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Unsustainable and Unprofitable Cow Herd Trends
An interesting article in Drovers magazine points to mounting data showing the American cow herd is becoming less productive and requires more inputs. Calf weaning weights have not changed in over 20 years while cows have become higher maintenance. Seedstock producers and feedlot buyers are pushing these type of cattle at the commercial cattleman`s expense. The sad part is that many cattleman will not see it coming and will go out of business. Moderate cattle that thrive on grass with minimal inputs are the only answer to this problem. One of the suggestions is to "Purchase bulls out of cows that are managed like yours, or worse; have never missed a calf; and calve early." At T&T Cattle, we track exposure dates on our cows and check the calving dates to ensure all replacement heifers and bulls calve within the cows` first 2 cycles. We only keep bulls from cows that have never missed a calf. At calving, our cows are scored for udder quality, maternal traits, and disposition. At weaning, our cows are weighed, measured for hip height, and given a body conditioning score (BCS). The calf`s 205-day adjusted weaning weight is compared to the cow`s BCS-adjusted weight and an efficiency percentage is calculated. We shoot for a 50% efficiency score. Last year our entire herd (commercials included) averaged 49.9% efficiency. Our cows are pushed hard to make sure their bull calves will perform for you. We want to help you improve your genetics, not just sell you a bull.

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