How much land will I need to raise cattle? How many cattle can be raised on XX acres? Should I breed or do feeder cattle?
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Answer posted by Darla
The amount of land you need depends on what you can comfortably afford. Since you are just trying to get started you might want to look for a place with adjoining land that you could get a lease/purchase on. Different areas have different stocking rates. Central Missouri has a rate of 1 cow/calf pair per 2.5 acres. SE Kansas is 6 acres per pair, so as you can see you'll need to check out the area you are in. There are differing ways to pasture, too. We use Management Intensive Grazing & we're able to run 13 pairs on 10 acres. This does involve extra costs & more time rotating your cattle. Another option is open pasture grazing. As to breed I would suggest you research breeds (The breed listings on Cattlepages is a good start) that will do what you want to accomplish. As to purebred vs. commercial there again you have to decide what you want. With purebred cattle you usually do well by selling private treaty (off the ranch) as opposed to the auction (for commercial). There are a lot of options with purebred cattle. We lease bulls to small breeders in our area that can't or don't want to own a bull. We get $25.00 per cow bred. We are also getting into selling semen from our Herd Sire. That can bring from $5.00-100.00 per straw & one draw can make a minimum of 100 straws to as many as 300 straws. You can raise show stock, breeding stock, rodeo stock, feeder calves, you can feed the calves out yourself & go into butcher beef. This is all pretty general but it will give you some ideas to look into. Hope this helps.
Answer posted by Rherrmann
The climate where you live determines how many cattle you can run on a given acreage. In Florida it's one pair per acre, in Arizona it's one pair per 20 acres. I'd raise steers for a while at first. If you really like it and want more of a challenge, then you can get some cows. By the way, if you overgraze you will kill out your grass. I've seen dozens of people move to the country,buy ten or twenty acres and put 8 or 9 horses or 10 or 12 steers on it and in two years it isn't good for anything. DON"T overgraze. If you use MIG you must watch the grass VERY VERY closely. If you have a drought year you'll be feeding hay in a dry lot. Don't overgraze. Got the idea yet?