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Retaining cows during the cattle cycle?

dun

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Anything that doesn;t give problems and makes more than she is worth at the sale barn. That is as long as you have the feed to keep her.
 

1982vett

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Same criteria goes in a declining market as it does in a rising market. Producing cow gets a job....slackers hit the road.
 

Dave

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There is a thread about culling. I sort of have a reverse theory. Rather that what I cull for it is why would I want to keep a cow. No matter where we are in the cycle I only keep productive cows that are easy to get along with.
 

Rafter S

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Dave":l6ku0tmq said:
There is a thread about culling. I sort of have a reverse theory. Rather that what I cull for it is why would I want to keep a cow. No matter where we are in the cycle I only keep productive cows that are easy to get along with.

That's just semantics. Saying I'll cull a cow for not having a calf every year is the same thing as you saying you'll keep her if she does.
 

ez14.

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Rafter S":16htrzoj said:
Dave":16htrzoj said:
There is a thread about culling. I sort of have a reverse theory. Rather that what I cull for it is why would I want to keep a cow. No matter where we are in the cycle I only keep productive cows that are easy to get along with.

That's just semantics. Saying I'll cull a cow for not having a calf every year is the same thing as you saying you'll keep her if she does.
for a real hard culler it could be easier to make a list of why you would keep her vs why you would cull her
 

Dave

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Rafter S":26aopg0y said:
Dave":26aopg0y said:
There is a thread about culling. I sort of have a reverse theory. Rather that what I cull for it is why would I want to keep a cow. No matter where we are in the cycle I only keep productive cows that are easy to get along with.

That's just semantics. Saying I'll cull a cow for not having a calf every year is the same thing as you saying you'll keep her if she does.

True it is semantics but it also a mind set. There is a difference in the thought process between is there a reason she deserves to cull her and is there a reason to keep her. I have a minimum of 5 months of feeding hay. Probably closer to 6 months. So for me there has to be a reason to keep her or I simply sell her when I wean her calf and replace her this time of year for only a few dollars more than what she sold for last fall. I have been known to sell as much as 50% of the cows in the fall. But all that is because of the environment I live in and the market I have available.
 

Caustic Burno

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Stocker Steve":2kjt5dpq said:
What kind of cows do you retain during the declining price protion of the cattle cycle?


I don't I can buy commercial replacements cheaper.
Have a little over 500 a piece in them can't raise them for that and they are in a terminal operation.
 

Bigfoot

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I don't think there is a cattle cycle any more. Drought and foreign policy drives the price and numbers more than a cycle any more.
 

Stocker Steve

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Bigfoot":1jymwf13 said:
I don't think there is a cattle cycle any more. Drought and foreign policy drives the price and numbers more than a cycle any more.

I don't think drought is a new thing.
It seems that a broad based drought makes the "10 year cycle" a several years longer.
 

Stocker Steve

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Dave":16me2l0p said:
Saying I'll cull a cow for not having a calf every year is the same thing as you saying you'll keep her if she does.
True it is semantics but it also a mind set. There is a difference in the thought process between is there a reason she deserves to cull her and is there a reason to keep her. I have a minimum of 5 months of feeding hay. Probably closer to 6 months. So for me there has to be a reason to keep her or I simply sell her when I wean her calf and replace her this time of year for only a few dollars more than what she sold for last fall. I have been known to sell as much as 50% of the cows in the fall. But all that is because of the environment I live in and the market I have available.[/quote]

I retained 70% of my cow herd last year, and almost all of the culls were sold as breds. So having a calf is an automatic. The ones I kept were the ones that projected to be profitable.
 

Stocker Steve

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Dave":38y0rgs0 said:
I have a minimum of 5 months of feeding hay. Probably closer to 6 months. So for me there has to be a reason to keep her or I simply sell her when I wean her calf and replace her this time of year for only a few dollars more than what she sold for last fall. I have been known to sell as much as 50% of the cows in the fall. But all that is because of the environment I live in and the market I have available.

