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Oldtimer

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PostSubject: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:38 pm

Strategies Developed for More Efficient Beef Cattle Production
By Sharon Durham
January 19, 2011
Reducing the amount of feed given to young female cows called heifers can result in more efficient use of nutrients for growth and reproduction, according to studies conducted by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) animal scientist Andrew Roberts and his colleagues at the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Mont., found that the heifers they fed to lower target weights than those traditionally recommended consumed 27 percent less feed over the winter months, and gained weight more efficiently throughout the postweaning period and subsequent grazing season. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency.

According to Roberts, this strategy of providing less feed may reduce costs of developing each replacement heifer by more than $31 and extend their lifespan, with important ramifications for lifetime efficiency and profitability. Feed represents 50 to 55 percent of total costs of developing replacement heifers.

In their study, begun in 2001, heifers were divided into two lifetime treatment groups: The control group was fed according to industry guidelines, and the restricted group was fed (on a body-weight basis) 80 percent of feed consumed by their control counterparts for 140 days, ending when they were 1 year old. The restricted heifers grew slower and weighed less at any point in time as a consequence of less feed. Final pregnancy rates were 87 percent for restricted heifers and 91 percent for controls.

According to Roberts, restricting feed allows nature to decide which heifers were reproductively efficient: Less efficient heifers would eventually fail to reproduce and be culled if restricted, whereas feeding more would keep them in production but result in more expense for the producer.

Read more about this research in the January 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2011/110119.htm
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larkota



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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:33 pm

didnt have to spend money on research. all I did was take notes and watched what Jack did. guess what - either ARS or Jack is right.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:01 pm

larkota wrote:
didnt have to spend money on research. all I did was take notes and watched what Jack did. guess what - either ARS or Jack is right.

I started about 10 years ago out of necessity one winter when the snow got so deep I couldn't get into the lot to get feed to the heifers- so just opened the gate and turned them loose with the cows- and told them they had to grow up fast... Heifers did well- bred up good- and since starting I've had way less open 2nd or 3rd calvers...
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:22 am

heifers here are getting too fat; my handiest, sometimes only feed, is good feed...or real poor feed...hard to get to a stabalized 80% ration; but will try in the future...
but still, shouldn`t the title here be, "Raising cattle efficiency" rather than "Raising efficient cattle" ?...the latter seems to imlpy genetics,...maybe the sort is genetic, but it seems more a management practice?
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:37 am

MKeeney wrote:
heifers here are getting too fat; my handiest, sometimes only feed, is good feed...or real poor feed...hard to get to a stabalized 80% ration; but will try in the future...
but still, shouldn`t the title here be, "Raising cattle efficiency" rather than "Raising efficient cattle" ?...the latter seems to imlpy genetics,...maybe the sort is genetic, but it seems more a management practice?

I'm convinced its a matter of both-- genetics bred for efficiency and cattle brought up and taught to live efficiently early ...
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:42 am

Oldtimer wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
heifers here are getting too fat; my handiest, sometimes only feed, is good feed...or real poor feed...hard to get to a stabalized 80% ration; but will try in the future...
but still, shouldn`t the title here be, "Raising cattle efficiency" rather than "Raising efficient cattle" ?...the latter seems to imlpy genetics,...maybe the sort is genetic, but it seems more a management practice?

I'm convinced its a matter of both-- genetics bred for efficiency and cattle brought up and taught to live efficiently early ...

IMO, the feeding regime might cull for efficiency, and therefore, have a genetic effect...If you breeding for efficiency, tell me a bull that sires feed efficient heifers...
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Mean Spirit



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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:21 am

I think I'm with you mike. What they're doing is feeding efficient cattle, not breeding them. Nothing wrong with it, but I'm fairly confidant that you could do that for a couple generations, then pluck some of the progeny out and give them full feed in a show barn, and watch all that progress go away.

