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What Weight Should I Sell Stocker Cattle?

Asked by: Herminio Kris

Unlike a cow-calf operation, where cows are viewed as a long-term investment, the stocker cattle industry runs on a much shorter time frame. Generally, the longest anyone will own a stocker calf is eight months, but it can be as short as two months.

When should I sell my calves?

The best time to sell calves is when the market is high. Traditionally, February and March are the best times of the year. During this time, wheat and oats are readily available for grazing and growing calves.

What is the best month to sell feeder calves?

Feeder cattle relationship to April live cattle contract

Therefore, big cattle selling in December and January will price better. Big cattle coming off wheat pasture and coming out of grow yards in March usually drop significantly in price, as they are more likely to hit the summer price downswing in fed cattle.

Will cattle prices go up in 2021?

from 2021, with a range of $120 to $150/cwt. throughout the year. All cattle classes are expected to trade higher, and prices are expected to improve over the next three years.

What is the best age to sell cattle?

Then, recognizing that cows appreciate in the market until they are four years old, hold their own until about six years old and then depreciate, you might want to consider selling most of the cows as bred cows by the time they are six years old.

When can you sell calves in 2020?

Selling weaned calves in October this year should be more favorable than selling them in October last year. The price trend for 2020 appears to be stronger than what we experienced in 2019. Live Cattle futures also suggest some insights in slaughter cattle prices down the road (Figure 3).

Should you wean calves before selling?

After weaning, it takes a minimum of 30 days before calves can sell as preconditioned calves. This is the term often used for calves that are weaned from the cows, vaccinated, and accustomed to feed bunks, processed feed, and water bowls.

How much are calves going for 2020?

Also this week, CattleFax released their price expectations for 2020. They are forecasting finished steers to average 118 next year, with potential to top out near $130. 750 pound steers are estimated at an average of $146 and 550 pound steer calves at $165, both just slightly ahead of their 2019 averages.

Which is more profitable cow/calf or stocker?

His results suggest that stockers are less profitable, on average, than cow-calf-yearling. … (2010) indicated a profit potential for some stocker cattle systems in California, but not all. The narrow margin between purchase and sale prices (the buy-sell margin) is often a significant risk for stocker operations.

Are stocker cattle profitable?

The stocker cattle are profitable if total revenue is greater than total expenses or the gross margin is higher than the sum of the direct and indirect expenses. As with other cattle enterprises, the unit cost of production (UCOP) is a valuable indicator of performance.

How many acres do you need for a stocker calf?

Calves need to be stocked at 1 to 1.5 acres per calf during the fall but can be stocked at 2 to 3 calves per acre during the spring.


How old is a 400 lb calf?

At the Dickinson Research Extension Center, calves have been weaned successfully at 4 months of age, averaging 400 pounds, with no more complications than normal weaning.

How much is a 600 pound calf worth?

The long-term average is roughly 55 cents per pound of gain. For example, if the price of a 500-pound calf is $1.40 per pound and the price of a 600-pound calf is $1.26, the value of those 100 pounds of gain is $56 or 56 cents per pound.

How long until a calf is 500 lbs?

At 6-9 months of age the calves are weaned off their dams and placed in a field or pen with other calves of a similar age and weight. Most calves will weigh 500-700 lbs at weaning. These calves will be backgrounded for several months.

When should I introduce calf pellets?

Milk here should be given through nipple suckling, bottle feeding or early introduction to bucket feeding. Third week: Between two to three weeks of age, introduce high quality roughage. This can be supplemented with concentrates preferably calf starter pellets.

What age should you wean a calf?

Though calves naturally wean themselves around ten months, on beef farms calves are weaned when they are around six months old; for dairy farms, this happens just 24 hours after they are born.

How much do weaned calves sell for?

The price for 550-pound weaned calves is expected to average $150 per cwt this year, in a range of $135 to $165. “We believe the average break-even price for cow-calf producers is about $140,” says CattleFax CEO Randy Blach. “For the best producers, that breakeven is probably around $100.

Is now a good time to sell cows?

Based on long term average information, late March to early April provides some of the highest sale prices of the year for cull cows, but producers should not plan to feed cull animals that long, waiting for prices to peak.”

What month are cattle prices the highest?

Prices steadily trended upward from January to June, then remained rather constant from July to December with seeing a high point in September. Prices were highest in mid-fall and lowest in early months of the year. Prices were near the annual average throughout the entire year. Steer Calves (500-600 Ibs.)

How much is a calf worth?

A calf that weighs 500 pounds costs around $700. As compared to a heifer, bred heifer costs more. A bred heifer can cost around $1,300. Whereas matured cows can cost around $4,000 to $5,000 each.

How much is a 1200 pound cow worth?

Based on the 2019 budget, slaughter cows (1,200 pounds) are expected to average $50 per hundredweight, while 550 pounds steers and 520 heifers are expected to average $145 and $130 per hundredweight respectively.

How long do beef cattle live before slaughter?

How Long Do Beef Cows Live? Beef cattle are typically culled (slaughtered) when they are young cows between 12 to 24 months of age to have the highest quality grade of meat.