Steer Planet - Show Steers and Club Calves Forum

Steer Planet Chat => The Big Show => Topic started by: shufly on February 23, 2010, 06:59:40 PM

Title: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: shufly on February 23, 2010, 06:59:40 PM
Just really getting started in the club calf business.  Been raising just a few off of the small 20 cow herd I have, but am looking at buying more good cows and was trying to pencil it all out.  What % of the calf crop can you usually plan on selling as good club calves?  Any info or help would be appreciated.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: Blake on February 23, 2010, 07:13:17 PM
how good are your cows?
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: forbes family farms on February 23, 2010, 07:23:40 PM
It all depends on what the quality of calves you have
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: outspoken on February 23, 2010, 07:28:16 PM
I'd say its more

who you know,
promotion/ marketing
and supply/demand...
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: shufly on February 23, 2010, 07:33:19 PM
The cows I have now are pretty good MainexAng cows.  I am looking at purchasing some well bred Meyer and Ice Pick cows.  Just wanting to make sure that they can pay for themselves.  Didn't know what others experiences were so thought it couldn't hurt to ask all of you that have been doing this longer than me.  I know that this business is who you know & marketing but just thought I would see is you all could tell me how your numbers have come out that last couple of years.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: outspoken on February 23, 2010, 07:44:51 PM
wth that said, I'd say don't invest more than u can afford to lose.  At our place, I could likely sell every heifer calf born... and I'd say I could sellmost of my bull calves...  I'd say if you're going to try and use 3 way cross bulls, you're likely to miss more than hit...  but if you hit, you'll likely hit big. 
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: cdncowboy on February 23, 2010, 08:11:55 PM
I always look at realistically being able to market 30% as steers.  We used to use the same number when we were selling bulls as well.   If you figure half and half bulls to heifers, its more than half as saleable steers.  Knew a couple purebred outfits that retained very close to all of their bulls and sold them as such, it was good for a few years then all of sudden they couldn't sell the bottom end anymore.  They began culling out that bottom and once again could sell all of the bulls.  Same goes for steers, they ain't all gonna make it as show quality.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: simtal on February 23, 2010, 08:19:46 PM
depends on how you breed too,  most people try to hit a home run rather than leg out a double
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: Show Heifer on February 23, 2010, 09:03:27 PM
If you're looking for a number, I would say plan on selling about 10% as show calves, and that is if you do all the work involved and promote them, and haul them to sales and let them sell.

I'll repeat what kfacres said "Don't invest more than you can afford to lose".
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: Olson Family Shorthorns on February 23, 2010, 09:08:41 PM
If you're looking for a number, I would say plan on selling about 10% as show calves, and that is if you do all the work involved and promote them, and haul them to sales and let them sell.

I'll repeat what kfacres said "Don't invest more than you can afford to lose".

You'd have to have some sorry cows to only sell 10% of the offspring as show calves. Heck, we've sold plenty of calves to kids out of cows and bulls with pedigrees no one has heard of, and maybe I'm WAY off here, but if you can't sell at least 30-40% as show calves, you aren't putting in the time and effort that is necessary to make the herd work for you. 

Just think, a $1250 calf at 5 months is right at double what you'd get at the sale barn at the same time...if you can't raise more than 2 $1250 calves out of 20 solid Maine/Angus cows, you're almost trying to fail.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: shufly on February 23, 2010, 10:32:17 PM
That's close to what I have put together.  I figure 70-75% AI conception rate.  50% of those AI calves being steers.  Of thoses AI steers roughly 30-40% turn out sellable as club calves at an average price of $1250 (starting with local 4-H & FFA kids).  So if I can put together a solid herd of 80 head of cows be able to sell around 10-12 show steers.  I think that is a good goal to start with.  After the first year or so with the new cows I will know more of what they can produce but thanks for everyone's opinions and experiences.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: Jill on February 24, 2010, 08:29:55 AM
I know you will find this amazing, but I'm going to have to agree with Show Heifer on this one, plan on selling 10% above market and you will have a better chance of not going broke, then if you sell 30-40% it will be icing on the cake.  Logic of what you put down on paper never really equates to what you have on the ground, 75% conception rate is great, but what happens if only 20% are steers and only 50% of those are sellabe as club calves, plan for the worst and you'll be much better off.
Selling club calves all comes down to promotion and unless you have a name or wins behind your calf crop it is really hard to sell into a serious clubby market.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: chambero on February 24, 2010, 10:21:45 AM
I completely agree on the 10% number if you are in a competetive area.

