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Author Topic : Ultimate Newbie Guide
 CO International
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2/14/2016 10:19:32 AM reply with quote send message to CO International Object to Post   

this post has been edited 4 time(s)

A lot of people come to ask the same questions so I’ve put together a guide to help you through the first weeks of your ranch. I enjoy this game very much, it is extremely fun and rewarding and I hope you will enjoy it too.

Here is another post to help beginners: www.showcattle.com/forum/read.aspx?id=54790

A couple of notes:
1. If you are here to make a quick buck this is the wrong game for you. This is a game of strategy and takes time. Also, money isn't so easy to come by and it takes time to make enough to cover expenses, so use your money wisely.

2. Don’t cheat. You will get fined or banned. I'll try and update this as I get more information. Edit - more clarity on cheating kindly provided by Hodg Farms:

quote
posted by Hodg Farms
Those getting fined are taking money from basic ranches and funneling it into their premium ranch. That is fraud on this game. Don't do that and you should be fine. (they make a new basic ranch to buy semen from their premium ranch, giving them the money from the new basic ranch)

If you have more than one premium ranch, don't transfer all money/cattle from Ranch B to Ranch A and then let Ranch B go basic. That is also fraud as you are then "padding" your premium account.

If you must buy cattle from one account to the next, such as recips or something, pay at least market price. Preferably, pay what others would pay for them. And you should be fine.
Unfortunately, there are no hard written rules regarding multiple accounts and what is ok and what's not ok. "Rules" have changed over the years. As of now, the above is what a lot of people with multiple accounts do and they've all been fine.

3. Be polite and courteous. We are here to enjoy our cattle.

4. This guide is for premium players and a lot of the options won’t be available for basic players (but the same principles can be applied).

5. If there is a * in front of a sentence it’s my personal experience or opinion.

6. Check on the age of a post before you comment. Some posts are ancient and the game has already been changed. There will be no dairy cattle.

Starting off:
You are provided free of charge with 5 source cattle: 4 cows and a bull as well as $10000.

Selecting the breed is up to you.

Something to keep in mind is this great study done by British Breeders - www.showcattle.com/forum/read.aspx?id=74725

The quality of the cattle will be too poor to do anything with apart from selling for meat. *You can pick up a better quality bull for not too expensive depending on the breed; however, you must keep a bull on your farm for live breeding. Hang on to your source cattle at the beginning.

Bulls can only cover from 31 days.

A cow comes into estrus. When she turns 30 days, she will turn green and you can breed her. She will be pregnant for 7 days. Embryo flushes or transfers should be kept for green cycle only.

On day 1 after the calf is born, she will turn yellow and will take from a live mating. Your cows can then produce a calf every week. If the cow is not bred, she will turn yellow again on day 5 (at this stage she will take to AI) and will turn green again on day 9.

If she is not bred she will remain open with the option to implant a V-CIDR. Do not use this option until later.

* If I could do it over, I would buy some High Frame Gelbvieh (HF GV) heifer calves from a reputable breeder. They go for somewhere between $450 - $600. Buy 15 to 20. Buy one High Frame bull calf (or bull) that is not related. Wait for them to grow up. That is your starter herd that will quickly give some returns. More information on www.showcattle.com/forum/read.aspx?id=74725

Watch your COI (referring to inbreeding). It is expressed as a percentage on the animal’s page. It should stay below 15% as higher than that will lead to breeding problems.

Basic players cannot buy by private treaty, offer on pens or turn an offer to buy on an animal and are limited to buying at $1 per pound.

Common mistakes:

Do not buy semen, no matter how cheap. You won’t use it until much later and by then your requirements will have changed.

Do not implant V-CIDRs. They are for synchronizing estrus in embryo transfers.

Do not flush embryos. It’s too expensive at the start and it's doubtful you will have cattle that would justify the expense.

Do not dehorn/castrate. It has no effect on showing/value/beef production.

Do not feed anything but open range. More will be discussed on feeding later but this is the most economical way to feed.

Do not enter any shows. Your cattle will not be competitive and it is quite expensive at $20 per entry. You can only enter one show per animal every day.

Do not go mad at auction. You are looking for cheap cattle – and even the cheapest at auction will be too expensive at the beginning.

Keep notes on any offers you put in, as the game will not record it for you. Also make notes on cattle pages. You can make a note on any animal's page, even if it doesn't belong to you and the game will record that.

