I spent Monday afternoon at a seedstock producer’s dispersal sale. After a few tough years, this operator’s lifetime of dedication, hard work and passion had come down to one final sale. Watching the cow-calf pairs, bred heifers and herd bulls run through the ring aroused conflicting emotions in me. On one hand, it was sad to think that a fruitful career was drawing to a close, but it was also exciting to have the opportunity to continue the progress by adding some of these great genetics to our herd.
On Monday, I mentioned that we have 10 pairs of Heat Holders® socks to give away this week, and we will be doing so with a question-of-the-day type contest. Two readers will be randomly selected each day to win a pair of these socks, which are marketed as being the warmest thermal socks in the world. The claim is that Heat Holders are more than 7x warmer than regular cotton socks and 3x warmer than ordinary thermal socks. It’s just what a lot of producers will need to deal with the cold temps just around the corner.
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Now, on to the contest. Yesterday, we asked what factors go into a cow-culling decision. Our two winners are Bo and Kickin It In The Sticks.
Bo writes, “Talking about culling cows, I’ve never been a fan of pulling bulls out in a certain amount of days. I do like the idea of having all the calves in a certain amount of days, though. In my opinion, when you pull your bulls out, then you’re opening a door to have a cow non-bred. That’s cutting your throat. I suggest leaving bulls with cows until they start calving. Then all cows have the best chance to breed. If you have a cow or cows that don’t calve in your time frame, then sell her. She will bring a lot more money as a bred cow than an open cow. You’re going through all the motions anyway, so why not get the most money out your already investment? My opinion of a cull cow is one that has a bad udder, a bad body structure, poor performance, and a bad disposition. If they don’t breed back in a timely matter, just sell them.”
Kickin It In the Sticks writes, “Some of the top considerations for me when culling a cow include:
- Milking ability
- Mothering ability
- Calf growth (birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight)
- Forage utilization of the cow
- Frame size
- Body score
- AI settlement
- Birthing ease
“A good cow will raise her calf to have great potential due to her mothering ability, and therefore leaves the farmer with a greater opportunity to have a higher profit from his/her calf crop,” Kickin It In The Sticks says.
As I watched the close of the dispersal sale yesterday, it came to me that today’s question for reader input should be, “What do you look to buy at a female sale?” In other words, what makes a good replacement cow or addition to the herd? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below to be entered to win a pair of Heat Holders socks. Winners will be announced tomorrow.
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