Over the weekend, we pregnancy-checked our cowherd. The veterinarian used ultrasound technology to better pinpoint the due dates; after the dust settled, we had a handful of open cows to add to our cull list this year.
The trouble with open cows is they can force you to keep older or poorer-performing cows in their place; whereas if you have fewer open and late cows, you are in a better position to be more selective with your cull list.
A Closer Look: A Backstage Look At Fall Preg-Check
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post titled, “9 Things To Consider Before Culling A Cow.”
The blog featured comments from Jane Parish, Mississippi State University Extension beef cattle specialist, who offered her thoughts on the nine factors to consider in making a cow-culling decision. These included pregnancy status, poor performance, age, mouth, udder, structural soundness, health problems, disposition and when to cull.
Subscribe now to Cow-Calf Weekly to get the latest industry research and information in your inbox every Friday!
The post sparked a great conversation about how our readers make culling decisions and what factors they consider in removing her from the herd.
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation also has guidelines for culling cows. Deke Alkire writes, “For most cattle producers, culling cows is not an easy task. However, some culling needs to be done each year to maintain optimal productivity. Records on each cow's yearly production would be beneficial when making culling decisions, but collecting some information when the cows are processed can give you a good place to start. Cattlemen should make it a point to evaluate all breeding females at least once a year. Weaning is likely the most convenient time to do this evaluation. In addition to their vaccinations, cows should also be pregnancy-tested, evaluated for structural soundness, and aged based on the condition of their teeth. This information will take a little extra time to collect, but will be valuable when determining a culling order. In addition, this culling order will be useful during a drought, as it is usually more profitable to cull unproductive cows at the beginning of a drought than to try to hold on until the drought is over.”
I got to thinking about these considerations when looking over our cull list this weekend, but the decision to sell a breeding animal isn’t always black and white.
This week, each blog will feature a question for readers to weigh in on. And each day, we will select 2-3 winners to take home a pair of Heat Holders® socks. The makers of HeatHolders socks claim they are the warmest thermal socks in the world. "They are over 7x warmer than regular cotton socks and 3x warmer than ordinary thermal socks. They are better than heated, electric or battery-operated socks because you can just put them on without fussing with batteries, wires etc. Heat Holders® means No more cold feet!"
So as the weather is headed nowhere but colder, a pair of these cozy socks are sure to come in handy for many of our readers. Thus, we'll randomly select our winners from the comments left on each blog.
So, today, the question for your input is: What are your top considerations for culling a cow? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below to be eligible to win a pair of HeatHolders socks.
You might also like: