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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 7:09 am 
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Location: Mabank,TX
we're in east texas with approx 19 acres. we have 12 cows with 10 calves
at side and 1 bull. we are trying to learn the grass fed way, but so
far we have had to supplement with grain and hay. can this amount of acreage support the number of cattle in the grass method. we have mainly coastal and the cattle are keeping it down. we have sectioned off in about 3 equal paddocks.


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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 2:22 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TEXAS
:wink:

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 11:22 am 
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It is good you understand the value of grass finished meats.

If want to get the most out of your land you will likely need more paddocks so the cattle graze on each small paddock only a few weeks. Especially in the sandy east Texas. Unlike clay, sand doesn't hold up against livestock traffic as well. More rain in east Texas helps, but your grass probably needs around 70 days to recovery. Work the numbers and figure out how many paddocks you need. Also look into smaller cattle. They turn grass into meat more efficiently and can increase the number of cattle you stock. To go smaller find a smaller bull, keep the smallest calves, etc.

There is an art to stocking rates, rotation schedules, grass planting, etc. Find publications about grass farming and grass finishing. Read what others have done.

If you want someone who knows tons about organic ranching and grass management Dwayne Sommerville at Texas Organic Nursery in Mexia will come to your place and give you recommendations for a fee. He also holds Q&A talks at the nursery a few Saturdays a year for free.

Also, what are your goals with you cattle? Is this a hobby, a way to keep ag exemption, a family food source...? We get down on paper plans for our land.

What are you doing to the land? Do you use machinery to disc? Do you apply any amendments? etc.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 1:56 am 
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Location: Whitesboro,TX
You are right - too many cows. I would
suggest that you cut back to 5 momma
cows. You have to build your soil and
get organic matter built up. If you have
mutant cows - the ones bred in last 35
years - you have a problem. They have
been bred so that they don't do well on
grass and they are harder to handle.
Mini cows are wonderfull. There are mini
Herefords and Angus. Most of the rest
aren't very viable as meat sourses. After
you build up your soil you can get 1 to 2
minis per acre, but with mutants you will
be lucky to get 1 cow per 3 acres. Besides
you can raise more beef per acre with
minis. You can breed down in size, but
how many years do you have. The Largent
family has been breeding mini Herefords
since 1971 to get what we have today.
Time frame is daunting.
Also you want to do pure breds - regardless
of the breed. One of the problems today has
been outcrossing. We have herds today that
the owners can't remember what the crosses
are in their herds. With out crosses you loose
tenderness, taste, and particularly fertility.
Why do you think there is so much
hamberger - that covers up the tenderness
issue and flavor problems.
If you continue on present course, you will
build you soil faster as the hay will be
processed and the manure will build soil,
but the expense of hay is is a problem.
If you have small cattle you can feed hay
with out grain. Once you feed grain you
will never have omega III fatty acids or
CLAs as long as you have cows - this is
the cows alive not the offspring.
I say the above as I have been studying
these problems and living this life for 6
years (had horses for over 20 years -
switched to mini cows 6 years ago).
If you have any questions, please e-mail
back to this site or directly to my Dirt
Doctor private box.
Robert D Bard


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 10:15 am 
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Location: Mabank,TX
thanks for the reply to my question. i'm still learning and all the information is appreciated. we've been on this land for three years and applied all natural inputs.no chemicals,poisons,synthetics,etc. we've applied humates(dry & liquid),lime,molasses,bio-stimulants,and hrydrolized fish & seaweed fertilzer. i will try more paddocks. i know the best teacher is trial and error. we'll keep you posted.


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 10:27 am 
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I think the minis are wonderful. Who out there is selling cows? I don't think I can pick one of these up from auction and I have found very few animals on the net for sale.

Is this because they are sold before the seller needs to advertise? My uncle is open to the idea but wants to make sure the animals can be sold either to individuals or at market. Also, the price is a bit daunting at $2,000 up for a single calf. He likened minis to ostriches in the 80s.

Thanks for all your experience here.

Also what about Dexters? They are somewhat available up north because they do VERY well in the cold but apparently do just as well in the south.

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Last edited by Pamzilla on Thu May 27, 2004 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 1:46 pm 
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:shock: I do not know what happened to my previous post. Basically, what I intended to say follows:

I am no expert on raising cattle, not by any stretch of the imagination. I do know a little. I know that cows can eat wider blade grasses easier than thin blades. I know the quality of the soil determines the quality of ALL life. Good soil will grow healthier grass. Grass fed cows do not get mad. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 10:53 pm 
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Location: Whitesboro,TX
Minis have it all over the mutant cows of
the last 30 years. Minis taste better,
marble better, and are not tough and the
do well on grass which unlike grain is healthy.
The question - if the lawsuit in the WTO
group is successful and feed lots disappear
because of no profit with out gov subsidies -
where will the genetics for small animals
come from - hopefully minis and there
are not many of them. That 2 thousand
maybe cheap.
You bring up the two thousand for a heifer -
last year I got $810.00 for one side of beef
from a mini steer. This was grass fed and
no chemicals or antibiotics. This was for
Hereford. Mini Angus is a lot more but
there are very few being eaten at this
time as they are in short supply. $2000.
will not come close to a mini Angus.
Keep in mind that mini Herefords and
Angus ain't Emus or Ostriches. I tried
Ostrich and I am not impressed. I guess
everyone else felt that way as the market
fell out. I am willing to bet that mini cows
will last until I want to retire.
Dexters have a lot of problems - genetics,
that minis don't have.
Robert D Bard


