Who moves the cows? Is the owner willing to come daily to move them? Maybe he does already to check on them. If he doesn't, then you have that burden. If its you, you are no longer getting income from the land, but getting paid for the chore.
When he pulls the cows off the land for the few months, is it merely opening a gate to adjacent land or is he literally loading them in a trailer and moving them. If this is the case, you can surely come up with a cost to transport twice and add that into the yearly rate
Also keep in mind that 12 cows become 23 cows every year. That increases demand on everything and many people dont factor this in.
All that being said, the income is very low. $360 for the cows and $350 for the hay for a total of $700. The value of a 2 year old grass fed cow that can feed you has a much higher value. If you had a small happy herd, like 1 bull and 2 females you could generate more income with less work. They would have access to all the land including the hay field. They should need no additional food. Paddocks can be less (less fencing, maybe no additional fencing as the hay field is probably already fenced). 1 cow every 2 years will feed you , possibly a family. That leaves 3 cows every 2 years to be sold. The total income is at the same or higher than previously, but you are taking care of your needs first.
We can all read about mob grazing, etc but i suspect that for every one success there are probably 15 that failed. Either they didnt move them quick enough. They didnt account for heavy inputs in dry spells (couldn't afford they hay) . They didnt account for wet spells (cows destroyed a paddock). They didnt account for what should be planted in a particular paddock at the time they would be in there (wait! What? I have to seed the paddocks!). They overestimated the number of cows (this is so much better i can have more cows than i do now)
Paul puts it so simply. Feed yourself first. A little extra can be sold off locally. Thats how the world gets changed. A bunch of small guys doing small things.
I can't wrap my head around this at all. Unless you are saving thousands in property taxes by having the cows there. This validates it greatly cause the $700 income saves $5,000 in property taxes, which nets you $5700 yearly. Its outside the scope of your topic, so no response is needed.
Bryan Elliot wrote: Brian,
I presume you have a permanent perimeter fence that holds cattle. I like a high tensile, smooth wire, electrified fence for interior fences. Faster, cheaper, and easier to move when you find out you don't like it where you built it in the first place or come up with a better idea. (I know a lot about that). With a single hot wire you can space the posts farther apart than 20 feet and save a lot of money. You are the best expert on your own place so I didn't pay any attention to your drawings on where you are thinking about putting the dividing fences. I'm sure you've got good reasons for your plans.
Here is a site that'll keep you up to date on what various classes of cattle are selling for:
Ray Bannister of Montana has some interesting thoughts on grazing management. The you tube video is lower quality but in my mind he's worth listening to.
Some fairly intelligent people have said not to plant anything but fence posts for the first few years.
Bryan Elliot wrote: Brian,
That is a beautiful place you have! I hope you'll treat my suggestions as just that any and nothing more. My opinions are worth what they cost you.
First a question: Is your priority raising your own beef or rental income? If it's raising your own meat you won't have to build a herd and wait years to have excess to sell or butcher. I've ate a lot of beef through the years and my favorite has been corriente. There are more corriente cattle in the Las Vegas, Wagon Mound, and Roy area than almost anywhere. They raise them to sell to team ropers and rodeo contractors. You could buy a couple of cull cows, retired ropers, or even yearlings that didn't have desirable horns very cheap. I would probably try to get yearlings with less than perfect horns. Cows are culled for a lot of reasons but the main ones are not having a calf, losing it, or getting too old and the biggie-drought. I wouldn't want a broken mouth or toothless cow to put out on pasture and try to get her fat but a young or even solid mouth cow could get in good shape on your place with very few inputs. They are small framed so they won't grow as fast or big but they are very hardy and for the most part inclined to have a gentle nature. Feed them a few high protein cubes occasionally and they'll come to you any time you rattle a cake bucket.
Bryan Elliot wrote:
If you don't buy mother cows you won't be caught in such a bind if it doesn't rain and you won't have to deal with a bull. Also there won't be the tendency to over stock your place. Remember there is no such thing as too much grass or too much money but you can have too many cattle.
Bryan Elliot wrote:
I know a buyer from Maxwell that goes to the cattle sales at Belen and Clayton so he'd go by where you live occasionally. I like him personally and like the cattle he buys but I don't know him well enough to recommend him yet. I can check him out if you decide to go that route. You could probably source your cattle locally if you wish and have them delivered if you don't have a trailer.
I think there is a custom packing plant in Las Vegas but I know nothing about them. Remember that a beef will dress about 60% of live weight (hanging weight), and if boned and ground up for hamburger you'll end up with 60% of that. An eight hundred pound steer turns into 280-290 pounds of meat so don't get mad at your butcher for stealing half your meat.