Curiosity about reliable cows

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dun

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Don;t need to post pictures but I'm curious how many of your cows 8 plus years of age have structural issues? For instance, weak top lines, need foot trimming, post legged, high tail heads, etc.
For us it's zero out of 15
 

TREY-L

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Dun, I don't have many cows over the age of eight, but I have had some of the problems you mentioned show up before that age. I guess that's one of the reasons I don't have many cows over the age of eight. :lol2: I am really not as picky as some folks on here, if they throw and grow a good marketable calf, I tend to overlook flaws that many on here would send them packing for.
I only have a handful over that age, but I did try to buy a few cows that were 12 years old from my breeder last spring, he really didn't want to sell them and in the end he ended up keeping them. To me at least, that says volumes about what they think about the longevity of their cattle.
 
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dun

dun

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The reason I'm curious is that it takes aorund 6-7 calves before a cow really starts to be profitable. The way the market is that may go to 10-12 calves.
 

TREY-L

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dun":13mwq8py said:
The reason I'm curious is that it takes aorund 6-7 calves before a cow really starts to be profitable. The way the market is that may go to 10-12 calves.

So are you wondering if the current market conditions will have an impact on culling standards?
 
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dun

dun

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TREY-L":1505eyqt said:
dun":1505eyqt said:
The reason I'm curious is that it takes aorund 6-7 calves before a cow really starts to be profitable. The way the market is that may go to 10-12 calves.

So are you wondering if the current market conditions will have an impact on culling standards?

No I just figure it will take more calves for a cow to pay for herself. The curiosity lies in how long structural issue cows stay in a herd. We've heard all of the hoopla about there isn;t any evidence that structure makes a difference, so......................
 

KNERSIE

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For me its not so much structural problems that causes cows to be culled, but rather teeth. With my grazing conditions the teeth don't hold up much longer than 10, bearing in mind my cattle have to browse more than they graze and when they graze the grass is short and the soil is sandy so its more of a biting action than the typical wrap the tongue around and cut with the incisors.

I can not see how structural problems cannot affect longevity. People seems to forget its reproductive and productive longevity that counts and not simply a case of the cow being kept alive with life (feedbunk) support.
 
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dun

dun

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KNERSIE":25pyv25y said:
I can not see how structural problems cannot affect longevity. People seems to forget its reproductive and productive longevity that counts and not simply a case of the cow being kept alive with life (feedbunk) support.

That's the ppoint I was hoping to make. Just because there isn;t any "proof" in writing somewhere that supports it, longevity with productivity should be proof enough.
 

cypressfarms

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You know Dun,

you definitely have a knack at appropraite discussions. I think that this sort of discussion should be happening more frequently with the prices dropping - but what after the prices go back up (you know there'll be a cycle. The smart farmers will be as selective on profitable traits whether the matket is good or bad. The people that really strive to improve the herd, that's the people that tend to stay in business for long periods of time. I would assume that most cattlemen could do well selling weanlings for $800, and the total cost to upkeep the moma cow was $100 - but that is not the world now. Thanks for starting this discussion.

By the way, I only have one cow over eight, still butterball fat year round, a real easy keeper - and puts some outstanding calves on the ground.
 

Angus Cowman

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Dun, I usually buy about 100hd of thin,broken mouth cows every fall and run them on some leased hay ground didn't this yr because kill prices were to high but alot of those cows if on good forage can come back and raise good calves I would say 95% of those cows are over 10yrs most are bred when I get them a few aren't I buy a salebarn bull and turn out and rebreed the ones that calve or were open when purchased

I think with the proper feed and care these cows will have a few more calves almost all of them when I sell in the spring are rebred ,but as you know feed and care is the main thing for them to reproduce and these are cows that haven't had the proper care an aged cow needs when I buy them
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I only have 8 cows over 8 yrs old. All structurally, & phenotypically correct. One is being picked up today, that I sold as a breeder and 1 is a flush cow.
I am a little embarressed that I don't have more % of my herd in that age bracket, but we've been in a transition of "style" of cattle & I've been culling the older large type cows (1800-1900#). And I have been having a flush of replacement heifers.
I totally agree, you have to keep cows around in order for them to be profitable. I figure (as most research articles agree) that it takes $1000 to get a heifer raised up to production. In my herd, it's $471/yr cow cost (2007 figures which may be drastically different in 2008). If a cow produces only steers, she will start making a profit with her 4th calf, at the age of 5, at the $1/# market we have been fortunate enough to enjoy. That may change drastically in the future.
Cows don't survive in my herd with any type of structural problems. Well, let me correct that and say, they don't make it to cow stage in my herd, unless it is something that springs up with age - like developing bad feet.
 

mobgrazer

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I have my computer system set up to put cows on the cull list at 14. I have cows that are over 18 right now. The old ones are the last to show up when I take the heard on a hike. There top lines do sag a bit and some of there briskets do not look so great but if there putting out good cows then why am I going to ship something that consistently makes good money.

