Small Beef Cattle Farm On A Few Acres
Have you considered raising beef cattle? I believe you will find them to be the
most rewarding and best suited enterprise for a small farm.
If you own and/or happen to be living on a few acres you may have the resources to
raise a few beef cattle. Small beef cattle farms and ranches are becoming popular as a means to supplement off farm
Beef production is a large and important segment of American agriculture and one
of the largest industries in the world. Beef enterprises work well with grain, orchard, vegetable, or other crop
operations. Cattle can make efficient use of feed resources that have little alternative use, such as crop
residues, marginal cropland, untillable land, or rangeland that cannot produce crops other than grass.
For people who own land but work full-time off the farm, a beef enterprise can be the
least labor-intensive way to utilize their land. A cattle enterprise can use family or surplus labor. Calving,
weaning, vaccinations, castration, and weighing can be planned for times when labor is available.
Consider your resources, the land available, and your level of interest before deciding
to engage in the cattle business. Identify why you want to raise cattle and set goals to achieve the most constant
economic return or personal satisfaction. Your goals must be clearly defined, firmly fixed, achievable, and have a
realistic time frame. Otherwise, your operation will lack meaning, objective, and focus.
Raising a small beef cattle herd can be a very rewarding experience. Have you dreamed
of living in the country but never figured out a least labor intensive enterprise to supplement your off farm
income. One big advantage that most individuals discover is that such an enterprise is a great help towards many
tax savings. However you should check with your personal tax advisor to determine your best advantages.
Listed below are a few different cattle related enterprises to consider. It is always
best to do a thorough study to determine the most appropriate enterprise for your situation. And keep in mind
that the best situation may be to use a combination of more than one enterprise when possible. Resource
considerations may play a big part in your decision. More on resource considerations.....
Registered or Seedstock Cow calf enterprise:
Keeping a few high quality registered mother cows and raising calves from them. You would
also need a good herd bull or breed your cows by artificial insemination. More record keeping and added value is
needed in this kind of an operation but with a higher monetary return. Most everything needs to be recorded for
performance records; the calves need to be weighed at birth and weaned and weighed at about 6 months of
age. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.
Commercial Cow calf enterprise:
Keeping a few mother cows and raising calves from them. The calves normally would be
weaned at about 6 months of age and weigh approximately 500 pounds. You can find more information on this website
under Cattle enterprises on left menu.
Bottle calf beef enterprise:
This is a labor intensived enterprise
comprised of purchasing new born calves, usually a dairy breed and raising them until they weigh 300 to 500 pounds.
You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.
Feeder or stocker calf enterprise:
Purchasing calves that weigh between 400 and 500 pounds and feeding them until they weigh
from 700 to 900 pounds. Usually placed on pasture or on diets high in forage. You can find more information on
this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.
Market beef enterprise:
Purchasing 700 to 900 pound calves and feeding them to market weight of 1100 to 1200
pounds. This can be very rewarding if you are close to a metropolitian population and sell direct to the
consumer. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.
In most situations frame and
conformation are more important than breed in relation to cattle performance. However, there are many things to
consider. You can find more information on this website under Cattle enterprises on left menu.
Those interested in growing and raising beef cattle on
their acreage can find it very rewarding. However it is recommended that one should first become knowledgeable and
informed about the enterprise so that you do not become involved in an unmanageable and costly situation. Consult
with feed company personnel, Extension staff, local veterinarians and local beef producers. Raising beef cattle can
improve quality of life and provide great satisfaction and responsibility for families.
Success of your beef cattle enterprise depends on adapting a strategy that fits your
needs. After generating some ideas about what kind of operation you would like to have, contact your Extension
agent and work out a detailed plan.
This website gives an overview of the basics for developing and managing a small beef
herd. The Extension Service, veterinarians, and experienced beef producers can be resources to help you develop
your enterprise. Careful planning, quality cattle in good health, and good management will put you on the road to