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Old 11-23-2014, 07:31 PM
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Have you looked into aquaponics and fish farming?

You really need a lot of acres to run cattle. You would actually need twice that much if you are following the one cow per acre rule, but how that works is you move them from field to pasture. You keep that rotation going, keeping them out of your field while it grows. Then you can graze it a while and then shut them out of the field back out to pasture before the wheat heads out. By then your grass should have grown while they were more focused on the crop. Then supplement them with hay, cubes and liquid feed until the next sowing season.

If you had a couple hundred acres, I'd say go for it. Otherwise you're going to have a lot more profit raising fish and fresh vegetables even if it is just for your own consumption.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:46 PM
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There are many things you can do with that three acres that will result in a whole lot more food production than run beef cattle.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:55 PM
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Jerry Is the sign in Reno that says "Will James never met Harry Reed" yours???
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:42 AM
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If it were my decision, I'd probably keep it to a breeding pair and a calf and no goats. Anything more than 2 or 3 cattle on that small of a parcel just isn't sustainable for the long term. If you're looking for meat production, 3 acres may be better suited to a herd of goats. My herd of 40 pygmies are kept fat and happy on just 8 acres with little stress on the vegetation (at least when it actually rains here lol)
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:35 AM
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Running water? Well, Stream or Pond? Can you irrigate it? A lot of questions. Three acres with supplements can fatten up a couple of heifers for butcherin but not really "sustainable." A good red angus MIX, will be yer best bet. If just starting with beef Angus is a pretty disease resistant hardy breed but the blacks will lose a lot of the fat in the heat even with shade or a pond they can get belly deep in. Brangus/Bradford etc... How much are you willing to pay for Hay for your beef? I have seen a roll of hay in a drought get as high as 80$ Are you set on having cows???
Me personally would go with the goats... build good fences and feed up off the ground if you don't have a pig problem now you probably soon will if you put supplements where wild pig will find it.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:53 AM
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2 cows max
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:06 AM
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Hey Kev, you can find out more specific information from your county extension service agent, aka agrilife extension agency. They have all the soil types and samples on file as well as yearly water averages. They already know the average successful carry capacity in your area.
Brahma or Brahma-cross breeds do well in the heat and humidity of your area. Beefmasters do well there also.
I have to say, for small acreage I agree with goats. If the power is out, you and your family can harvest one for food and consume all or most of it before the meat goes bad. If the power is out and you harvest an 800 pound steer, you're going to be busy for a while trying to smoke as much as you can before some goes bad, especially in the summer months. Nannies usually have twins, so if you could maintain 12 nannies and a good billy, you have the potential to have fresh meat every other week without wasting any. I think you'll be better able to keep more goats on three acres than two or three calves.
SE Texas gets a lot of rain from the gulf moisture and has a long growing season. 3 acres will maintain more than dryer areas. But as the calves get bigger, they eat more.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:26 AM
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The old rule "40 acres and a mule" can apply here. Families in earlier times needed this much. 10 acre pasture for grazing animals such as a draft animal, milk cow, or goats, etc. This also produced enough grass to make a hay for winter feeding. 5 acres of barn, farmhouse, chicken house, etc. 10 acre woodlot for firewood. 10 acres for cash crop, orchard, or for animals to sell. 5 acres for garden, fruit and nut trees. This would feed a family and have some left for cash producing.

Now, I would figure two acres per large animal, for feeding during the growing season, then making hay for winter feeding. Goats or sheep would eat less per animal, but beef tastes better.

I have a friend who has a couple hundred acres. He makes about $40,000 a year on beef cattle. Don't know how many he raises, but he said if you can get weaned calves in the spring, graze them the first summer. Then hay them the first winter. Then graze them one more summer, then they are ready to be sold for beef at 1-1/2 years old. He said if he has to buy hay that first winter, he can still make a profit off the cattle. So even if you buy hay, probably only two head is your limit, then goats?
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:45 PM
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A 3 acre pasture is really just a large turn out. You can try to manage it, with fencing and rotational grazing but it is not large enough to be effective. One cow per acre seems optimistic.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:25 PM
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Over here we work on one cow eats as much as ten sheep, that is just a rule of thumb and is dependant on breeds of cattle and sheep being compared. I would rate a goat as about the equivalent of a sheep. Been some real good advice here, but know matte how good you land is 3acre just aint enough to be mucking around with cattle. Goats are a real pain in the arse to manage but they maybe be better bet. Sheep don't handle hot wt climates as a rule though some breeds may do.

