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Thread: best beef suckler cows

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    Junior Member dorian's Avatar
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    Post best beef suckler cows

    what would be the best type of cows for starting a beef suckler herd and what should u cross them with????

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    Quote Originally Posted by dorian View Post
    what would be the best type of cows for starting a beef suckler herd and what should u cross them with????
    That my friend is the magic question,,, if we all knew that answer suckler cows would be making a mint,,,
    depends on what you are after I would imagine,
    are you intending to have finish the calves your self, of so do u want native or continental breed?.

    LOcal man to us has ruby reds they always looks fantastic and he has a good outlet for the meat but they take longer to finish, but cost him less as they don't get a lot of bought on grub, ditto another chap who does Angus,

    we have charolais, simmy, blues, X to a limmy bull(s) we don't finish the calves sell em as stores to a private buyer, I'm sure of the boss costed it correctly we'd lose mo ey on them, but we grow our own straw n silage and have a mill mix lorry for grub, on the plus side we get mountains of shyte for the arable side of life and we have a winter job,,
    Big Vern..... Stay low Move faster

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    Junior Member dorian's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    I was going 2 say that BB/ lims, beef shorthorn, sims and Herefords wld be the best way...(and maybe a few different beef breeds)..but that's only because I v been looking into keeping them...also I wld keep these breeds because they have a larger frame which means that there is more room to work with if sommat goes wrong, I'm only a lad and am hoping to go into it one day with a friend...(work on my brother-in-laws farm)...I was going to sell the calves as stores and maybe finish 30 odd .....also is it best to sell private or at market??? and wld this depend on the market price ....thx 4 the advice btw

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    Brown Swiss and Angus.

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    You need to start with the basics. Do you need hardy or not? Will they be wintering in or out? What type of land will they be on, what sort of grass, old pasture or new leys? There are so many variables that what suits one farm would be a disaster on another.

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    What about working backwards from the end price.
    Think of the figure that you can receive for the calves or finished cattle that will be produced from the type of land that you are farming.
    Consider then....
    Are you Lowland Or Upland this is probably the first question to be answered, followed by are you going to have a closed herd producing your own replacements.
    The latter choices combined with the first begins to give some of the answer.
    If replacements are to be bought , is there a good choice available locally? Or will you have to travel big distances and end up buying from a source that you know nothing about.
    Hi health status is very important, difficult enough to make a profit without shooting yourself in the wallet before you start.

    650kg l/w mature cow.....bred within the herd....in bred ability to maintain body condition easily without excessive extra feeding this coupled with good hybrid vigour is a start.
    The breed is ......errrr .....incidental if you see what I mean.....itís just a name for the right type of cow for the job you want to do.

    Hope this helps..........

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    Junior Member dorian's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    yer that help a lot .....thx.....I spend a lot of time on here so thought that I wld pop a few questions ..... iv got a cow ... a Hereford and I breed with that on the farm , cross that with a shorthorn bull....we r based in Hampshire....very wet ground .... needs a lot of drainage and ditching......Frome cattle mart is not 2 far away and that's were we sell most of the time ....sometimes find buyers online ..... think that's the way my moo will b going ....online come spring and wen she's popped

    replacements....what sort of age wld u replace a cow ?????

    like I said I wld like to have pedigree lims, sims, Hereford, shorthorns and BB ... there r docile big cows that sell and that put on loads of beef .....

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    it would probably be a good idea to go along to your local cattle marts and have a good look at what sells well, what sells not so well and try to work out why. What breeds and crosses are favourites, how much are they selling for, weights for age.

    Go along lots of times til you get a feel for what is successful in your area, then work out what breed(s) you want to work with - you've got to like the look of the breed as well. And will your favoured breed suit the farm and your situation?

    A lot of prior research needed and the mart is the best place to start.

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    Senior Member LALANS's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    The best suckler cow must have the following

    • docile (they come when you call and never breakout/kick/chase you)
    • milk like a train
    • have a calf each year preferably two
    • calve themselves
    • produce calves that are all E grade and ready for slaughter at 12 months
    • able to live on nothing
    • never need the vet
    • dose and vaccinate themselves
    • make your breakfast in the morning
    • be good with old people and children
    • do a tremendous amount for charity
    • be sustainable (got to get that in)
    • have a very low carbon footprint
    • be pink with white spots
    • can repair most machinery
    • be able to drive
    • can talk 3 languages fluently

    Have to stop now nurse has said its time for my pills.

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    Junior Member dorian's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    hahahahahahaha........Lalans weeps man....that helps loads ....I will hav to remember that!!!

    vet wld b better than a nurse ....no offence

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    Vet nurse will do, a bit cheaper than the vet. They do teeth and nails too but not home visits.

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    Junior Member dorian's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    hahahahahaha....yer don't hav that much money

    how old wld u keep a cow ....(replace her)

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    Senior Member LALANS's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    Oh and I forgot to add, I'll get this in before those two big guys in the white coats break the door down.

    • don't go in the huff for several weeks when you forget their birthday
    • don't take you for every penny you've got just because you like another suckler cow better than her
    • don't have to put up with the in laws


    Have to go now nurse says I need to take more pills.

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    Junior Member dorian's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    u nd a hospital man

    what age would u replace a cow??? ... 4 to 5 years unless she is still producing or wot?

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    I would expect an average replacement age on this farm of 8 years at least if not more.

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    Quote Originally Posted by dorian View Post

    what age would u replace a cow??? ... 4 to 5 years unless she is still producing or wot?
    We have one at 15 (this will be her last calf, though), one at 14 (could be her last, I haven't decided yet), a few around 10/11/12 years, but the bulk will be under 10.

    5 years old? She will just be getting into her stride.

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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    I am one of yesterdays men, but I think for just commercial sucklers you have a cheap feeding cow and rely on quality in the calf from the bull.
    I used to have Hereford/ Friesian cows and a try to get a Charollais bull that threw quality calves. In those days there were plenty of heifer calves, from the dairy herd. Things change.
    The cows must not be overfed.
    Jack Caley

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    Junior Member dorian's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    thx jack.....that helps ....at the farm we hav a few Hereford cross friesian but most of r herd consists of many other beef breeds e.g. lim, char, shorthorn, bb other stuff

    i was wondering abt the feeding..... at my bros farm we feed a staple diet as hay/haylage with barley straw the calves get calf nuts haygates in a creep and as a extra boost we give the cows every day beef nuts, with the normal before calving mineral lick buckets ....it seems to work .... suppose farmers hav all type of ways to feed and keep cattle

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    Junior Member dorian's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    thx man....that helps

    i work on my brothers family farm ....and we jus feed r suckles hay and barley straw with beef nuts every day and the calves wen they r weaned get unlimited access to the creep ... the cows hav pre calve mineral licks and so i dont think that they can b over fed ....

    every farm has its own ways to farm nothings wrong or right if u get wot i mean

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    Senior Member LALANS's Avatar
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    Re: best beef suckler cows

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    I am one of yesterdays men, but I think for just commercial sucklers you have a cheap feeding cow and rely on quality in the calf from the bull.
    I used to have Hereford/ Friesian cows and a try to get a Charollais bull that threw quality calves. In those days there were plenty of heifer calves, from the dairy herd. Things change.
    The cows must not be overfed.
    Jack Caley
    Unfortunately Jack the Holstein influence has completely buggered that cross. I have some but after the cows start milking it is almost impossible to keep flesh on them plus they are almost double the size of the old Freisian x Hereford.

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