Key components required in a profitable Cow herd:
- Number of calves Weaned / fertility and mothering.
Highly fertile cows with adequate milk will calve early every year and rear a heavier calf due to the fact that a calf conceived in the first cycle can be as much as 63 days older than a calf conceived in the last cycle. At weaning this calf should be approximately 60to 80 kg heavier.
- Growth rate.
High growth will allow us to market our cattle earlier, whether this is weaners, feed lot steers or MSA carcasses. This allows us in many instances to reduce enterprise risk.
- Market suitability.
Meat Processes are more and more prepared to pay a premium for carcasses that meet grid specifications, i.e; MSA and individual branded products requiring young high yielding, high IMF carcasses with good meat colour. Recently there have been MSA premiums of up to 35c/kg CWT available.
- Cost of Production.
Large mature cow weights can often lead to high maintenance and inefficiency’s in a beef herd. Big cows with high feed requirements often have lower fertility and preg test empty especially in tough years. Levels of dystocia in a herd can also have a big impact on cost of production.
Structurally sound cattle are a must, nobody wants to be culling young cows or bulls in the prime of their lives for bad udders or feet and leg problems, bull breakdowns can often be a result of bad leg structure. Feedlot operators invest heavily in their cattle and breakdowns can be costly.