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C.S.Cunningham



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PostSubject: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:01 am

As I have been combing through the archives here on KC, I have come across some very interesting discussions. Rather than bring back old threads from the dead, I thought I might post my questions here.

I have noted that some here at KC do not agree that a smaller female that fleshes easily yields a higher return to the commercial cow man than does a larger framed individual. We all know the arguments made for relative feed inputs and the ratio of cow weight to calf weaning weight, but what are your argument to the contrary?

I think Kit Pharo can really come up with some...Thick BS to help market cattle, but I have a tendency to agree with his arguments for type and effeciency.  I'm not here to spark a war; I am here to listen to opposing view points and I am certainly open to a paradigm shift Smile I can tell by my perusal that we are all in this cattle breeding game for the same reasons.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:08 pm

C.S.Cunningham wrote:
As I have been combing through the archives here on KC, I have come across some very interesting discussions. Rather than bring back old threads from the dead, I thought I might post my questions here.

I have noted that some here at KC do not agree that a smaller female that fleshes easily yields a higher return to the commercial cow man than does a larger framed individual. We all know the arguments made for relative feed inputs and the ratio of cow weight to calf weaning weight, but what are your argument to the contrary?

I think Kit Pharo can really come up with some...Thick BS to help market cattle, but I have a tendency to agree with his arguments for type and effeciency.  I'm not here to spark a war; I am here to listen to opposing view points and I am certainly open to a paradigm shift Smile I can tell by my perusal that we are all in this cattle breeding game for the same reasons.

Quick and dirty answer for me: FS change down drops $200 per head on calves on the market here. Just spouting that extra weight is great: Weight carries a double edged sword: too heavy, drop price or hit the target at a lower weight same price per head, roughly, as long as adequate frame is evident. I am not talking large to extreme, more so 4.5 to 5.5 FS.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:10 pm

the most influential factor in cow efficiency is a calf every 12 months...do you see a discernible type difference between the cows that calve in the first 30 days every year versus those who do not?
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C.S.Cunningham



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:39 pm

EddieM wrote:
Quick and dirty answer for me:  FS change down drops $200 per head on calves on the market here.  Just spouting that extra weight is great: Weight carries a double edged sword: too heavy, drop price or hit the target at a lower weight same price per head, roughly, as long as adequate frame is evident.  I am not talking large to extreme, more so 4.5 to 5.5 FS.

My question is directed more towards the optimum functional size for a maternal cow. The amount of frame her progeny carry is, under mt scenario, dependant on their sire.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:34 pm

The optimal functional size of our cows is determined by their ability to hold or regain their condition at different times of the year and rear a calf to our expectations while getting back in calf in the first cycle. Failure to do anyone of those things tends to be harmful to their health. We do have smaller framed cows who produce calves larger than themselves - they are generally longer and are the easiest fleshing (as a generalisation) likewise we have cows big enough that would make most cowmen blanche but they are always well fleshed and they generally always raise a calf that exceeds our expectations. The vast majority of the cows are in the middle and look like peas in a pod - they all work the same too.

Calving record + type + temperament + soundness x (grass \ season) - culling pencil = perfect Mt Mable cow Laughing
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rross



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:36 pm

C.S.Cunningham wrote:
As I have been combing through the archives here on KC, I have come across some very interesting discussions. Rather than bring back old threads from the dead, I thought I might post my questions here.

I have noted that some here at KC do not agree that a smaller femalePlease define smaller.......type/weight? that fleshes easily yields a higher return to the commercial cow man than does a larger framed individual. We all know the arguments made for relative feed inputs and the ratio of cow weight to calf weaning weight, but what are your argument to the contrary?

I think Kit Pharo can really come up with some...Thick BS You have definitely nailed it there..... to help market cattle, but I have a tendency to agree with his arguments for type and efficiency. Over the years I have come to realize thicker type cows here are not as functional or as durable as one would hope. They tend to wear out by the time they are 10 yrs. Stifled /Down in the hip. That is depending on if they breed back on time. But, maybe in the flat prairie of Eastern CO. they hold up.  I'm not here to spark a war; I am here to listen to opposing view points and I am certainly open to a paradigm shift Smile I can tell by my perusal that we are all in this cattle breeding game for the same reasons.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:31 pm

