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color counts

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Anonymous

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Here in northwestern Ohio I have 15 herford cows and 15 shorthorn cows I bought 2 lots of heifers when I started but i like them theyoldhat convert grass to calves very well for me and they are tame. Any how I used a hefrod bull the 1st year out and did get some nice calves, on the rail they did great but in the stockyard they did not fare so well. Last year I used an angus bull and saw the return at the stockyard jump up alot. But in my opion the return at my plate in my house was not as good as when i used the herford. the steers i kept were from the same cow and feed the same way only differance was the bull. Now why do black cattle Bring more at the stockyard? Is it because they are leaner whitch to me = less taste. Or because every where you look you see certified Black Angus beef stickers? just wondering. Also thease are my findings and opions not bashing anybodys breed of choice! Jake

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Anonymous

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In our part of the MO Ozarks, baldies or red neckers sell the same as solid black or red. However, if they look like a Hereford, watch out, you'll get killed at sale time. Now for the legend of "black is beautiful". Long ago, the only black cattle were angus. Angus historically marble better then the majority of other british breeds. The black Angus association also has a great sales staff. The identity of a black calf insinuates that he has angus in his make up. After a couple of generations the angus only contributes the color, if it's 75% Simmenthal, limousin, charolais, whatever, it hasn't got much going for it marbling wise, only the color. Locally we have available in the same store, CAB and some branded Hereford beef. The CAB is a dollar a pound more and frankly, I prefer the flavor of the Hereford. That's just my opinion, of which I have one on almost every subject.

dunmovin farms

> Here in northwestern Ohio I have
> 15 herford cows and 15 shorthorn
> cows I bought 2 lots of heifers
> when I started but i like them
> theyoldhat convert grass to calves
> very well for me and they are
> tame. Any how I used a hefrod bull
> the 1st year out and did get some
> nice calves, on the rail they did
> great but in the stockyard they
> did not fare so well. Last year I
> used an angus bull and saw the
> return at the stockyard jump up
> alot. But in my opion the return
> at my plate in my house was not as
> good as when i used the herford.
> the steers i kept were from the
> same cow and feed the same way
> only differance was the bull. Now
> why do black cattle Bring more at
> the stockyard? Is it because they
> are leaner whitch to me = less
> taste. Or because every where you
> look you see certified Black Angus
> beef stickers? just wondering.
> Also thease are my findings and
> opions not bashing anybodys breed
> of choice! Jake
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I agree with you that color does count at the sale barn. We live in central Texas, and a black calf will almost always out sell an equal of another color. In the past two years we have had some exceptional red calves and they sold several cents per pound lower than their black counterparts. Not alot but enough to raise your eyebrows. I was told this is because buyers see the Angus in the calf.

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Anonymous

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I will agree that the Angus association has done a LOT to create the black is beautiful myth. I was told by a showman that when judges look at a black animal, they see a block, but when they look at any other color, every hair out of place JUMPS to attention. Black looks bulkier, I guess. I guess we just have to raise the beef we like to eat and then gather customers that like to eat like we eat... not what some buyer THINKS looks good on the hoof.

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Anonymous

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The Angus association has done a lot to assist breeders in raising a better animal.

It is the breeders that deserve the credit. CAB is the largest branded beef program in the world because of Angus hitting the target consumers will pay for. Breeders have raised those cattle to hit those targets.

Talk to most large feedlots, and they tell you Angus cattle have less sickness and loss than other breeds. They also have better feed conversion than many breeds. Combine that with them being good mothers and generally easy calving, and it is a breed tough to overlook in any aspect that is financially important.

Buyers know it, consumers know it.

Dun's explination of what has happened is one of the simplest I have seen and is quite accurate. Black cattle do bring more money because they are assumed to be Angus, but if you check Can-fax numbers, source verified black Angus bring more than generic black cattle.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

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Anonymous

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Not all angus are black, just as not all black cattle are angus. The Red Angus Association in the US has a program for identifying Red Angus influenced cattle. In most cases it works and puts the value of Red Angus right with black. One sale I attended that was supposed to be a pre-vac and Red Angus influnce sale. The salebarn decided to run everything they had or could get through the barn the same day. Thirteen Thousand head, nothing brought a premium that day, even Herefords sold about the same as everything else. The only thing that took a beating was Limo heifers, they ran 10 bucks less per cwt then any other heifers.

dunmovin farms

dunmovin farms

> The Angus association has done a
> lot to assist breeders in raising
> a better animal.

> It is the breeders that deserve
> the credit. CAB is the largest
> branded beef program in the world
> because of Angus hitting the
> target consumers will pay for.
> Breeders have raised those cattle
> to hit those targets.

> Talk to most large feedlots, and
> they tell you Angus cattle have
> less sickness and loss than other
> breeds. They also have better feed
> conversion than many breeds.
> Combine that with them being good
> mothers and generally easy
> calving, and it is a breed tough
> to overlook in any aspect that is
> financially important.

