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PatB



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PostSubject: cow type selection   Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:52 am

Snagged OT's post from 5barx.com just to spice things up

Striking A Balance

Feb. 1, 2001 Ron Torell and Clint Peck

How much is too much? Setting the parameters for milk EPDs with an eye on frame score.

Milk and frame. If you're a young range cow carving out a living in the Nevada desert, too much of either may lead to your demise. But, if you're a mature cow living on lush Virginia pastures, too little milk and frame may be a waste of resources.

"The growth needs of a young cow, combined with the feed requirements for excessive milk and a large frame, is usually too much for our feed base," says Jon Griggs, manager of Maggie Creek Ranches, Elko, NV. But, if he can get a low- to moderate-milk and moderately-framed cow to her fourth year in good flesh, with a third calf in her, that cow will usually stay on the ranch, he says.

"The largest percentage of cows that drop out of our program are the three- and four-year-olds," agrees Alan Sharp, Ruby Valley, NV. "The reason they drop out is failure to rebreed, in spite of everything we do with heifer development and feeding a balanced ration as two-year-olds."

Griggs goes on to say that crossbreeding can be a factor to consider when setting parameters for milk expected progeny differences (EPDs). "But, you pay for heterosis by having a crossbred or composite cow that may need more input than a straightbred. And, if she's a heavy milker, even more inputs are required," he adds.

Robert Whitacre, Winchester, VA, has the opposite problem. The area receives more than 30 in. of annual precipitation.

"Feed is not a problem here, so milk and frame are less of a concern," says Whitacre, a commercial cattleman. "A smaller framed, lower-milking cow does not work for us. She gets over-fleshed and weans a smaller calf compared to the type of cow we can support. That type of cow winds up in the cull pen fairly rapidly here."

Whitacre, a field representative for Accelerated Genetics, puts it simply: "Extremes have a way of creating problems. It is not uncommon for us to wean 700-lb. calves. There is a limit, however."

Whitacre sells a lot of semen from frame score 7 bulls with Angus milk EPDs of +27 and more, but he tries not to exceed a 7.2 frame or much more than +30 on milk for Angus.

Assessing The Situation "Getting the cow to that third calf is the challenge," agrees Ken Conley, manager of the University of Nevada Gund Research and Demonstration Ranch located north of Austin, NV. "Over the years, we've had to implement several management strategies to keep these young cows in the herd."

Conley is convinced the cause of many open young cows is too much milk and frame coupled with the added nutrient requirements of being a young cow.

"To compound the situation, we would select replacement heifers that had the heavier weaning weights," Conley says. "Then we wised up and realized that those heifers raising the largest calves were open and thin come pregnancy-check time."

So how much milk and frame is too much?

"There's not much scientific data available to guide producers as to the correct milk EPD or frame size for various feed resources," says John Crouch, director of performance programs for the American Angus Association. "Research does show that the higher the milk EPD and the larger the frame of the animal, generally the higher the nutrient requirement of that animal."

However, according to Crouch, exceptions such as the high-milking, smaller-framed cow or the large-framed, low-milk EPD cow or the crossbred, easy fleshing cow that defy all the rules.

"We know the breed average for the current population of Angus cattle is a +14," he explains. "Each individual must determine how much milk is enough based on feed quality, quantity and management of young and mature cows."

Too much can be devastating under harsh and dry conditions. However, too little can result in lost income that could have been passed on to the calf from the maternal component, concludes Crouch.

To compound the situation, one must consider many variables when setting a ranch's maximum milk EPD criteria.

"There's no cut and dried answer," states Larry Leonhardt, Shoshone Angus, Cowley, WY. Leonhardt has studied this question on his registered Angus ranch for the past 20 years. The type of cow, supplementation, level of heterosis, weaning strategy and maturity level of the cowherd are all factors that can influence how much milk a ranch can handle under various forage and range conditions.

"You need to have enough milk and frame to make a calf, but not so much as to create open, young, thin cows in the process," says Leonhardt. " I recommend a rancher start with average and adjust from there."

A word of caution from Leonhardt, though. "Average" may be too much for semi-arid regions and not enough for the higher precipitation zones. Also, average milk for some breeds of high-nutrient demanding cattle may be too much as a starting point.

