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Old 03-10-2013, 08:56 PM
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Rarely will cattle get bloated off of straight grass. When the grass starts greening up in the spring it is mostly water with very little nutritional value. Some products like lick tubs will have a bloat guard in them to help combat bloat, but as long as you are'nt loading them up on protein they should be fine.

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Old 03-12-2013, 11:58 AM
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Ms. RandiTS Been away for a few days, I hope I'm not too late for this. PLEASE be careful about that road and church issue. Or family dates back to the 1840's on the same property here. Back when property was selling for literally pennies on the acre the family gave up the ownership of some land for a road that we have regretted ever since. What was useless back then is extremely valuable today to make a long story short we allowed a road to be expanded and lost well over 2000 linear feet of frontage on a piece of property and on the same piece we gave up several hundred feet so a new road could be put in for other people to gain another access to their property. Legally we still own the property and have deeds dated from the early 1900's to the present but once given up it is next to impossible to get back without upsetting everyone. My oldest son is an attorney for a govt entity in Fla and he stated he would never accept our case to get back what we legally own.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BAR BAR 2 View Post
Rarely will cattle get bloated off of straight grass. When the grass starts greening up in the spring it is mostly water with very little nutritional value. Some products like lick tubs will have a bloat guard in them to help combat bloat, but as long as you are'nt loading them up on protein they should be fine.

Tex
Perfect!! Put out a few 50 or 250# molassis blocks near some useless roughage (palmetto patches in Fla) and the calves will eat it like candy cutting back on bloat.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:14 PM
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Glad to have found this thread as I will be moving back home and getting back into the cattle ranching/farming lifestyle. (we have herefords) I will be doing my best to build the herd back up to what it was before my grandfather died (we had around 50 head, now down to 20 since my grandmother sells a cow everytime she doesn't have shopping money-grrr)
This is a perfect example of knowing your area of operation, and what is the best breed for your area. Herefords are great breeds and having pure breeds or cross breeds are excellent. Please don't get me wrong a lot of ranchers raise herefords here in Fla but I shy away from them because they are prone to pink eye ailments which can turn into cancer eye. Something to do with the amount of sun year around. I've had to cut out more than one eye from a mama cow that was a perfect cow other wise. Now when I see the start of a problem she goes to market.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:04 PM
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This is a perfect example of knowing your area of operation, and what is the best breed for your area. Herefords are great breeds and having pure breeds or cross breeds are excellent. Please don't get me wrong a lot of ranchers raise herefords here in Fla but I shy away from them because they are prone to pink eye ailments which can turn into cancer eye. Something to do with the amount of sun year around. I've had to cut out more than one eye from a mama cow that was a perfect cow other wise. Now when I see the start of a problem she goes to market.


We learned the hard way in Central Texas when we moved there from the Texas Panhandle. On the plains, we raised mostly Hereford's that did well in that colder climate with less insects.

I guess the old saying once you go black, you never go back is true with bovine carbon units in Central Tx.

It's a rare case, in fact, I can't remember any case of cancer-eye in any black angus or angus cross cattle that we've had. But cattle with white surrounding their eyeball's, they seem to have a harder time in more southern climes, you're right about that.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:34 AM
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When you have a hereford cow with a bad tit, the best way to catch her is to pull your pickup around to her cancer eye side then park on her prolapse. She cant go anywhere then.


Tex
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:59 PM
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Get a breed of cow that does well in your climate. I see a lot of people in this thread that rave about one breed or the other, but having a herford in AZ or Southern Florida is asking for trouble.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:57 PM
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I go to work and see 3,400 milk cows and 400 beef cows every day. I know where I am going if and when the SHTF.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:32 AM
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Lets bump this puppy since this is my fav thread and I want to get new members involved so I can be learnt some more about cattle. HE HE HE
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:10 PM
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3 Questions...forgive me

How big of a headache would it be to turn 100 acres of planted pines into a suitable cow pasture? (stumps)

What kind of time frame would I be looking at for getting the soil in proper condition?

How many cows could I maintain if I sectioned it off right?

I have to small ponds (one on both ends) that have water year around so water isn't an issue.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:17 AM
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I know very little about how long it takes to cut down 100 acres of pines (maybe contract out to a local lumber company to make money off it?).
Is there any grass there currently? How much annual rainfall do you get? Are the ponds fed from a creek or stream that refills them? Do they freeze in winter?
While I know a fair bit about running cattle on current pasture land I am not great with agricultural land conversion - you might want to talk to the ag department at the local college or BLM maybe. You don't say where you are or what kind of soil you have, or even if grass is easily grown in your area.
I would suspect you are probably looking at around 2-3 years minimum and a lot of money to turn a fully forested area into an area suitable for cattle - but that also depends on a lot of factors that I mentioned above. Trees are a valuable resource in any location (would love to have some on mine, just not the right place for them) so maybe you could clear cut half of it?
Again, know nothing about converting land, but I feel as though it would be better to pull up the root systems of any trees you get rid of if you want a cattle pasture.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:48 AM
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Mr Swamp frog From what what you said you may have a major chore ahead of you. I've never undertaken a project like yours but I have seen some previous orange groves made into cattle pastures. I'm in the initial planning (?) stages for a distant relative as we speak.

To make this short to start, I would check with your State Cattleman Assn. Where I live in Fla we are lucky enough to have the state Head Quarters and they are a wealth of information. Like Mr. DuneElliot already stated a local college should have resources also. Be VERY careful with logging companies, if you don't get a good honest one they will ruin your property for years. They make their money off the trees not restoring your soil. Get plenty of advice and references before you hire one. Then soil test your property through an ag extension office with a local college.

