raising cattle

sixoclock

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I have 7.5 acres and thinking about raising a couple of cattle for starters. Never done it before, would have to prepare a place fencing and all the works. Am I getting way over my head. Don't know the pros, and cons, but it has been on my mind for sometime. Help!!! Please Give me some feed back.
 

austintgraf

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Cattle! A homesteading delight! I was raised on a beef farm and there are definitely pros and cons! I first want to your attention to the fact that cattle are BIG animals, well most breeds are. Just like with any big animal, handling is difficult. I'm assuming you're probably not to terribly interested in show cattle that are a whole bunch of dogs trained to a halter. Speaking from experience commercial beef cattle can be crazy! I'm not sure of your plans but cattle as a general whole are easy. Provide the grass, feed, water, and some minerals and they usually do just fine on their own. As far as breeding goes some breeds have an easier time than others, but as a first timer be cautious of buying bred first time heifers. As far as fencing goes, a heavy fence it fine and dandy. We have a cattle fence with cedar posts every six foot, but if your cattle are calm enough, like our breeding herd, we let them run twenty-five acres on nothing more than a strand of well maintained hot wire. Home raised cattle would provide excellent meat, and you could fit a few cows on seven and a half acres no problem. If breeding seems tedious, and you just want the beef you can always buy some steer calves in the spring, and fatten them up on pasture and sell a few in the fall to pay to get one or two butchered and never have to winter a cow. If you could give me some more detail and specific questions I could likely help.
 

k15n1

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Beef was formerly a luxury. It takes more effort and feed to produce a pound of beef than almost any other kind of meat. Delicious as it is, you have to over-winter these critters once, so hay harvest and storage is an issue. If you're buying your hay, I don't know how far ahead you'll get. Is there a farm nearby where you can visit and see experienced people handling cattle?
 
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