Calf to beef

Discussion in 'Stock Talk' started by muckymanor, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    5,876
    Was at a meeting on Friday and a few lads were discussing costs. It was the complete opposite to what you would imagine. A lad that was feeding 30 Hereford bulls from bucket to finish broke down his figures and they showed that he was making 200 clear on every animal.

    Another lad was feeding 100 Hereford bull calves, put up his figures, and showed to be just breaking even. He appeared to be farming the best ground. He had a massive meal bill of 450 per animal or 45000 euro every year. He was getting better prices for his animals than anyone else, but his costs were a good bit higher per animal.

    Speaker talked about finishing suckler bred animals. They had done some research on a number of different farms that were finishing all types of continental breeds. They found that the average carcass weight was 340kg for suckler bred. They concluded that lads were not getting as much out of animals as they could be and that many lads would gain financially by feeding managing grass better and even went as far as showing that feeding meal to get that last 100kg in live weight to get an extra 50kg carcass weight actually pays, not just in extra weight but improved grades. They had a range of comparisons done.

    Again, it goes back to the old adage of making the most of what you actually have before complaining about it and going onto something new.
     
    WestCorkBoy and 6600 like this.
  2. Ozzy Scott

    Ozzy Scott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    7,057
    what costs per animal were they pitching labour at. for your normal farm, calves are a good option, labour costs are high, but total finishing costs can be low. Im not doing any next year mainly due to the mortality rates that are getting crazy. may say its due to the calves not getting colostrum, but im doubtful, calves seem to have allot less vigor that before. Were they figures for 2018 calves finished in 2019@muckymanor, €450 of meal into herefords is bonkers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  3. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,081
    Two tonnes of meal for a herford is a fair bit
     
    WestCorkBoy likes this.
  4. scoffcruddle

    scoffcruddle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,732
    Location:
    Lancashire
    What was the 1st lad doing different?
     
  5. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    5,876
    Advisor has the costs and will email them to us. I'll put them up tomorrow when I get them.

    On a side note. We have been really focusing on colostrum with our suckler cows in the last 2 years. 2 pronged approach. 1. Ensuring that the cow has good quality colostrum by ensuring adequate minerals and feeding soya to any cow that we suspected might be lacking.

    2 and most important. Ensuring that the calf is able to take the colostrum. We give a calf paste tube to every calf the minute its born. This has resulted in us seeing calves up sucking much faster. We stomach tube anything that we are in doubt of.

    We calved over 60 in 2019. We lost 1 or 2 at birth. But honestly, we lost no calf that had sucked. We did not have to treat any calf for scour once this year. No powders, no life aid, no aquaprim.

    We use a tube that is marketed for preventing scour. I used to think that it had some type of protection against parasites or put good bacteria in them. It doesn't. It is made from egg whites. But it contains a huge proportion of coconut oil which gives the calf a big burst of energy to get up and suck the cow soon after birth.

    So don't discount that your mortality issue is a colostrum issue. I believe that it's 95% of a calfs health for the first 6 months of life.
     
    scoffcruddle likes this.
  6. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    5,876
    Possibly feeding less meal. Finishing at lighter weights and lower grades but having lower costs. Also buying cheaper calves and buying calves younger.
     
  7. scoffcruddle

    scoffcruddle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,732
    Location:
    Lancashire
    “bought right half sold” :smile:
     
    headcase, Paw and muckymanor like this.
  8. Ozzy Scott

    Ozzy Scott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    7,057
    Hard to say that with young calves. Have bought lovely calves, that turn into yokes, have a few every year. I suspect they are much older that they are let onto be in the sales ring
     
    muckymanor and nashmach like this.
  9. nashmach

    nashmach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    41,707
    Location:
    Wexford, Ireland
    Cheaper calves generally won't guarantee anything, sure you could have bought plenty of calves for a fiver last spring. I'd pay more if they were from one known source where you knew how they were treated (colostrum etc).

    Also, my own view is buying calves younger means they are not as hardy and more inclined to pick up everything going as Ozzy has alluded to earlier.

    Lighter weights is all well and good too till you fail to hit scheme specifications which is a serious hit to bottom line as the Farmers Journal are seeing at the moment.
     
  10. Ozzy Scott

    Ozzy Scott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    7,057
    one other thing I will say, what works for 30 calves is very different to what works for 100, 200, 15 calves. Dis-economies of scale/
    sickness kick in very quickly after 20- 40 calves.
     
    muckymanor likes this.
  11. scoffcruddle

    scoffcruddle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,732
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Regards economy’s of scale I was telling my dad the other day how I could feed and bed thousands of beef cattle in the time it takes to milk my cows,my tub mixer with 11t would feed some amount of beefers and bedding up with straw or sawdust is so easy with modern kit,buying and selling would be the time consuming jobs.
     
  12. Ozzy Scott

    Ozzy Scott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    7,057
    For beef, it the cattle moving in and out of the herd that is time consuming, along with drafting and buying. Where there is no movement of animals and facilities even average, one person can look after a huge number of cattle
     
  13. muckymanor

    muckymanor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    5,876
    People around here that would be buying and selling big amounts of cattle usually get someone to do their mart buying and selling. I know a few fairly big farmers who never go to the mart. If I was buying in big numbers, I know one lad who will buy and deliver cattle to local yards for 20 on top of the mart sheet price.
    Personally, I have found that it's easier to have the factory cattle agent collect cattle from me and charge me 30 euro apiece for small numbers for haulage than it is for me to spend half a day bringing them with my own jeep and trailer. Time spent driving, diesel, wear and tear, and even time spent washing out are things that many people don't take into account.
     
  14. Paw

    Paw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,219
    Location:
    Shropshire
    That's how Dad used to do it back when he kept cattle. Agent bought (they were knocked down to Dad at the market) and delivered them. He also took them back to market when fat. We just sorted them and pushed them on the lorry. Dad would go to the mart to see them sold.
     
    muckymanor likes this.
  15. scoffcruddle

    scoffcruddle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2,732
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Being a control freak I couldn’t ever let anyone buy for me,it’s easy to spend someone else’s money.
     
    nashmach and Arthur like this.
  16. Arthur

    Arthur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    Messages:
    14,945
    Location:
    Munster
    Not just that but you get deals going on after the ring with " shur we'll stick on a tenner of his money and have a fiver each.
     
  17. Seedsower

    Seedsower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,077
    Location:
    North midlands ireland
    If you have someone buying for u and you buy an odd few yourself u won't be long figuring out what's happening.
    I have a man I trust buying for me for years,he came in to my yard to buy cattle years ago,we didn't deal at the time but I found him straight which isnt Always th case.
    Going to Marts especially travelling far is an expensive business. The times you go and but nothing add a lot to the overall costs.
    With a young family night sales dont really suit either
     
  18. mixed fleet

    mixed fleet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,062
    Location:
    midlands eire
    I'm in at at least one mart a week usually selling and l buy the odd one.
    There's an elderly neighbour that buys for a few people and he buys for me on a regular basis, and usually organises transport home.
    I wouldn't have the time or patience to hang around a mart all day or night.
    The best return on cattle is on groups of cattle bought on the land usually through dumb deal.
    In my experience.
     
    muckymanor likes this.

Share This Page