Do not let anyone have access to your account unless you know and trust them.

Try and get as much cash as you can before you specialize in breeds. You’ll need a considerable amount if you want to buy into quality cattle.

I’m taking the general structure from the help pages – go and read them for further information.

Animal Information Page

The general traits are not used so much anymore. Pay attention to the Detailed Traits.
Cattle Age - most reach 400 days but some go over 600. Breeding animals can breed until they die.
BW stands for Birth Weight and WW stands for Weaning Weight. Higher birth weights leads to more calf deaths.

Breeding

There are two styles of breeding:

High frame cattle – which grows the quickest and can be sold to the packer much earlier. However, they are not good show cattle as the large frames makes them inappropriate and they will not be competitive in the show ring.

The other style is for breeding the “perfect” show animal. Frame should be 7. Front and Hind legs should be 8. The different breeds have different values for the rest of the traits. Most breeders show their cattle so it's handy to go throught the current show results to see what is the latest stats for most breeds to see where the ideal values for those breeds are.


Pregnancy Abortion

About 5% of cows lose the calf somewhere in the pregnancy. *She will go green and you can breed her immediately. Calves will also be born dead and is often related to the birth weight of the calf. I don't know what the maximum birth weights are but the heaviest I've had survive was 109 lb. Aim for below 100 lb - look at both the cow and bull's birth weights if you are having problems. Personally I've had a higher rate of calf losses with High Frame cattle.

More on embryo transfers:

It costs $500 to collect embryos and $300 per cow to implant.
*Embryo transfers are very unpredictable. Somedays I have cows/heifers that take the first time around and other days it takes up to three embryos.

Syncronizing cows are done with a V-CIDR. This is especially handy if you want all your calves to arrive on the same day. You can implant one V-CIDR per day into a cow and she will come into estrus the next day. Depending on when she last calved and how close she is to day 9 of her cycle will determine if she is yellow or green the following day.

Feeding Your Cattle

Feeding your cattle anything but open range is not necessary unless you show. There is a link between better feeding and more daily weight gain. (Edit - Please see post below from British Breeders regarding more information.) Thus let the animals run on open range until they hit $1000 or more. Send the boys to the packer and keep the girls as replacements or recipients for embryo transfer or to grow your herd.

Kindly provided by Hodg Farms:
Cattle start losing value once they go over 1500 lbs. Which is why you should market feeder bull calves/steers before they reach 1500 lbs.

Black cattle get a $2 per lb bonus.

For breeding cattle, that doesnt' matter because their value is not in how much they bring at market. Their value is in their progeny production.

Once you have show quality animals, you can start changing your feed. Feeding breeding animals Premium Show Mix gives an even account for all traits in breeding animals and makes culling easier.

Edit - Here is a very nice explaination by Hodg Farms:

quote
posted by Hodg Farms
Cattle numbers max out at 40 days. The numbers depend on the breed, their genetics and what they were fed. TRUE 40 day muscle is when the animal was fed the game ration called Premium Show Mix from 0-40 days old. After 40 days, the muscle starts to drop until somewhere between 150-170 days old and then it starts going back up again and increases until death. The rate it drops and increases is different for every animal, so there is no real way to compare muscle unless you know the 40-day numbers. This is why the 40 day numbers are recorded and the feed used, noted. Most reputable breeders only use Premium Show Mix for their breeding animals. (Customs is really meant for Show Steers and Market Heifers only)

You can get higher muscle in your breeding stock by using Customs, but this is highly frowned upon by most players as it is not considered the "true" muscle. The breeder of that bull was known to use Customs in their breeding stock. So, the muscle looked better than it actually was.



What does it mean when you score an animal and how do you calculate that score? Answer kindly provided by Stipe Farms: Add up the 40 day stats of Muscle, bone, cap, and neck.

Leave custom feeding out of your breeding program unless you are not planning on selling them in the future. Custom feeding is for steer showing/market heifers. The perfect condition is 7. Playing around with custom feeding for steers can be useful in the show ring as steers earn the biggest prize money.

More info on custom feeding can be found here:
www.showcattle.com/forum/read.aspx?id=78932
www.showcattle.com/forum/read.aspx?id=80765&recordnum=0

Here is another post regarding steers and shows - terminal shows are on the 15th and 30th day of the month.
www.showcattle.com/forum/read.aspx?id=81518

Ranch Management and AU Fees

Once you go over 150 head, you will be charged $30 per day per AU unit or more depending on if your balance is above $300 000.

