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  #1  
Unread February 9th, 2010, 05:53
tommy_vercetti tommy_vercetti is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Default new to cattle

I've been wanting to raise a steer for a while now. The caretaker at the huge cattle ranch next to us told me that in a wet year it takes 18 acres of good grass to raise one beef steer. This year we've had a lot of rain; and we have 20 acres. I've got a lot of wild oats and grass coming up already. Our place is in Central California at 1600 feet. We have hot dry summers here.

I am thinking about going to the local auction and getting a young steer. I've got the whole place fenced, and it's fenced around the house.

I was thinking of bidding on one of those mexican steers like they have at the big ranch next door. They just run them out to pasture and then move them to a feed lot to grain them up before harvesting.

What is a fair price for a steer like that? Can I raise just one by itself? Will he be able to defend himself from coyotes?

Should I get him now, or wait for the grass to get taller?

Do I need to give him any shots?

Can I transport him in the back of my truck?

How do I know when to harvest? Is it when the grass is all gone?

Do I need to "grain him up?" I've heard grass fed beef is healthier; but I can't find any to sample around here.

What is a fair price for butchering?

Thanks,
Stefan

Last edited by tommy_vercetti : February 9th, 2010 at 05:56.
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  #2  
Unread February 9th, 2010, 16:15
joncowcare joncowcare is offline
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Location: Cheshire
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Default So many . . .

Hi Stefan,
Welcome to the forum, good to have you here !
You have asked so many questions all of which have many variable answers.
I don't want to appear like I'm copping out but how about going to your local livestock markets and seeing what sort of breeds etc, do best in your area.
Failing that [or as well as], talk with any neighbours who raise cattle locally and find out what rearing systems they use. Surely the caretaker of the ranch has given you advice ?
I cannot comment on coyotes or what shots to give but try and buy a steer that has had their shots already. Typically you need to think of worms and other parasites and any diseases that are prevalent in your area. Your local vet office can advise on this I would have thought.
If you have plenty of grass or grain why not consider getting a couple of steeers to keep each other company, a lone cow can sometimes jump fences etc, in order to find a pal and will also be able to fight off any trouble.
Do you want an animal you can spend time with on a daily basis, you might like to consider a milking cow instead.
Ultimately Stefan you must decide what it is you want and how much work you are willing to do or time you have free to care for it/them.
If you have never kept a large animal before it can be hard and sometimes dangerous but never boring.
Good luck and let us know what you decide or if you need more specific help.
Jon
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  #3  
Unread February 9th, 2010, 16:43
tommy_vercetti tommy_vercetti is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by joncowcare
Hi Stefan,
Welcome to the forum, good to have you here !
You have asked so many questions all of which have many variable answers.
I don't want to appear like I'm copping out but how about going to your local livestock markets and seeing what sort of breeds etc, do best in your area.
Failing that [or as well as], talk with any neighbours who raise cattle locally and find out what rearing systems they use. Surely the caretaker of the ranch has given you advice ?
I cannot comment on coyotes or what shots to give but try and buy a steer that has had their shots already. Typically you need to think of worms and other parasites and any diseases that are prevalent in your area. Your local vet office can advise on this I would have thought.
If you have plenty of grass or grain why not consider getting a couple of steeers to keep each other company, a lone cow can sometimes jump fences etc, in order to find a pal and will also be able to fight off any trouble.
Do you want an animal you can spend time with on a daily basis, you might like to consider a milking cow instead.
Ultimately Stefan you must decide what it is you want and how much work you are willing to do or time you have free to care for it/them.
If you have never kept a large animal before it can be hard and sometimes dangerous but never boring.
Good luck and let us know what you decide or if you need more specific help.
Jon


Jon,

Thanks for the reply. I don't want to spend a lot of time with the animal. I would like to utilize the natural feed I have available; reduce fire danger; and harvest the beef.

I will talk to the folks at the local market.

Thanks for the reply.

Stefan
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