I just thought I would introduce myself and say hello to everyone. I'm fairly new to the cattle "business" and know that I have quite a bit to learn about owning cows.. They remind me of that everyday:) My purpose in joining this site is to absorb some of the expertise from the members here, and hopefully in the future be able to help people that were in my situation.
Just alittle about my situation... I have approx 100 acres of land in North Carolina, 35-40 in predominately fescue pasture, the rest is woodland(oaks, poplar, pine).. We have had 3 angus cows for years(7 y/o, 4 y/o, and 1 1/2 y/o) ...But I have decided to grow my herd alittle and try to at least break even owning cows:). About 2 weeks ago I bought 6 calves, 4 angus steers, and 2 heifers that range from about 150lbs to 300lbs(3 of which I'm bottlefeeding).. My plan is to continue to grow the herd and sell my steers directly to the consumer through someone who knows that business. I do know someone who does that, but I will probably be asking some questions about that in the future... I am in the process of getting the farm certified organic, and I'm hoping that will increase the value of the beef.
Right now, I have the calves separated from the others in a 2 acre pasture with access to the main barn. I put them in a stall every night and feed them sweet feed and oat hay. I plan on keeping them all together and feeding them at night untill they loose a little of the wildness and I feel comfortable turning them out. I have not wormed them yet, because I don't know what is the best and I need advice here.
What other treatments do I need to be giving them at this point? I do not know much about the vaccinations/medical aspect because we used to have a vet living on the farm who handled all that.. But I need to do that now..
I try to talk to all the local farmers every chance I get, but if ya'll have any advice I'm surely not above taking it.. Sorry for the novel, but I look forward to talking with you all.
Welcome to the forum! Always good to see new people joining. You will want to find out from you local Ag department/vet what diseases are predominant in your area before you go off and buy a bunch of expensive vaccines; then follow your vets advice on the best time to vaccinate them. Different vaccines are best done at different times (eg at weaning or prior to joining etc..)
As far as worming is concerned, you would generally only do it if your animals look wormy ie, loose, moth eaten or in the case of heartworm, a hacking cough and dispondent; I am not a huge fan of using chemicals unnecessarily; I prefer to use a salt lick containing sulphur, seaweed meal, and copper sulphate; do look up a recipe. I would recommend a book called Helathy Cattle Naturally by Pat Coleby.
I'm like you... I'd rather not use chemicals unless it is necessary. I wanted them to have access to salt licks, so I have 4 scattered around. But they haven't shown much interest in them---They are the solid white blocks, so I'll try to get some of what you are describing..
Thanks for responding --- This is exactly the type of feedback I am hoping for out of this site, and I look forward to talking with you all more..
Welcome to the forum, have you done a business plan for your marketing yet? will the sales be direct to people you know or will you need to do some promotion? Do you have a killing plant nearby and how will you be doing the cutting and packing of your steers?
I lived in Raeford for 5 1/2 years, and had already started to establish sales of home processed products while I was building up my herd of Tuli cattle, which suited my need for low care cattle which produce a quality beef off poor grazing while being adapted to heat. My initial sales were targeted at an expatriate market, but the sales to contacts at Ft Bragg soon outstripped the target market, properly organised, niche markets can really fit the bill.
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