Anytime someone is interested in buying Brahman, price is always one of the first questions that comes up. Just like any other breed of cattle, you can buy Brahman cattle all throughout the south, any day of the week, at all price points ranging from super cheap to as expensive as you’d like to pay. If you are thinking of buying Brahman heifers, here are a few tips we’d like to share.
In general, if we are buying Brahman cattle, we try to use the rule of thumb that we want to be able to make a full return on our investment from a female by selling 3 to 5 of her calves. So, let’s say you buy a $5000 Brahman female, if you think you can sell her calves for $1000 to $1666 per head – and she can stay in your herd long enough to calve 3 to 5 times, then your’e good. And, that price point is definitely attainable no matter what level of calves you are waiting or where you are marketing your cattle.
It’s also to keep in mind the longevity of Brahman cattle. Brahmans tend to have longer productive lives compared to other breeds, so, once you area “in the clear” with paying off your initial investment, a Brahman cow that stays in your herd for 10 years is going to add a lot of extra profit from the more calves she produces.
So using that example, you can see why it’s somewhat of a no-brainer to invest in Brahman cattle, especially at an affordable price point. But, what about when you want to upgrade and select Brahman females at a higher price point?
Well, the same thought process can apply. Let’s say you are purchasing $10,000 Brahman heifers. With the same thought process, you would need to sell your first 3 to 5 calves for somewhere around $3500 to make a return on your investment in the first 5 years. With the demand for Brahman cattle – especially females – being so strong, again, this is a likely attainable goal.
Let’s say you want to buy a $20,000 show heifer prospect. While it may not directly bring income to your bottom line, truthfully you can’t put a price tag on the memories and experiences your family will gain by showing cattle. Then, once you finish showing the heifer, you can put her into a breeding program or embryo program and begin recouping some of your investment.
Incorporating embryo transfer is another way to increase the number of calves produced by a female to get a greater return on your investment, especially when you start thinking of investing in cattle above the $10,000 price point. By using embryo transfer, you can maximize the great females of your herd to get higher quality calves, raise more calves, and focus on quality. We use and recommend TransOva Genetics for our embryo transfer program and use Dr. Cody Pohler of Wharton Vet Clinic as our guides in our reproductive program.
We also like to consider the “fringe benefits” of owning Brahman cattle as well. Before investing in cattle, speak with your tax advisor or accountant to discuss this business venture. There is also a great deal of personal satisfaction that comes from raising Brahman cattle – especially good ones – and seeing the beautiful cattle in your pasture. So owning Brahmans not only gives you financial benefits, but also a lot of personal emotional benefits as well. Raising Brahman cattle also creates opportunities for families and friends to get together and spend time outdoors, which is also very rewarding.
Here at BRC, we have two principles in pricing our Brahman cattle. First, we believe in quality. The cattle we sell are all going to start off with a noteworthy pedigree – meaning both a sire and dam that are easily recognizable by name and lineage. Many of our Brahman heifers are going to be sired by leading AI sires, some of which you cannot buy semen on directly in the USA making them more valuable. They are also going to meet our strict standards for quality meaning good feet and legs, good breed character, and good overall quality with a manageable disposition.
Second, we are going to price our cattle fairly according to quality. Typically, we offer the top cut of our calf crops in an online sale, which sets the price for the remainder of the heifers for sale. For example, if our online sale of our top end averages $15,000 per head, then the next best heifers at the ranch are going to be priced from $12,500 and down. If the online sale averages $20,000, then the heifers at the ranch are going to start at $15,000 and lower.
When we start sorting our heifers into price points – which for us are $5000 and up – we use a team of at least three people. This is always Brandon Cutrer, and then the other team members may be Rachel, Harley, little Frank, or even outside consultants we bring in for another set of eyes. This gives us multiple opinions on the cattle’s strengths and weaknesses. The factors we use in sorting the heifers are pedigree, overall quality, disposition and breed character.
And sometimes, heifers will fool you. Let’s say we make our initial sorts at weaning, but certain heifers maybe were out of a first-calf heifer, and didn’t get as much milk. Sometimes these heifers really “come on” 30 to 60 days on feed. Or, sometimes younger heifers of the calf crop may be a little “greener” than others at the time of sorting. So, we really believe there is good quality in every single price pen.
Our goal is that all of our BRC customers are able to make that 3-5 year return on investment we believe in ourselves, so that they continue to come to BRC year in and year out for their Brahman needs.
If you’re thinking off adding Brahman cattle to your herd, we’d love to discuss a game plan with you and show you the Brahman cattle we have for sale at the ranch. You can check out our sale page here, or fill out a “Buy a Brahman” estimate and tell us specifically what you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to help you.