Can i start a beef farm as soon as i'm done high school?
My family doesn't really have alot of money so I'll get a job to get the money. Becuase cattle usally don't need shelter I won't need to build a suped up barn ,(Please don't comment on that, i would not be leaving the cattle outside all the time, they will have a shelter.) But i could build a shelter than upgrade it once i get the money. I have 100 acres of land so thats already done. What should i do?
- WildrosebeefLv 58 years agoFavorite Answer
My answer to this question is no, not if you have too much start-up costs to contend with. Your costs will be high in over-heads, feed and fuel if you don't have the right management skills and knowledge to raise your cattle properly, sustainably and as a way to minimize costs. A beef farm isn't just about having the right shelter, it's about what's under your feet, how you manage what's under your feet and what you can get out of your cows and heifers. If you can't manage your grass and your cows, you're screwed.
Get a job first and foremost, and start saving up in your bank. I would also suggest two things: either get a college certificate or degree in animal husbandry or agriculture in the beef cattle sector, or work at a beef farm for a few years to see what you're really getting into. It may turn out that you don't like it and would rather stick with a job that pays you $40/hr with benefits and doesn't involve so much hard work.
Let me tell you something here, from personal experience: you sure as hell ain't going to get rich quick in the cattle business, if that's what you're in it for. It's a way of life more than a profit-making operation, but it in itself is also a business (and a very high-risk one at that), and you HAVE to manage it as a business, not as some lemonade stand you have on the side of the road.
As Sam mentioned, you have to know what breeds you want to raise, how to manage your cows so you are minimizing feed costs but also making labour not such a pain in the *** for you, where you're going to sell your calf crop and how, when you will calve, breed and wean, whether you are going to go AI or natural, what niche market you want to aim for, etc.
Start small, with only a few cows, or just get some weaner steers to start you off to see where you can take your operation. Analyze your pastures and hay supplies, your feeding methods throughout the year, and your markets. Start with a set of GOOD cows (and I mean GOOD cows that raise GOOD calves, not scrawny, sickly, gutted calves), preferably three-in-one's that can be bought through a herd-dispersal sale, not through the auction (there's a reason that they're there, and quite often it's not because they should be put with another herd). Start and maintain a good herd health program (this is for vaccinations necessary for your area), and a good nutritional program according to your cows' needs, not what you think is necessary. Keep your calving and breeding periods short and to the point, not long and drawn out. And cull ANY cows that are giving you troubles, be it temperament, calving ease, mothering ability, conformation, feed efficiency, etc.
- 8 years ago
First of all I applaud you for your desire to raise cattle. The first thing I would recommend is researching what type of beef you want to raise. You are going to need to determine how many head of cattle your 100 acres can support. This depends greatly on what breed you get. For example miniature Herefords are a new popular breed because they do not consume the feed that a full sized Hereford or Black Angus would. You also need to check what prices you can expect to get when you are ready to sell. Are you going to use a cattle dealer or sell directly to a slaughter house? Also, depending on where you live you may need to have feed for your cattle in the winter months and don't forget about the cost of providing grain and other feed supplements and well as fencing, vaccines, De-worming etc. Last of all you need to determine how much it is going to cost to purchase your cattle initially. Are you going to buy them at auction or do you have another source. Once you have a herd established they will be able to reproduce but this takes time. Be sure to calculate all the expenses including initial purchase price so that you know how profitable it will be. You may find that it is not worth the work. Best of luck.
- 8 years ago
take it slow, don't overwhelm yourself the first few years. You want this career to last you a lifetime, just be cautious, read a lot of books on caring for cattle.
- 8 years ago
you can plant grass and buy cows in the winter you will need to make feed but you can hire someone to do that