"Average always gives you fewer problems. Yet, as a registered bull seller, average is hard to sell," he adds. "You can hardly give a below-average milk EPD bull away."

Milk And Marbling? The bottom line is an old story. The cow has to match the environment - but there is a new twist as more EPDs are added to a bull's profile.

Jim Gosey, University of Nebraska beef cattle specialist, has tracked research on the effects of cow size and milk production for several years. Gosey suggests looking at your oldest cows and using them as a guide, or looking at the heifers that are falling out of your program.

"If possible, look at the sires of these two classes of cows and determine what milk EPDs they had at time of purchase," he says.

Gosey also says to take into account if the ranch sells calves or yearlings. "If you're selling yearlings, milk is less important than if you're selling calves."

Gosey warns against any single-trait selection, including the current fascination with marbling EPDs. Furthermore, he says, some sires that excel in marbling also are well above their breed average for milk EPD.

Review of breed differences with regard to milk level and marbling shows a definite trend for higher levels of marbling to be associated with higher levels of milk production. For most traits, moderation and balanced trait selection are the key concepts to keep in mind.

Breeds that have the ability to produce higher levels of milk also have heavier organ weights. And, heavier organ weights equate to greater nutrient needs, not only during the time cows are lactating but also during the time they're not lactating.

Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska beef specialist, says this data from USDA's Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, NE, suggests that milk production may be as big a drag on the cow's system as frame size.

"This is not to say that frame size is not important, but both need to be considered," says Rasby. "Again, moderation may be the safest route until you can determine what best fits your environment and feed resource base."

A moderately-framed cow would have a mature weight of 1,100-1,175 lbs. at a moderate body condition score of 5. Moderately-framed cows are considered frame score 4 and 5 (1 to 9 scale). Large-framed cows are frame score 6 to 9 with mature weights between 1,250 to 1,475 lbs. and above. Small-framed cows are frame score 1 to 3 with mature weights of 955-1,030 lbs.

Rasby's advice - evaluate your feed resource. If you have limited feed, stick with the moderately-framed cow.



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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:22 pm

Seemed like a sensible enough article until I read the frame scores and weights mentioned at the end which are incomprehensible to me. They just seem to weigh different than they do up here. I have 4 frame cows that weigh 1500+ admittedly in condition score of 7. There are very few cows in this country under 1200lbs - most in my area are 1300lb plus. I can't see how guys using these Angus "performance bulls" that weigh 2800lbs or more mature on high milking cows finish up with large frame mature cows as light as the 1250-1475lb suggested in the article. I shipped a couple of open red Angus cows in January off pasture that weighed 1635lbs in the auction.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:54 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
Seemed like a sensible enough article until I read the frame scores and weights mentioned at the end which are incomprehensible to me. They just seem to weigh different than they do up here. I have 4 frame cows that weigh 1500+ admittedly in condition score of 7. There are very few cows in this country under 1200lbs - most in my area are 1300lb plus. I can't see how guys using these Angus "performance bulls" that weigh 2800lbs or more mature on high milking cows finish up with large frame mature cows as light as the 1250-1475lb suggested in the article. I shipped a couple of open red Angus cows in January off pasture that weighed 1635lbs in the auction.

I bet most of those large frame 1200 lb cows have not been run accross the scales before the meat buyer purchases them. I thinking the buyer is making a quick buck on misjudged weight or they are one skinny cow.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:25 pm

I don't know - what are the experiences of the large scale ranchers on here who are shipping cows by the pot load? - what do cows really weigh in your region?
It seems in Western Canada at least there is some kind of genetic miracle going on whereby the Angus breed has considerably raised growth and mature size/weight over the last 20 years yet their birth weights have remain unchanged scratch
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MVCatt



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:03 pm

Reading this article was a bit concerning in regards to some of my recent genetic selections. I live 73 miles northwest of Winchester, VA and that also happens to be where I market my calves. I'm a bit concerned that I might possibly be wasting my resources. I did a little digging around in the AAA sire summary to try and ease my mind. I found a couple of bulls... one that I think is fairly representative to what I'm using... as compared to what I should be using.

