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How to Buy Cattle

Cattle are usually bought and sold at livestock auctions. Here are some tips to help you in your bidding.


  • Step 1: Check market prices Inform yourself about market prices before you attend the auction. Plan on attending a couple of other auctions before you start bidding.
  • Step 2: Attend the auction Arrive at the auction early so you can inspect any livestock you may be interested in.
  • Step 3: Inspect the cattle Inspect the cattle carefully to make sure they are healthy and in good condition.
  • TIP: Observe the cattle at ground level -- not just from the walkway above the pens.
  • Step 4: Hire a stock agent Consider hiring a stock agent to bid for you if you are new at livestock auctions. The sale barn office can put you in touch with someone who will buy for you.
  • Step 5: Observe the auction Take a seat where you will have a good view of the bidding, and follow the sales. Hopefully you'll leave with a good purchase.
  • FACT: The ancient Romans used auctions to liquidate property and estate goods.

You Will Need

  • Auction
  • Market prices
  • Inspections
  • Stock agent
  • View of the auction
  • Ground-level view (optional)

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