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Calves


mr.buffalo

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Does anyone have the current price of calves and what would be an expected profit margin if they were kept for a year or so provided that the land to rear them was already available ?

Buffalo,

I have looked at this many times but still own 6 Thai native cows and a bull. Now is not the time to see a profit. A friend recently sold three imported breed cattle at a loss. At a calf every eighteen months the local cost models are never very attractive. As a direct answer Thai native cows will fetch about 6 to 8000 and a good bull perhaps a little more if you canb find a buyer.

The biggest issue is having someone to take care of them. The native breeds survive on little more than rice straw.

If you are talking about feedlot cattle or dairy cows, I'll pass the ball onto others.

Isaanaussie

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I've just got rid of 30 of the local variety. started with about 15 and let nature take its course. They kept the grass down and saved me paying labour to cut the grass. Lost a few along the way to illness . Whenever you want to sell the price is always down for some reason. If they get out and get onto a neighbours land and cause damage to crops the locals can name their price. Its a big Liability. Its very difficult to feed them in the dry season, you can let them into the rice fields so they just survive but I've noticed a lot more people having a second crop this year so the chance of them damaging crops is even greater. I sold them for a loss in Baht but due to the exchange rate broke even. Take away the cost of getting someone to take care of them and it makes very little sense. We have a few neigbours who keep a few , they scramble about all day trying to feed and water them and then when they need the money they sell them for a loss or maybe even break even if lucky and then repeat it year after year.

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I've just got rid of 30 of the local variety. started with about 15 and let nature take its course. They kept the grass down and saved me paying labour to cut the grass. Lost a few along the way to illness . Whenever you want to sell the price is always down for some reason. If they get out and get onto a neighbours land and cause damage to crops the locals can name their price. Its a big Liability. Its very difficult to feed them in the dry season, you can let them into the rice fields so they just survive but I've noticed a lot more people having a second crop this year so the chance of them damaging crops is even greater. I sold them for a loss in Baht but due to the exchange rate broke even. Take away the cost of getting someone to take care of them and it makes very little sense. We have a few neigbours who keep a few , they scramble about all day trying to feed and water them and then when they need the money they sell them for a loss or maybe even break even if lucky and then repeat it year after year.

Agreed, in my experience, leave well alone. A sure fire way to lose money. Cow prices are very very low. My wifes family recently sold out at a BIG loss. Buffalo for some reason seem to be a much more 'steady' trade? Not worth fortunes, but not subject to the same market forces as cows.

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Difficult Mr Buffalo. They start at about 500 Baht for 2/3 day old calves. The larger dairies (Chock Chai etc) will sell them older...by weight, if they've got any. Very hard to keep. Expect a 50% mortality rate for locally sourced newborns. Were they fed colostrum? (The dams first post partum milk) Lots of them don't get it. Then they get fed the water that's run through the milk lines. They get stressed when moved any distance, resulting in squirts, dehydration and death. When they get sick they go downhill very fast. Hygiene, clean dry bedding and proper nutrition are vital. Not for beginners.

Weaned calves are easier, but more expensive. Also harder to find. The motives for selling them must be suspect, unless a healthy premium is being paid. Some of them get stunted through early malnutrition. Avoid anything with horns showing.

Once you get them going they do very well on good pasture. You'll need to supplement their feed during the winter. Some dairies have got dairy crosses. (dairyxbrahman) Much easier to rear. Less prone to heat and insects. More expensive though.

Unless you've got experience, a couple of weaners to start with would be my advice.

I bought 2 calves (dairy) for 4500 Baht and 16 months later got 29,000 Baht selling on weight. (36 Baht).

Good luck Mr Buffalo.

Regards.

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Like mentioned above 1 week old and less are hard to keep alive and get growth and weight gain. Saying that if you have a nurse cow or two (dairy type) you can put 2 or 3 calves to suck on each nurse cow. If you get 3 month old calves, you can give them a powered milk, egg, water mixture to get them to 3 to 350 lbs weight. Then covert to feed

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Their value is their meat value for a given day on the market. If you want to raise them then the quicker you bulk them up the better - and the quicker you add bulk, the more feed tends to cost: cost/time/mass equation.

With males - no value at all - none: good for veal thats all (as calves),

With females (dairy) - it takes me 2 lactation cycles plus to recoup the husbandry cost of raising that animal. In other words - just over 4years from birth, assuming I can start milking her sometime during the 3rd year (which means she too has to calve). So as a diary calf - no profit.

Yes - very important: what are you raising for - dairy or beef? The cost/time/mass equations associated with husbandry in the first 6 - 12 months are very different between diary & beef.

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