Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

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Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:53 pm

NDSU - extension service
One herd split into 2 mature cow weight groups.
group A 1295 lbs
group B 1522 lbs

group A finished steers feedlot report
finished weight 1456#
hot carcass weight 851#

group B
Finished weight 1751#
hot carcass weight 1050#

The heavier carcasses have larger rib eyes, less 12th rib fat and lower marbling scores.
The lighter cow group produced steers with higher marbling and larger rib eyes per 100 lbs of body weight.


Results from a separate cow/calf stocking rate NDSU study on grassland estimated to support 50,000 lbs of cow/calf.
47 - 1100# cows - produce 47 calves weighing 535 lbs at 7 months = 25,145#
39 - 1400# cows - produce 39 calves weighing 639 lbs at 7 months = 24,921#
total 224 lbs more from the smaller cows

Combining the data from the 2 studies the expected finished carcass weights:
47 - 1100# cows will produce 34,640# of finished carcasses
39 - 1400# cows will produce 36,540#
total 1,900 lbs more from the larger cows
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby wbvs58 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 5:07 pm

Did it say how much more feed the larger cows consumed? I assume the fewer larger cows was equivalent total bodyweight to smaller cows and they assumed the feed consumption to be equal for both groups.

Interesting figures though.

Ken
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby mwj » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:02 pm

I can change cow size that much by feeding and breeding at a younger age. That would change nothing in the genetics.
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:52 pm

wbvs58 wrote:Did it say how much more feed the larger cows consumed?
I assume the fewer larger cows was equivalent total body weight to smaller cows and they assumed the feed
consumption to be equal for both groups.

Interesting figures though.

Ken

The 2 different acreage totals were estimated to produce equal total grass and to meet the needs for stocking rate
of the 47 and 39 cows, no additional feed was mentioned for either group.
Appears they did not assume equal consumption for both groups as larger cows weighed 27% more but only consumed
22% more per head. I assume they calculated a base need for both and the additional pounds aren't at a 1:1 need,
but perhaps 95%?
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:06 pm

mwj wrote:I can change cow size that much by feeding and breeding at a younger age.
That would change nothing in the genetics.

Yes, I suppose you could stunt Mature cow size by stunting some at a younger age than their herd mates.
But don't you believe that would carry over to weaning a smaller calf too?
1100# cows weaned 535# calves on average
1400# cows weaned 639# " " "


I assumed the whole herd would have been managed the same in prior years and the mature cows were divided for
the study. That would mean the lighter cows were genetically predisposed to a smaller frame size than the large cows.
Yes, No?

The carcass weight study showed mature cow weight (frame size) influenced the finished steer weights.
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:29 pm

Thinking retail end result, if added bone weight adjusted.... NET retail yield per acre would be nearly identical for
both groups. Wouldn't it? Guess any $ difference might depend on dock or premium for marbling grade. hmmm.....
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby snoopdog » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:53 pm

I don't think the retail market supports the larger ribeye cuts with less marbling , so I believe that the net yield per acre is basically identical, but what is the percentage of yield to dam weight ? I am having a little trouble with that , getting old I guess .
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:06 am

My guess is they expected to find that more calves from lighter cows would be more efficient all the way through
the production process right to the retail end product. But I think what they accidentally found is, it makes almost
no difference in the overall picture of beef production, as gains made in one area are offset by losses in another.
At least for producers that retain ownership of their calves all the way through.

The argument of which type/size of cow works best is pretty much meaningless as it all comes out in the wash.
That may not be the intent, but that is kind of my take away from it.
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby wbvs58 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:47 am

Son of Butch wrote:My guess is they expected to find that more calves from lighter cows would be more efficient all the way through
the production process right to the retail end product. But I think what they accidentally found is, it makes almost
no difference in the overall picture of beef production, as gains made in one area are offset by losses in another.
At least for producers that retain ownership of their calves all the way through.

The argument of which type/size of cow works best is pretty much meaningless as it all comes out in the wash.
That may not be the intent, but that is kind of my take away from it.


I agree Butch, that is what I concluded. I think you read between the lines well, probably not what they set out to show.

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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Ebenezer » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:24 am

How many here sell carcasses? On the cow calf side you better have some adequate frame for your market. And if you know you have certain size cows the easy fix for more or less calf size or weight is a different bull. If Wulf can take Jersey cows and make decent feedlot steers then do the same with a proper bull selection. Use other bulls to moderate or stabilize the cow herd.
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby mwj » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:01 pm

I find a lot of ''assume'' and read between the lines. Do you have anything that shows a direct link between cow size and milk production?
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Also, some research I've read brings in the cull cow income.
You also have to remember, if the results are "sorta equal", in this case, you are handling, calving, doctoring, vaccinating 8 cows more - more labor.
I really don't care if the cow is 1400# or 1600#, just so she has the right phenotype, easy fleshing, right personality (not nuts), and does a great job raising a calf.
Edit: Butch, good post.
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:00 pm

mwj wrote:I find a lot of ''assume'' and read between the lines.
Do you have anything that shows a direct link between cow size and milk production?

No, as I did not see the study report, but read article reporting study which used NDSU newsletter as source.
The author of article gave stats from study, but lack of detail left me as a reader with questions and assumptions.
Rather than reading between the lines... I prefer to consider it as analyzing the data given.

The heavier cows calves weighed 104 lbs more per calf (639 vs 535) indicating they produced more milk per hd.
47 1100# cows on same quality/tonnage pasture weaned 25,145 lbs
vs
39 1400# cows weaning 24,921 lbs

25,145 - 24,921 = 224 lbs divided by 270 days = 0.83 total per day difference for the entire group
.83 divided by average group size of 43 = 0.02 lbs per day which is a difference of only 1/50th of a pound/calf/day

Which would indicate it took 47 lighter cows to produce the same amount of milk as the 39 heavier cows.

Yes? No?
Does that help?
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:41 pm

mwj wrote:I can change cow size that much by feeding and breeding at a younger age.
That would change nothing in the genetics.

Yes, but couldn't that restrict them from reaching their full genetic potential?
Environmentally stunting them enough to create a 300 lb mature cow difference (1400 vs 1100) would seem to me
to be counter productive.
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Re: Mature Cow Size Effect On Finished Carcasses

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:02 pm

Son of Butch wrote:
mwj wrote:I can change cow size that much by feeding and breeding at a younger age.
That would change nothing in the genetics.

Yes, but couldn't that restrict them from reaching their full genetic potential?
Environmentally stunting them enough to create a 300 lb mature cow difference (1400 vs 1100) would seem to me
to be counter productive.

they would still carry the same "genetics" - but, would they not be able to have as large a calf and I would also "assume" would not be able to eat as much to produce as much milk as she would have if grown out properly.
I understand wanting a cow to "not eat as much", but you are always looking at trade-offs.
As mentioned above, it's not much, but you are also looking at a bigger salvage value.
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