What is the lifecycle of my cow?
A cow is productive for 8 years, during which time she should give birth to 7 calves. Some cows might have a longer production period, but in OACIA we continually evaluated the cow and will advise the owner accordingly. The diagram below gives an indication of the first production cycle of a cow.
What happens if my cow dies?
This is the risk of farming and you as the owner are exposed to the same risks as a commercial farmer. Your big advantage is that OACIA stands behind the operations and we can manage some situations better than a single farmer on his own.
Your risk is about 2% under normal circumstances. We have various Bio-security measures in place to prevent any terminal diseases to spread to the herds.
Can I have my cow insured?
Yes, you can, but it is very expensive, and your annual premium will be about 13.5% of the replacement value of the cow.
Commercial farmers only insure stud animals with exceptional breeding characteristics and a high market
The best way to buffer your risk is to:
- Own animals of various farms.
- Convince your friends to club together and by a group of animals and share the risk of a single death.
What if my cow does not reproduce as expected?
Our management systems will alert us immediately if a cow missed her cycle. We will call for a condition scoring and internal examination to ensure that she is in good health. If we find that she has any internal imperfection or she miss’s a two consecutive ovulation periods, we will take a decision to replace her.
The owner will be informed on email and on the phone application. She will be marketed for slaughtering as soon as we are satisfied with her condition. The income will be used to secure a new calf for the owner. We will do our best to cover all the costs with the income, but this is one of the risks of cattle ownership.
When can I sell my cow?
In the first 2 years you will make a loss. In year 3 you should break even. Thereafter you will make a profit. Why would you get out of the if your one cow can turn you into the owner of 6 more cattle. If all goes according to plan, and we will do our best to make it happen, you will own 7 cattle after 8 years. See the diagram:
Can I visit my cow?
Yes. We have an annual owner day per site. It is a joyful day to meet everybody, have a real “boere” braai. You will be informed of the dates on the mobile app and email.
Because of Bio-security reasons we do not allow random visits.
How do exit the program?
You phone our call canter, and they will try to convince you not to exit the program. Just be persistent and they will help you through the process.
We won’t keep you in the program if you really want to leave.
Explain to me the production cycle of a cow
Each cow can be unique, but here is the baseline we are using.
- A cow will be ready to be served by a bull at 18 months.
- She carries the calf for 9 months, giving birth at month 27.
- The calf will be ready for the market, if that is the choice of the owner, in 6 to 8 months. That is month 33-35 in the cycle of the cow.
- Hereafter the cow should give birth to a calf every consecutive year.
- After 8 years of production, we will advise the owner to replace the cow depending on her condition.
- The cow will normally be fattened and sold into the market for slaughter.
What are direct costs?
These are the costs to keep a cow healthy, feed during winter and dry seasons and ensure the best
reproduction possible. These should be covered by selling the male offspring.
- Medications and treatments
- Veterinarian services
- Vitamins and minerals
- Supplementary feed
- Reproduction program
- Logistics should a cow be moved from the site.
When will I need to pay more money towards my cow?
You will only be required to pay more money if the male offspring cannot cover the direct costs. Some
of the reasons for this can be:
- Severe injuries that result in high veterinarian costs
- Caving issues that require expensive medical assistance
- Drought conditions that result in high feeding costs
- Emergency circumstances that require us to move a herd
How is the price of an animal determined?
On commercial herds, we use the weight of the animal against the National Red Meat Prices of South Africa. You can see these weekly prices on your mobile application.
In studs herds, the price is determined by local auction prices and the demand for breeding stock.