> Buyers know it, consumers know it.

> Dun's explination of what has
> happened is one of the simplest I
> have seen and is quite accurate.
> Black cattle do bring more money
> because they are assumed to be
> Angus, but if you check Can-fax
> numbers, source verified black
> Angus bring more than generic
> black cattle.

> Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus
> Farms Alberta Canada
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The only thing that took a
> beating was Limo heifers, they ran
> 10 bucks less per cwt then any
> other heifers. ******** Hmmmmmmm.... might as well let you know... I selected a Red Angus bull to breed with my Limo cows.... will see what it gets me, but am not selling through a sales yard, so.... One of the things we have found on dad's sales yard experiences was the SIZE.... his 600 pound calves took a 25 cent a pound hit because the buyers didn't want anything heavier than a 500 pound calf. Besides the color issue, the poundage has something to do with it, doesn't it?

> dunmovin farms

> dunmovin farms

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Anonymous

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Point taken about the Red Angus, Dun. They indeed do share the same atributes as their black counterparts, provided they are the purebred reds and not the bred up reds. However, they were always able to slide in under the red cover, being mistaken for other breeds when Angus weren't popular, thus the solid red never came to mean Angus the same as black did.

And yes Omak, there is more to selling than the size. 600 pound steers should have brought more per head (even though less per pound) than similar steers weighing 500 pounds. The exceptions are if they are too fleshy to have that extra 100 pounds, or if they are just poorer cattle than the 500 pounders. Feedlots usually want their steers to be closer to 600 pounds as they get sick less often than the lighter ones when starting on feed. If your market is discounting bigger steers (on a price per head basis) it's time to look for a new market.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

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Anonymous

Guest
>> And yes Omak, there is more to
> selling than the size. 600 pound
> steers should have brought more
> per head (even though less per
> pound) than similar steers
> weighing 500 pounds. ***** They brought more per head, but that 25 centsw less a pound was pretty hard to swallow. The only thing I could figure was: start sending the calves to market earlier and at a lighter weight. They weren't fleshy, just good growth.

> feed. If your market is
> discounting bigger steers (on a
> price per head basis) it's time to
> look for a new market. ***** Point well-taken, and there is a market up the road about fifteen miles. will pass the good idea along to dad and brothers.

> Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus
> Farms Alberta Canada

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Anonymous

Guest
Why would you send them earlier to market just to get more per pound but less per head?

Bottom line counts in cattle, not price per pound. Unless your last 100 pounds of gain cost you more to put on than the extra dollars per calf you recieved, you made more money.

All things being equal, I'd rather sell 600 pound steers at a buck than 500 pounders for $1.10.

Your math seems out if there was a 25 cent difference on 100 pounds yet you netted more for the heavier steers.

ie: 500 pounds @ $1.00 = $500

600 pounds @ $0.75 = $450

Most common is a 05 slide, meaning for each additional pound of calf the buyer will pay .05 cents less per pound, or 5 cents a hundred. The same calves above would price out this way: 500 pounds @ $1.00 = $500 600 pounds @ $0.95 = $570

It doesn't always work out exactly this way, but if you get hit more than about 7-10 cents a hundred for the bigger calves, look for a new market.

Looking at the above example, feeders look at margins. If their cost of gain is 45 cents a pound, the 600 pound calf is more expensive to buy. They could have bought the 500 pounder and turned it into a 600 pounder for the purchase of $500+ feed $45= $545 vs $570. However, at certian times of the year buying the smaller steer will put them into a different fat market and cost them several cents a pound on the finished steer, negating any savings from buying the smaller steer.(1200 pound finished steer 2 cents lower = $24 loss)

Don't get so focused in on one single thing so you miss the big picture. market your animals the best way for you, not for price per pound bragging rights.

Jason Trowbridge Southern Angus Farms Alberta Canada

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Anonymous

Guest
I am weighing in a little late so I may have missed part of the conversation, but what time of the year was you dad selling selling his calves? If it was in the spring the reason for the severe dockage was probably because the buyers were looking for stocker calves to put on grass for the summer. For this market 500 LB is the perfect size so that they can be sold in the fall between 700-750 lb. 600 lb calves are not too big for the market but they are less desirable as they are on the large side for the stocker market and a little to small for the feedlot depending on their genetics. Lastly, in an earlier comment you said that "we should raise what we like not what a buyer wants" ..... well obviously you have a very tolerant banker or you have a good source of direct sales for your cattle. For the majority of the cattle market we do not raise cattle we produce beef for the consumer. If we do not produce what they want to eat (which hopefully is what the cattle buyer is looking for) they will not buy beef and will purchase other sources of protein. Always keep that in mind.

