The Best Ways To Buy Cattle At An Auction

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Most cattle are bought and sold through the auction mart or, as some call it, the “sale barn.” for many it is the last destination before getting to slaughter. For others it’s just another stop where they’re exchanged from one owner to the other. You, hopefully, will be that “other” owner where you’re able to purchase the cattle you want to buy through an auction.

Find Healthy Cattle

Another important factor when buying cattle at auction is finding healthy animals. Animals with signs of disease are usually culled before auction day, but you’ll occasionally see a calf with noticeable bumps, bruises, patches missing from his hide, or other issues. Sometimes these happen during transport or at the auction barn, but they will even be a symbol of a much bigger underlying issue. don’t purchase unhealthy animals unless you’re an experienced cattle buyer.

Determine Age

The more experience you gain with livestock, the better it’s to work out the age of an animal by watching them. Experienced horsemen, for instance , can often guess a horse’s age just by watching his top line or back and at the eyes and legs, which both show telltale signs of aging.

Cattle are not any different. once you learn all you’ll about specific breeds of cattle, you’ll get to understand what a healthy specimen seems like at a specific age. Knowing the way to spot a two-year old Angus or Hereford at a particular desirable weight may be a great skill which will prevent time at the auction barn. Although the animals are going to be grouped by age or breed, it’ll assist you narrow down your choices quickly.

Watch out for seasoned cattle buyers

Realize that some buyers do that for a living–buying thousands of cattle for others. They know better that the occasional buyer what the worth of every group of animals is. Larger more uniform groups are worth more so buying smaller groups or singles could also be an honest thanks to start. If you’re at a personal ranch bull and/or female sale most of the cattle are going to be sold individually or in small groups and a purchase catalog with tons of data are going to be available. make certain to arrive an hour or two before the sale to offer you time to look at the cattle and make some selections that you simply would really like to shop for . Know what your price limit is and the way many head you would like so you’ll plan you bidding.

Always attempt to place winning bids on a minimum of two cattle at an auction

Cattle are, by nature, herd instinct animals. they’re not comfortable alone so any single animal purchases should be unloaded into a pen with other cattle to stay them calmer and help them suits their new home.

  • Remember, you purchase them you own them. The cattle you buy become your property as soon as you place a winning bid on them. So be prepared to haul them home and have a corral for unloading them unless other arrangements are made.

Before the sale, go round the back where the pens are to possess a glance at the cattle being sold

Calmly walk around and study the animals that are sorted into each pen and assess whether or not they have the potential to be an honest purchases for you or not. Note body condition scores, conformation (if applicable–especially if you’re eager to buy breeding animals), health status, temperament, and number of like animals within the pen that are likely getting to be sold within the auction.

All pens will have variety related to them. Note what number[s] of the pens you discover the sort of animals you’re curious about in order that you recognize what are getting to be bidding for when the auction begins. All pens usually have tons number (i.e., Lot #12) attached.

Buy your bidding ticket

you’ll need this if you’re getting to have a hope of buying a number of the animals you would like . you’ll got to purchase this at the front desk or service counter where current market prices are viewed and where tons of the accounting work is completed .

Your ticket usually features a number thereon . this is often to spot you as a bidder when the auction goes on and you’re getting to get into a “bidding war” with variety of other individuals which will have an interest within the same animal[s] as you.

See the auction through

The results of an auction can go two ways: either tons will get sold to you, or not. It all depends on how hard you’re bidding, whether you’re bidding in the least and what price the animals eventually get sold at. If you get what you would like , great! If not, then there’s always another sale and another set of cattle to bid on.


  • Use your gut instinct to inform if you discover the animals you would like or think that a gaggle of animals may choose more (or less) than you would like .
  • It would even be advisable to notice how the animals are treated by the people hired to sort and convey the cattle into the sale ring. Often the worst handling and worst handlers bring out the worst in an animal, bringing prices down. this will and is predicted to happen at any livestock auction, so remember .
  • Always view the livestock before you enter the sale. Give yourself a half-hour to an hour before the beginning of the sale to offer yourself time to seem over the animals and make your decision.
  • Auctions are actually a bidding war. You set a bid, you stick with it, and check out to out-bid those that have an interest within the same thing you’re . Hence, always remember that emotions don’t belong during a bidding war.


  • Buyer beware: Having your heart on your sleeve won’t get you the simplest animals. do not feel pitying any of the animals that appear sick, very thin, or wild and think you’ll “fix” them if you’re taking them home. you would possibly find yourself with problems that cannot be fixed or, if they will be fixed, you’ll spend thousands of dollars trying to repair them–money which will be spent elsewhere. you’ll not accept as true with this warning, but it’s something worth brooding about if your finances are limited and you do not have tons of free time or money kicking around. Also note that you simply might eventually find yourself with a animal or having to resell it because it’s an excessive amount of for you.
  • Don’t expect to form friends at an auction. Acquaintances are fine, but if you are going to be bidding against these people, you best reconsider making new friends.
The Best Ways To Buy Cattle At An Auction

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