Bull A
BW-+2.5_WW-+64_YW-+114_MILK-+30_MH-+1.7_$EN-(-30.42)

Bull B
BW-+2.6_WW-+31_YW-+47_MILK-+8_MH-+.1_$EN-(+33.43)

Now, I'm not sure what the average weaning weight would be on calves out of cows sired by a +30 milk epd bull as compared to a +8 bull in the same environment. 5 weights are pretty common here without a lot of additional inputs Shocked . We'll take them at their word and assume they're consistently weaning  7 weights. These are the prices from Monday's sale...Med 1 steers...7's topped out at $136...5's went for $178.

The sale price for Bull A's daughters calves was $952 (7 x 136), but the additional cost to keep them was -30.42...so the final price is $921.58.

The sale price for Bull B's daughters calves was $890 ( 5 x 178),  the cost to keep them was +33.43...so the final price is $923.43.

The bulls that I have recently used are probably closer to Bull B than they are to Bull A. Should I worry... Is my wannabe cowboy math off?

MV...from the land of unimpressive weaning weights and wasted resources.
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mikejd4020



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PostSubject: Some years   Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:33 pm

Here is another question then.

Some years "here" it reminds me of W Virginia, some years Nevada? What then I say?
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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:40 pm

mikejd4020 wrote:
Here is another question then.

Some years "here" it reminds me of W Virginia, some years Nevada? What then I say?

Do what i do every year. Hope for the best and plan for the worst.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:54 pm

mikejd4020 wrote:
Here is another question then.

Some years "here" it reminds me of W Virginia, some years Nevada? What then I say?

Own good, problem free cows of the same type every year and change the NUMBER of cows running on the grass rather than trying to change types of cows...and make more money as you do it; as Chris points out...
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:24 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
I don't know - what are the experiences of the large scale ranchers on here who are shipping cows by the pot load? - what do cows really weigh in your region?
It seems in Western Canada at least there is some kind of genetic miracle going on whereby the Angus breed has considerably raised growth and mature size/weight over the last 20 years yet their birth weights have remain unchanged scratch

Dry grass cattle and lush grass cattle do not weigh or look the same. I am thinking about switching to freeze dried MRE's based on this observation.
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OAK LANE FARM



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:44 am

I would think your weaning weight/ sale weight estimation would be pretty high. Give the high growth cattle what the EPDs predict. Thirty lbs difference for the cow and 30 lbs for the bull plus 22 lbs difference for the cows milk. That puts you around 88 lbs difference in weight without any estimate in difference for feeding the different types. In ND 100 lbs of extra weight is bringing $30 TO $40 .
MVCatt wrote:
Reading this article was a bit concerning in regards to some of my recent genetic selections. I live 73 miles northwest of Winchester, VA and that also happens to be where I market my calves. I'm a bit concerned that I might possibly be wasting my resources. I did a little digging around in the AAA sire summary to try and ease my mind. I found a couple of bulls... one that I think is fairly representative to what I'm using... as compared to what I should be using.

Bull A
BW-+2.5_WW-+64_YW-+114_MILK-+30_MH-+1.7_$EN-(-30.42)

Bull B
BW-+2.6_WW-+31_YW-+47_MILK-+8_MH-+.1_$EN-(+33.43)

Now, I'm not sure what the average weaning weight would be on calves out of cows sired by a +30 milk epd bull as compared to a +8 bull in the same environment. 5 weights are pretty common here without a lot of additional inputs Shocked . We'll take them at their word and assume they're consistently weaning  7 weights. These are the prices from Monday's sale...Med 1 steers...7's topped out at $136...5's went for $178.

The sale price for Bull A's daughters calves was $952 (7 x 136), but the additional cost to keep them was -30.42...so the final price is $921.58.

The sale price for Bull B's daughters calves was $890 ( 5 x 178),  the cost to keep them was +33.43...so the final price is $923.43.

The bulls that I have recently used are probably closer to Bull B than they are to Bull A. Should I worry... Is my wannabe cowboy math off?

MV...from the land of unimpressive weaning weights and wasted resources.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:25 am

OAK LANE FARM wrote:
I would think your weaning weight/ sale weight estimation would be pretty high. Give the high growth cattle what the EPDs predict. Thirty lbs difference for the cow and 30 lbs for the bull plus 22 lbs difference for the cows milk. That puts you around 88 lbs difference in weight without any estimate in difference for feeding the different types. In ND 100 lbs of extra weight is bringing $30 TO $40 .
MVCatt wrote:
Reading this article was a bit concerning in regards to some of my recent genetic selections. I live 73 miles northwest of Winchester, VA and that also happens to be where I market my calves. I'm a bit concerned that I might possibly be wasting my resources. I did a little digging around in the AAA sire summary to try and ease my mind. I found a couple of bulls... one that I think is fairly representative to what I'm using... as compared to what I should be using.

