Things To Know Before Buying Cattle For Your Farm
Before you jump right in to owning your first few cattle or buying a calf, here are some things you should know about raising cattle.
1. Do Your Research
There are differences between dairy cows and beef cattle. While you can enjoy the meat from some breeds of dairy cattle, don’t expect to buy a beef cow and have her produce an excess of milk.
Know your breed before you buy. Find out what local farmers raise near your area, and try to find an opportunity to learn from them.
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2. Buy from a Good Source
While the sale barn can be an exciting place to visit, don’t get roped into the bidding and end up with the meanest cow at the sale.
Unless you have a knowledgable friend to go with you the first time or two, guiding you through the good and bad points of each animal, skip the sale. Instead, try to find a local farmer that has a few cattle they would be open to you buying.
3. Know the Source When Buying Cattle
Once you find an individual you want to buy cattle from, be sure to look at the rest of the herd. Notice the body condition, any sickness or poor confirmation, etc. Look at the facilities or area that your potential animals grew up in.
Ask questions, and be a sponge. Soak up the wisdom and advice shared. Be cautious, though, as sometimes it’s good to learn from multiple sources.
4. Have a Plan
A cow is a large investment in money, time and resources. Knowing how you plan to use your cow on your farm is important to make sure you are utilizing that investment wisely.
“The number one thing that people will want to ask themselves is why are we raising this cow,” said Colt Knight, state livestock specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “It makes a huge difference in the type of land and infrastructure you need.”
Cows can be raised for meat and milk, either for personal use or for sale. Calves can also be sold each year for additional cash flow.
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5. Research your markets and know where you will sell.
Just like when you are growing and selling crops, you want to know where you will sell your product before you invest time, energy and money into it.
If you’re going to make money, you need to know who and where the market will be.
6. know a large animal veterinarian that can care for your cow when it is sick.
When you are purchasing your cow, be sure to also ask around for a veterinarian.
Animal health is very important, You want to make sure they’re growing properly. Just like dogs and cats need annual vaccines, cows need vaccines. Depending on your area, they might need a rabies shot.”