When I’m selling cattle I love to be able to put out some older cows. I do think it says something when you can point out a few old cows to show that they hold up and not bread for the short run.
 

Limomike

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About 1/3 of my herd is over the 8yr mark. I can't think of one of them that has any structural problems. Good post dun.
 

alacattleman

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ive had some feet and udder problem.. feet from the simmental and udder from the brahman. it don't take but a few structure flaws .. for you too shut down, and retool.
 

hrbelgians

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KNERSIE":2vyqdi97 said:
For me its not so much structural problems that causes cows to be culled, but rather teeth. With my grazing conditions the teeth don't hold up much longer than 10, bearing in mind my cattle have to browse more than they graze and when they graze the grass is short and the soil is sandy so its more of a biting action than the typical wrap the tongue around and cut with the incisors.


I know how they feel, I have had teeth problems since I was 10 myself! :lol:

Oh well, on to Dun's question. I have one cow out of 30 total which is over 8, and she is seventeen and has raised a calf every year since I own her, which is since 11, also bred for 2009!!! She is still as strait and true as an eight year old, her bag is still in great shape, and would like to have 10 more just like her! I have 4 of her daughters and three of her grandaughters in the herd as well. I trully think I got lucky with this gal!
Good topic Dun.
 

George Monk

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About 1/2 our herd is 7 yrs or better. In the last two years I have been culling the '94 models. We still have some left. Structurally most have done very well. Only one slipped a calf in her latter years due to a lame foot. We got the foot cured and she bred back so I took the opportunity to sell her. The vet at the sale barn mouthed and listed her as 7yrs old. (buyer beware) Makes me wonder how old my 7yr olds are? :? Most of them have produced 12 calves for us.
As the cows get aged I watch the udder as close as anything. Teeth don't seem to get to short. I learned from a sage old fellow to feed all my hay on its side so the bales fall apart rather than the cows have to rip the hay out. Not sure if this makes a difference but I THINK it does.

My goal as a producer is to get a purebred herd of angus and cross them with a herford bull and then sell the F1 heifers. My current thoughts are not to offer any heifers that are not from a cow of at least 5 maybe older. Gotta see how the logistics work when I get my herd built but I feel that as a producer of females I need to offer ones that have that staying power Dun is talking about.
 

randiliana

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We have 21 cows that are 8 or older out of 91. And, this is after culling over 70 head this year. Of those 21, one has probably the poorest conformation of any cow that we have ever owned.

She was born in 2001. She is sickle hocked, fine boned, has poor feet and only has 2 1/2 teats that the calf can suck. But, she consistently raises a good calf, that does not seem to inherit her poorer qualities, and that weighes up in the top end of the calves every year. In fact, her heifer calf from this year is in the replacement pen. This girl would have gone this fall, since it was one of those 'give me a reason to cull' years. But she is so ugly and pathetic looking that we figured we would do better on her to keep her and let her raise calves, than we would have done if we had sold her.

There is also another cow that is an ugly, scrawny old girl, she is nearly impossible to keep weight on, but she is going to be 10 years old in the spring. She has had 2 sets of twins, raised one of each set and always has one of the biggest calves in the fall.
 

alacattleman

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randiliana":1wpqa8ch said:
We have 21 cows that are 8 or older out of 91. And, this is after culling over 70 head this year. Of those 21, one has probably the poorest conformation of any cow that we have ever owned.

She was born in 2001. She is sickle hocked, fine boned, has poor feet and only has 2 1/2 teats that the calf can suck. But, she consistently raises a good calf, that does not seem to inherit her poorer qualities, and that weighes up in the top end of the calves every year. In fact, her heifer calf from this year is in the replacement pen. This girl would have gone this fall, since it was one of those 'give me a reason to cull' years. But she is so ugly and pathetic looking that we figured we would do better on her to keep her and let her raise calves, than we would have done if we had sold her.

There is also another cow that is an ugly, scrawny old girl, she is nearly impossible to keep weight on, but she is going to be 10 years old in the spring. She has had 2 sets of twins, raised one of each set and always has one of the biggest calves in the fall.
sound's like she throw's herself comepletely into her work ;-)
 

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