Marbling...how much should you care?

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TennesseeTuxedo

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“That conversation came up on marbling on his cattle he had a story where one of his customers had information on his sav bred steers there was a good percentage that went prime and the rest all went choice, and his opinion was all angus cattle grade well no matter what.”

The man said he was a party to a conversation where an opinion was expressed. Why don’t you relax and pour yourself another drink?
 

wbvs58

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I've been trying to find out why SAV cattle generally have a lower marbling EPD for some time and would appreciate it if you could throw a bit of light on it. My take is that they use a lot of older genetics with outdated numbers and don't really care about the numbers but the phenotype of their cattle is what they specialize in. In would love to see some real comparison of cattle on the rail. Would GAR cattle grade that much better than SAV? I dabble in a bit of SAV genetics to get the doability and feed efficiency in a cow and then go back to something that has higher marbling. I don't think people that buy a bull from me care much about marbling, they sell at weaning and want calving ease and then a big growthy calf at weaning.

Ken
 

sstterry

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We have a very high sav percentage cowherd we’ve never followed up on grade quality but the feeders love to feed them they are very easy fleshing and put on weight fast, had lunch with Kelly Schaff a while back and That conversation came up on marbling on his cattle he had a story where one of his customers had information on his sav bred steers there was a good percentage that went prime and the rest all went choice, and his opinion was all angus cattle grade well no matter what
I apologize for my earlier outburst Sagecreek. I was wrong and I hope you will accept my apology. Welcome to Cattle Today.

With 1300 head, how many acres do you run them on? I have visited that area and while it is beautiful country, it is not really known for "lush" pastures.
 

sagecreek

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I apologize for my earlier outburst Sagecreek. I was wrong and I hope you will accept my apology. Welcome to Cattle Today.

With 1300 head, how many acres do you run them on? I have visited that area and while it is beautiful country, it is not really known for "lush" pastures.
No worries all good,
We run on about 20,000 acres it’s Good grass growing country but the native grasses are really short so we’ve done a lot of improving pastures with tame grass, what part of Montana have you visited
 

sagecreek

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Welcome!
So do you calve out 1300 cows? Or is that including everything? Either way sounds like you’ve got your hands full.
Yup we calve 1300 cows then we breed about 1700-1750 head total with replacements, we calve two cycles of heifers and then two cycles of cows we sell the rest as bred April and may calvers, we’ve done well that way we ai all the replacements and about 400 cows
 

simme

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Welcome to the board. I figure anyone with 1300 cows will have a lot of experience to share and might be able to teach us small time hobby guys a thing or two. If we are willing to learn. Takes a little time to get past the initiation period here, though.
I visited the Leachman operation in Billings many years ago. Jim was the ultimate marketing guy, before things went downhill.
I remember being told that you are welcome to visit Montana, but please don't stay. Beautiful country and cattle there.
 
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Jeanne - Simme Valley

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@sagecreek WELCOME! Do us a favor and go into your personal page and put your LOCATION. That way it will show up each time you post. Old brains like mine won't remember from day to day where this "newbie" is located!!! LOL
Back to the marbling. Why do we need to chase SO MUCH marbling?? The only thing marbling does is make the meat juicy. How juicy do we need our piece of meat??? Tenderness is more important if you are looking at finished product. IMHO
Weight/growth is number 1 for a cow/calf farm. When you chase marbling, you lose muscling. They are antagonistic traits. Dairy cattle - super high marbling - little muscle. Wagyu cattle - super super high marbling - little muscling.
If tenderness is your goal - you need growthy calves that will finish at a young age. Younger = tender. I finish mine out at 12-13 months of age. Consistently grade choice, average 750# hanging weight and super tender. Time is money.
 

sstterry

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No worries all good,
We run on about 20,000 acres it’s Good grass growing country but the native grasses are really short so we’ve done a lot of improving pastures with tame grass, what part of Montana have you visited
I spent a week in Craig, but we took some day trips over to the Smith River. Beautiful Country!
 

J+ Cattle

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The Angus Association has the "Targeting the Brand" program where you can market your registered Angus bulls with their logo if they meet the minimum EPD requirements of 0.65 marbling and 55.0 for $G. These minimum requirements are not necessarily needed if your using the bull on purebred or high percentage Angus cattle, it's more for the commercial producers that have a herd of high percentage continental breeds and/or brahma influenced cattle. I'm not sure if the minimum requirement would be enough for those Corrientes or not.;)

I would agree that most purebred Angus cattle have adequate marbling to grade Choice if fed long enough, but I've also seen Angus bulls with a negative marbling EPD...
If your goal is to consistently grade high Choice (CAB) or Prime then I would say you probably need to add more marbling EPD to your feeder cattle.
 

sstterry

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Yup we calve 1300 cows then we breed about 1700-1750 head total with replacements, we calve two cycles of heifers and then two cycles of cows we sell the rest as bred April and may calvers, we’ve done well that way we ai all the replacements and about 400 cows
It is amazing how regions vary. With 1750 head, you are running about one animal to 11.5 acres. Around here we figure one animal to 1 to 1 1/2 acres.
Is any of your land government leaseback? I know that there is quite a bit of that in MT.
 

sagecreek

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It is amazing how regions vary. With 1750 head, you are running about one animal to 11.5 acres. Around here we figure one animal to 1 to 1 1/2 acres.
Is any of your land government leaseback? I know that there is quite a bit of that in MT.
Yes we run on about 2000 acres of state-owned Land, we border it on all edges and a lot of it isn’t even fenced and lot of it doesn’t have water on it so kinda whoever owns the water around it gets the state lease
 

J+ Cattle

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@sagecreek WELCOME! Do us a favor and go into your personal page and put your LOCATION. That way it will show up each time you post. Old brains like mine won't remember from day to day where this "newbie" is located!!! LOL
Back to the marbling. Why do we need to chase SO MUCH marbling?? The only thing marbling does is make the meat juicy. How juicy do we need our piece of meat??? Tenderness is more important if you are looking at finished product. IMHO
Weight/growth is number 1 for a cow/calf farm. When you chase marbling, you lose muscling. They are antagonistic traits. Dairy cattle - super high marbling - little muscle. Wagyu cattle - super super high marbling - little muscling.
If tenderness is your goal - you need growthy calves that will finish at a young age. Younger = tender. I finish mine out at 12-13 months of age. Consistently grade choice, average 750# hanging weight and super tender. Time is money.
Jeanne mentioned tenderness which is an important part of the satisfaction we experience when eating a good steak. I know that Zoetis can test DNA and give a tenderness result with negative numbers being better than positive numbers, it is related to the shear force of the muscle fibers. The Angus Association doesn't include this data as an EPD that they tract so I'm not sure if it is a highly heritable trait or not. Do other breed registries include tenderness data?
 

J+ Cattle

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What about external fat, does anybody use the Fat EPD when selecting bulls?
What about $G which takes the Fat EPD into consideration?
 

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