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Posted 3/28/2010 5:38:08 PM
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i'm trying to figure out what most people consider a reasonable price for hereford cavles (horned or polled). i'm thinking about buying a few but don't want to get scammed. so any intell on it would be extremely helpful. thanks
Post #17721
Posted 3/28/2010 11:46:51 PM


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Calves under 50 pounds are selling for $5 dollars

Calves between 50 and 75 pounds are selling for 30 dollars

And Calves over 70 pounds are selling for 50 dollars.

This is in the Northeast and at wholesale auction. We sent 4 in last week (though they were Holstein granted) and out of 6 calves, we made 75 bucks. Two died before they got there so we ate the costs of housing and transport, two went for $5 a piece and one went for 30 dollars and another for 50 dollars. Subtract out all the transport and feed costs to get them there and we made around 75 bucks altogether!

And they wonder why 25% of the dairy farms in Maine went under, or why Vermont lost 1/3 of its dairy farmers!

******

Tell a welfare recipient they must work and they call their congressman. Tell a farmer he can no longer work and he commits suicide. No wonder 1/2% of the population feeds the other 99-1/2%!!
Post #17725
Posted 3/29/2010 4:55:56 AM
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But you're comparing apples to oranges. There's a big difference in value between dairy bull calves which often haven't been allowed to even get colostrum, and beef calves which have, and which have been well cared for. Granted, it's unusual for them to be sold at such a young age as a dairy bull calf, so it's hard to compare the value of a beef breed vs a surplus dairy bull at that age, but it would certainly be more than 5 or 30 dollars.
Post #17733
Posted 3/29/2010 6:03:03 AM


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Which puzzles me... Holstein tastes much better than beef breeds, even the much touted Angus. The price is based on successful marketing by beef breed producers, but if folks would do a taste test I think we would find a very good market for all of those cheap Holstein bulls that are sold for next to nothing now.

Also, don't compare auction prices against what you might get from a private sale. Auction prices regardless of the livestock are always lower, in some cases much lower. Look at producers and custom sales; look at Craigslist ads; ask around the local coffee shop. That will give you a more realistic feel for your local market.

As for the price you should pay it's not helpful to compare prices from different regions. Every region has its own prevalence and preference for breeds. Where I grew up in West Texas, Herefords were the standard and were as common as jackrabbits. Here in Missouri where I live now, I haven't seen any. Everyone around here wants a black cow so they can call it "Angus", whether it is or not. I don't think you could find a buyer for a Hereford.

Brian Wright
Large Black and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs
Raised humanely on pasture
Homegrown Acres
Heritage Hog Blog
HomegrownAcres@gmail.com
Post #17735
Posted 3/29/2010 11:39:32 PM


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Actually no Gallus I am not comparing apples to oranges at all, our Holstein goes to the Veal industry. It does not matter what breed of animal it is, just weight. These are current prices for wholesale calves, but as Mr Wright says, you can certainly shop around and find better prices for your calves. We do not have time for that as we are dairy farmers.

In this case though, the question was buying them. The hard part will be for a person unused to the industry to find a healthy animal at wholesale prices.

As for the colostrum, that is just silly. Dairy farmers get that reputation but all our calves get colostrum of course. That is because the first 6 milkings of a cow cannot be put in the tank. That colostrum is separated out and given to the calf by bottle. I do not know of any dairy farmer who does not give colostrum from the mother cow to her calf.


******

Tell a welfare recipient they must work and they call their congressman. Tell a farmer he can no longer work and he commits suicide. No wonder 1/2% of the population feeds the other 99-1/2%!!
Post #17760
Posted 3/31/2010 10:34:08 AM


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For small calves I would expect to pay $100 to $300 depending on size.  These are not registered show stock prices, just garden variety beef calves.  Drawbar's prices seem way low compared to here.  Even Jersey bull calves bring more than that fairly often.  A Holstein or beef breed rarely brings under $100 for a baby calf.

These are the results from our local auction Monday.  Baby calves under 100 pounds brought $130-$160 each and 100 - 200 pound calves brought $160-$300 each.  You can go to their site at http://www.decaturlivestockmarket.com and see reports from this year and last year to see trends.  This is a fairly good sized auction at around 2000 head a week mostly to commercial buyers and some locals looking at replacement stock.  Their prices seem to be fairly compariable with the other five or six auctions in the local north central Texas area.

Prices on craigslist run about 20% higher, but you get a better look at the calf and, assuming that it didn't just come from the auction and is being resold, will be a LOT LESS stressed when you get it.

Cheers, Paul

Paul Ewing

Shining Moon Farm - Boyd, TX

http://www.ShiningMoonFarm.com

Post #17795
Posted 3/31/2010 10:52:35 AM
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Pa-Pa just took off polled Hereford steers to the auction barn last weekend. After the barn got their commission, we got an average of $500 per head for a steer that averaged 700 lbs.

Find a breeder and let them know up front how many you want to buy. The key word here "is at one time."

Down here a Reg Polled Hereford Bull off the farm starts off around 1000 (depending on age) and goes up.

Good luck.

Post #17799
Posted 3/31/2010 7:44:18 PM


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Paul, I need to haul some Holstein baby bulls down to Texas. I can get as many as I want for 40 bucks each...

Brian Wright
Large Black and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs
Raised humanely on pasture
Homegrown Acres
Heritage Hog Blog
HomegrownAcres@gmail.com
Post #17814
Posted 4/1/2010 4:20:35 AM
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Drawbar, I still don't think you're making an accurate comparison. If so, are you saying that newborn beef breed calves, if ever available at that age, are selling at your auction between 5 and 50 dollars?

You're right, I shouldn't speak for all dairy farmers. I do know that I have seen and heard a few who simply don't care for their dairy bull calves as well as their heifers, especially if they think that they can get them to the auction alive. Then it's somone else's problem.

Post #17827
Posted 4/1/2010 10:56:20 AM


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Yes.

Here it is dairy farm country with 20% of the population below the poverty level, so why buy beef breeds when dairy breeds are so plentiful and cheap? For the majority of the population, that is what they do. I have seen Black Angus go for as high as 80 cents a pound live weight at auction, but that was a few years back too. If I did the math right, that would put a 70 pound calf at 56 bucks, about on par with Hostein and Jersey.

You are right in regards to taking care of our heifer-calf's versus our bull-calf's, but not because of the reasons you cite. In our case our heifer-calves do better because we can give them penicillin and antibiotics to prevent disease and weather related illness BEFORE the calf is stricken. Since a bull-calf that is given such medicine cannot be "put on the trailer" as we call it, we do not give it those medications and they are more sickly.

Of course I was speaking in more terms of the colostrum. Now I am betting the vast majority of dairy farmers give to both sexes of calves simply because...what else are they going to do with 13 gallons of milk per day that can't go in the milk tank per cow? For us we give our calves the colostrum, AND still manage to feed pigs. Its actually why we got pigs...to get rid of the freshened milk.

******

Tell a welfare recipient they must work and they call their congressman. Tell a farmer he can no longer work and he commits suicide. No wonder 1/2% of the population feeds the other 99-1/2%!!
Post #17835
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