How much to charge??

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SKF

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Apr 24, 2007
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I was wondering what woulld be fair to charge people(mostly 4-H kids) for keeping their cows/heifers for breeding and calving. I don't mind helping out the kids with their heifers but we are starting to get more kids wanting to use our bulls for breeding and then they want to keep their heifers in our pature until they calf. It is so dry right now that we have to buy lots of hay for the cows in the pasture so the more we have the more it cost to us plus when it's calving time we have to check them every morning and night. I want to help but I does take time and money especially some of these heifers we have for six months. Breeding time we have them about 6-8 weeks and calving up to six months. Any suggestion??? Thank you! :)
 

red

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Jan 20, 2007
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LaRue, Ohio
We charged a guy $3 a day to keep a cow & calf.This was 3 years ago.  I also broke the calf for him. Not sure how in line this is.
Can you get the kids to pitch in & help w/ chores or things around the place too? Might be a trade off type of thing.

Red
 

Jill

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Jan 20, 2007
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Gardner, KS
Our embryo service charges 3.5 per day for heifers and cows and 4.5 for cows with calves for maintenance fee.  They supply feed, hay and water and creep for the calves, with the price of hay and no pasture ground like last year it isn't a bad deal. 
 

knabe

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Hollister, CA
this is probably at the high end with what appears here, but i was charged $5/day for pairs.  why not put theirs in a different pen/paddok pasture, let them buy the hay for theirs.
 

DL

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Jan 29, 2007
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I don't hink $3 or $3.50 is out of line - you could basically figure out a feed cost based on approximately how much hay per day per weight, cost per bale, weight per bale etc. (I always figure 20 lbs of hay minimum). Same for grain. Then add some amount for breeding, and finally someone watched these heifers and even if it is you - there is a cost - I would figure it all out and then "negotiate" the labor cost if the kid/family is willing to work (and if you want them to) - otherwise figure out feed costs, add labor and repairs, and don't forget vaccines, deworming etc.....you may be making it too easy for people...

I am sort of babbling on a tangent here but the people I do vet work for who keep other peoples cows - not only do they charge a daily cost but they also are expected to cover part of the vet for pg checking,, Bang's vaccination etc...you are offering a service, I don't expect you expect to get rich but you can't lose money either.....and you should make some....good luck
 

chambero

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Feb 12, 2007
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Texas
In my opinion, you are way too generous for wanting to mess with that (unless it is a heifer you sold them to begin with).  We wouldn't.  Our ag teachers are great about getting lots of kids to show heifers who have no where to put them when they get done showing.  Such kids would frankly be better off with steers.  It is the rare kid who will actually show up to check on their animal, be around at calving time, etc.  My answer when someone asks about such a deal is "You can't afford it."  

I really don't mean to sound crass, but kids need to understand everything that is invovled with a heifer up front.  Too many kids treat heifers like they do the brand new puppy - they are cute and lovable for the first six months and then they are a nuisance they'd rather pawn off on someone else.  If we have a kid that wants to show a heifer that doesn't have a place for one - we'll "loan" them one to show and we get her back when finished.  I'd frankly rather do that deal than sell it to them outright.  Much cleaner and neater afterwards.  If they bought the heifer somewhere else, they need to be asking that seller for assistance - not me.
 

sjcattleco

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Southeast Ohio
chambero said:
In my opinion, you are way too generous for wanting to mess with that (unless it is a heifer you sold them to begin with).  We wouldn't.  Our ag teachers are great about getting lots of kids to show heifers who have no where to put them when they get done showing.  Such kids would frankly be better off with steers.  It is the rare kid who will actually show up to check on their animal, be around at calving time, etc.  My answer when someone asks about such a deal is "You can't afford it."  

I really don't mean to sound crass, but kids need to understand everything that is invovled with a heifer up front.  Too many kids treat heifers like they do the brand new puppy - they are cute and lovable for the first six months and then they are a nuisance they'd rather pawn off on someone else.  If we have a kid that wants to show a heifer that doesn't have a place for one - we'll "loan" them one to show and we get her back when finished.  I'd frankly rather do that deal than sell it to them outright.  Much cleaner and neater afterwards.  If they bought the heifer somewhere else, they need to be asking that seller for assistance - not me.

I agree ..... you really are opening up a can of worms... you could bring in disease... if someones animal gets injured or dies.. then what.... If it was a heifer I sold I would give away semen... but not offer pasture service....
 

OH Breeder

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Feb 14, 2007
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Ada, Ohio
There is a local show guy that suggest for feed and care of show calves is $6.00 day. Tha is all labor and feed included in the care.I see nothing wrong with it if you like it.
 

sawboss

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May 31, 2007
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Nacogdoches, TX
I think you should base it on the student and family involved.  Know their background and seriousness about what they are undertaking.  My son shows a donated Maine-Anjou heifer, we feed for two years, house, and all vet bills.  The owner will pay for her to be AI'ed, we receive the first calf she drops and he maintains ownership afterwards.  In my opinion this is a win-win deal.  I also house a steer for $2.50 per day, they buy all feed.  This monthly pen rent is going to be worked off on chores in the show barn at $6.00 per hour.  Every 30 days the student owes 12.5 hours of chores in the barn.
 

red

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Jan 20, 2007
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LaRue, Ohio
Sawboos- that is a nice program!
We did the same thing w/ a young man once. He showed the heifer & got her first calf & we kept the cow. You need to be working w/ people you trust in those situations though.
I'm always willing to work w/ any young person on getting them started as long as I know the calf is being properly taken care of & they have a good interest.

Red
 
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