I've just been to our local sales (Carterton). A few weeks ago I was astounded that people are paying up to $280 for feeder calves! Sure they were nice big Hereford x with white faces but how on earth do you make any money? wouldn't you be better off buying weaners for $350 skipping the bags of milk power and museli, time (TLC) and risk of scours and death?
I picked up some nice Frisian calves today for $35 quite happy with my purchase.
What are the prices for calves going where you are?
We use to do Friesian bull calves, but changed to doing Jersey Bull calves for the diary industry, because there was not really any money in the Friesians, $80-$125 for calf then add to that milk powder, pellets, debudding, medicines, very rarely lost any with scours and taking them through to be sold as yearlings at good weights, that the finishers didn't want to pay good money for them, even though they would be finished before the Autumn. There is a few more costs with the Jersey bulls (from a pedigree herd) but $50 a calf, less milk powder because we went too having 10 Jersey cows, which we milk and run a jersey bull with them, so we get calves which cover the cost of the cows, still have pellets, debudding have to add BVD/EBL blood test, BVD vaccination. We are paid a lease for the yearlings, then the ones that we don't want back get sold in January, the ones we get back we take through to 2yr olds then sold for $1600-1800. By the end of October all bulls are gone. We don't do big numbers of calves 70 max, we have been rearing calves for 16 years now.
I paid $125 for a good Friesian /Angus X bull calf and $60 for Murray Grey/Friesian/Jersey X bull calves. Have been told that some beef crosses, I assume Hereford/Friesian X are $150 plus, this is South Island not the high North Island prices.