3 acres maybe be able to run one milking/house cow, that will give you the most bang for your buck so to speak and ome one else mentioned raiseing one calf from spring to autum and kill it in the early winter. But one cow will needed to be a pet otherwise you want be able to manage it. Can you or you kids handle eating a pet?

Forget about breeding cattle unless its just one milker.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:28 PM
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Here in TN its 1 cow calf pair per acre and a half. As far as cattle breeds I raise Salers and Salers cross. Salers are the easiest calving breed of cattle it has been proven through Oklahoma State that they have the biggest pelvic circumference of any cattle breed. They also have small vigorous calves that don't get sick much and are very hardy. They are also the highest marbling continental breed. Even higher than limousine, charolais, main anjou, etc. Average calves dress about 53% at slaughter. Our purebred salers and saler cross calves dress out at 60-64%. This gives less carcass waste thus you get more meat. We have crossed salers with angus, angusxgelbvieh, and purebred gelbvieh. Salers will put about 50-75 more pounds of weight on a calf compared to other breeds. Salers are also very gentle. They have culled more rigidly for docility than any other breed over the last 20 years. They now also have angus based growth numbers so you can compare apples to apples instead of apples to oranges. We sell 15-17 freezer beefs per year so I know a thing or two about raising cattle as well as feeding them out. We've also had lots of success in the national show ring. Showing against people that have 600 head when we have 35. Our cattle are so gentle strangers can come to the farm for a visit and walk out in the pasture and they are able to pet them.
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:27 PM
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A Jersey milk cow would eat less than say an Angus plus give milk with a lot of butter content. They probably live 15-20 years. Something to think about. Before WWII there were more Jersey cows for small farmers milking than Holstein or Gurnseys. After they went with the bigger cows. Jersey puts out about 2 gallons of milk per day. The larger breeds up to 8 but not as much butterfat per gallon. We have got a pound of butter from a gallon of milk. That is a lot of butter. This is from a friends from church. We got two gallons of milk from him on Sunday's and Wednesdays when my kids were young. We went through about a gallon of milk per day then.
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tnxdshooter View Post
Salers will put about 50-75 more pounds of weight on a calf compared to other breeds.
I have to respectful disagree with you on this. I think the weight of a weaning calf is more based on genetics and ample forage available. In my observations, it is more genetics than anything. In the right conditions, a steer can gain 3.75 lbs/day but there are a lot of factors included in this.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:53 PM
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Kanas Terri mentioned Dexters. I'd say do some research on miniature cattle, like Dexters or there are other breeds. The advantage is you get more pounds of beef per acre, at least that's what they say. Lowline Angus is available around here.

My personal feeling is that most breeds of livestock can be conditioned to tolerate heat or cold.

Somebody else mentioned rotational grazing. Joel Salatin makes use of this (called intensive rotational grazing) and so do many others. Basically you use portable electric fencing, let the animals graze to where the grass is at a certain height both in terms of nutrition and plant growth, then move the animals and let the grass recover. The point is that the livestock must be moved before the grass is too short, then the grass has a chance to quickly recover. Otherwise cows will eat the juiciest plants down to the roots and the plants can't recover. Salatin has a book called Grass Fed Beef that I have read and it is good reading.