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 7:56 am 
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The question - if the lawsuit in the WTO
group is successful and feed lots disappear
because of no profit with out gov subsidies -
where will the genetics for small animals
come from - hopefully minis and there
are not many of them. That 2 thousand
maybe cheap.

What is this lawsuit? What is "WTO"? Any websites or publications about this? I am working on my husband and uncle to get them interested in the minis.

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 8:41 am 
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Location: Whitesboro,TX
I am trying to recall where I saw this but
it may have been Acres USA - www.acresusa.com
- in the monthly magazine.
WTO - World Trade Organization
Feed lots only work because of cheap
subsidized grain - created buy our gov
to give unfair advantage of ouy products
in other parts of the world.
My understanding is that if they make
$3.50 per animal the feed lot is doing
well. If cheap grain goes by the wayside,
there goes the profit.
These people are so bad that they will
not feed hay for the last 5 days before
slaughter to prevent e-coli. They really
care if you or I or our children live or die
due to e-coli bacteria
There are almost no genetics left for doing
well on grass because the mutants have
been bred for grain only.
We have a Hereford bull 5 years old that
looks like he has pigged out on grain,
but he has never had any grain. He is
just large and well muscled and he
passes this on to his offspring. He has
an unusally large and deep hind quarter
and his tail head is level unlike a lot of
the mini Herefords.
You don't have to get expensive to do
minis. You pay to get started at the top
or you buy a bull and find big built females
that are short legged and stout. We have
done this and we now have four outstanding
females that any one would be glad to have
in their herd. It is now time for us to go to
the next level.
We bought our bull as a yearling.
What area do you live?
Your are welcome to come and visit.
We started with mini Angus last year with
a yearling bull and a 6 month heifer. We
did spend more money with this purchase,
but felt it was important to do both breeds
to not be left out if one took off than the other.
Robert D bard


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:56 am 
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Thanks I will keep all this in mind. It could be this summer or next year before we buy animals. I want to know what's out there and where to get them before that time. What are you all doing with the cattle you raise? Still building your herd? Selling breeding animals? Selling, eating, auction off animals?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:24 pm 
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Location: Rosenberg, Texas
Pamzilla wrote:


Also what about Dexters? They are somewhat available up north because they do VERY well in the cold but apparently do just as well in the south.


The place where we hunt in Comfort, just outside of San Antonio, started raising Dexters a couple of years ago and they seem to be doing great.

She might have some calves for sale if you want me to check into it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:10 pm 
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Sure, my email address is available here or I can email you my phone number. Thanks. How long has she had them? Where did they come from?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:30 am 
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Location: Whitesboro,TX
I would suggest you check out all breeds.
Dexters have some genetic problems and
they have two kinds LL and SL - long legs
and short legs. A friend met a lady at small
farm expo in Mo last year and the lady was
getting out of farming and Dexters but
claimed that if Lowline Angus had been
available when she started she would
never have had Dexters - you do the checking.

Hereford minis have been bred for all the
right reasons (comparing large mutants) -
taste, tenderness, marbling, ease of handling,
superior conversion of grass, more muscling,
calving ease, and great at crossing on other
Herefords and Angus. (Hereford and Angus
have always been the best tasting best beef
in the world since the 1880's. Anything else
or out crosses are always poorer choice)

Lowline Angus minis are also excellant choice
and bring the most money at this time. Buyers
market for an other 5 to 10 years. Meat is
wonderful, does very well on grass, great
taste, fantastic on tenderness and marbling.
We have both mini Lowline Angus and Herefords
I think there is a place for both.

Brahman minis - what can I say except that
they are Brahman with all their problems -
weak calf syndrome, taste, tenderness,
marbling are always issues.

Sundog - yes it is sort of a breed - mixture
of mini Brahman, small red Angus and
something else. Some guy in Ca started
this mixture. It takes 18 generations to
create a new breed if you know what you
are doing. Mix and match doesn't cut it.
There is a lady out here that bought a
Sundog bull and is crossing it to small
belted cows and is trying to create a new
breed for her desires. She is attempting
to get other people to bring any small
animal to the group for a new mini breed.
They also know nothing about measuring
height (I should say they don't care about
the real height). They measure from pin
bone down which creates a smaller animal
when they deal with unknowing people,
there is still 4 inches that you have to
account for at some time.

Robert D Bard


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