Replacing OCC genetics the base of pcc, has been a nice little uptick in my business. ..the common complaint ,fat and open at 4, and inconsistency of productive cows...the pharo bs is not only weird science, but weirder math...when the truth leaks out from among the co- operators, lots of open cows. ..
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:25 pm

WEIRD SCIENCE

Cow frame (height) has more to do with percent cow weight weaned than anything else. In a real-world, no-input ranch program, very few 4-frame cows can wean 50% of their own weight. Substantially more 3-frame cows can wean 50% of their weight. Most 2-frame cows can wean 50% of their own weight, while all 1-frame cows can do it. If 4-frame cows are weaning over 50%, their maintenance requirements are too high and they won't last long. farao


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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:40 pm

How much weight variation can there be in a 4 frame mature cow of various types ? 500 lb?
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:18 pm

C.S.Cunningham wrote:
EddieM wrote:
Quick and dirty answer for me:  FS change down drops $200 per head on calves on the market here.  Just spouting that extra weight is great: Weight carries a double edged sword: too heavy, drop price or hit the target at a lower weight same price per head, roughly, as long as adequate frame is evident.  I am not talking large to extreme, more so 4.5 to 5.5 FS.

My question is directed more towards the optimum functional size for a maternal cow. The amount of frame her progeny carry is, under mt scenario, dependant on their sire.

Not a real interest here to vary FS as all of the herd is one breed, one goal, one general type. But if any business is to make money it has to have positive sales. Sometimes you have to learn to like the looks of the animals that do the best as a system. Small frame does not cut it here with bull sales, calf sales or anything. So the frame issue might not be paramount in crossing but it is important to find cattle that work in that size for good of the whole. Nothing real descriptive but I do not want or need a cow that looks like a walking shoebox. Really, a bull like that is not a hot item, either. Somebody else or the writings can describe it much better if I am even on the same sheet of music.
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C.S.Cunningham



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:08 pm

MKeeney wrote:
WEIRD SCIENCE

Cow frame (height) has more to do with percent cow weight weaned than anything else. In a real-world, no-input ranch program, very few 4-frame cows can wean 50% of their own weight. Substantially more 3-frame cows can wean 50% of their weight. Most 2-frame cows can wean 50% of their own weight, while all 1-frame cows can do it. If 4-frame cows are weaning over 50%, their maintenance requirements are too high and they won't last long.  farao



Forgive me if I am being dense, but is that statement tongue in cheek or are you being serious?

My goals for my cow herd are fairly straight forward: I want low input females that are feminine, balanced, and raise good calves at a high profit margin. My neighbors and fellow cow men are raising behemoths that can not rustle their own grub and as a result they sling feed. Ruminants are the only creatures that can convert grass into food and fiber, and while there are times supplementation is necessary, I believe the bulk of the ruminant's diet should be forage!

From what I have read here, I think we all want feminine cow herds to yield the highest profit margin when crossed with paternal strains. I know that optimum frame score under an extensive system becomes ultimately self regulating, as the environment will dictate what will and won't work. Thus, frame score is relative to environment, both natural and management.

I suppose my initial question could have been better phrased. If we reject Pharo's notion that frame score 3-4.5 females are the optimum for most producers. And also reject the data sets pointing to a less than 1300 pound cow being the most efficient in terms of pounds of forage consumed per pound of calf. What then do we hold as optimal?

Johann Zietsman argues that while we may get docked for smaller framed calves, we can run more small framed cattle on a given area. Thus raising more calves, yielding a higher output per acre.

While I'm at it, what are you thoughts on Bonsma's principles of linear measurement?

In regards to Pharo's fertility problems, could it be that the cows get too fat to breed back?

There is a lot here, and perhaps I am rambling. I have a lot of catching up to do!
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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:02 am

Cow frame (height) has more to do with percent cow weight weaned than anything else. In a real-world, no-input ranch program, very few 4-frame cows can wean 50% of their own weight. Substantially more 3-frame cows can wean 50% of their weight. Most 2-frame cows can wean 50% of their own weight, while all 1-frame cows can do it. If 4-frame cows are weaning over 50%, their maintenance requirements are too high and they won't last long.

