Cow turnover rate

Discuss upcoming sales and sale results.
Post Reply
User avatar
farmerjan
GURU
GURU
Posts: 2711
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:54 pm
Location: Shenandoah ValleyVirginia
Has thanked: 329 times
Been thanked: 208 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by farmerjan » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:20 pm

Our normal culling comes from a combination. First off, did they raise a calf; then, did they raise a DECENT calf? Then, is she bred back? Then a look at her mouth; how old is she?
Until last year we seldom if ever kept any cows over that were open except first calf heifers that had raised a nice calf and were maybe a bit thin and called open. The calf got weaned, sold, and they got turned back into the "next" calving herd.... spring into fall, or fall into spring. They got one chance to get themselves back into condition, and then rebred, and to stay in that breeding/calving group. They would lose 6 months from their original breeding group.

After all the poor washy grass last year, the horrible pregnancy rates we had, and hearing about everyone around us having issues... we kept and put back with the bulls many cows. Plus cull cow prices were so low it made no sense to give them away in Dec-Jan. We also held back one group because they would be having Dec/Jan calves and I said NO WAY. They will be going out to pasture and the bulls going in, in late May. Mineral is going to be a little different, hi-mag all year due to the vets' recommendations, as well as adding Kelp, and Rumensin which I have never done as we have had some issues with losing a few cows that vet said looked like possible coccidi on top of everything else....but again it was such a strange year. All old cows were sold, and we shipped 3 of the 5 Checked open" heifers because we turned around and replaced them for less than what they sold for. Picked up 3 this past week, for under 600 each, one was a 2-3 yr old, one maybe 5-6 and one a solid 7-8. All due to calve in June/July?. We got 1.13 for the 3 heifers, weighed 2200 lbs; so about 800 ea after commissions. Made sense to replace them with something bred back and still put a little back. We'll see what happens.
Sometimes you have to make adjustments to your normal practices. I am hoping that we have a more "normal" year as far as weather goes..... It will be an interesting year.



User avatar
Bigfoot
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 12257
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:31 pm
Location: Kentucky
Has thanked: 99 times
Been thanked: 187 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Bigfoot » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:43 pm

talltimber wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:48 am
Bigfoot wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:33 pm
Culling is one of those things, that just has to happen. I also believe it’s more costly, than many give it credit for. You take a heifer born on your place, and you’ve gotten 2 calves out of her, and they were both duds.........That’s a huge expense. I mean it’s off the charts. Then you’ve probably got 10% of your cow herd that actually presents a reason to be culled: lost calf, old age, slow breeder. The list goes on and on. It puts the temptation on ya to let that middle aged cow with an average calf keep on trucking. You say well, she brought one to the weaning pen, might as well keep her. Then, that even gets expensive, if you could have fed another one in her place, that could wean a hundred pound bigger calf.

I identified culling or maybe more specifically the need to cull as one of my biggest expenses years ago. It’s why I like a little ear on my cows. People always say where you live, that’s crazy. I personally think not. They are the ones that dodge the bullet the longest, thus lowering that expense.

Feed will always be your biggest expense. I believe that hidden cost of culling is right up there with it. Almost an opportunity cost. You tied up a bunch of resources on a cow that didn’t make it, or tolerated a cow that was barely making it.
You hit some good points there that I've been considering. My struggle with a hard selling age is replacements, and the cost of them, as you mention. My older cows will sometimes cull themselves before I am ready to do that, injury I can't fix, got one now with hardware I think, etc. So a guy will have those unplanned losses, on top of the beautiful failures.(hfrs)
Replacements are a problem.

You're ear, what's your percentage that you are looking for?
Quarter to 3/8. Hard to keep your own heifers and achieve it. I like to cover those cows with a terminal bull. Keep those heifers, and you lose the ear and have 1600 pound cows.
Your not a small business owner. Your a stay at home mom trapped in a pyramid scheme.

Ebenezer
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1804
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:46 am
Location: Piedmont of SC
Has thanked: 188 times
Been thanked: 396 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Ebenezer » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:21 am

Caustic Burno wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:36 am
The retained heifer cost is high and a number not figured in by most come replacement time.
Depends on how you develop them.

User avatar
Caustic Burno
Crusty
Crusty
Posts: 24496
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Big Thicket East Texas
Has thanked: 238 times
Been thanked: 712 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Caustic Burno » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 am

Ebenezer wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:21 am
Caustic Burno wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:36 am
The retained heifer cost is high and a number not figured in by most come replacement time.
Depends on how you develop them.

Not really, the dam returned nothing to the bottom line for two years along with the retained heifer.
Using a dollar a day upkeeps and that is cheap you have 1460 bucks in that heifer. That’s not counting another 205 days until the heifers return a dollar back to the operation, using the same dollar you now have 1665 dollars in her.
If she falls over dead there is no other write off in her as she is retained and other than upkeep, she has no value unless sold.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but the lack does buy misery.

