Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

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Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by Brookhill Angus » Thu May 09, 2019 2:55 pm

I've been told my cattle are morbidly obese, when in fact they have the structure to handle their 2000 pound weights. I have heard the "old timers" say to cut their food off prior to calving. I've basically either read, been told, or have witnessed so many ill-fated ideas about how to raise cattle, that when I saw this on Angus media, I said to myself "maybe if they hear it from someone else besides Brookhill, they will believe what is said"

Unlike the starve them down strategy, our mommas eat like it's their last meal, like they are Olympians, right up till the day that calf pops out. Don't look to Brookhill for low birth weight preemies. We have big calves, very strong calves. We don't apologize for 100-pound birthweights.

You only get one chance to get it right, there are no do-overs with each calf crop. Why screw it up? Penny wise, pound foolish as the saying goes.

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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by Ebenezer » Thu May 09, 2019 3:09 pm

Strawman arguments to start. Define the "structure" to carry a ton if the BCS 5 or 6 would put the cow 300 or 450 pounds lighter. Hooves as big as diner plates, bones the size of a baseball bat, titanium joints, ...Better yet, define the purpose and benefit of obese cattle. Surely not economics if you read extension recommendations. Maybe the extension folks can be my "They say" and "Them" to be my personal strawmen.

Bragging on 100 pound birth weights. Then complaining that neighbors do not want to buy overpriced bulls that were 100 pound calves and were probably overfed. What is the world coming to?

Obese is defined by BCS. Look at the pictures and read the descriptions. It sure beats strawman arguments. Never heard an old timer say to cut food prior to calving either. Keep the faith. Spew the rhetoric. Buy feed and enjoy feeding the cows to be sows. More power to you.

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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by True Grit Farms » Thu May 09, 2019 3:32 pm

Who would want a bull with a 100 lb BW? Someone had better be babysitting at calving time. I'll gladly give up 50 lbs of WW for a live calf that I don't have to worry about BW issues. I hate babysitting cattle.
Last edited by True Grit Farms on Thu May 09, 2019 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Thu May 09, 2019 4:28 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 3:32 pm
Who would want a bull with a 100 lb BW? Someone had better be babysitting at calving time. I'll gladly give up 50 lbs for a live calf that I don't have to worry about BW issues. I hate babysitting cattle.
You want 50 pound calves?
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Thu May 09, 2019 4:29 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 3:32 pm
Who would want a bull with a 100 lb BW? Someone had better be babysitting at calving time. I'll gladly give up 50 lbs for a live calf that I don't have to worry about BW issues. I hate babysitting cattle.
You want 50 pound calves?
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by Brookhill Angus » Thu May 09, 2019 4:42 pm

Ebenezer wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 3:09 pm
Strawman arguments to start. Define the "structure" to carry a ton if the BCS 5 or 6 would put the cow 300 or 450 pounds lighter. Hooves as big as diner plates, bones the size of a baseball bat, titanium joints, ...Better yet, define the purpose and benefit of obese cattle. Surely not economics if you read extension recommendations. Maybe the extension folks can be my "They say" and "Them" to be my personal strawmen.

Bragging on 100 pound birth weights. Then complaining that neighbors do not want to buy overpriced bulls that were 100 pound calves and were probably overfed. What is the world coming to?

Obese is defined by BCS. Look at the pictures and read the descriptions. It sure beats strawman arguments. Never heard an old timer say to cut food prior to calving either. Keep the faith. Spew the rhetoric. Buy feed and enjoy feeding the cows to be sows. More power to you.
Eb, if I were to take the advice of our local extension office, my cattle would resemble deer, and their video and photos would not be posted anywhere. I run circles around them, no offense to the people that work there, but I'm 10 steps ahead and getting further out of site with each generation I produce. When they have something I can actually learn from or show me the success of their programs, real actual proof, then I might listen. My comments are based on actual results, not theory, results that I am having on my own operation.

You are a student of history, didn't Wye work tirelessly at producing bigger cattle?

Take a look at this photo, it's Adoph Rupp back in the day as the head of the Kentucky Hereford Association. Is this what you strive for, "baby cattle"? This little guy is cute as a button, but he would be kept as a pet in my yard, not a sire for my herd.

300

Low BW and calving ease have become synonymous with "sleep all day, golf all night", every auctioneer's go-to phrase when they need the crowd to bid a bit more aggressively on a puny bull.

We rarely pull calves, but when we do, no big deal, we do it and move on. Do we as humans cast a negative light on mothers that have a c section versus natural birth? If so, this crowd here would frown on them mercilessly.

I completely understand a producer not wanting to have calving problems, who would want to pull cattle constantly, but to overlook other traits solely because of calving ease tells me that they are solely interested in feet on the ground, not the genetic advancement of the herd.

