Left Handed Logic – Figuring per Calf Costs

When figuring year-end expenses it is normal to put them on a per cow basis.  This is fine, but now, it is time to figure these costs against the number of animals sold.  The ones actually paying th

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3 thoughts on “Left Handed Logic – Figuring per Calf Costs

  1. Thanks for publishing Chip’s article. Those who don’t have his books need to read and think about what he’s trying to get across. Chip is amazingly right on the mark with the “true” cost of cow production as well as other PROFIT based ranching concepts. He’ll challenge you to think outside the box with all of his ideas! Great stuff who’s time has surely come…!

  2. Great article. However over many years, we shouldn’t omit the value of the cull cows. Way back when, (spreadsheets were a new thing and calves were under 50 cents a lb, sometimes way under), I realized that the calves paid for maintenance of the herd and the only profit was in the cull cows. Thankfully things are better now but it points out that carrying a cow too long costs on both income and expense as older cows lose weight and value at the market.

    One other comment is that I tried to calculate cost/acre. In our area, I ended up using opportunity cost (what I could rent the land to somebody else for grain production) on cropable land and calculating taxes, lime, fertilizer etc. on land that wasn’t suitable for crop land. It’s an interesting exercise, and scary at times.

    1. Hi Bill,

      I left out the cull cows so the focus was just on that one thing. I wanted people to realize just how much load the calves that were sold had to carry. I do different exercises to point out things that are most times missed.

      I agree the cull cows are important in the general scheme, and there is a lot of discussion on when is the best time to turn them. I have another book and a workbook that carry my thoughts farther.

      Thanks for the reply,

      Chip Hines

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