I guess as I think about it, mr. Darwin would say that you would get somewhere with this if the regime was strict enough that some failed and the failures came out of the gene pool before reproducing. I think there's some work on that more recent than Darwin. But I'm pretty sure the DNA wouldn't change very quickly-- you and me and my kids and theirs would all be working on this one. I guess we should get started.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:01 am

A little pressure will identify the more functionally efficient individuals. If these cattle are bred closely, wouldn't that start genetic change?
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:00 pm

MKeeney wrote:
Oldtimer wrote:
MKeeney wrote:
heifers here are getting too fat; my handiest, sometimes only feed, is good feed...or real poor feed...hard to get to a stabalized 80% ration; but will try in the future...
but still, shouldn`t the title here be, "Raising cattle efficiency" rather than "Raising efficient cattle" ?...the latter seems to imlpy genetics,...maybe the sort is genetic, but it seems more a management practice?

I'm convinced its a matter of both-- genetics bred for efficiency and cattle brought up and taught to live efficiently early ...

IMO, the feeding regime might cull for efficiency, and therefore, have a genetic effect...If you breeding for efficiency, tell me a bull that sires feed efficient heifers...

The first bull/bloodline that jumped into mind is 6807- and then OCC Emblazon and some of the OCC bulls....Some of the Wye's seem to have the ability to convert feed and maintain condition...Altho I haven't had that much experience with them, I doubt if the Shoshone cattle have lived a pampered life- and over years of survival of the fittest have the genetics to be easier keeping... From what I've seen- the Cole Creek cattle aren''t babyied...

I have a couple of neighbors that swear by Diamond D genetics- and I do have to admit their cattle definitely maintain their shape in some tough conditions right up on the Canadian border (the other day they were trying to find a big enough Cat to plow a trail so they could move them from one pasture to another)....Where some bulls melt away while breeding- theirs come in looking great...
And if you look at Diamond D's herd- that is what you see - predominently OCC, Wye, and Shoshone breeding...

Another line of cattle that I think got sorted by survivabilty years ago was the N Bar cattle... I have a half dozen N Bar Prime Time D806 daughters that will have their first calves this spring-- and so far I'm pleased with what I've seen... We'll see how they do when raising a calf...

I have no doubt that genetics plays a role in efficiency... Just like the "easy keeper" horses...We would have 20-30 horses/mares- feed the same amount- and some would get fat as hogs while others remained pretty thin...And when you looked at the "easy keeper" fat ones they usually were from the same genetic tree...
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:26 pm

OT,
I`ve just had a good ass chewing for still knowing toooooo little about inbreeding...so normally, I would relieve my burning sensation by spreading some of it to you...and though you are just as deserving for the rather ridiculous statement above as I was about inbreeding, my re-education was so noteworthy, that I`m in a good mood, and going to let you figure it out and tell us why cattle that stay fat aren`t neccessarily efficient. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:42 pm

MKeeney wrote:
OT,
I`ve just had a good ass chewing for still knowing toooooo little about inbreeding...so normally, I would relieve my burning sensation by spreading some of it to you...and though you are just as deserving for the rather ridiculous statement above as I was about inbreeding, my re-education was so noteworthy, that I`m in a good mood, and going to let you figure it out and tell us why cattle that stay fat aren`t neccessarily efficient. Smile

Not fat- but cattle that maintain good condition when enviromental conditions aren't the greatest- and not look like the last of the 5000...

Talking of fat- one of the things I look at in the ultrasound is the fat...And instead of wanting the no/low fat layer bulls/cattle like the performance folks want --living up here on the Hi-line, which is historically the Little Siberia of Montana, I want some fat....
And today with a temp hovering around 0 and a 25-30 mph ENE wind producing a windchill of minus 20 is a good example of why....
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OAK LANE FARM



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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:51 pm

I just hauled off a couple of the stay fat and shiny cows, one a Red Angus and the other a Black. They were less efficeint because they were significantly less productive. There are a significant number of breeders now admiting that one of the bloodlines being promoted as an efficiency line is really an inefficiency line. One half of the females don't milk and they are a tremendous source of appetite. My previous statement is probably wrong- the line I am talking about may be inferior from maternal efficiency standpoint but superior from the standpoint of terminal efficiency. I read the Miles City stuff the day before this thread was started and I think some cattle might benifit from that treatment and some would fail at a high rate .
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:16 pm

Not sure just what lines are most efficient--but I can definitely tell you one breed that wasn't for me... That was the limousins...