Bull A
BW-+2.5_WW-+64_YW-+114_MILK-+30_MH-+1.7_$EN-(-30.42)

Bull B
BW-+2.6_WW-+31_YW-+47_MILK-+8_MH-+.1_$EN-(+33.43)

Now, I'm not sure what the average weaning weight would be on calves out of cows sired by a +30 milk epd bull as compared to a +8 bull in the same environment. 5 weights are pretty common here without a lot of additional inputs Shocked . We'll take them at their word and assume they're consistently weaning  7 weights. These are the prices from Monday's sale...Med 1 steers...7's topped out at $136...5's went for $178.

The sale price for Bull A's daughters calves was $952 (7 x 136), but the additional cost to keep them was -30.42...so the final price is $921.58.

The sale price for Bull B's daughters calves was $890 ( 5 x 178),  the cost to keep them was +33.43...so the final price is $923.43.

The bulls that I have recently used are probably closer to Bull B than they are to Bull A. Should I worry... Is my wannabe cowboy math off?

MV...from the land of unimpressive weaning weights and wasted resources.

The poor or limited forages will limit the cow from her potential of MM+30. The combo of the two will also cause more of them to fail to breed back in the process of the challenge. Look at the replacement cost as well as the sale cost and you will learn to target a maximum weaning weight for your calves.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:38 am

Another piece of the puzzle that wasn't mentioned in the article was longevity. My experience with big milking cattle is that they don't last beyond about 8 years old, maybe 10 for the odd exceptional one. They eventually come up open but I think it's more related to milk production rather than a fertility issue per se. It seems to me like you can only get so much production over a lifetime and you can choose whether to get a lot of milk over 7 lactations or less over 10+ lactations. That seems to be how it works under my management in our environment anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:48 am

The biggest piece to the Article was missing as that was not the entire article. Ron has some very good ideas as he was born and raised in the high Desert. Some where i have the complete article, but god only knows where. The desert cow will never be in a bcs of more than 6 if she is doing her job and rarely over a 4 in the fall and she will feed up to a 5 before calving on most operations. Most ranches figure on 1.5 ton of hay to get a cow through the winter. And then kick them out on the open range for 8-9 months. After a few years the cows sort themselves. And the result will be a 450 to 550 lb calf depending on the year. There are some that can wean a 600lb calf but that is the best range. So it is what it is.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:12 pm

isn`t there two kinds of "type" of cows...performance level, ,milk etc...and then "conformation"..thick, long, tall etc...or does one create the other?
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MVCatt



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:55 pm

OAK LANE FARM wrote:
I would think your weaning weight/ sale weight estimation would be pretty high. Give the high growth cattle what the EPDs predict. Thirty lbs difference for the cow and 30 lbs for the bull plus 22 lbs difference for the cows milk. That puts you around 88 lbs difference in weight without any estimate in difference for feeding the different types. In ND 100 lbs of extra weight is bringing $30 TO $40 .

Ya...it seems the additional performance gets eaten away by margins and feed bills for the cows, and as Grassy pointed out we haven't even talked about longevity. These "Performance" bulls are great as long as you don't have to feed their daughters. Is it any wonder that many cow/calf guys feel like they have been abandoned by the university's and breed associations. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you...and now they expect these same guys to retain heifers for herd expansion.
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Bob H



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:16 pm

I have been away a while but would like to comment on what this site started out with as truelines that you would cross and end up with to maximize profit and minimize expence. If you take moderate cows with a moderate weight and cross them with another trueline that has moderate birth weight and large mature weight you will reach the top 10 percent of producers, which will keep you in the cattle busssiness during most cycles.

The most important thing on a cow outfit is to have coupons to sell. So do not move very far from what your oldest cows type is. ie size,milk and pregnant. If you need more lbs to sell use a terminal bull on these.