the above is a direct pharo quote taken from 5barx run by understudy little jim , who, upon donning his pcc coat becomes more cattle breeder and expert than any combination of any of us here Very Happy Razz Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:14 am

http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/news/livestock/old/aps-200904_Greiner.html

common sense conclusion from a research report...
excerpt

Research has demonstrated that economic efficiency is most improved in systems which exploit both individual and maternal heterosis, and the use of terminal sire crossbreeding systems is an effective way to ameliorate the potential antagonisms between increased lean growth and mature size with maternal performance (Tess and Davis, 2002). These systems which take advantage of sires selected for post-weaning performance and end product merit, mated to cows of moderate size and adapted to the production environment offer additional advantages worthy of consideration.
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C.S.Cunningham



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:54 am

Quote :

Research has demonstrated that economic efficiency is most improved in systems which exploit both individual and maternal heterosis, and the use of terminal sire crossbreeding systems is an effective way to ameliorate the potential antagonisms between increased lean growth and mature size with maternal performance (Tess and Davis, 2002). These systems which take advantage of sires selected for post-weaning performance and end product merit, mated to cows of moderate size and adapted to the production environment offer additional advantages worthy of consideration.

That seems to coincide with PCC philosophy, does it not? Perhaps I am missing something. I am not here to defend anyone, but I am not making sense of the difference of opinion on the point of moderate frame size.

More reading! study
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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:10 am

Pcc makes little too moderate the answer to all things...wrong!
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C.S.Cunningham



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:34 am

No doubt. There are many other factors that come into play for profitability: maternal traits, management, and, yes, sire line. Yet the proper "chasis," if you will, must be there. Ceteris paribus, a small cow will be able to raise a calf on fewer inputs than her larger sister.

At the end of the day, there are no silver bullets, but size does matter, and it is a step towads maternal efficiency.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:27 pm

Quote :
Johann Zietsman argues that while we may get docked for smaller framed calves, we can run more small framed cattle on a given area. Thus raising more calves, yielding a higher output per acre.
I don't want the highest output per acre. I want profit from the entire system. Let Johann come over here and sell short cattle in any local barn and give up total profit plus some more dollars and he will learn a valuable lesson of economics. You can raise many more rabbits per acre than you can cows. Are rabbits the best way if mere numbers count? My answer: it depends on the market demand and the price they bring to see if they pencil out.

Quote :
While I'm at it, what are you thoughts on Bonsma's principles of linear measurement?
Bonsma's work is fine to me for what little I can understand. Fry's work and those associated with him are not the same to me; maybe the opposite or beyond belief. I do not see any similarities in the type of cattle (pictures and a herd fairly close) that they select with visual means and surely the great ones ought to be peas in a pod!

Quote :
In regards to Pharo's fertility problems, could it be that the cows get too fat to breed back?
First thing: define a Pharo cow, both genetically and physically. Which is most important in a real breeding system? Do you know that they have fertility problems?

Here's one more question while I'm resting up; If hybrid vigor is a key component for commercial producers with the production of F1s, why would a honest and great seedstock dealer/salesman (not producer) sell crossbred bulls?
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C.S.Cunningham



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:19 pm

EddieM wrote:
Quote :
Johann Zietsman argues that while we may get docked for smaller framed calves, we can run more small framed cattle on a given area. Thus raising more calves, yielding a higher output per acre.
I don't want the highest output per acre.  I want profit from the entire system.  Let Johann come over here and sell short cattle in any local barn and give up total profit plus some more dollars and he will learn a valuable lesson of economics.  You can raise many more rabbits per acre than you can cows.  Are rabbits the best way if mere numbers count?  My answer: it depends on the market demand and the price they bring to see if they pencil out.
But if you are using maternal and paternal lines, you only get docked on cull calves on the maternal/replacement side which, assuming your main product is crossbred market cattle, would be marginal.

Quote :
While I'm at it, what are you thoughts on Bonsma's principles of linear measurement?
 Bonsma's work is fine to me for what little I can understand.  Fry's work and those associated with him are not the same to me; maybe the opposite or beyond belief.  I do not see any similarities in the type of cattle (pictures and a herd fairly close) that they select with visual means and surely the great ones ought to be peas in a pod! Fry is a very nice man, but a bit of an eccentric. I take everything he says with a grain of salt. That said, he has been kind enough to answer my phone calls and emails more than once.

