Recent droughts have limited the amount of feeder cattle for sale in Texas and through out the Western States. For the first time in the past few years, I don't have one suckling feeder calf that I'm bottle raising. The limited supply of feeder cattle for sale has driven up the price above what I'm willing to pay for a suckling feeder calf.
This lack of cattle for sale as caused a major change in my feeder cattle ranching. I now have more time on my hands. I no longer have to rush home before dark to make sure the suckling feeder calves have a bottle. There is no problem staying busy with the absence of feeder cattle to care for and I still have several 4 to 5 month old feeder calves that I'm feeding out. I just don't have any on a bottle.
I have been taking advantage of the lack of cattle for sale and catching up on some fence building. The days have been nice with temperatures not so hot, and the evenings have been a great time to be out repairing fence. There are a few difficult stretches that are completely covered with brush that I have been putting off for years that need to be redone. Now that I have the extra time, I am using it wisely to do so.
I have been in need of fencing off area to place the baled hay next to one of hay pastures. It has needed to be done years ago, but when there a high amount of cattle for sale I was busy buying them up. It sure will be good to finely get a baled hay area fenced off.
Don't get me wrong you can still find feeder cattle for sale here in Texas. The cattle supply is smaller but it is still there. It is just that with the current price of cattle for sale, I am being very selective. Picky if you will. If I am to pay $250 to $300 for suckling feeder cattle, then I going to make darn sure those cattle are worth it.
I don't feel that the price for feeder cattle is really all that high. In fact, I fell that there is room for it to go up. The price should be fare for the buyer and the seller. The only reason I am using caution at this time is because I feel the price of cattle for sale could be unstable and there could be a chance that the price of feeder cattle will drop in the near future. It may not. We have only seen current feeder cattle pricing at this level for about 6 short months. I am going to need to see the cattle for sales pricing continue to stay at the current level for at least the next 6 months before I am truly comfortable with it.
That is not saying that I will not buy feeder cattle if the right opportunities come around. I certainly will. As I said before I am just going to be picky until I am certain the price of feeder cattle is stable. I plan to continue on working on the much needed projects around the place. I have plenty of cattle and mama cows calving, so I could have a new bottle calf any day anyway.
I took a few pictures yesterday of a week old calf and his mama as long as a few of the feeder calves.