Dave
GURU
GURU
Posts: 7911
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 1:35 pm
Location: Baker County, Oregon
Been thanked: 401 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Dave » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:42 pm

The only time I ever retained heifers is when calf prices tanked. It just doesn't pencil. From those 4 years where I purchased heifers and raised them up and sold as bred heifers I very well know the real cost. The majority of the time you can buy bred heifers or cows a lot cheaper than you can raise your own. And you will have a calf to sell one year sooner.

Ebenezer
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1804
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:46 am
Location: Piedmont of SC
Has thanked: 188 times
Been thanked: 396 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Ebenezer » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:32 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 am
Ebenezer wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:21 am
Caustic Burno wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:36 am
The retained heifer cost is high and a number not figured in by most come replacement time.
Depends on how you develop them.

Not really, the dam returned nothing to the bottom line for two years along with the retained heifer.
Using a dollar a day upkeeps and that is cheap you have 1460 bucks in that heifer. That’s not counting another 205 days until the heifers return a dollar back to the operation, using the same dollar you now have 1665 dollars in her.
If she falls over dead there is no other write off in her as she is retained and other than upkeep, she has no value unless sold.
So they sell the best heifers for replacements around your area? Or do you go to the barn and buy a bred cow that others or I sold because of some reason for not wanting her? The trick is not to need too many replacement heifers and that takes a heaping helping of fertile and functional females with longevity. I do not think you can buy many like that when you need them. Buying does help with basis and taxes.

User avatar
Caustic Burno
Crusty
Crusty
Posts: 24496
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Big Thicket East Texas
Has thanked: 238 times
Been thanked: 712 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Caustic Burno » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:39 pm

There for sale every day, it’s easy to fool yourself. See it every day called pasture blindness. If your bovine was that special order buyers would have a trail wore out to your door.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but the lack does buy misery.

User avatar
Silver
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1843
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:08 am
Location: BC Peace River country
Has thanked: 667 times
Been thanked: 613 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Silver » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:14 pm

Somehow this little operation has managed to stay afloat raising nearly all it's replacements for about 70 years. Probably just lucky.
I factor in the expense of raising replacements so have a good idea what it costs. I think it's also worth considering that the dollars received for the cull cow that is sold to make way for the replacement be factored into the cost of the replacement.

Stocker Steve
GURU
GURU
Posts: 9132
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 8:28 am
Location: Central Minnesota
Has thanked: 110 times
Been thanked: 116 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Stocker Steve » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:04 pm

talltimber What is your opinion or experience on cow turnover/cull periods and the financial efficiency of such a period? [/quote wrote:
Cow Turnover:
Northern Great Plains beef cow culling averages 15 to 18% per year. Could be a lot less if we had eared cattle. ;-)

But you don't want to be average because then you will not make a profit. Profit seekers fall into several different cow culling camps. There is no one answer:

1) Breed cows that last forever. Unfortunately, the remaining teenagers are usually a small part of the heifers you calved out ten plus years before.
2) Haunt the sales barn to buy cows at just above kill prices. Have to really like cattle sales because of the time involved. Expect to bring home some health issues.
3) Sell cows in their prime to minimize depreciation. Some rep and some marketing skill are usually required.
4) Sell cows when there is a drought. This will cut your short term losses, but you will need to sell outside the dry area to get a decent price.
5) Only retain heifers during the upward transition part of the cattle price cycle, and then sell all or most at the peak. Should have a crystal ball for this.

Financial Efficiency:
Scary stuff. Need more info on how you measure it - - $/cow, $/acre, $/hr, ROI, Net Worth, NPV, kids salary, ...

Initially I focused on $/acre and did #2. But that was too easy, so now I am thinking about ROI and looking at #5. :cowboy:
Stocker Steve

User avatar
TennesseeTuxedo
Mentor
Mentor
Posts: 14217
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:49 pm
Location: Live in Franklin, TN farm in Warsaw, KY
Has thanked: 886 times
Been thanked: 830 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:34 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 am
Ebenezer wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:21 am
Caustic Burno wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:36 am
The retained heifer cost is high and a number not figured in by most come replacement time.
Depends on how you develop them.

Not really, the dam returned nothing to the bottom line for two years along with the retained heifer.
Using a dollar a day upkeeps and that is cheap you have 1460 bucks in that heifer. That’s not counting another 205 days until the heifers return a dollar back to the operation, using the same dollar you now have 1665 dollars in her.
If she falls over dead there is no other write off in her as she is retained and other than upkeep, she has no value unless sold.
I'm glad to see you utilizing the tax code as designed.
Making Cattle Today Great Again!
Sometimes you do have to throw out the babies with the bath water.

