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stocker calves vs. cow-calf

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TWOROPES

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I am in a partnership on a small herd of good cows in south Texas. Due to our unpredictable weather patterns, some years winter feeding can really eat into the bottom line. I have dabbled in stocker calves a couple of times in the past and ended up with a profit of $100.00 to $120.00 a head after all costs. I am considering selling my momma cows and going with a straight stocker operation. If it gets dry, I can liquidate the stockers with whatever gain I have put on them, before spending profits on feed, and replace them when it starts raining. I would really appreciate any comment from experienced stocker operators.
 

Tap

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In this country we call it running yearlings instead of stockers, but it amounts to the same thing. We have ran yearlings along with our cowherd, and then when it gets drier (which has been often here too) we can put wheels under the yearlings and give a few more acres for the pairs.

I think it is important to get to understand futures and options in the yearling game.
 

cowsense

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There's an old saying in the yearling business: Some years you can make enough to buy a ranch and the next you might just lose your own outfit! Tap was right, you definitely have to be able to manage the financial risk and know the market you are feeding for. Often a combination of ownership and custom grazing will offer a surer return. As well a grazer may have to have the financial resources to take stockers on to the feedlot and finishing to survive a market wreck!
 

Mike

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Lot's of guys down here are running stockers for someone else and are paid by the pound. Most are getting about $.30 - $.40 per pound of gain with an agreement beforehand on losses. Some guys do good at it. Just a thought.
 

sw

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In some states you can buy livestock risk insurance, this is like crop insurance but on cattle and it is subsidized. I am not sure about TX. My opinion is to cover your bases, maybe have some pairs and some yearlings, as said you can put wheels under the yearlings as is being done now with no wheat pastures because of drought. My brother runs grass cattle, short term pairs, does not AI or put anything into the cows unless he has to. Like this year, he has no cows to calve out but has already bought grass cattle, has them hedged, goes fishing all the time and I'm sure will make more money this year. Someday I will learn then you can take advice from me.
 

CattleRMe

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Seems lots of people in this country that are selling out their mama cows are just taking cattle in. Some are taking in cow/calf pairs while others are taking in yearlings. It is instant cash flow. Every month having a check coming in makes bankers :) .
 

George

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If this is a trend that continues where whill the calves come from????

I back grounded calves for a couple of years and we weighed them in and weighed them out and I got paid 1/2 the price they would bring at leaving for the gain ( the last time I got $0.35 as calves were $0.70 ) I was required to absorb any death loss over 10% -- - I did this for two years and never lost a calf - - - made reasonable money but jsut did not get excited over the deal.

I found a small herd of cows I could afford and bought them and probably did not make as much money this first year but I have a greater feeling of satisfaction.
 

CattleRMe

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Here to run yearlings it is $15-$18 per month per head to run them. Owner takes all the death loss. Owner provides any extra feed other then grass or hay plus salt and mineral.

In some cases the owner of the cattle pays on a monthy basis, some pay half in and half out, and sometimes the pasture owner will take one payment in the fall when they sell.
 

Jason

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George said:
If this is a trend that continues where whill the calves come from????

Haven't you heard? Tyson is out to break all ranchers and destroy the cattle industry :wink:
 

TWOROPES

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I am in the heart of cow-calf country in Texas, you are very hard pressed to find any yearling operations, and very few cow-calf peaple background, most haul their stuff to the sale the same day they strip em off the cow.
 

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