Back years ago when the continental kick was taking off I AIed to some Limousin bulls- kept some heifers and had a trainwreck with them... When the gentle northern breezes were blowing on those subzero days-- those cows would stand in the corral behind a wind break shivering all day long and beller- when the angus and hereford cows were out grazing away... I sometimes thought they were going to starve to death....It didn't take long before all them were gone...
Lauras Lean doesn't work well here...
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:37 pm

OAK LANE FARM wrote:
I just hauled off a couple of the stay fat and shiny cows, one a Red Angus and the other a Black. They were less efficeint because they were significantly less productive. There are a significant number of breeders now admiting that one of the bloodlines being promoted as an efficiency line is really an inefficiency line. One half of the females don't milk and they are a tremendous source of appetite. My previous statement is probably wrong- the line I am talking about may be inferior from maternal efficiency standpoint but superior from the standpoint of terminal efficiency. I read the Miles City stuff the day before this thread was started and I think some cattle might benifit from that treatment and some would fail at a high rate .

Could it have been that your fat and shiny cows didn't need as high of level of nutrition as what was available for the group they were managed with? Our cows are staying in good condition in the drylot this winter on forage that is half crabgrass and half wheat straw. When the overnight low drops below 20 degrees I give them 2#/head of 20% supplement of either cubes or other commodity, which ever is cheaper. We run our spring calving dry cows with our lactating fall calvers. That is probably too much somedays for even some of our lactating cows. The dry cows will be in great shape to calve in April.

Was the optimal nutrition level of your fat and shiny cows less than that of the group they were in? I know I put on weight rather easily when I have more (or better) groceries in front of me than I need. I don't think I'm the Lone Ranger on this message board for that. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:19 pm

OT is describing terminal efficiency; and the phoney ponies are surely excellent converters for grass fed beef production; maternal efficiency is sooooo much more...that fat is a maternal trait is about as phoney philosophy as saying milk is a terminal trait.

but after reading the below, I`m not as disappointed about my understanding of breeding cattle as I thought Smile

\ I'll give you my two cents worth. Been going to Denver for 30 years. Didn't get to see the bull show, but watched the entire heifer show. There were many classes where you will see many of the top three or five or 6 heifers in a class win shows. The three man system worked well. The quality was such, that even if the judge giving reasons didn't have the winning animal first, it was not hard to justify and give reasons why the animal could win. Not only was it tough but deep. There were some classes where you could start a great herd if you just started with the 8 or 9 head in that class. If you judge the strength of a show on the quality of the winners, and judge the strength of a breed by the number of animals not in the championship, but back in the barn that could well be out there for the lineup, then I'd say the Angus breed is stronger than I've seen it in 30 years on the female side.

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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:57 pm

dwight@steadfastbeef.com wrote:
OAK LANE FARM wrote:
I just hauled off a couple of the stay fat and shiny cows, one a Red Angus and the other a Black. They were less efficeint because they were significantly less productive. There are a significant number of breeders now admiting that one of the bloodlines being promoted as an efficiency line is really an inefficiency line. One half of the females don't milk and they are a tremendous source of appetite. My previous statement is probably wrong- the line I am talking about may be inferior from maternal efficiency standpoint but superior from the standpoint of terminal efficiency. I read the Miles City stuff the day before this thread was started and I think some cattle might benifit from that treatment and some would fail at a high rate .

Could it have been that your fat and shiny cows didn't need as high of level of nutrition as what was available for the group they were managed with? Our cows are staying in good condition in the drylot this winter on forage that is half crabgrass and half wheat straw. When the overnight low drops below 20 degrees I give them 2#/head of 20% supplement of either cubes or other commodity, which ever is cheaper. We run our spring calving dry cows with our lactating fall calvers. That is probably too much somedays for even some of our lactating cows. The dry cows will be in great shape to calve in April.

Was the optimal nutrition level of your fat and shiny cows less than that of the group they were in? I know I put on weight rather easily when I have more (or better) groceries in front of me than I need. I don't think I'm the Lone Ranger on this message board for that. Laughing


And I think you just hit the nail on the head-- what is efficient for some- is not for others....And everyone has to select/cull for what best fits their management practice and enviroment....