Bob H
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:31 pm

Bob H wrote:
I have been away a while but would like to comment on what this site started out with as truelines that you would cross and end up with to maximize profit and minimize expence. If you take moderate cows with a moderate weight and cross them with another trueline that has moderate birth weight and large mature weight you will reach the top 10 percent of producers, which will keep you in the cattle busssiness during most cycles.

The most important thing on a cow outfit is to have coupons to sell. So do not move very far from what your oldest cows type is. ie size,milk and pregnant. If you need more lbs to sell use a terminal bull on these.

Bob H

Bob,
been missing that input of yours that sounds so much like a commercial producer instead of a registered breeder doing the talking...but Bob, a couple things you need to think about...

there is a man who feeds lots of cattle , about 9000 head each turn and every load of calves coming in and every load of fats going out go over the scale. Those feeders keep track of gain because in most cases that is what keeps them going. They especially keep track of gain when that feeder calf costs as much as it does to day and when the feed going into him is very costly as well. Think I am wrong, call the extension person in your state. he will be the go between for ranchers in your area and feeders in mine. I think he will tell you that the feeders want calves that are healthy and grow. None of them give a rip about what the mothers of the calves look like.

you ever had any of your calves weighed in and out Bob? Very Happy

I suspect that they put Socrates to death because there is something terribly unattractive, alienating, and nonhuman in thinking with too much clarity...Taleb
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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:10 pm

Bob H wrote:
I have been away a while but would like to comment on what this site started out with as truelines that you would cross and end up with to maximize profit and minimize expence. If you take moderate cows with a moderate weight and cross them with another trueline that has moderate birth weight and large mature weight you will reach the top 10 percent of producers, which will keep you in the cattle busssiness during most cycles.

The most important thing on a cow outfit is to have coupons to sell. So do not move very far from what your oldest cows type is. ie size,milk and pregnant. If you need more lbs to sell use a terminal bull on these.

Bob H

Once again Bob dosent have to type much to say a lot.
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LCP



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:14 pm

I have heard the cow size issue explained as a physics problem. The small cow needs less volume to fill her belly than the big cow; in an arid environment, where vegetation is sparse, the small cow has the advantage because she can get her belly filled without having to travel as far or graze as long. In a wet climate where feed is plentiful, the advantage is diminished because feed is easily accessible. Less time/energy is involved in filling their bellies.

I suspect that a wet climate could be manipulated to mimic the arid environment by limiting access to grazing. Maybe the reason easy-fleshing small framed cattle don't work for some is that they have access to too much good feed? I'm not sure, just throwing it out there.
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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:37 pm

LCP wrote:
I have heard the cow size issue explained as a physics problem. The small cow needs less volume to fill her belly than the big cow; in an arid environment, where vegetation is sparse, the small cow has the advantage because she can get her belly filled without having to travel as far or graze as long. In a wet climate where feed is plentiful, the advantage is diminished because feed is easily accessible. Less time/energy is involved in filling their bellies.

I suspect that a wet climate could be manipulated to mimic the arid environment by limiting access to grazing. Maybe the reason easy-fleshing small framed cattle don't work for some is that they have access to too much good feed? I'm not sure, just throwing it out there.

Keep throwing it out there. So for you are making a lot of sense.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:32 pm

LCP wrote:
I have heard the cow size issue explained as a physics problem. The small cow needs less volume to fill her belly than the big cow; in an arid environment, where vegetation is sparse, the small cow has the advantage because she can get her belly filled without having to travel as far or graze as long. In a wet climate where feed is plentiful, the advantage is diminished because feed is easily accessible. Less time/energy is involved in filling their bellies.

I suspect that a wet climate could be manipulated to mimic the arid environment by limiting access to grazing. Maybe the reason easy-fleshing small framed cattle don't work for some is that they have access to too much good feed? I'm not sure, just throwing it out there.

Wouldn't a big cow have a proportionately bigger mouth than the small cow hence would need to take less bites to fill herself = less walking, less energy expended ?

I think there is more to it than simply limiting access to grazing in a wet climate to mimic an arid climate. The grasses are different and the cow in wet country needs to eat so much more to take on the necessary nutrients. Dry country cows struggle when moved to our wet country because they simply don't have the capacity to eat enough to take in the nutrients they require. Most seem to adapt over time but it takes a while.

