed, are you aware that there are distinct variations within the breed? Some are 'lawn ornament' types, imo those would be the thin appearing ones with pretty colors and great horns. Others are more 'beefy' looking and have more meat on their carcass when it comes to 'pay day'. That wouldn't make so much difference if you are planning to sell them as breeding stock, but that takes more time to build a reputation which is a necessity for success in the breeding stock end of the cattle business. If you are in it for the 'lawn ornament sales' that is another angle. Actually, we had a person ask to buy two of our personal beef 'herd' of Longhorns as his personal 'lawn ornaments on an acreage in the Black Hills. Personalities and disposition should be extremely important to you, as a novice. They may or might not 'fatten up' a bit to make great tasting beef, if that is your ultimate goal. We have raised them and eaten them ourselves, but we had them due to the easy calving and used them on our heifers. In this area, at least, they don't sell nearly as well as the more popular 'beefy' breeds, from Angus to Limousin, and we have tried several breeds before settling on mostly black Angus.
I speak from almost 60 years personal experience raising cattle for a living, and we are third generation from Calhoon and Jones ranches near Midland, SD. We also have Generations 4,5,& 6 working or living on this ranch. If I were in your position and favored Longhorn for their colorful hides and the horns, I might look into Scottish Highlanders. They have some variety of coloration, beautiful long hair, gentle down very nicely (in our somewhat limited experience with them) and have wonderful meat. We even kept some till they were about ten years old before processing them and the beef was tender. We were going for the horn growth and have several heads mounted in various places, plus some had beautiful rugs from the hides. If you are in it to sell them, either as freezer beef, or live cattle, do you have an idea of where or how you will market them?
My major point: raising cattle is a costly 'entertainment', and difficult business, and the potential for disaster in so many ways, from financial to physical, is high for a total novice! The more one knows about it, the more likely to succeed at whatever of the many reasons for doing it. Maybe I've misunderstood your posts and you have more experience than I thought, and if so, my apologies for excessive caution to you. Don't mean to be discouraging you, but to give you a better chance of success, or at least survival.
Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:41 am
on 60 acres I'd throw a hot wire in on the deal that will slow them up on both sides of the fence. I have a friend who has roping cattle longhorns/ Corrientes they are hard on fence from what I've seen my temper couldn't tolerate those cattle.
Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:43 am
I used to be of the opinion that barbed wire would hold cattle in (or out) but recently that has proven not to be the case. Had a neighbors bull continually show up in my pasture. Each and every time I would find a section of fence torn up. One day I ran him out, fixed the fence, turned around to get in the mule and the SOB bull stuck his head under the fence, lifted up and tore a 20' hole of the fence. I am now using net fence on the perimeter of my property for a couple of reasons. One, keeps the animals happy and keeps critters (hogs) out.
Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:01 pm
I love hot wire - - - note I said HOT - - - my charger puts out 12.5 Jules and normally has about 7,000 volts at the end of the line. Buy the best charger you can find and put gate handles on each separate run so if there is a problem you can locate it. I have 5 miles of fence on 300 acres - - - with a fence this hot the hunters will not ride it down like woven wire or barbed wire and it sure deters the coyotes and dogs from town. My charger says it will charge 150 miles of moderately weedy fence - - - thus some would consider it overkill for 5 miles but it will send a blue flame about 1" on damp days and the cattle are true believers. If you read the specs it only puts out 0.0025 amps it will not kill even small animals or start fires but the few times I have gotten into it have made me a believer as well!
In Indiana it is against the law to energize barbed wire so I use hi tensile 12 guage and some of it is still in place from 1973 when I bought the property - - - every few months I will walk a line and replace any insulators that are questionable. I also spray the fences with a non selective herbicide. Knock on wood I can't remember an animal getting out for several years unless someone leaves a gate open. This also keeps the neighbors cattle away from my property as well.