Average age of a cull cow

Help Support CattleToday:

Alan

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2004
Messages
9,514
Reaction score
1
Location
NW Oregon
Reading some post brings new questions to mind, someone said they had sold cows at 4 yrs of age, may have been for some other reason.

assuming the cows are kept in good condition and no problems, always good calves, is there an average age to start thinking about culling? I realize some will have good cows in their 20's but when do you guys start thinking about it on a good cow? 8 calves 10calves, 12 years? If breed makes a differance Herefords, Angus.

Thanks,
Alan
 

Craig-TX

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Texas
Always a tough call. We have a one strike and you’re out rule with dead calves. Besides that, you don’t want to wait till she’s already had trouble with a calf but at the same time you don’t want to sell a cow too early if she’s been consistent year in and year out. Generally a cow will start loosing condition due to her mouth or her teats will get too big or she’ll start limping. Then it’s time. But it’s easier said than done if she’s a longtime steady performer. I don’t believe we have a cow over 12 years old. Well, maybe one or a few.

Craig-TX
 

greatgerts

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Messages
1,198
Reaction score
0
Location
De Soto MO
I am in this dilema right now. Last spring, I had a 2 year old lose her calf about 3 days after a tornado came through. I have put in my mind that maybe the storm just caused some stress and caused her to lose it. She is ready to calve as we speak, so I guess in a day or so (because I am at college and not at the farm), I can reply again to this. If she loses this one though, she definately has some wheels with her name on them.
Usually, it depends on fertility, udder quality, and how well the calf will grow on mom's milk.
 

hillbilly 2

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
Location
SW Missouri
Alan":2fqs1x8n said:
Reading some post brings new questions to mind, someone said they had sold cows at 4 yrs of age, may have been for some other reason.

assuming the cows are kept in good condition and no problems, always good calves, is there an average age to start thinking about culling? I realize some will have good cows in their 20's but when do you guys start thinking about it on a good cow? 8 calves 10calves, 12 years? If breed makes a differance Herefords, Angus.

Thanks,
Alan



Alan,
I think you are asking about culling as a managment process, right?
If so, I think its great, but there are always exceptions to the rules.

[1]Raise replacement heifers to replace 20% of your cow herd every year.
[2] Cull 20% +/- of your cow herd every year.
[3] After 5 years of this your oldest cows are 6 years old.

Now your culls sell as bred middle aged cows, [$550 to 850]
Lowering the price of your replacments to a bargin price.

There is still room to keep an exceptional cow longer...and get rid of a dud earlier.

If you insist on the best genetics from the bulls side, you will be suprised how quickly your herd will improve through quicker turnover of generations.

Everybody has there own plan, this won't work for many, but for commercial cattle this has a great return for cull cattle [2X normal]
And with good genetics will build a quality herd of cows in less than 10 years.

Hillbilly
 

txshowmom

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2004
Messages
1,252
Reaction score
0
We don't hold the first calf against them but if their second calf is a dud then they grow wheels.
 

Running Arrow Bill

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
3,439
Reaction score
0
Location
Texas Panhandle On US 83
We don't cull on age. In fact, we have bought couple of exceptional breeders that were 12 years old!

Yearly calving, good health, continued excellent temperament, good conformation, no calving problems, and pedigree...we'll probably keep ours until they're 20 or so and let them retire (unless they die of natural causes before), unless someone makes us an offer we can't refuse on one of our breeding cows.

If a calf doesn't complement and upgrade OUR breeding program (through no fault of dam or sire), then he/she goes for another (less particular) longhorn person, commercial stock, sale barn, or freezer. Lot of factors are figured in the outcome.
 

Campground Cattle

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
2,533
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
Craig-TX":2v7fj5kp said:
Always a tough call. We have a one strike and you’re out rule with dead calves. Besides that, you don’t want to wait till she’s already had trouble with a calf but at the same time you don’t want to sell a cow too early if she’s been consistent year in and year out. Generally a cow will start loosing condition due to her mouth or her teats will get too big or she’ll start limping. Then it’s time. But it’s easier said than done if she’s a longtime steady performer. I don’t believe we have a cow over 12 years old. Well, maybe one or a few.

Craig-TX

Craig I tend to agree, I really start keeping a close eye on the girls over 12. Noticed the first sign calves start getting here 13 to 14 months, we practice the one strike ruthless culling rule also. I sold down everything except one old girl over 7 due to this years prices. This old girl produces kick butt bull calves that always bring me a premium. There is always an exception to the rule.
 