The best positive aspect is if you grew trees you can grow grasses suitable for cattle. It sure sounds like you have a excellent chance and just having the property is more than most other start up operations have.
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Old 03-28-2013, 02:28 PM
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@ DuneElliot

Quote:
I know very little about how long it takes to cut down 100 acres of pines (maybe contract out to a local lumber company to make money off it?).
No worries about the timber company...I can make sure they actually try not to destroy the place.
Quote:
Is there any grass there currently?
Just the roads that go around the blocks of timber.
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How much annual rainfall do you get?
around 47in
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Are the ponds fed from a creek or stream that refills them? Do they freeze in winter?
No and no...one has gotten pretty low during a dry year but still had ample water.
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You don't say where you are or what kind of soil you have, or even if grass is easily grown in your area.
South Georgia...its on the acidic side. I did the pH testing a while back and don't remember the numbers. Grass grows relatively well on the roads. I just knock it down a few times a year...(deer and turkey season)
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Trees are a valuable resource in any location (would love to have some on mine, just not the right place for them) so maybe you could clear cut half of it?
That's a good idea.

Quote:
Again, know nothing about converting land, but I feel as though it would be better to pull up the root systems of any trees you get rid of if you want a cattle pasture.
That sounds like the best option...I'll ask my buddy that works at the major timber company if they can actually pull up the roots.


The land was used for hogs and cattle before it was planted. One of the ponds has an old nice size concrete slab hog pen on it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:23 PM
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Sounds like it would take a season to clear it, another season to plow, clear, and balance soil Ph and prepare/fertilize/lime whatever you have to do to get ready for grass, then another season to plant and really the next season to graze.

So you're looking at four years to establish woods to pasture.

It would be optimal to find pasture, or sell your woods for some maybe ....?
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Old 03-29-2013, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by swamp frog View Post
@ DuneElliot

No worries about the timber company...I can make sure they actually try not to destroy the place.

Just the roads that go around the blocks of timber.

around 47in

No and no...one has gotten pretty low during a dry year but still had ample water.

South Georgia...its on the acidic side. I did the pH testing a while back and don't remember the numbers. Grass grows relatively well on the roads. I just knock it down a few times a year...(deer and turkey season)

That's a good idea.


That sounds like the best option...I'll ask my buddy that works at the major timber company if they can actually pull up the roots.


The land was used for hogs and cattle before it was planted. One of the ponds has an old nice size concrete slab hog pen on it.
As TX said, it will take you a few years and no small amount of money to truly get the land situated for cattle, but it can be done if you have both of the above. If you decided to go ahead with clearing it, or clearing part of it (which I think is the prime option) do your research on the ideal type of grass for your area and how many cattle you can generally run per acre/ or acres per cow. Here in Wyoming, without irrigated pasture, it is generally 20 acres or more per pair. In some places it is 200 acres/pair. I definitely urge you to talk to the local ag department who can guide you with some valuable knowledge and insight on the area, soils, grasses, cattle breeds that do well etc. You might even want to take a short ag course there.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:40 PM
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OK, time to jump in. We raise and milk goats. I only milk 5-6 months-Feb to July. I take the summer and fall off to hunt and fish. I milk about 12 does. I use the milk to raise drop calves, kid and lambs which i get at local cattle auctions. I keep some of the doe kids and sell the rest starting at 4 months old and usually sell out before they are a year. Lambs we keep the ewe lambs and sell the males when the weight about 50#. I have 4 calves now and will pick up a couple more at the Tuesday auction. One heifer is 1 yr old, one 9 months and one 6 weeks. I have a 10 month old bull. All are dairy except the bull which is beef. All are dog gentle due to hand raising. I sell my steers as feeder calves when they hit 200#. If the SHTF I would be in a situation where I could raise dairy cross calves. goats are just so much easier to handle with the exception of fencing. Cattle are much easier to keep in the pasture. As real retirement arrives, I may reduce the goat herd and keep a few cows with a bull. I know nothing about Dexter cattle except they are interesting. Good luck with your adventure. If you have too much milk, consider picking up a healthy drop calf at a local auction. Great fun raising them.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:16 AM
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I would put goats on that acreage before I put cows on it.
You ever see what happens after trees are harvested? weed city! put goats on it until you can get grass established.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:33 PM
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I have had Dexters for years. They are easy keepers. We currently have a dozen of them aged from newborn to a couple about 20 or so. They are all gentle and never aggressive to any of us. That being said the admonitions about bulls and cows with calves are still valid.

thyme2bprepped, one thing to remember about Dexters and any cattle is that they are herd animals and are happier in a group if possible. Early calving has not stunted any of ours and we have a mix of long leg and short leg ones. Our short leg ones tend to have the build of beef cattle while the long legs look more like dairy cattle.

Dexters are also very hardy. They don't seem to be bothered by cold or heat. They are the smallest standard breed of cattle and that is a major reason we looked at getting them. They are a great size for a small family if you milk for yourself or if you ave your own butchered.

One thing that amused me is that when we got ready to buy the first one we looked all over then found out that a cousin of mine 4 miles away had Dexters. He was quite happy to sell us a bred cow for a reasonable price.
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:01 AM
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Just a thought, probably not the case. But you want to make sure that the female is not from a set of twins where a female and male are born together. More often than not the female will have something wrong with thier reproductive organs and be sterile. Ussually there aren't thos kind of twins sold but when I read your letter it just popped into my brain because that almost happened to me when I was first looking for some dairy hiefers
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:58 AM
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Any opinions on Santa Gertrudis cattle? We've had some in the past and I thought they did really well in FL...my grandmother sold many of them after my grandfather died and I was thinking of getting back into having more of them than the herefords. Opinions welcome.
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