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Raising the right size cattle

for better feed efficiency and profitability

The goals for our cattle business

It is important for us to clearly identify what the goals are for our small cattle herd.  We don’t want to try raising the biggest cattle like the major ranches do. We don’t want to try breeding the smallest cattle just to have a unique animal that may not be more than a farm pet. We are focusing on breeding registered Miniature Herefords and Red Lowline Angus.  The following is an article we wrote about Goal Planning when we were raising Boer Goats. It clearly applies to raising Classic Herefords and Lowline Angus cattle.

Must see a Good Market for the Breeds

It is useless to get into raising unique animals where we can’t see a good market to sell the animals. The country has seen several examples of people raising unique, exotic animals hoping to make a fortune only to find there was no market for their animals. We have done research on the market for Miniature and Classic Herefords. We have seen strong interest and good prices. We have seen a market where breeders are not having to take their animals to local auction to sell by the pound. In the short time we have had our herd, we have sold the calves before they were weaning age over the Internet where the buyers pick them up when they are weaned. That is without paying for any ads or any commissions. We did that for 17 years with Boer goats and feel comfortable that we should be able to do the same with our cattle herd. We have more requests for animals than we have animals to offer so far.

Must be Functional

Our cattle must be functional in the beef environment. This means they must have the capability of producing top quality beef in a sufficient quantity to be seriously considered as a source for selling as beef.

Must be Efficient

Our cattle must be efficient in converting pasture forage and hay into weight. We expect to raise them as grass-fed cattle with little or no supplementing with grain. This is required to minimize the cost of raising our cattle.

Must be Easy to Handle

We are seniors in retirement and will need to handle the cattle on our own with little or no additional assistance. This means we should be able to move them from pasture to pasture; vaccinate them; treat for flies.

Must not require expensive fencing and working equipment

We should not have to have super fencing to keep the cattle in the pastures. If the cattle are gentle enough and small enough, a basic barbed wire fence should be sufficient. We should not have to have expensive squeeze chutes for working the cattle.

Must have the potential for being Show Quality

Some of our cattle should have sufficient quality to be considered for showing by other breeders. The base herd should have some show quality characteristics that can be passed on to their offspring and be improved upon in the future.


As we work toward these goals, we have found one problem in our initial purchases, mainly exclusively over the Internet. It is difficult to know the real size of the animals when we are not seeing them to compare to other animals or seeing them at younger ages with little understanding of the growth potential. Thus we have what we initially purchased and must work from that to breed to the size we want for meeting our goals. That will be the enjoyable part of this project. We are happy with the initial herd we have and are excited to start breeding for the future and adjusting our current herd preparing them to meet our goals for the future herd.

The following are the main goals we are focusing on as we started buying our initial herd.