Horns, Skins and Ears: Why the Preferences?

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MichaelB

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Reading some of the favorite breed posts and posts from other topics over the last few months, I wonder about some things. I'm not trying to start a riot with some of the personalities on this board, I honestly just want to know why:

Is there a material difference between a horned versus a polled Hereford? Is there such a difference that one would choose to dehorn rather than breed polled Herefords?

Is there an actual reason why a premium is paid for Angus beef? I heard a rumor that black skins were easier to remove at slaughter, but is that really true? Or is all that just marketing to justify the consumer premium for beef labeled as Angus in the grocery store? Do the red angus people get in on that action, or just the black ones (or black angus crosses)?

Also, what's with "eared" cattle? I've seen posts indicating that the slaughter buyers will not as much for a drooping ear. Is there an innate issue with a Brahman carcass that it is tougher or in some way not as palatable as the European breeds? Does this prejudice also apply to Santa Gertrudis, Brangus and other Brahman-derived meat breeds?

Just curious,

Michael
 

farmwriter

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Well, aren't you the little pot-stirrer! :lol2:
For any one of the questions you asked, twenty different people will likely give you twenty different answers, so take each as lightly or seriously as you want. Just wait for it all to roll in...
 
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MichaelB

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Cross references to previous posts where these issues have been discussed/fought over already would be acceptable.

I'm simply new to cattle and do not understand the basis behind some of these arguments.
 

Frankie

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MichaelB":704scms8 said:
Reading some of the favorite breed posts and posts from other topics over the last few months, I wonder about some things. I'm not trying to start a riot with some of the personalities on this board, I honestly just want to know why:

Is there a material difference between a horned versus a polled Hereford? Is there such a difference that one would choose to dehorn rather than breed polled Herefords?

I don't have a clue about Herefords.

Is there an actual reason why a premium is paid for Angus beef? I heard a rumor that black skins were easier to remove at slaughter, but is that really true? Or is all that just marketing to justify the consumer premium for beef labeled as Angus in the grocery store? Do the red angus people get in on that action, or just the black ones (or black angus crosses)?

Yes, there is an actual reason premius are paid for Angus cattle, or even black cattle in general. (Though I think many times it's a discount to the other colored cattle, rather than a premium for the black ones.) If you look at the link for all USDA certified branded beef programs, you'll see that most of them have the word "Angus" in them somewhere. I haven't read all the specs on all those programs, but many of them require the cattle be black. Then you have the fast food joints that sell "Angus" burgers. There's simply a huge demand for black cattle. I doubt seriously that the black skins are easier to remove; I've never heard that one. Excel has a branded beef program called "Sterling Silver." It has the same specs as Certified Angus Beef except for the color requirement and I've heard they use a lot of Red Angus in that program. I don't know if they pay any premiums for cattle that fit their program or not. The only branded beef program owned by the American Angus Association is the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) program and the cattle have to be black to be considered for that program. Then you have feedlot efficiency. Angus breeders performance test more bulls than other breeds combined. That's not an accident. It's helped push the breed to the front in feedlot efficiency.

Also, what's with "eared" cattle? I've seen posts indicating that the slaughter buyers will not as much for a drooping ear. Is there an innate issue with a Brahman carcass that it is tougher or in some way not as palatable as the European breeds? Does this prejudice also apply to Santa Gertrudis, Brangus and other Brahman-derived meat breeds?

Just curious,

Michael

Brahman cattle take a hit from feedlots because they don't tolerate cold weather well and many of the feedlots are in colder areas. In cold weather, those cattle may use all their energy to stay warm instead of gaining weight. MARC data tells us that the more Brahman influence in a carcass, the more likely it will be tough.
 

bigbull338

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we all have our own reasons for raising the breed of cattle that we do.an in my life theres been 3 breeds of cattle on this farm.my great grandad raised some of the best horned herefords in texas till the 1950s.my dad also messed with reg horned herefords for awhile.an me ive messed with reg polled herefords for 5yrs.then sold out.an focused on the dairy till it was sold out.now im into reg beefmasters.yes i know they get docked at the salebarns.because they have floppy ears.an the feedlots dont care for them.but they fitt my needs.nolan ryan has the beefmaster branded beef.they are gentle an easy for me to handle.an they take the texas heat with ease.an they raise real heavy calves.
 

alacattleman

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too many hereford breeders on here too really comment,, but as good as some of these polled cattle are nowdays, and not wanting too dehorn anymore id probably go with polled genetics...as far as eared cattle go we take a big hit ""in my area""" if the calf shows more then around a 1/4 brahman blood,
 

Bez+

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MichaelB":19kxwkz7 said:
Reading some of the favorite breed posts and posts from other topics over the last few months, I wonder about some things. I'm not trying to start a riot with some of the personalities on this board, I honestly just want to know why:

Is there a material difference between a horned versus a polled Hereford? Is there such a difference that one would choose to dehorn rather than breed polled Herefords?