Just like Voss and I have been throwing out temps-- with the HBR living in what I've always called the Banana Belt of the state with 30 and 40 ABOVE temps-while we up here are 20 BELOW- we in this area north of the Missori River- up on the HiLine always live in a Little Siberia area....I looked the other day- and Dennis's average high at this time of the year is in the 30's- and low in the teens... Ours up here is an average high of 19 and a low of 2.... The weather guessers are saying this next week could be ABOVE average with temps in the 20's Smile (which will have the local girls out sunbathing and in their shorts and haltertops Wink )-- but they also say we will get 1-4" of snow every other day for the next week.. Sad While we have close to 20" of snow on the level (and drifts taller than many buildings) - Billings and Great Falls are reporting little or none......

While we don't always get the amount of snow we've had this year- ( 5 foot so far this fall/winter- which will mean some awful green grass in the spring- and a good chance of fat calves in the fall Very Happy ) we normally get every polar/arctic front and the very frigid temps....
And like I've argued with my good friend Brent McCrae- who lives 100 miles south as the crow flys- but south of the Missouri river in what is normally a Chinook zone- that gets snow that usually leaves in a few days with the Chinooks and does not even plan for feeding much of the winter- it takes different cattle to survive/excell in these different enviroments.....

We know up here that many winters will be tough-- and thats the reason we look for/and breed for cows that best handle it- and don't need a haystack apiece to survive.....And the reason most wean the end of Oct/first of Nov to let the cattle put on some good weight on the fall grass to handle whats ahead...

And so far the bloodlines I put out have shown me the best adaptability in my search of those that are more efficient for the enviroment they will live in.....
If someone has something better to handle these condition- I'd love to have them come forward- because thats kind of what I"m searching for in my older years is what will work best......

Years ago- after looking at the Montana State College (Bozeman- now MSU) study on cattle efficiency- I thought long and hard about buying Galloway cattle-- when the college tests showed because of the hair and highers fat layers/marbeling- the Galloway could thrive on 30+% less feed in these northern winters- and probably would have except for the discount given by the feeders because they didn't want the long haired (sh*t caking) cattle in their feedlots...
But after seeing some herds of them- I still think they have the best survivability/efficiency for this type country..
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:33 pm

gotta survive before you can be efficient, that`s for sure...kinda need a little hibernation gene tossed in OT Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:45 pm

Wintering ability would be great if we could cross bears and Galloways.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:11 pm

dwight@steadfastbeef.com wrote:
Wintering ability would be great if we could cross bears and Galloways.
If you'd ever been around Galloways you'd maybe think that had already happened. Shocked We used to have some pretty snorty old dames that would have put a grizzly to shame.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:13 am

While the Miles City article was about strategies for efficiency the standard strategy for success in the "Registered " business is to feed 20 % more than necessary and make big huge factorys that are programed to eat. Amazing all the 1000 lbs yearling wts in heifers . If you find the home page for Ft Keogh there is a poster that outlines the strategy.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:06 am

OAK LANE FARM wrote:
While the Miles City article was about strategies for efficiency the standard strategy for success in the "Registered " business is to feed 20 % more than necessary and make big huge factorys that are programed to eat. Amazing all the 1000 lbs yearling wts in heifers . If you find the home page for Ft Keogh there is a poster that outlines the strategy.

or phoney ponies that supposedly eat nothing at all; true cow efficiency is measured by what she costs versus what she produced to sell; plenty of ways for the miracle con men to make figures lie.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:31 am

OT`s post has shown vividly once again, that the first difficult choice is to determine the type cow you want, and accept the trade-offs that come with her. Accepting trade-offs is made more difficult by the promotion crowd that tells you thee are no trade-offs, you can have it all...and as humans, are we not more prone to want to believe a lie, than the less glorious truth? That`s why advertising works...
so after all these years, if one must still worry about having the right type and always be chaning type, there is no time left to establish any breeding program to make your preferred type more often
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:32 am

There was a trade-off from the Miles City research. The cattle that had been roughed weaned slightly less calf per year but ate considerably less feed and lasted longer.
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:57 am

OAK LANE FARM wrote:
There was a trade-off from the Miles City research. The cattle that had been roughed weaned slightly less calf per year but ate considerably less feed and lasted longer.
80% for 140 days is not "roughed"
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PostSubject: Re: Raising Efficient Cattle Strategies   Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:14 am

please dont tell me we have to feed them to fail like Kit. roughed compared to what? Kelly? OT? each has there own idea of this.

had a friend tells me his cows live on blue sky and water. never fed a bale yet. then I find out they are out in foodplots after pheasant season.

what is roughed?

I have so much to learn.
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