If you are doing one-time AI, it's safer planning on 50% conception.  You're gonna lose a few here and there (whether clubby or commercial) - calving, sick, etc.  We figure we'll get a weaned calf at about 50% rate on timed AI. 
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: shufly on February 24, 2010, 10:26:52 AM
Most of the last 4 years ( all but 1 yr) we have gotten between 65-75% AI conception rate.  So that is what I am using as a basis.  I have lost an average of 1 calf a year out of the 20 cows I currently own so not too bad.  After using the formula I shared earlier I am figuring on about 15% of my total herd being saleable as club calves.  The 30% I mentioned is of the AI calves that are weaned.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: CAB on February 24, 2010, 10:32:46 AM
  We also use that 10% # here. My cows aren't good enough IMO to get any higher than that. Watching the Ia Expo Jr shows is an eye opener every year. There are some very good calves towards the bottom end in all classes.
  In our area also if you are breeding hard for clubby steers, you had better expect a lower price for what you can't get placed in hands for the showring. Depending on how much hair and if they are what I call slow doing puds you can expect anywhere from 10 to 20 dollars a hundred less & was told last week that a clubby breeder couldn't get a bid on some clubby looking cattle
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: Chap on February 24, 2010, 10:35:40 AM
based on last year, and we have been doing this for a while, we will sell about 25% of the calves born at premiums to the feeder market.  Take into account, time, AI cost, embyo costs, creep feed, etc and you can hope to break even vs selling high growth feeders, without selling one for big $$$$.  We all hope to sell that 5 digit calf, but it is much more rare than common.  No doubt you will pay some tuition for your education in this business and you must love it to continue.  be critical on the cattle you retain to sell in the fall as prospects.  a hard lesson to learn, but that calf that you keep around that is "maybe" good enough will end up costing you in the end.  it cost $$ to feed, clip and market an average one that will not bring a nice premium.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: AAOK on February 24, 2010, 01:57:41 PM

Been out of this business for 2 1/2 years, but things don't seemed to have changed much other than the fact that more and more people seem to purchase from production sales rather than private treaty.  I believe 90% of those get less and pay more, but that's discussion for another thread.

The most cows I ever owned was 18, and was pretty successful at keeping only 12 most of the time.  I will have to qualify the rest of this by stating we had Exceptional Cows.  All were high % Maine-Anjou for the first 11 years, and later retained 4 double registerd Simm/Maine heifers which began production in 2003.
 
Each year we picked the top 2 or 3 calves for our girls to show, and sold the rest private treaty for at least double the market price, and usually more.  Each year we retired a heifer from the Show ring which we determined to be better than our weakest cow, we would sell that cow by private treaty for 2 - 3 times market value.  We showed very few steers, so most Bull calves were sold as yearlings, also by private treaty.  The only thing that ever went through the commercail sale ring was old, and/or barren cows.

I said all that to say this:  in our 18 years of production show calves, 100% were sold as show calves, retained for breeding stock, or exhibited by us.  Our girls and I did our fair share of word-of-mouth marketing, plus I put up a website about 10 years ago.  Only once did I ever consign any calves to a sale, and I could have gotten more money by a private treaty deal.

So, I say, sure, you can easily sell 50% or more of your calves at a premium, but you better know your market, and have exceptionl cows which will produce a quality calf every time.
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: kanshow on February 24, 2010, 02:06:06 PM
I'd say to expect the conservative 10% and then like the others said, anything else is the cream.      One thing to consider or at least in my area of the country is what are you going to do with your bottom end?   The off color or hairy calves at our local sale barns really get hit on price.   Guess what I'm saying is even if you sell 10% for a premium, remember that you might be selling 20% at a lower than market price.   JMO..   
Title: Re: What % of calves will sell??
Post by: shufly on February 24, 2010, 06:37:44 PM
Thanks for all your imput.