Tracing cattle through slaughter

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Well-known member
Feb 1, 2004
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The Alamo City
Okay from lot's of reading I gather that I need to see what the slaughter houses are looking for inorder to gauge the qaulity of my cattle. I also understand that I should get involved in the Ranch to Rail program inorder to follow my cattle through slaughter. In the interm how would I go about determing where the cattle are going from the auctions ??? In other words I would like to see which feedlots the auction houses in South and Central Texas are catering too and then which slaughter houses are being serviced by the feed lots. From the feedlots of course I would like to trace the purveyors, etc.. Seems like there ought to be an easier way than spending the next 30 years in trial and error. I would like to go on a field trip I guess and learn as much as possible inorder to guide my purchasing and breeding decisions. Whether or not I retain ownership or not It seems like I need to know the goals of the end consumer.

Any thoughts ?

Thanx in advance
Tman, what you're looking for may not be out there, yet. As you mentioned, R to R is probably your best choice.

If you want to know where your cattle go from the sale barn, a good place to start is with your market operator. Except for killing cows or bulls, he most likely won't be able to tell you where a particular order ends up, but it will be a good starting point for you. At least he will be able to tell you the order buying firm and put you in contact with them.

And then when you call the order buying outfit, you can fully expect them to refuse to give you any information about their orders. Its a very competitive, even cutthroat, business where somebody is always trying to get somebody else's deals, so you really can't blame them.

Talk to your market operator to get you started, though. And keep in mind that the more cattle that you consign to one barn, the greater your cooperation will be from that market operator. I've found that to be true with all issues related to marketing, whether its a complaint about the price you receive, or needing a cripple put on the insurance.

We all have to use more than one barn on occasion, because things don't always work like we want them to, on the day we want them to. But, if at all possible, find somebody you trust, that treats you right, and then treat him right with your business! After you build up a good relationship, you will be surprised at how much more cooperation is forthcoming.
Tman":243qcq5l said:
Thanx Texan,

Looks like a tall order to fill.

you might try contacting graham land & cattle in gonzales.
. Whether or not I retain ownership or not It seems like I need to know the goals of the end consumer.

Any thoughts ?

Thanx in advance[/quote]

I don't think we need to know "the goals of the end consumer"
All we need to target is the needs of the buyer 1 step infront of us.
Where ever you sell your cattle, talk to the buyers, everytime you are at the sale. Just ask them what they are looking for? At first they are vauge,
"Medium and Large 1 & 2's" But just keep asking, they will eventually tell you what they want.
Yes it changes year to year, but not alot from one year to the next.
Maybe just enough to help you select your next bull.
It trickles down, the desires of the end consumer are our ultimate goal, but! It's not up to us how we get there.
The people that buy my feeders are my direct customers, if I don't give them what they want, I won't receive a premium.


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