Is there an actual reason why a premium is paid for Angus beef? I heard a rumor that black skins were easier to remove at slaughter, but is that really true? Or is all that just marketing to justify the consumer premium for beef labeled as Angus in the grocery store? Do the red angus people get in on that action, or just the black ones (or black angus crosses)?

Also, what's with "eared" cattle? I've seen posts indicating that the slaughter buyers will not as much for a drooping ear. Is there an innate issue with a Brahman carcass that it is tougher or in some way not as palatable as the European breeds? Does this prejudice also apply to Santa Gertrudis, Brangus and other Brahman-derived meat breeds?

Just curious,

Michael

Have fun - I think I will simply watch rather than comment - might be interesting.

Besides, I don't know enough about modern cattle to provide an informed opinion anyways.

Bez+
 

BARNSCOOP

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I think Frankie did a GREAT job explaining. Most people taylor their cattle toward what will sell best in their area, what will grow best in their enviroment, what is least trouble (such a polled and not horned) ,what they find to be mannered and just what they find appealing..period. They try to pick there battles and choose a breed best for them. I personally believe that the Angus Asso. has done a tremendous amount of marketing and therefore the demand for anything without ear that is black sells, or at least in the south.
That is the point of marketing. Many breeds are just as good but maybe those Associations haven't done as well at mass marketing what makes that breed so special or different. Black is popular.
If your cattle are terminal, like mine and they don't go to the market, then you can pick any color you like. Because I live in the south it's best to have a breed that is heat tolerant. Some times that pushes people toward light colors and certain breeds. I personal don't like horns because they damage things. I don't like the remote thoughts of getting caught by one. Therefore I would have to dehorn and that's just something else to do. People may debate what is or is not a good breed but It really is about your personal operation, location, abilities and pride.
 

Angus Cowman

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BARNSCOOP":1uqgql0h said:
I think Frankie did a GREAT job explaining. Most people taylor their cattle toward what will sell best in their area, what will grow best in their enviroment, what is least trouble (such a polled and not horned) ,what they find to be mannered and just what they find appealing..period. They try to pick there battles and choose a breed best for them. I personally believe that the Angus Asso. has done a tremendous amount of marketing and therefore the demand for anything without ear that is black sells, or at least in the south.
That is the point of marketing. Many breeds are just as good but maybe those Associations haven't done as well at mass marketing what makes that breed so special or different. Black is popular.
If your cattle are terminal, like mine and they don't go to the market, then you can pick any color you like. Because I live in the south it's best to have a breed that is heat tolerant. Some times that pushes people toward light colors and certain breeds. I personal don't like horns because they damage things. I don't like the remote thoughts of getting caught by one. Therefore I would have to dehorn and that's just something else to do. People may debate what is or is not a good breed but It really is about your personal operation, location, abilities and pride.
I believe that is one of the best replies that I have seen posted to the type of question that was asked :clap: :clap:
 
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MichaelB

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Thank you all for the civil remarks, and I appreciated Frankie's well reasoned response for skin color and Brahman blood -- I would have never thought about feedlots being in colder areas.

And yes, there are also trade-offs between our personal likes and needs versus market demands.
 

alacattleman

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MichaelB":3om1a9uc said:
Thank you all for the civil remarks, and I appreciated Frankie's well reasoned response for skin color and Brahman blood -- I would have never thought about feedlots being in colder areas.

And yes, there are also trade-offs between our personal likes and needs versus market demands.
not all are but, our calves go too feedlots in kansas,they raise alot of herefords in kansas and they sell well there. but we can sell em here and they get docked for being hereford yet may wind up in kansas :???:
 

novatech

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alacattleman":3a66xbx1 said:
MichaelB":3a66xbx1 said:
Thank you all for the civil remarks, and I appreciated Frankie's well reasoned response for skin color and Brahman blood -- I would have never thought about feedlots being in colder areas.

And yes, there are also trade-offs between our personal likes and needs versus market demands.
not all are but, our calves go too feedlots in kansas,they raise alot of herefords in kansas and they sell well there. but we can sell em here and they get docked for being hereford yet may wind up in kansas :???:
Same with Brahman. They get docked in the fall and go to the south Texas feed lots.
I have to agree with Frankie about the cold and the reputation of not having the highest quality of meat, although some of us are working very hard to overcome the quality problem.
 
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