Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAgriculture · 1 decade ago

Staring A Cattle Ranch?

Right now I am 17 years old. I plan on trying to own a cattle ranch in Nashville,Tennessee wen im a little older. How much would it cost to start one and do I need to go to school for it? I am going to work on a cattle ranch to gain experience in it. And how many cows would i need to start off with?

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    What I'd like to know is how much experience do you have with cattle, or do you even have any?

    Costs include purchasing land, which will be well over the $100,000 mark as well as a tractor and hay harvesting equipment, handling facilities, fencing, watering stations, some sheds, and feed for the winter. In total, depending on the costs when you go to purchase all that, it will be quite a bit. I'm not familiar with land prices in Tennessee, but it for sure won't be all that cheap.

    Start small. Don't purchase 20 or 50 cows all at once, because all these animals may be too much to handle for you. I'd start off by purchasing only as many as you can count on your single hand. And DO NOT PURCHASE HEIFERS!!! You, assuming you have no experience with cows, could be facing a real train-wreck if you start off with heifers. Heifers are a royal pain in the neck, as they are as experienced with raising a calf as you are with knowing everything there is to do about cows. So I'd start with 3-in-1's, which are pregnant cows with a calf at side. Older cows tend to have more experience with calving and will definitely give you less trouble than them dang heifers. You can start building your herd with these five or six cows, keeping one or two heifers back until they are ready to breed, and use AI (artificial insemination) to re-breed your cows once they have calved.

    The reason I suggest (and strongly) to use AI instead of purchasing a bull is because of your inexperience. Bulls are very dangerous, and it takes a more skilled cattleman who's been-there-done-that to be able to handle a bull and know that bulls should never be trusted. A bull that challenges you is a bull that deserves a one-way ticket to the salebarn. Packing an axe handle or a 2-foot long PVC pipe when working with bulls is a good way to protect yourself if a bull (or even a protective cow) shakes his (or her) head at you.

    Taking a certificate or diploma on raising cattle and managing a cow-calf operation will definitely give you a boost up of what to expect when raising your own cattle and how you go about managing your cowherd. I strongly encourage you to attend a good ag college to gain more experience; sometimes working at another cow-calf ranch can only get you so far and show you so much. Kentucky State University has a good ag program you can enroll in; I'm sure there are other colleges that may pique your interest, once you do a bit of looking around. Also, enroll in another program that involves pasture and forage management: because, you can't raise cattle without grass and forage. Having good forage in your pastures will ultimately mean that you will have great cattle.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): I plan on starting a cow-calf herd myself, and have done as much researching as I can as well as asking other farmers and ranchers about different things. Raised in a cattle farm so I know the ins and outs of raising, handling and feeding cattle. Have a degree in Animal Science with a fair number of courses on raising cattle and pasture-forage management.
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