I would take a terminal Angus sire over a "calving ease" from other breeds any day, solely based on the fact that Angus aren't known for their birthing issues. I have no problem using a negative CED bull on a heifer, given that she is about 14 months and healthy, and has the frame to support that mating. I see people using low BW, high CED bulls on mature cows because they are concerned about calving. If a cow can't have a 100 pound calf with ease, something is not right.
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by Bright Raven » Thu May 09, 2019 6:56 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 3:32 pm
Who would want a bull with a 100 lb BW? Someone had better be babysitting at calving time. I'll gladly give up 50 lbs for a live calf that I don't have to worry about BW issues. I hate babysitting cattle.
I have to ask if you are exaggerating!

At least in the Simmental breed, most breeders expect a much better calf than 50 pounds. I average an 87 pound birthweight. I would like about 85 but would not want to go lower.
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by sim.-ang.king » Thu May 09, 2019 7:04 pm

Hook2.0 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 6:29 pm
How do your bulls, cows, calves do on grass alone?
"If they can't do it on their own, feed them till it appears that they can."
Why should I apologize for becoming a monster?
Did anyone apologize for making me one?

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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by cjmc » Thu May 09, 2019 7:20 pm

How big are the weaning weights of those 2,000 pound cows?

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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by Nesikep » Thu May 09, 2019 7:28 pm

I'd like to have 70-80 lb calves on my heifers, after that, they can do as they please, BW is irrelevant as long as they can handle it

This cow always pushes the limits of what she can handle.. she's not a big cow, but that calf.. well.. I think he's around 130, didn't feel like picking him up.
Image

This cow makes smaller calves, this is probably about an 70-80 lb heifer
Image

A month later, the weight spread between the two calves has INCREASED.

I'm going to try and take another pic
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by Bright Raven » Thu May 09, 2019 7:31 pm

Brookhill

Your cows are big, I have not been over to see them on the ground but I don't think they are "morbidly obese". They certainly carry a lot of condition and I think you are feeding them grain when you should not be. I totally agree with the speaker in that video that cattle need proper nutrition.

I had a buyer here on Saturday who bought one bred cow, 2 bulls and 5 heifers. One of the heifers he bought was the Broadway that had a birthweight of 112 pounds. You may remember the picture of her that I posted. The guy was anxious to get a heifer that size. They have over 300 cows and said they range up to 1900 pounds. His preference in a cow is 1450 to 1500 pounds but he does not shy away from larger cows.

In my experience, calves that start out at say 64 pounds, never catch up with the bigger calves.
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Thu May 09, 2019 7:49 pm

Hook2.0 wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:35 pm
Bright Raven wrote:
Thu May 09, 2019 7:31 pm
Brookhill

Your cows are big, I have not been over to see them on the ground but I don't think they are "morbidly obese". They certainly carry a lot of condition and I think you are feeding them grain when you should not be. I totally agree with the speaker in that video that cattle need proper nutrition.

I had a buyer here on Saturday who bought one bred cow, 2 bulls and 5 heifers. One of the heifers he bought was the Broadway that had a birthweight of 112 pounds. You may remember the picture of her that I posted. The guy was anxious to get a heifer that size. They have over 300 cows and said they range up to 1900 pounds. His preference in a cow is 1450 to 1500 pounds but he does not shy away from larger cows.
I hope they work out well for tt
I don’t do Simmental's.
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by Nesikep » Thu May 09, 2019 8:03 pm

Couldn't get these two guys to pose right... they're pretty much full brothers, not a whole lot of age difference.. 40 lb birthweight difference though
Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by JMJ Farms » Thu May 09, 2019 8:14 pm

Brookhill, serious question. What exactly is your goal?

The goal of MOST registered breeders is to produce purebred herd sires for commercial cattlemen and purebred heifers to continue their herd.

Your bulls may work for my commercial cows. I honestly don’t know. I do know they couldn’t maintain the body condition here that they currently have. I don’t think they could maintain their condition in any commercial herd of over 20-30 unless the cattleman is pouring out feed. And if he is, he’s not going to be profitable. So I’m guessing your goal is not to raise herd sires for the commercial guy.

I’m not knocking your cattle. Not at all. I just don’t grasp why you are pushing so hard for super size Angus cattle.

And also, on a friendly note, your way is not the only way. Cows don’t have to weigh a ton to be well taken care of. My 1200 pound cows are well conditioned and I have dang near 100% conception and weaned calves. I do have some every year that are little late and are culled. I bet your cows would still look good and perform good at 20% less weight. But that’s neither here nor there. Not gonna tell you how to run your business. Just curious as to why you are chasing high weight Angus cattle.
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Re: Here's to the "let them eat dirt" crowd

Post by Redgully » Thu May 09, 2019 8:18 pm

This whole argument can be settled on feed efficiency, how much feed to wean. Yes one cow might ween a calf 10% less than the next but on 20% less feed. Moderate cows that produce year after year and always seem to look good even in tough times. We all have that cow somewhere in our herd that is noticed by the owner but unnoticed by everyone else.

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