Raising two steer to pay for the cost of butchering one

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I'm looking for an article , probably several years back. Told all the specifics(feed and hay amounts etc.) on raising two steer and being able to sell one steer at butchering weight to someone elsa.The sale of the one steer was enough to pay for all the feed for raising both, as well as hauling and butchering cost of your own. Article was very informative on exact amounts of everything needed to get to butchering weight.

-- Judy Beatty (jbeatty2@greenville.edu), January 09, 2002


I'd like to see that article as well.

-- Gary Morstadt (gmorstadt@cs.com), January 09, 2002.

I'd love to see that too! Either charging your friend way too much for the other steer, or must be figuring fencing & feed costs as zero somehow, or that won't pencil out.


-- paul (ramblerplm@hotmail.com), January 09, 2002.

We just sold a steer and estimated we made $350 profit taking into account direct costs such as purchase, butchering and feed but not amortizing things like fencing. I would think that would be enough to feed and butcher two other steers. But it might depend on whether you have good pasture already available. We had too much pasture so we felt cattle could bushhog it more profitable than the tractor. We didn't feed much grain as a fast finished steer on grass can be plenty tender (and lean!) The people who bought him raved over the meat. I think we charged too little, maybe. We charged about $1.10/lb live weight and paid the butcher charge of $150. I think the article could be very helpful but keep in mind that the costs may have changed or may not be the same in your area. Good Luck!

-- GeorgTN (dgkotarski@bledsoe.net), January 09, 2002.

Be careful. I talked to a friend the other day and he said he raised two steers a while back and said it didn't turn out to swell. He said when it came time to butcher he sold one steer to some people that came over and loaded it up and hauled it back to their place. He then started calling all the nearest processing plants and was told the earliest he could bring his steer over was about 4 1/2 months. In that 4 1/2 months that steer kept getting bigger and bigger and kept eating more and more. He said that by the time the processor took it in he had spent all that he made off the first steer and maybe more. And to add insult, it was about 3 more months before he got his meat back.

So it might be wise to schedule early.

-- r.h. in okla. (rhays@sstelco.com), January 09, 2002.

That is ridiculous.......I'd find a new butcher!

-- Tracy (zebella@mindspring.com), January 10, 2002.

We raised more that one but we use to sell steers for custom butcher. Two years ago we sold 5 sides and the isxth we kept and our cost came out to about $.95 per pound. This was fine grass fed Angus beef finished on 500-800# of grain.

It use to be one could raise 2 hogs and one would pay for the other, then it got to be 3 hogs.

If you have plenty of good pasture, and make your own hay, have good fences & buy your calves when they are under 100# get them up to 1,000-1,200# in 18 months, do not have any health problems on the way, (Coccidiosis,worms & such) at the end of the line you might breakk even but I doubt it. If you chose the right breed, beef as versus dairy type you will be happy with your own meat.

The last beef I sold @ $.12 per pound hanging weight.

-- hendo (redgate@echoweb.net), January 10, 2002.

Some of the other answers really surprise me. We buy 3 day old dairy calves, Holstein or Jersey, and have them butchered at 2 years. We never grain the steers in the second year, and in the first year they only receive grain for the first 4 - 5 months. We never have any problem with repeat sales; folks buy from us time after time. I pay $35 now (it's gone up) for a Jersey - Holstein prices have gone through the roof. I feed goat milk and/or milk replacer for three months, of course along with hay & grain. Our sales figures: 4 halves sold at $1.25 lb. hanging wght. - 304 lb., $456 - 306 lb., $459 - (Jersey) - 387 lb., $581 - 391 lb., $587. Total receipt $1398, we paid butcher costs at $30 each for slaughter and $.40 per lb. cut & wrap totaled $684. This has always worked for us. We feed grass hay in the winter at $60/ton.

-- Dianne Wood (woodgoat@pacifier.com), January 10, 2002.

Diane, while you you can sell the cattle for about 1/2 the cost of butchering them, I would suggest you have 2 years of fence repair, pasture upkeep, water pumping and repairs, feed & water tanks, shelter repairs, 6 months of milk replacer, hay, & grain also involved in this. And, you must average 30 minutes a day for doing the above work, 700 days is 350 hours of labor.

At that point, I don't think you are raising one 'for free' from the $1000 of gross income from the other one.

Perhaps your cattle drink from a natural stream, and you are in a mild climate so you don't have much of a building, but it's still a cost that needs to show up on a true expense sheet.

I think it's a great idea mind you, I'm not against it at all! :) :) But for someone asking, you better list all the costs involved to show the true picture.


-- paul (ramblerplm@hotmail.com), January 11, 2002.


A cost people tend to ignore is fuel and wear and tear on vehicles to go get livestock feed. Perhaps if it, "Well, I'm going into town anyway and the feed store isn't out of my way" the cost may be very minor. However, if a special trip, fuel and wear and tear should be considered a cost of production.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), January 16, 2002.

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