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Anyone tried a calf to carcass program?

cypressfarms

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Louisiana has a "calf to carcass" program where you can nominate a minmum of three steers (they'll do heifers, but most are steers), - you have to bring them to three designated points in the fall (they prefer steers above 550 pounds) and they are preconditioned - then sent to Hitch to feed out, and sold. The cattleman retains ownership throughout until the feedyard sells. From what I can understand a producer can get some valuable info about their herd to help with future breeding decisions. Not sure exactly how much it would cost (The nomination fee is $35, but I don't know what Hitch charges), but I could see myself sending some steers to test.

Are any cow/calf operations doing tests like this, perhaps under different names if your in a different state?
 

dun

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Missouri has several groups in the state that do the same thing. The one we belong to is Sothern Ozark Premier Beef Marketing (SOPBM). We (the group) has a spring and summer deal. We comingle anywhere from 150-300 steers and heifers in each group, background them and market them to feeders. The bids we get range from 100% sell to retain 50% ownership. It is a tool we've used to get back carcass and feedlot data for about 8-9 years. The bids come from TX, OK, NE, IA and KS, even a few from MO.
We usually get a little more per CWT then the normal sales. All calves when they go to be comingled at the backgrounder haveto be weaned, vaccinated, castrated and healed, dehorned and healed and all heifers have to be open.
 

Frankie

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Oklahoma has the "OK Steer Feedout" program. Requires a minimum of five steers....no heifers. We were involved with it when we had commercial cows. It is a learning experience. I think everyone can benefit from participating those kinds of programs. Back when we did the program, there was a nomination fee, then you paid for the feed and any medical costs each month. Today, you pay a nomination fee when you deliver the calves and all other expenses are taken out of the sale proceeds from the packer.

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/exten/oksteer/
 

BC

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Texas used to have the Ranch to Rail program. It is valuable to learn how your cattle perform in the feed yard and to get carcass information back. Had a friend who used the program for years until they ended it. He used the data to make culling decisions during a drought. Seems that he had used a bull several years back that he had saved daughters back and all the sons of those daughters had inferior gains and had more YG 4's than the rest of his calves.

It will be an eye opening experience for you.
 

TheBullLady

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The Ranch to Rail program was started here in Texas about 10 years ago, in conjunction with Texas A & M. It was a great program, because you could see exactly what your animals did in the "real world". Originally it was for steers over 300 lbs, but after the first year they changed it to 500 to 800 lbs. All had to be backgrounded, vaccinated, bunk broke, etc. We hauled to a central loading point, and they loaded the pot and hauled them to Gonzalez. You could have 1 head or 40. They keep good records for you, like any illnesses and subsequent medical costs, feed consumption and conversion, weight gain, etc., and they did it monthly. Then when they were processed, you got paid according to the carcass quality. Very interesting process! We used an Angus bull on a group of heifers that year, and his calves didn't do nearly as well as the calves out of the Brahman bull. Go figure.

Our only complaint was they didn't disperse funds until all the calves where processed. Our calves were on the big side when we hauled them (700 lbs) so they were some of the first to go to the packers. We had to wait until all the calves in the program had been processed, which was over 3 months after ours were gone.
 

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