Quote :
In regards to Pharo's fertility problems, could it be that the cows get too fat to breed back?
First thing: define a Pharo cow, both genetically and physically.  Which is most important in a real breeding system?  Do you know that they have fertility problems?
I do not, but it was mentioned in a previous post.
Here's one more question while I'm resting up; If hybrid vigor is a key component for commercial producers with the production of F1s, why would a honest and great seedstock dealer/salesman (not producer) sell crossbred bulls?I have wondered that myself, and of course I have no answer except that few are immune to the figment that a super breed, perfect in all traits (no matter how antagonistic the traits may be) might yet be created. Me? I'd rather Excell in a few economically important maternal traits and offer F1 replacements to my neighbors.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:30 pm

Selecting for smaller framed or moderate cows without taking all other things into consideration is single trait selection which in my view is the single biggest factor in the ruination of more than one cow herd. It does not matter what the trait may be .............. a focus on that one trait to the exclusion of other as economically relevant traits is herd suicide.

Small frame may have been touted as the next best thing in cow efficiency but remember this - pasture based grazing on lower quality grasses (which is what the beef cow is designed for) requires a cow that has the frame to carry enough rumen and stomach matter that she can produce a quality product ie her own milk and her weaned calf on quantity rather than quality - small cows are all very well but can they eat enough to rear a calve that will grow big enough for what it is intended? From over 50 years of breeding (records) and 20 years of direct involvement / observation ................ there is nothing easier in this world than to breed small cows. Breeding small, efficient cows is an altogether different thing and the hardest thing to do is to consistently breed mid to medium framed cows that carry weight easily and meet all other breeding objectives - easier to tout what you can manage to breed as the next best thing.
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C.S.Cunningham



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:30 pm

pukerimu wrote:
Selecting for smaller framed or moderate cows without taking all other things into consideration is single trait selection which in my view is the single biggest factor in the ruination of more than one cow herd.  It does not matter what the trait may be .............. a focus on that one trait to the exclusion of other as economically relevant traits is herd suicide.
Absolutely.

Small frame may have been touted as the next best thing in cow efficiency but remember this - pasture based grazing on lower quality grasses (which is what the beef cow is designed for) requires a cow that has the frame to carry enough rumen and stomach matter that she can produce a quality product ie her own milk and her weaned calf on quantity rather than quality - small cows are all very well but can they eat enough to rear a calve that will grow big enough for what it is intended?  From over 50 years of breeding (records) and 20 years of direct involvement / observation ................ there is nothing easier in this world than to breed small cows.  Breeding small, efficient cows is an altogether different thing and the hardest thing to do is to consistently breed mid to medium framed cows that carry weight easily and meet all other breeding objectives - easier to tout what you can manage to breed as the next best thing. So, all things being equal, what do you regard as ideal in terms of conformation? Or do you let the environment dictate the conformation and select based on weaning weights, assuming that, with a closed population a heavier weaning weight is a sign of a superior cow? study
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:37 pm

There are a few photos of our cows on here somewhere which sum up what our conformation is like. Weaning weight plays a part in our selection but they are so even generally and expected that only the disasters stand out and unless there is a really good reason for a cows failure to do a fundamental part of her job it will be the last calf she weans.

Beware of using weaning weight as a selection tool singularly too - single trait selection and all ...................... yes weaning weight is part of the picture but so is udder condition, teat shape and user friendliness, foot structure, temperament, condition scoring, calving ability, fertility, weight regain, level of co-operation, rate of calf growth after weaning (and all the above traits being observed in her offspring too) etc etc - all of these things make up the ideal cow - if she has them all she stays with us as long as she can - the hill climbing is pretty tough on them so an old cow here is 15 - we used to be able to have them up to 18 at our old property but this country is that much harder, steeper and colder.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:27 pm

C.S.Cunningham wrote:
So, all things being equal, what do you regard as ideal in terms of conformation? Or do you let the environment dictate the conformation and select based on weaning weights, assuming that, with a closed population a heavier weaning weight is a sign of a superior cow?  study

"FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION it doesn't pre-determine it"