Stay under 150 until you have enough cash to cover the AU fees. If your ranch goes more than $10 000 in debt, some of your cattle will be sold off to cover the costs.

Once you go over a 1000 cattle, you will lose random cattle every night.

A nice explanation by Wildcat Creek to those getting closer to AU limits:
quote
posted by Wildcat Creek
My best advise is to choose whether you're going to run a feedlot or a cow/calf. Dont try to do both. When you keep back your own feedlot calves, you add up AUs quickly. Either keep all of your breeders and sell the offspring the day their born, or sell off all your breeders and start a feedlot stocked with new calves each month. There are benefits to both:

Cow calf operations allow for steady profit (about every 8 days if you breed females back the after they calve. Use the bulk breeding tool to do this). Your paychecks are steady, but youll have to find a steady buyer. The biggest problem is that cow calves are becoming more popular so there are more calves than the feedlots can handle.

I'd advise you to start a feedlot. You don't have to sort calves every 8 days and you simply buy, grow, send to the packer, and buy more. It is riskier since you can't control the market, but it's a whole hell of a lot easier to manage. Plus, finding calves is incredibly easy since there are too many cow calf operations.



Choice of state has no relevance except for showing purposes.

I hope this helps. More experienced members are welcome to add or comment and I’ll edit the document appropriately.


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Last edited by CO International on 2/15/2016 3:21:17 AM

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Last edited by CO International on 2/18/2016 10:17:55 AM

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Last edited by CO International on 2/29/2016 12:04:03 PM

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Last edited by CO International on 4/25/2016 8:50:30 AM
 Warner
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2/14/2016 10:21:47 AM reply with quote send message to Warner Object to Post

this post has been edited 1 time(s)

Dude...

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Last edited by Warner on 5/11/2016 7:51:55 AM
 CO International
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2/14/2016 10:26:18 AM reply with quote send message to CO International Object to Post

What can I say - I'm a perfectionist. And I'm not a dude - I'm a girl. razz :p
 Hodg Farms
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2/14/2016 3:40:22 PM reply with quote send message to Hodg Farms Object to Post

So what ranch did you have before. Because there is no way you could know what you know playing only 17 days.
 CO International
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2/15/2016 1:07:14 AM reply with quote send message to CO International Object to Post

I read all the posts in all the forums and asked some experienced players who were kind enough to explain.

I just summarized all that was said in the various forums on one page.
 British Breeders
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2/15/2016 3:04:47 AM reply with quote send message to British Breeders Object to Post

quote
posted by CO International

Feeding Your Cattle

Feeding your cattle anything but open range is not necessary unless you show. There is no link between better feeding and more daily weight gain. Thus let the animals run on open range until they hit $1000 or more. With the HF GV they should be there in about 30 days.

There actually is a link between feed and weight gain BUT it's not economical to feed anything other than Open Range to feeders. Animals fed on PSM compared to Open Range will have a higher ADG but for PSM costing 12x the price they will not gain 12x the weight.

Also a HF Gelb will hit $1000 (depending on market) at around 18-20 days and 1500lbs at 35-36 days.
 Ocean Front Farms
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2/15/2016 3:05:23 AM reply with quote send message to Ocean Front Farms Object to Post

At 17 days of playing, I was still trying to figure out how the basics of this game worked, let alone knowing how to tell who the experienced players were and how to message them among other things. My hats off to you if you were able to figure all of it out, but it sure seems like you have played before. To me and many others.
 CO International
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2/15/2016 3:13:08 AM reply with quote send message to CO International Object to Post

Thanks British Breeders.

I've never played before, but 17 (now 18) days is a loooooong time to wait for my cattle to grow up.
 Hodg Farms
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2/15/2016 4:26:33 PM reply with quote send message to Hodg Farms Object to Post

They had over 50 head in less than a week of signing up. They aren't new.
 The Yellow Rose
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2/17/2016 12:42:17 PM reply with quote send message to The Yellow Rose Object to Post

Hodg, you don't have any proof of that and I don't personally see how it matters.