I haven't personally tried either idea, but it is in the plans.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Dixie_Dude View Post
A Jersey milk cow would eat less than say an Angus plus give milk with a lot of butter content. They probably live 15-20 years. Something to think about. Before WWII there were more Jersey cows for small farmers milking than Holstein or Gurnseys. After they went with the bigger cows. Jersey puts out about 2 gallons of milk per day. The larger breeds up to 8 but not as much butterfat per gallon. We have got a pound of butter from a gallon of milk. That is a lot of butter. This is from a friends from church. We got two gallons of milk from him on Sunday's and Wednesdays when my kids were young. We went through about a gallon of milk per day then.
Jersey cows are also very gentle which would be a good option. However, Jersey bulls are the meanest bulls around. Most dairy bulls are just plain mean.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Marmaduke57 View Post
I have to respectful disagree with you on this. I think the weight of a weaning calf is more based on genetics and ample forage available. In my observations, it is more genetics than anything. In the right conditions, a steer can gain 3.75 lbs/day but there are a lot of factors included in this.
You can disagree all you want but when you've got bulls that gained nearly 5 pounds per day on test their offspring gain weight quickly. Believe what you want. I'm just telling you what I know to be fact. They will weigh 50-75 pounds more at weaning than a calf out of an Angus bull. When you've got bulls with weaning weight epds in the high 50s to low 60s with milk epds in the 30s it makes for heavy weaning calves. Of course heavy milking beef cows help as well. We've never had a calf wean at less than 575 at 205 days old. Of course using bulls who had weight per day of age at 3.7-4.0 of course they gain weight quickly. Indeed there are many factors. Some I've mentioned here but you can also test for feed conversion as well. An animal that converts feed better will gain more while eating less. Allot of this stuff can be tested for through igenity. You just pull 20 hairs follicle and all, send em off and spend about 30.00 and you can get the results.

A man would pay 20,000 dollars for an Angus bull that had the same qualities as a Salers bull and they'd only pay about 5,000 or less for the Salers. I've seen it numerous times.

My father has been around cattle off and on his whole life. He's raised Hereford, Angus, Shorthorn, Beefmasters, and Simmental, and Gelbvieh, gelbvieh x Angus.

We've used embryo transfer and AI to get the best genetics available for maximum profit. I recommend ai and embryo if you've got a small herd that way you don't have to feed a bull every year. We still have a bull of our own to though.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie_Dude View Post
A Jersey milk cow would eat less than say an Angus plus give milk with a lot of butter content. They probably live 15-20 years. Something to think about. Before WWII there were more Jersey cows for small farmers milking than Holstein or Gurnseys. After they went with the bigger cows. Jersey puts out about 2 gallons of milk per day. The larger breeds up to 8 but not as much butterfat per gallon. We have got a pound of butter from a gallon of milk. That is a lot of butter. This is from a friends from church. We got two gallons of milk from him on Sunday's and Wednesdays when my kids were young. We went through about a gallon of milk per day then.

This is what I want. One jersey for milk. I'm looking to get at least 10 acres. Some veggies, fruits, chickens (meat and layers) and one milk cow. As stated in another thread, maybe some hemp trees (not the smoking kind). Couple lemon trees. I would love to do avocados but I'd need more land and a lot of water.

Thanks for the thread, some good info.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:50 AM
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In the US an animal unit month (AUM) is defined by the amount of forage consumed by a cow and a calf for one month. That is equal to a horse, a bull or about 1.5 elk. It is equal to 5 sheep or 5 goats or 5 deer.

In other words, if your pasture can support 3 cows you could support a whole herd of 15 goats.
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:33 PM
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Next spring one of my projects is to build a cattle field. The area I am looking at fencing off is 3 acres. Actual measurement is 3.21 acres, but a barn is going in there. So lets subtract .2 acres for barn and trees.

There is an area next to the field that I was going to plant oak and pine trees on. This area could be used to expand the cattle field if need be.

All I want is a couple of beef cattle and maybe some goats to keep the weeds out.

My location is southeast Texas.

What breed of cattle does well in this Texas heat and humidity and gives a good feed to weight ration.
You do realize acorns and pine have tannic acid which will
kill cattle if enough is ingested?
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Old 01-12-2017, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by vol 4 life View Post
A good rule of thumb is if it is good pasture plus the ability to provide some supplemental ration = 1 head per acre.
Don't know where you are at but you might better check your figures cowboy!
My working pens cover over 2 acres and I have a small set of pens. Most areas will be lucky to run one head on 10 acres. It varies considerable depending on where you are. I figure 40 acres per unit for year round grazing. Some times that may not be enough.
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