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Anonymous

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Okay.... let's get down to it. 600 pounds at 75cents equaled 450.00... then, the 500 pounders went at 96 cents a pound for 480. I guess the reason I would send earlier is that I can produce that fast.... it saves the ground on which they graze, gives me a different buyer because of the different month... In August that year, the prices were almost thirty cents a pound higher than one month later. The down side of weaning earlier than the six month rule MIGHT be that my cows would be over-conditioned by the time their next calf came, ( I DO have a hang up about that, now, don't I??? LOL) at any rate... Your explanation about the feed lot costs was very helpful.

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Anonymous

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> but what time of the
> year was you dad selling selling
> his calves? ***** He usually takes to the fall market. Lastly, in an earlier
> comment you said that "we
> should raise what we like not what
> a buyer wants" ***** I'm sorry, I was thinking of the buyer who wants to buy only BLACK... I didn't put that very well. I think I finished that comment by suggesting that we find the consumers that want what we provide.... another way to put that would be to say: "Educate your market." As my mother says: "If you create an appetite for something, that appetite will have to be fed." ..... well
> obviously you have a very tolerant
> banker or you have a good source
> of direct sales for your cattle. ****** I may be distorting the picture a bit, since I don't have to depend on a banker. And, yes. I think we have a good source for direct sales. We are small producers, and that really messes things up for folks like you who are running hundreds of head. ( Or at least on a much larger scale than I will ever be). Perhaps I am reinventing the wheel, but I can't compete with the bigger outfits. hopefully, we are not a problem for you, either.

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Anonymous

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Omak,

If you have a good source of direct sales that likes what you produce then you are ahead of the game. The direct sales avenue is the most profitable nitch market bar none. Nitch markets as a rule do not hurt anyone in the beef business because they usually are filling a void that the other segments cannot. The concern that I was raising had to do with the fact that you may have extra animals that you would not be direct selling that could end up on the general market. If these additional animals do not meet industry specifications they do cause a lot of problems in the processing sector as they just do not fit the rest of the puzzle. This is a big problem in the beef industry because something like 80% of all beef animals are produced by herds of 25 or fewer head. Since AI is not widely used the genetic variation is "huge." In addition to making efficient processing more difficult it makes it very difficult to produce a uniform end product. Even in your small operation, if you can not guarantee your customer a good product then your venture will be bankrupt very fast. In the past, the problem has been that the "unacceptable" product (tough, dark cutter, inefficient gainer, etc.) were mixed in with animals from everywhere and effectively lost their identity. Producers of these type of animals had no idea that they were producing them as they could very well have been some of the best looking animals on the lot. Also, even if they did know, there was no incentive other than pride to produce a better product because everyone was paid "average" prices. Today, with grids, good cattle can produce premiums and inferior cattle get rewarded appropriately. One downside of this is that a larger and larger percentage of the "good" cattle are no longer sold on the commodity market each year, so prices in this market are dropping. I point this out because, if your direct sales avenue does not work out (if you only have a small number of cattle this is less of a problem) then you will probably have to sell to the commodity market and if your cattle do not "look" like they are premium animals and you do not have "hard" data (ADG, % choice, ultrasound) be prepared for a disappointment come sale time.

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Anonymous

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Points well-taken, and you are right. If I ever have to sell to the general market, some of my ideas will have to change, and understandably so. Most of the people I deal with are city people who are beginning to resent paying PREMIUM prices at the store for a product that isn't as good as what they remember from somewhere else. And, maybe they are starting to make a statement about wanting to support known suppliers rather than take a chance that their meat is coming from GOD only knows where. Thus, politics rears its ugly head. I am pretty confident that if I ever have to take my animals to market, their breeding is such that they will be quite acceptable and fit the "mold"... except for the color... lol... which is where this all started. I think I am arguing the PRINCIPLE of the thing and that is why I don't want black... on the other hand, have you ever noticed that the ONLY time black cows get out is at midnight, on the moonless time????

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Anonymous

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You are right we discussed much more than the original message however it all plays together. Unfortunately, black has become the standard for many breeds. I myself personally do not care what color an animal is because it is the end product that matters. With the increase in popularity of the grid market, hopefully many of these myths will have less "power" in pricing decisions. Personally, I think that it would be better for breeders to concentrate on high quality polled genetics and less on hide color but that is my preference. Good conversation.

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Anonymous

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Wish I saw this sooner. Color of cattle drives me NUTS. Heard the operations man at a major killer of cert. Ang. say that once the hide was peeled they were all angus if they fit the rest of the criteria. Cert Ang beef is in the same class as "better" "improved" "new" and "revolutionary". A slick ad campaign with little real substance. I mean that in the quality sense not price . If I was running commercial cows or not retaining ownership onto the rail they would all be black. As far as black, they do look much better when showing because it is easier to camaflauge any problems. Thats why I like to see a judge touch the cattle and feel for muscling. I like carcass shows much better for the same reason. When started the CABeef program actually had an excellent premise but now the genetics have moved and black is no longer an indicator of quality. Sometimes I think buyers just use color to beat down the price of everything that isn"t black.

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