She is not any of the trouble makers we have seen in the past and from the looks of it has put a lot of time into helping others with this post. No need to hijacked it and call an enthusiastic player new or old a liar.
 Hodg Farms
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2/17/2016 3:58:34 PM reply with quote send message to Hodg Farms Object to Post

quote
posted by The Yellow Rose
Hodg, you don't have any proof of that and I don't personally see how it matters.

She is not any of the trouble makers we have seen in the past and from the looks of it has put a lot of time into helping others with this post. No need to hijacked it and call an enthusiastic player new or old a liar.

Someone else, in chat, pointed out how many head they had a few days after signing up. So, bring it up with them.
 Hodg Farms
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2/17/2016 4:16:00 PM reply with quote send message to Hodg Farms Object to Post

www.showcattle.com/forum/read.aspx?id=80561


THAT right there is why I said they aren't new. They said so, themselves.

quote
posted by CO International II
I played a few years back when the game started, but felt that it was too restrictive. I'm back again and I really like it. I've bred my cows and sent old Bucky to the packers as I found some very nice bull semen which I'm keeping for next time. However, since I don't have a stud bull anymore, I'll only be able to breed one cow a month (as opposed to bulk breeding) is that correct? Is there any way of getting youngstock to raise and sell. I keep on getting outbid on calves? Thanks for the help.
 The Yellow Rose
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2/17/2016 4:49:27 PM reply with quote send message to The Yellow Rose Object to Post

Well there you go. Thanks for backing it up hodg and maybe add it to the guide Co that people don't like it when people don't tell the truth.

Otherwise good guide. I'm sure you will find more things to add.
 CO International
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2/18/2016 1:50:38 AM reply with quote send message to CO International Object to Post

I played Bucking bull at that time. I didn't play Showcattle.

I was completely lost with Bucking Bull, as I have no knowledge of bucking bulls or their requirements. Also, at that time there was no newbie help guide. So I played for about a week then moved on and found Equination - a racehorse game which I have been playing for 6 years.

A few weeks ago I was looking for a cattle breeding sim and found this one and realized it was by the same people who runs Bucking Bull. I have never played, but I'm really enjoying it.

This is by the by though - I hope the newbie guide helps new players enjoy the game as much as I do and still value any input from experienced players.
 CO International
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2/29/2016 12:06:13 PM reply with quote send message to CO International Object to Post

** Updated
 CO International
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4/25/2016 8:53:21 AM reply with quote send message to CO International Object to Post

** Updated
 petsathome
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5/10/2016 6:05:32 PM reply with quote send message to petsathome Object to Post

great guide
 Liberty Fall Farms
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9/24/2016 4:54:08 AM reply with quote send message to Liberty Fall Farms Object to Post

great guide.
 Admiral Cockburn Ranch
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9/25/2016 10:02:39 AM reply with quote send message to Admiral Cockburn Ranch Object to Post

Hodg is a nosey parker troublemaker.
 Honey Rock Ranch
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3/20/2018 12:43:25 PM reply with quote send message to Honey Rock Ranch Object to Post

Bump... Good info here for new players.
 CO Beef
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7/28/2019 6:29:54 AM reply with quote send message to CO Beef Object to Post

I'm so glad this guide helped a lot of people. There is a great community of players here and I think a lot of people had the goal of just owning some lovely cattle.

I played in 2016/2017 and left frustrated as after a year I still felt like I had made no progress. There were a lot of glitches and accessing good genetics was difficult (even with lots of money).

I came back a few months ago to see if any of the issues were fixed. It seems like none have. In fact as a basic it's almost impossible to buy any cattle on auction and makes the game very boring. But I will not be paying for a family account as I have found a better game.

I promised myself that I would come back to tell people if I did find one. And I did - https://www.simagri.com/index.php?lang=1

SimAgri is cheaper to subscribe, offers way more options and you can milk cows! You can keep beef cattle, dairy cattle, chickens, pigs, goats and sheep among others.

SimAgri doesn't allow crossbreeding of cows and it takes 240 days for a cow to reach maturity in comparison to Showcattle's 40. That's the only down side of SimAgri vs Showcattle.

A word of warning though with SimAgri - money needs to be spent wisely as it's not easy to come by when you start but I cannot recommend it enough. For the true cattle breeders (and farmers) the game is so rewarding and you do not have to rely on other players if you don't want to.

I'm on the American server there under CO Int if anyone has questions.

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