Culling cows

Discuss upcoming sales and sale results.
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Re: Culling cows

Post by Coosh71 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:30 am

Also around here if a guy had the grass and extra pastures he could stock up on $8-900 breed heifers and $1200 young cows. I don't get the pricing being that low. Granted at the sale you don't know background, but for $800 and a good looking heifer, you could take the chance. Especially since 2 years ago the same heifer would have cost you $1800-2000. We have decided to retain about 90% of our heifers this fall and see how they look come spring.

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Re: Culling cows

Post by Stocker Steve » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:56 pm

bird dog wrote:Some very well run large ranches sell every cow over 8 years old as a bred cow. This is before they start declining, before they start calving late, and while they will still bring a good price at the sale barn. Its okay to let someone else have the last couple of calves.

I think by the time a cow is 5 to 6 years old, you know pretty well weather she can ever produce acceptable replacements. So if you are not using a terminal bull for feeders only - - then you need to consider selling her. It costs less to feed a good cow. :nod:
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Re: Culling cows

Post by Nesikep » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:47 pm

If the cow has raised exceptional calves (especially heifers that you've kept), then I keep them as long as I can and get as many daughters as possible.. My old granny Rosie had 16 calves, culled for arthritis.. didn't have much for teeth left either.. However, had I culled her at 10 from age alone, I'd be out about 5 or 6 of my best cows now.. I think it's a matter of seeing the forest through the trees.. If you hold on to the penny too hard you can't grab the nickel.. So with the old granny, she's buried here.. Yeah, so I lost a few hundred bucks there but I have a better herd because of it.
Of course this isn't endorsing keeping ordinary (or sub-par) cows longer than they're effectively productive, and different regions will age cows faster or slower.
And to anyone who says their genetics have improved so much in 1 generation that a good, proven 12 year old cow is inferior to new stock that hasn't stood the test of time, I think they're kidding themselves.
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Re: Culling cows

Post by True Grit Farms » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:04 am

I try and get value out of my cull cows. I'll sell our cows as either a pair or bred, you have a lot more buyers to choose from. If I have to bury a cow on the place I feel I've failed as a cowman, and definitely as a business man. I've always thought a bull was half of the calf, so using a good bull with known and proven EPD'S should make your heifers better each generation. Culling a good cow is a tough decision, but that good cows heifer might not pan out either. Most folks that I know that raise cattle for a living rotate cows every 10 years or less. Cull cows make up a good portion of our yearly cow income money. And selling them as slaughter only, I'd be getting slaughtered right along with the cow.
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Re: Culling cows

Post by backhoeboogie » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:15 am

13 year olds can sell as a short solid whereas a 7 or 8 year old goes as a broke mouth and I didn't know they had teeth missing.

I checked teeth when I worked them. It takes time but it lets you know where you are at. An older gal can be a better retention than one younger.
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