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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:03 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
LCP wrote:
I have heard the cow size issue explained as a physics problem. The small cow needs less volume to fill her belly than the big cow; in an arid environment, where vegetation is sparse, the small cow has the advantage because she can get her belly filled without having to travel as far or graze as long. In a wet climate where feed is plentiful, the advantage is diminished because feed is easily accessible. Less time/energy is involved in filling their bellies.

I suspect that a wet climate could be manipulated to mimic the arid environment by limiting access to grazing. Maybe the reason easy-fleshing small framed cattle don't work for some is that they have access to too much good feed? I'm not sure, just throwing it out there.

Wouldn't a big cow have a proportionately bigger mouth than the small cow hence would need to take less bites to fill herself = less walking, less energy expended ?

I think there is more to it than simply limiting access to grazing in a wet climate to mimic an arid climate. The grasses are different and the cow in wet country needs to eat so much more to take on the necessary nutrients. Dry country cows struggle when moved to our wet country because they simply don't have the capacity to eat enough to take in the nutrients they require. Most seem to adapt over time but it takes a while.


There is merit in decreasing the pass-through rate and allowing animals to digest and absorb more of the nutrients but a speaker at one of Mike's sales some years back applied it equally to hay or whole corn. But this would not favor the big volume cow or the pencil gutted cow. There has to be advantages to each climate type and there must be some sort of gestational adaptation going on if the animals have the abilty to vary in their genetic makeup. There are differences here within 100 miles as you move from the piedmont to the coastal plains or in the opposite direction. There were both unforseen sucess stories and fatal failures in moving cattle from a well known south GA herd to piedmont farms with roughly the same genetic base and the same type. There were never any indicators to signal success or failure.

If you were to let cattle sort themselves in the SE USA, I'd be willing to bet that the FS would be about 4 and the muscling would be light. I sometimes wonder if it is a lost fight to continually force the cows to be bigger than the environment would sift out and keep. But if you move on down to the gulf coast they FS goes up but the muscling seems to stay low on the survivors. Get out to the SW and you have the longhorns. I've rambled enough.
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Bob H



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PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:10 pm

Mike we were in the Country Natual Beef Coop for 4 years and they fed about 40000 cattle a year, These plain Shoshone, Shoshone X catlle always were in the top 10 % for profit for the year. You talk about a fellow buying cattle. One of the most important things we think of when we buy cattle is that they make money. Another thing is the compensetory gain that you are buying. If you own the cattle from birth to death you will always recoup the compensitory gain. As far a gain per day it is irrelivent if the cattle do not make money or your cow herd is not efficient. The only reason to own cows in my opinion is to turn rain and sunshine into a marketable product. YOU NEED AN EFFICIENT FACTORY TO DO THIS Bob H
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Keith Perli



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Join date : 2013-02-08

PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:52 am

The question I have about feedlots making money is dont they sell thier feed at a profit before it even goes into the bunk? therefor dont fairly green cattle have a market advantage? Green can be created by less feed or more frame cant it? Keith
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LCP



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Location : north central SD

PostSubject: Re: cow type selection   Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:09 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
LCP wrote:
I have heard the cow size issue explained as a physics problem. The small cow needs less volume to fill her belly than the big cow; in an arid environment, where vegetation is sparse, the small cow has the advantage because she can get her belly filled without having to travel as far or graze as long. In a wet climate where feed is plentiful, the advantage is diminished because feed is easily accessible. Less time/energy is involved in filling their bellies.

I suspect that a wet climate could be manipulated to mimic the arid environment by limiting access to grazing. Maybe the reason easy-fleshing small framed cattle don't work for some is that they have access to too much good feed? I'm not sure, just throwing it out there.

Wouldn't a big cow have a proportionately bigger mouth than the small cow hence would need to take less bites to fill herself = less walking, less energy expended ?

I think there is more to it than simply limiting access to grazing in a wet climate to mimic an arid climate. The grasses are different and the cow in wet country needs to eat so much more to take on the necessary nutrients. Dry country cows struggle when moved to our wet country because they simply don't have the capacity to eat enough to take in the nutrients they require. Most seem to adapt over time but it takes a while.


The size of the shovel (mouth) doesn't matter if there's hardly anything to scoop up. The goal is to fill up the wheelbarrow (rumen). You're probably right about dry-country cows vs wet-country cows, but to me that seems to be more of a rumen size vs body mass equation, rather than simply a cow size question.
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