How to buy a cow: First time cattle purchasing Rolling Hills Cattle Co British White Cattle


farm animals

ranch in bastrop

The udder should have 4 quarters and not look swollen and there should be no sign of pain when touched. If lactating, there should be no sign of blood in the milk, as this points to an udder infection. If buying a dairy cow, make sure that the cow has teats that will work with your milking setup. As cost-efficient as buying a cow or meat in bulk might be, your savings can quickly turn into waste if you’re not actually consuming the meat you purchase. Having a side of beef in the freezer is a wonderful feeling! You know you’ll have good quality meat for your family for many months.

As in most homesteading projects, you should plan to start small. If you’re going to make some rookie mistakes , you will want to make them with two or three animals rather than thirty. Not only is the investment smaller, but many beginners’ errors can be easily rectified in a handful of animals.

I buy a box every two weeks plus sometimes additional bones or a whole chicken. If you can find a local butcher (a real, raises-animals-sustainably one) that’s a great alternative to the chunk of change that buying whole animals is. If you’re a farmer in the dairy or beef business, you’ll need to know how to appraise and purchase cattle. While this can seem like an overwhelming process at first, rest assured that you’ll be a cattle-buying pro in no time. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about buying cattle.

If you take on this challenge, do so with your eyes open; on the positive side, it can sometimes be a very rewarding thing to do. There are a variety of different cattle based on your goals. You need to already know what breed, age, weight, class and type of cattle you’re looking for. Here are a few other beef posts and recipes you may like.

Dairy calves can be “cheaper” up front, but if you keep track of the nickles and dimes, you might find the numbers to surprise you. You’ll likely find several beef farmers there, and you can talk to them and try a few steaks and ground beef before you purchase from them in bulk. However, when buying from total strangers, use caution. Even if they seem nice, they may not be completely honest. Bring a cattle-wise friend along to make sure that you get a good deal. Also, if the cows have large, round stickers on their bodies or sticky areas of adhesive on their coats, you may want to pass.

Don’t Get Snookered: The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Cattle

But if she’s trying to destroy the fencing or hurt herself in an effort to flee your presence, you probably want to pass on her. Wild cattle are a pain in the neck to handle, and while you may be hopeful that you can calm her, you don’t want this to be your first experience with cattle. If you need help keeping track of your cattle herd’s health, performance or yield records check out Farmbrite’s all-in-one cattle record keeping and management software. The animal should walk easily with steady footing, where all four feet bear its weight. Watch out for irregular movements as these suggest pain in its feet or legs. When lying down a healthy animal should be able to get up quickly.

If you’ve never heard of these offices before, do an online search for the closest one to you. Thanks for mentioning to think about what you’re looking for in a cow before buying like will it be used for beef or milk. My brother is thinking about buying some cattle because he’s contemplating using them for milk because he has some land that he speculates might be put to better use. I think it’s a good investment to also look into large animal feed dealers to supply the cattle with nutrients if he decides to get them.


By this point, their immune systems are fairly well developed. They are able to eat grass and hay and live away from their mamas. You will have time to get used to caring for the cows before they need to be bred, something that will need to happen around the time they are fifteen months of age. They are also smaller than a full-grown cow and quite a bit less intimidating. Don’t make the mistake of buying a “bargain” cow that you see listed on Craigslist. If someone is selling cattle at significantly below market prices, there’s probably a reason, and it’s probably not because they are kind-hearted and generous.

Will you really save money when you buy a cow?

Cattle are a diverse breed of mammals that have been bred for many purposes; meat, dairy, and also just for fun. In fact, most cows need to wait until they are at least two years old before they have their first calf. Since a cow’s pregnancy lasts for 9 months, this means that they shouldn’t be bred until 15 months of age.

cuts of meat

You can google “how to transport frozen meat” to get more ideas. When the county fair rolls around, this could be a good time to keep your ear out for animals who may not have qualified for the fair. The 4-H student who raised the animal would still like to make money on the animal . A skinny animal could have diseases that infect the unborn calf, or even every ounce of feed it walks on. One disaster can permanently contaminate your property and you could deal with it for the entirety of your farming days.

This step-by-step guide walks you through how to buy a cow from a farmer — from finding a local farm to knowing what questions to ask. Plus, the steps you need to take when you get home with hundreds of pounds of beef. Also, if you’re buying from a farm, take a gander at the farm atmosphere in general. If the place is well tended and clean-ish, chances are that the farmer is pretty good about caring for his animals.

It’s your farm.  We’re here to help it grow!

If you have the option to start with a smaller purchase to make sure you’re happy with the quality, I personally think that’s a great idea. We started with what was called a “farm share” – a set poundage that was a mix of cuts that we couldn’t choose – to make sure we liked what was included. On our next order, we may just order a larger farm share, or we may go the “quarter/half cow” route where we can make our own cut selections. The hanging weight – the weight the butcher gives you after the animal has been prepped to hang, but before it has been aged, packaged, or cut. This is typically around 60% of the live weight.

Explain that you’re interested in coming over to look at his or her animals. Ask what time and date you should be expected to be there. For the auction you will have to phone the auction mart to get times on sale dates and what cattle are being sold on what date. A new 9 cubic foot chest freezer has a one-time cost of about $400-$500, and its yearly running cost will be approximately $40.

Imagine buying fresh beef from a cow that roamed on a meadow! ❤️

They should be bright and alert, with no discharge at the corners. A cow is a full grown female animal that is at least a year old and has given birth to a calf. We hope this will give you the insight you need, when getting started with or improving your cattle herd.

We always do and I render the fat myself from both pork and beef. Be sure to inquire all sellers about their vaccination program, and how they handle illness or stress. While dairy baby bull calves are typically group reared, and more commonly sold than heifer calves born on a dairy, the question always comes up, WHY?

Fill up your freezer with local grass-fed beef!

This is very important for child safety reasons and because a physical lock will make sure your freezer is securely closed. First, some cuts have different names based upon the region. For example a KC Strip and a NY Strip are essentially the same thing. When you get home, you’ll probably want to go ahead and vaccinate the cattle for the diseases that are common in your area. Even if they were vaccinated in the past, it won’t hurt them to do it again, and that way that you make sure that they are protected.

If selecting for a beef operation, cows and steers should have well developed muscles and look ‘beefy’. Don’t make the mistake of buying a “bargain” cow that you find on Craigslist. Remember, that you get what you pay for, so if someone is selling cattle at well below market prices, there’s probably a reason.