If you are considering backgrounding cattle, you need to figure out exactly how much you can make by selling the resulting beef. Some herds can be expensive to sell as beef weaners, but if you can make the extra 200 pounds, the money is well worth it. Another advantage to backgrounding cattle is that it can save you a considerable amount of money on feed. If you are considering selling your cattle as on-the-hoof meat, you can background them to sell at a later date when the prices are higher.
First of all, you will need to decide the weight that you want the calves to be at by the end of the breeding season. It is recommended that you use a forage-based diet for backgrounding cattle. This will help them gain weight at a slower rate and will allow them to build more muscle. You can even make money by backgrounding calves that have been born too small for breeding. The ideal weight is between 150 and 200 pounds.
As with any farm, you will need to learn how to buy and sell livestock. Backgrounding cattle requires you to purchase 50 to 65 percent of the weight that you sell. In addition to that, you will need to learn how to diagnose sick animals. Backgrounding cattle is competitive when forages are good, but it can be disadvantageous if they are poor quality. Buying and selling calves at the right time is crucial to the profitability of your operation.
The benefits of backgrounding cattle outweigh its disadvantages. Backgrounded cattle are cheaper than feedlot concentrate, which means that the producer can save money and still enjoy higher profits. Backgrounding cattle is an excellent way to diversify your farm’s income. Moreover, it is a smart investment. In fact, the benefits of backgrounding cattle outweigh the costs of buying and selling beef. There are three types of backgrounding producers:
When buying a calf for backgrounding, you should take care of the animals’ welfare and make sure that they are vaccinated before entering the program. During backgrounding, you should also ensure that they have a good windbreak and adequate bedding. These two measures will help avoid cold stress on the calves. You will make money by selling the calves to the feedlot after a period of time.
The advantages of backgrounding cattle are that it is highly flexible and you can utilize various feed resources to produce more beef for sale. Backgrounding cattle with fast rates of gain reduces feed and interest costs per unit of gain. Some producers prefer to do their backgrounding in a per-head basis, while others prefer to cut production costs per pound of gain. The economical goal for most backgrounding in Missouri is 1.5 pounds daily gain and 250-350 pounds total gain per animal.
A profitable backgrounding enterprise will depend on the price ratio of beef steers and corn. It is best to buy steer calves when the ratio is high, because backgrounding produces higher quality beef at a lower cost than cow/calf production. If the yearling price is low, it is better to sell the steer for a lower price. But if the ratio is high, then backgrounding will earn you a higher profit.
The other advantages of backgrounding cattle include the low cost and increased profitability. You can sell the calves at a higher price than the market price, but you should be aware that the sale barn and the trucking costs will eat up the difference. Therefore, you must plan your backgrounding operations according to your strengths and preferences. You can start with a small scale and see if it is the right business for you.