How important is weaning weight? If you sell weaned calves by the pound maybe, but if you are rearing replacement breeding stock or sell yearling cattle?
I cringe now when I see a particularly heavy weaning weight heifer calf. Had too many of them disappoint - "great" cow turns in a big heavy heifer calf, heifer calf grows on to be a bigger yearling and bigger bred heifer but when she calves she is a poorer milker and raises a much smaller calf. Often have reduced fertility too (more to the terminal side?) The resulting calf brought up tough with barely the milk it needs turns into the grandmothers type and the cycle starts over. That's been my experience anyway. Now I tend to trim off the few biggest and few smallest heifers and breed the rest. The biggest heifers are always in high demand lol.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:41 am

the farao weird science is built around weaning wt as the final product...just got through a little tit for tat with Chip Hines relying on
this statement ...
By 2012, he had rounded up data from Montana, Arkansas and Oklahoma showing that 100 pounds of additional weight in each cow adds 6 pounds, at most, in her calf. The variation was from 4 to 6 pounds. Based on that, he worked with OSU economist Damona Doye to show that added calf weight, at the time, was worth $5 to $7. It is worth perhaps a little more now but will not be forever. They calculated the cost for carrying that outsized cow at $42. It was a net loss of about $35 per cow unit.

the above may be what has happened, it isn`t what must happen...most of the added real and commercially expressed lbs of growth have resulted in larger yearling/carcass weights where feed is sufficient...

more Chip math...
Too compare profitability between the 1,000 pound cow and the 1,440 pound cow I pulled up market reports from salebarns (3/10/2016) in Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming. For the 1,000 pound cow and a wean weight of 500 pounds I averaged prices of steer calves from 485 to 515 pound range which averaged 2.07 and X 500 =$1,035 per head.

For the 1,400 pound cow I averaged prices from 575 to 600 pounds and for a 588 pound calf it was 2.00 and X 588 was $1,176. The big calves dollared out at $141 more per head.
Now forage cost per year is added in from post No 3. Beginning with the 1,400 pound cows, their total forage cost, $549.58 for 100 head is $54,900. The 137 head of 1,000 pound cows with a forage cost of $400, is $40,000.

Beginning with the 100 big cows I figured 5 head death loss and 15 head for heifer replacement which at 20% leaves 80 head of calves to sell. 137 small cows at 20% is 109.6 which I will round down to 109 calves to sell.

To keep this simple we will magically make all calves steers. From above, the big cows’ calves were worth $1,176 per head with 80 at $94,080. The smaller calves were $1,035 per head X 109 = $112,815. This calculation shows that $112,815 minus $92,904 = $19,911 more dollars for the small cows. Not looking good for the big cows and it isn’t over. This is the gross. What about forage cost?

Big cows forage was $54,900. Subtracting this from their gross of 94,080 = $39,180. Small cow forage was $40,000. Subtracting this from 1122,815 = $72,815. Now for the grand total, 72,815 – 38,004 = 34,111 additional dollars for the small cows.

Ignoring cull cow sales, and figuring all the calves as the same sex and not including all costs, simplifies the calculating while giving the same basic result which is that smaller, low milk production cows, raising smaller calves, are worth more per pound and more efficient converters of forage to profit.

Chip , in his exuberance, missed by $18,000 dollars; never bothered to change his math...I don`t know where his feed costs come from; but they too are bogus...figures don`t lie, but most books are called fiction for a reason...


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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:09 am

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1292&context=rangebeefcowsymp&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bing.com%2Fsearch%3Fq%3D1000%2Blb%2Bcow%2Bversus%2B1400%2Blb%2Bcow%2Bconsumption%26qs%3Dn%26form%3DQBLH%26pq%3D1000%2Blb%2Bcow%2Bversus%2B1400%2Blb%2Bcow%2Bconsumption%26sc%3D0-42%26sp%3D-1%26sk%3D%26cvid%3DC0B94126024040479F39E78B4C1ACD51#search=%221000%20lb%20cow%20versus%201400%20lb%20cow%20consumption%22

key points
17% increase in mature weight results in 11% increase in feed costs

200 bigger cow would need 50 lb of extra ww to pay her way
mk critique...
at weaning yes, but might more than compensate to yearling...depending on price of feed versus calf price that extra weight requirement would vary economically through not biologically...
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PostSubject: Re: Paradigm Shift   Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:35 am

to be fair...Method Genetics, incorporating Pat`s go to genomic info, recommends a 55 in yearling bull to be in the top 1% for making cows based on their mpi formula...
so much for that bs; still waiting for df and jared decker to use epds and create a maternal formula???
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