Turning a profit with cattle

Stockwell

Member
This thread could go on a while...... ?

If you had £50k to put into cattle this autumn, what would you do. On an outstanding grassland farm that can grow cattle exceptionally through the grazing months and plenty of shed space.

Buy weaned calves (dairy or harder done beef suckled calves) and grow them on to sell as strongish store cattle 12 months later? Anything any more likely than this to turn a profit?
Always wanted to buy heifers and turn them out for sale with calves at foot but can be a risky business with lots to go wrong.

Obviously dozens of variables to be considered. Just wondering what people’s rough options were.
 

Werzle

Member
Location
Midlands
Could be rucks of cheap weanlings for sale in the autumn with alot of dairy farmers rearing calves with all the waste milk. There might be alot of cheap stores if the drought continues too. Calving hfrs down pays well but it is always subject to clear tbt's. You could also buy ewes to fatten .
 

AndrewM

Member
BASIS
Location
Devon
if you had a good eye for young stock then here in the SW you get batches of weaned calves 10-12 weeks+ going through the calf ring, not every week, just occasionally. Usually when a dairy farmer has gone tb free and has a clear out. they often look cheap, as most people are after rearing calves. If you could spot the good from the rubbish and give them good grumb and grazing for 12-18 months probably some money there. biggest work load would be attending enough markets to find enough stock
 

dinderleat

Member
Location
Wells
Must be too dear then because i no a chap who scoured the country for them last autumn including sedge and took him ages to fill up.
There’s loads of cattle out there but as usual the dealers have the job tied up. It’s just a case of connecting the farmers with cattle with the ones that want them but missing out the three in the middle that take a cut.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
50kg FH bulls would be £50 off farm
With Arla’s calf policy there’s massive opportunity with lower value calves.
dunno, once euthanasia, is banned, at birth, there will be 10's of thousands of extra calves on the mkt, Sexed semen, will only increase the number of beef calves. Instead of dairy bull calves, being euthanised, you will have a large number of not very good beef calves, coming onto the mkt. Various estimates put the number of calves, not coming onto the mkt, put the figure at 20%, arguable, but still a lot of calves, it is those numbers, you have to find a home for, and for those calves to be profitable, and that, is a very debateable point. There will be farmers, saying, xbred cows, or CI cows, can produce good calves, some can, but a hell of a lot won't be.
 

dinderleat

Member
Location
Wells
When the suckler lads and lasses work out they can rear 3 times as many cattle by buying calves plus as long as dairy farmers use top quality bulls/semen. You should be able to hit atleast 280kgs under 24months but management has to be top notch right through the system.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
When the suckler lads and lasses work out they can rear 3 times as many cattle by buying calves plus as long as dairy farmers use top quality bulls/semen. You should be able to hit atleast 280kgs under 24months but management has to be top notch right through the system.
when the suckler farms, work out how to rear bucket calves, as a lot don't, and as you so rightly say, management has to be top notch, that may take out the better calves, but the lower end ? The biggest problem, for us dairy farmers, is going to be, finding a home for those calves, and, to find a home, they have to be profitable, and we have to realise, the sheer number of extra calves, that, when euthanasia is not allowed, by your milk contract, will have to find a home.
And, what are the consequences, for us, if we cannot find a home, and we are forced to keep them alive ? We are sleepwalking into a massive problem, the best we can hope for, is a scheme to rear them for a new end product, or a relaxation of the rules, to allow those rubbish end, to disappear. Figures do vary, but an extra 20%, is a figure used, and that gives a number of 200,000 calves, a hell of a lot.
 

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