User avatar
JMJ Farms
GURU
GURU
Posts: 4498
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:51 pm
Location: Middle Georgia
Has thanked: 288 times
Been thanked: 307 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by JMJ Farms » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:06 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 am
Ebenezer wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:21 am
Caustic Burno wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:36 am
The retained heifer cost is high and a number not figured in by most come replacement time.
Depends on how you develop them.

Not really, the dam returned nothing to the bottom line for two years along with the retained heifer.
Using a dollar a day upkeeps and that is cheap you have 1460 bucks in that heifer. That’s not counting another 205 days until the heifers return a dollar back to the operation, using the same dollar you now have 1665 dollars in her.
If she falls over dead there is no other write off in her as she is retained and other than upkeep, she has no value unless sold.
While I agree that it’s cheaper to buy bred cows than to retain heifers, I also understand the benefit of retaining genetics and longevity from your best cows. I compensate by doing some of both.

CB, I don’t completely agree with your figures. The dam didn’t return anything for (1) year. Her next calf is in the pipeline as it would have been. So you only lose that one calf, the retained heifer calf. So, using your figures, that would be $730(+)$205(=)$935. Which is probably a little conservative. I haven’t tried to figure it exactly but I think it would probably be closer to $1100.

And I will add.... If there is a good source for replacement cows or heifers that will make good momma cows close by, then I’d be all for buying instead of retaining. If for no other reason than the fact that it’s much faster and we are all on borrowed time. Problem is they are hard to come by HERE without paying double what they’re worth.
Until we remember that the left wing and the right wing belong to the same bird and we come together as a nation then this country is in for more turmoil - Jogeephus

User avatar
Caustic Burno
Crusty
Crusty
Posts: 24496
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Big Thicket East Texas
Has thanked: 238 times
Been thanked: 712 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Caustic Burno » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:40 pm

JMJ Farms wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:06 pm
Caustic Burno wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 am
Ebenezer wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:21 am

Depends on how you develop them.

Not really, the dam returned nothing to the bottom line for two years along with the retained heifer.
Using a dollar a day upkeeps and that is cheap you have 1460 bucks in that heifer. That’s not counting another 205 days until the heifers return a dollar back to the operation, using the same dollar you now have 1665 dollars in her.
If she falls over dead there is no other write off in her as she is retained and other than upkeep, she has no value unless sold.
While I agree that it’s cheaper to buy bred cows than to retain heifers, I also understand the benefit of retaining genetics and longevity from your best cows. I compensate by doing some of both.

CB, I don’t completely agree with your figures. The dam didn’t return anything for (1) year. Her next calf is in the pipeline as it would have been. So you only lose that one calf, the retained heifer calf. So, using your figures, that would be $730(+)$205(=)$935. Which is probably a little conservative. I haven’t tried to figure it exactly but I think it would probably be closer to $1100.

And I will add.... If there is a good source for replacement cows or heifers that will make good momma cows close by, then I’d be all for buying instead of retaining. If for no other reason than the fact that it’s much faster and we are all on borrowed time. Problem is they are hard to come by HERE without paying double what they’re worth.

Better check your math if you retain the Dam was maintained two years, returning nothing to the operation.
The heifer will not return anything either for two years.
If the dam bred back the day she calved the retained heifer it would be 283 days before she calves again.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but the lack does buy misery.

Stocker Steve
GURU
GURU
Posts: 9132
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 8:28 am
Location: Central Minnesota
Has thanked: 110 times
Been thanked: 116 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Stocker Steve » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:54 pm

[quote="Caustic Burno" The retained heifer cost is high and a number not figured in by most come replacement time. [/quote]

Under what conditions do you think replacement heifer development pays ?
Stocker Steve

User avatar
Caustic Burno
Crusty
Crusty
Posts: 24496
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Big Thicket East Texas
Has thanked: 238 times
Been thanked: 712 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Caustic Burno » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:19 pm

Stocker Steve wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:54 pm
[quote="Caustic Burno" The retained heifer cost is high and a number not figured in by most come replacement time.
Under what conditions do you think replacement heifer development pays ?
[/quote]


Genetics in seedstock.
It doesn’t pay in commercial to retain
when factoring In cull cow price towards replacement. Dollar wise your replacement cost is cheaper than your inputs with a faster return to the operation.
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but the lack does buy misery.

User avatar
Silver
GURU
GURU
Posts: 1843
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 12:08 am
Location: BC Peace River country
Has thanked: 667 times
Been thanked: 613 times

Re: Cow turnover rate

Post by Silver » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:36 pm

I believe I will just continue down the path of destruction to my inevitable doom.

Post Reply