Suckler cows.. is it worth it?

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
what's people's thoughts on starting a small suckler herd..
Grazing is owned or very cheap rent, we can make our own hay/ silage and swap surplus for straw, can winter in owned buildings and can buy the right calves at the right money to bring on as the herd females.
Currently have a simm and Hereford bull within the "family " we can use initially.
would sell calves at approx 9 months old.
Is it worth it?
 
Always said the best to get into anything is when it's rock bottom.

Should be some cheap cows and calves on market in near future.
I was wondering the same. Bought a lot of young cattle last few years have a fairly young herd I was hoping with all the dispersals there could be some cows and calves or better incalf cows for handy money
 

Pan mixer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Near Colchester
I was wondering the same. Bought a lot of young cattle last few years have a fairly young herd I was hoping with all the dispersals there could be some cows and calves or better incalf cows for handy money
Things are making a premium at the moment though.

I bought cows in in 2007 to start my herd - £400 each. I would suspect that the price would be nearer 1400 now - a lot to lay out for a store sale in 18 months (minimum) time. Some store buyers here have stopped buying cattle that need a hopper.
 
Things are making a premium at the moment though.

I bought cows in in 2007 to start my herd - £400 each. I would suspect that the price would be nearer 1400 now - a lot to lay out for a store sale in 18 months (minimum) time. Some store buyers here have stopped buying cattle that need a hopper.
Yes stuck our necks out a bit last year and bought a good few but haven’t managed very well up to now this time been to a couple of sales bought a few at the first one too dear at the second one
 

Guiggs

Member
Location
Leicestershire
Things are making a premium at the moment though.

I bought cows in in 2007 to start my herd - £400 each. I would suspect that the price would be nearer 1400 now - a lot to lay out for a store sale in 18 months (minimum) time. Some store buyers here have stopped buying cattle that need a hopper.
So would you say a more native bred animal that will do better off grazing alone or predominantly at least, would have more potential to those store buyers or are they just not going to buy?
 
We have established a small suckler herd over the past couple of years. It's a revelation how much less work they are than sheep and my sheep aren't the most labour intensive! What I am trying to do now is integrate the cattle and sheep grazing. Sheep lead and take their pick, cattle follow and clear up so there should be a significant benefit in terms of lamb growth.

Breeds? One choice would be smart and fancy-arsed with the attendant extra feed and veterinary requirement but higher prices. I have opted for a herd of natives, mainly Traditional Herefords that calve easily and outwinter well on my inch of topsoil without losing condition.
 

delilah

Member
That's ( kind of) what I wanted to hear 👍

Yeah, it was a round-about way of saying that it will be something other than a financial decision, which is fine, it just makes me laugh when I hear/read about how profitable folks sucklers are when there is clearly no rent/buildings/truck/trailer/ insurance/101 other fixed costs in the equation. They will produce a GM, but profit, nah.

As for colour, I would have suggested British White but breeding females are currently making silly money due to a non-farming-money buyer. That's the thing with minority breeds, the low numbers means that it doesn't take much for the price to be skewed.
 

twizzel

Member
One think I would say is pay particular attention to herd health status because of you don't it will cost you in terms of vet bills, reduced fertility - and everything else related directly to production and therefore profitability. Likewise stress.
A happy and healthy herd is a profitable herd.
Second this. Make sure whatever you buy is tested negative for BVD. You really really don’t want that in your herd (talking from experience)
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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