Extended hay feeding is pretty common. But, why do you think your fall and spring cow prices are so similar?
 

bball

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Stocker Steve":12s1xucm said:
The ones I kept were the ones that projected to be profitable.

Steve, would you care to expound upon this thought more? I am always interested in learning and this statement has my attention.

I would like to know how you project profitability on a cow by cow basis. Its rather easy to do when reviewing last years productivity. I am much more interested in your thought process on the projecting (future) aspects? Presuming all the basics are in place, like the cow is bred, on time, etc etc. What criteria do you use to discriminate between those cows that will project greater profitability over her peers?

The thought i keep coming up with involves the feed bill, as this is typically the greatest expense in most operations (whether in the form of hay, property taxes, rental etc) Or are there some other aspects ? Such as using past calf growth/production records? And if feed consumption is a variable you consider, how do you track or estimate with some degeree of accuracy?
Thanks
 

Stocker Steve

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The question is how can you hit your profit goal based on your forage system capability and where we are in the cattle cycle. I think we are still in the declining price part of the cattle cycle and more cows need to go to town. Culling opens, nut jobs, and slackers is not a total solution. I am easing back into stockering. I am only retaining cows that raised a big calf last year, or are a proven replacement maker. The rest don't pencil out for me.

Most calculations are based on averages. If you want to learn by running some numbers - - you can break cattle into groups, do a gross margin analysis on each group using future prices, and then track the results. Looking at groups (yearlings, heifers, young cows, old cows...) can be very helpful. My frustration is that the future planning prices publishing in places like Beef mag have not been very accurate. This is a problem some people try to get around by looking at what if prices go up 10% vs. what if prices go down by 10%. Maybe we should be looking at +/- 20%...

Bud once said that a good solution works in high priced markets and in low priced markets. :cowboy:
 

Dave

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Stocker Steve":3gqvrl1k said:
Dave":3gqvrl1k said:
I have a minimum of 5 months of feeding hay. Probably closer to 6 months. So for me there has to be a reason to keep her or I simply sell her when I wean her calf and replace her this time of year for only a few dollars more than what she sold for last fall. I have been known to sell as much as 50% of the cows in the fall. But all that is because of the environment I live in and the market I have available.

Extended hay feeding is pretty common. But, why do you think your fall and spring cow prices are so similar?

I sell fat cows off grass that mostly go to kill generally in late August early September before the glut of cull cows hit the market. I buy thinner breds this time of year for a little over kill price. I safe the cost of feeding the cow for 5-6 months. The breds may cost a bit more than what I sold for in the fall but not as much as the money I saved on feed. I wean the calves by shipping the cows (that saves the shrink on the cow) and hold the calves until early October. Then I sell them as weaned and vaccinated. It has worked for me.
 

Nesikep

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I run a closed herd except for bulls, so I don't buy any cows.. I hit it right while prices were going up, I kept a lot of cows that I would have otherwise culled to get an extra calf out of them and it panned out, and I sold them just at the peak... Now it's back to the usual, what doesn't have a calf goes, what doesn't make a nice calf goes, what wants to kill me goes... And some cows that can only make good steers and never make a nice heifer, well, their days are numbered, as as the ones that just didn't grow into the cow they looked like they would.. Rome wasn't built in a day, I can't cull everything at once, but the market really doesn't dictate what happens in the herd.. my goals are still on herd improvement.
 

Stocker Steve

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Dave - how old are the calves when you ship cows in August? What would you gain by holding the culls till fall and selling them as breds?
 

Dave

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Stocker Steve":3452ieey said:
Dave - how old are the calves when you ship cows in August? What would you gain by holding the culls till fall and selling them as breds?

The calves are mainly born March/April and the cows are shipped late August or maybe early September depending on grass. The majority of spring calving cows selling here in the fall end up going to kill. If I had some young good looking cows I could come out holding them but I typically don't buy those kind to start with.
 

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