GETTING STARTED RIGHT
If you are just starting in the cattle business, you might want to read this: First, you are thinking right. You picked Angus!! When we began the purebred business, I bought the cows because I thought it was a good buy. I did not know what I had or where I was headed. I didn’t have in mind to become a purebred breeder but soon found that I was enjoying knowing more about my cattle. It took me two or three years to realize that I had a really good set of older cows with a lot of calving ease but not much growth (at least on paper by EPD’s because the previous breeder wasn’t in the AHIR program). What I am trying to say is set your parameters, know what you have and have a plan of where you are going.
There is no perfect bull for every trait, other than 101 herd sires!! Ha! Ha! Every breeder thinks he has the best. Try to affiliate yourself with an established honest breeder that is willing to give you advice. Angus breeders for the most part are good people but there are some you will need to watch out for!
Another thing I learned the hard way is that many breeders do not care about teat size and udder quality. Breeding decisions you make today could haunt you down the road. Check out the dam and daughters of A.I. bulls before you use them. Just because they are from the big name breeders doesn’t make them good. This is why my clean up bulls come from my own herd. I know what kind of cow they came from and that the performance is truthful.
Beginner Information and Advice
1. What kind of cattle operation are you planning? Cow/calf, feeder, backgrounder, feedlot, purebred or commercial?
2. What breed or breeds?
3. What is your animal carrying capacity?
4. What traits are most important to you? Growth, carcass values, frame size, udder traits, calving ease, fertility?
5. How and to whom will you market your cattle?
6. What kind of pasture or feeds do you have available? Do they meet the cattle’s nutrient requirements? Will you have to supplement your cattle? Do you have a salt and mineral program?
7. Herd Health Program (preventative medicine). Consult a good local vet and set up a program for your area for both sickness and preventative medicine.
8. Pest and Predator control. Flies, worms, flukes, lice, coyotes, wolves, consult you vet.
9. What kind of cattle working facility do you have? Chute, pens, alleys, etc.
10. What will your costs be? some of the things to factor in – cost of animal, interest, feed, pasture, wintering, medicine, salt and minerals, pest control, transportation, vet, supplies, employees, your time, bookkeeping, fencing, death loss.
11. What is your projected income? (Remember we’re at high cattle price times). Now does it pencil out?
12. We suggest that you contact your County Ag Extension Agent, Agricultural Universities, State Dept. of Agriculture, and state and national cattle associations for information on raising cattle.
13. Environments and conditions vary widely from state to state, so therefore we advise that you consult with a local veterinarian and area ranchers for advice.
Good Luck from the 101 Ranch