TheBullLady

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Messages
3,537
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Texas
With the Simmentals we take a good look at the cows when they're 7 or so.. if they're good producers, breed back, have good calves, etc. etc., we'll hold on to them. If their performance is mediocre, we'll ship them. They are still young enough to bring good $$ at the auction at that age.

With the Brahmans it's a little different, as Bos Indicus cattle generally live and produce longer. We have Brahmans in the herd now that are 13-15 years old and still good cows.
 

PASS

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Waller, Texas
I generally check the teeth of my cows 9 years old and older every year. When they start loosing their teeth they don't raise the calves as well. I have one now (12 years old) that has only one tooth left and she calved late this year so she's a cull as soon as I can get her pinned up. Being a small producer (25 head) I keep them longer than the larger ranches but they must raise a calf every year or else!

Pat
 

Jake

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
3,782
Reaction score
20
Location
North Central Kansas
we have some cows around that have to be 16 years old. They still produce and hold up condition. They are some OLD mamas that still produce so why get rid of them? It's also a better for us to keep our open cows and move them to the next breeding season because it's cheaper to keep that cow through the winter and calf her out again as to buy a replacement 4 times what she's worth open and try to make that work? do the math is just doesn't work out. It takes 3-4 years to get any money out of her and she doesn't have your genetics that you've worked so hard to get. Keep her a year or two til you can replace her with a heifer of your own. So once they get to be an old crowbait or are really screw ups they don't get culled right away here.
 

greenwillowherefords

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 29, 2004
Messages
1,621
Reaction score
0
Location
Oklahoma
Starting out, I purposely bought an older bred cow in order to put her genetics into my herd at a reduced cost. (I also purchased heifers)

I am strongly in favor of the thought that older cows that continue to produce well are the very ones to save genetics from as much as possible. I believe that many cattlemen keep their cattle as long as they are functioning, and they are going to quickly identify the sources of cattle that do not have staying power, and shun them. If we always focus on new, unproven genetics without keeping them around long enough to prove them, we may not know about mistakes that we have made until we have an entire herd of young cows based on those mistakes. ;-) When making a purchase, I like to know the longevity of the parentage.
 

Mahoney Pursley Ranch

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2004
Messages
2,431
Reaction score
0
Location
North Central Texas
I have yet to buy my first cow but it seems to me from what I have learned here that they produce and produce cheaply or they grow wheels. Money making with a small herd has no time for trial and error in my opinion.
 

Texan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
1,887
Reaction score
0
Location
East Texas
PASS":1ibtprgu said:
Bullady, yes I am in very sandy soil. Why do you ask?
I'm not her spokesman, but the reason she asks is probably because of the shape of your 12 year old cow's mouth.
 

PASS

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Waller, Texas
I was thinking that was the reason but just wanted to verify it. I have other cows 10 to 12 years old with all teeth so I don't really know why she lost 'em. I do have mostly bahia fields and I know that's pretty tough stuff. This cow with the one tooth has had this one tooth for the last two years and it's been loose every time I've checked it. She has been raising nice calves up until being late on her present calf. I've had her since she was a calf herself and she has always calved on time every year.

Pat
 

txshowmom

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2004
Messages
1,252
Reaction score
0
We don't cull our cows because of age. I just sold a 15 year olc cow because she could hardly get around anymore. She had a calf every 10 months. We have a couple more that are 18 and are still producing. They might not look the best but they raise a good calf every year. Have sent other to the packer that were 8 or so just depends on the cow.
 

dun

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2003
Messages
47,334
Reaction score
1
Location
MO Ozarks
PASS":12kt4vw8 said:
I was thinking that was the reason but just wanted to verify it. I have other cows 10 to 12 years old with all teeth so I don't really know why she lost 'em. I do have mostly bahia fields and I know that's pretty tough stuff. This cow with the one tooth has had this one tooth for the last two years and it's been loose every time I've checked it. She has been raising nice calves up until being late on her present calf. I've had her since she was a calf herself and she has always calved on time every year.

Pat

Sandy gritty soils will wear teeth and make them "short and solid' at a younger age. Loosing teeth is more a property of genetics or health. Just my opinion

dun
 

TLCfromARK

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
551
Reaction score
0
Location
Southwest Arkansas
For me its not just the age of a cow, its the over all performace. This year we kept some 9 year old cows and culled some that were only 7. They were doing better jobs and they got to stay. The oldest cow I've got just turned 13, this is the first year that she's went 13 months between calves, she on the hit list for next year.

;-)
 

Latest posts

Top