Cattle Today

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CATTLE TODAY

SPITZER RANCH BRANGUS BULLS SHOW STRONG NUMBERS DESPITE DROUGHT CONDITIONS

The 49 bull calves in this year's program were weighed September 15, 2007 and posted an average daily gain (ADG) of 3.11 pounds with an average weight of 814 pounds. At an average age of 270 days (9 MO), that calculates to a weight per day of age (WDA) of 3.02 pounds. These in general would be quite adequate arithmetic, but this year's calves had to suffer through five weeks out of 8 with temperatures hovering at 100 and were pretty much in dry-lot as we never did receive enough moisture to grow any crabgrass. Additionally these weights and measures include every day of their life as there is no “warm up” period. All calves were weaned off mamma, weighed and that actual weaning weight is their “on-test” weight.

These calves are led by the 25 years of selection pressure applied by the folks at Spitzer Ranch. Birth weight and growth are generally antagonistic traits. It is very, very hard to select for lower birth weights without also lowering growth potential and conversely, if you select for increased growth the bad side of that equation is usually heavier birth weights and increased calving problems. It takes tremendous discipline and hard work to select for lower birth weights and more growth at the same time! The industry calls those low birth weight - high growth potential bulls “curve benders.”

A lot of seedstock programs talk about supplying those almost impossible to create “curve bender” bulls - Spitzer Ranch produces them in volume. Fully 86 percent of these bulls have BW EPDs lower than breed average which will help lower birth weights and ensure calving ease. But, growth potential for these low BW EPD bulls is terrific with all (yes, that's 100 percent) having WW EPDs and 98 percent having YW EPDs heavier than breed average. At the same time, the maternal side of the equation has not been neglected as 84 percent of the bulls have MILK EPDs and 96 percent have TM EPDs greater than breed average. Among these 49 bull calves you will find several selections of potential Registered Herd Bull candidates with a host of top end commercial bulls filling out the list. Need bulls that sire calves with: lower birth weights? - More growth? - Daughters that will milk? - Or a combination of these traits? Give the Spitzers a call. One of their sincere pleasures is visiting with producers who understand their own cow herds and the need to find bulls to change the basic performance and profitability of those herds for whatever trait needs changing that will result in more dollars in the bank.

The 2008 edition of the Spitzer Ranch PERFORMANCE TESTED BRANGUS BULL SALE and COMMERCIAL BRANGUS “BLACK GOLD” CUSTOMER FEMALE SALE will be at 1:00 PM on Saturday, February 23, 2008 at the Martin and Martin Cattle Company, Inc. Sale Facility near Williamston, SC. Please mark your calendars and watch future issues for advertisements and News Releases concerning this event. Additionally, the Spitzers mail a Newsletter three times every year as well as a sale catalog in early February. These publications are packed with usable information and profit generating tips for commercial cattlemen. To be added to the mailing list, you can call them at 864/972-9140 or e-mail spitzeranch@mindspring.com.

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