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knife cut vs banded - premium or discount

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Gomez

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I am curious if you have received or observed any premiums for calves that are knife cut vs banded? If so, how much is the premium or discount (cents per pound) and has that changed over recent years. Is this eliminated when grasser steers are sold? :)
 

Big Muddy rancher

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If a calf is banded young enough and properly I don't feel it makes a difference. When nuts are missed they become belly nuts and cause a real dollar lose in the feedlots.
As grassers they would be showing stagging by that time so it would be pretty obvious.
 

gcreekrch

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As long as one can consistantly count to two it doesn't make much difference between banding or knife. Most of it is personal choice.

It is unfortunate that whoever came up with the Burdizzo didn't use the tool on himself first. I've seen more stags from them than the bands.
 

George

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I used to band and I never had a problem with the bands. I can count to 2

However I had a couple of bull calves out of really good cows and I left them un banded for later evaluation and I found quite a weight differance at weaning and the next year I tried banding every other bull calf born and confirmed in my case I was getting about 30# of extra growth by waiting till weaning and then using a knife.

I feel that is a pretty good incentive to use a knife!

I have not seen the banding pliers in years and am not looking for them!
 

Gomez

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Can you generalize and say that buyers:
1. dont care which castration method is done as along as its done well
2. Pay a premium for knife cut steers or a discount for banded ones
3. or visa versa


As well, I am curious what the opinions are in terms of banding at birth versus knife cut 6 weeks after birth. Pros and cons. Just operationally it makes the most sense to me to band at birth when tagging, but I am a rookie at this. :)
 

George

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Can you generalize and say that buyers:
1. dont care which castration method is done as along as its done well


Yes I believe the above is true but if you are selling by the pound it should make a differance to you!

If you only have a hand full of calves and don't care how much money you put in your pocket at the end of the year I would feel do what ever is easiest. Banding at birth is very easy to do.

However if the dollars at the end of the year are important I would use a knife at weaning as you will sell a lot more pounds of calf. But you will have the extra expense ( yes your time is worth something ) of cutting them.

I would figure the loss of good mountain oysters to be a shame as well.
 

BRG

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George said:
I used to band and I never had a problem with the bands. I can count to 2

However I had a couple of bull calves out of really good cows and I left them un banded for later evaluation and I found quite a weight differance at weaning and the next year I tried banding every other bull calf born and confirmed in my case I was getting about 30# of extra growth by waiting till weaning and then using a knife.

I feel that is a pretty good incentive to use a knife!

I have not seen the banding pliers in years and am not looking for them!

You may get extra pounds by waiting, but in our area, the discounts are much worse than the benefits. I see guys who do it later and the steers become very staggy looking and the buyers will put a BIG discount on them because of it.
 

Soapweed

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Using a knife at branding time, when the calf is one to two months old, works pretty well. That is a good age to hold back any exceptional ones to keep as bulls. The buyer who often buys my calves prefers "knife-cut." Best of all, there is no extra investment in purchasing rubber bands. :wink:
 

Doug Thorson

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I don't know how much if any difference it makes here as long as it is done right, but if you miss a nut on just a couple the buyer will "put you on a list"

A few years ago there was a set of hereford steers just right for grass bringing what I thought was a real low price so I bought them. I had 8 one-nutters. When I re-sold them I mentioned it to one of the buyers I know fairly well and he said that was normal for that particular group of calves. Just buy them cheap enough because you have to check them all was his response.

Those yearlings got turned out in a big pasture miles from a pen to fix them, so I had to just sell them that way. They brought $85 head less than the rest of my yearlings. I also put their name on a list but my list says DON"T BUY THEIR CATTLE.
 

4Diamond

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My vote is for knife cut. We buy many "steers" that were banded and there are always ones that someone missed when banding.

Around here the buyers perk up when they hear the term "knife cut".
 

per

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It doesn't make a difference here to the buyers. If you buy my calves and there is a one nutter in the bunch (hasn't ever happened) I will buy it back and pay your expenses up to that date.
 

Faster horses

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At one time knife-cut was preferred because the feeder used the
pod to decide when the steer was finished.
Technology is used now, moreso than eyeball.

I've always heard that castrating a calf at birth will cause them
to not weigh as much in the fall compared to cutting them later. FWIW
We tried the banding deal but went back to knife cut at
branding. There are different ways of doing that as well.
 

R A

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I guess I need to look into this more as well as all the other stuff I'm doing. I know I'll never band. I liked knife cutting them at birth on some of them this year because they seemed to show way less stress over the ordeal than the ones that got cut at a older age. .....but if they aren't going to gain as much, whats a guy to do? My calves are way bigger this year than last, so I am not noticing any down side to how I am cutting, maybe. More stuff to think about.
 

cure

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R A said:
I guess I need to look into this more as well as all the other stuff I'm doing. I know I'll never band. I liked knife cutting them at birth on some of them this year because they seemed to show way less stress over the ordeal than the ones that got cut at a older age. .....but if they aren't going to gain as much, whats a guy to do? My calves are way bigger this year than last, so I am not noticing any down side to how I am cutting, maybe. More stuff to think about.

We knife cut at branding and to make up the weight loss diference we also implant. We did go natureal one year and our calves came in almost 75 lbs lighter than in the past and our calves normally bring as much money as a good set of natural calves so we will continue to implant I think you need to just sit back and take a look at your own operation and see what will work the best and how you can improve your cattle.
 

Faster horses

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Just find what works for you in your operation, RA.
If it's not broke, don't fix it. Keep it simple. If your calves
are bigger now and it works for you to cut them at birth,
then do it. Lots of people do. There really isn't a wrong
or a right way, it's just what people prefer and what best
fits their operation. It would be pretty hard for Soapweed,
or ranchers with that large of an operation, to cut or
band every calf at birth. What he does works for him,
what others do works for them.

Just keep on enjoying what you are doing.
It's refreshing to have someone so excited about ranching!!
 

R A

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cure said:
We knife cut at branding and to make up the weight loss diference we also implant. We did go natureal one year and our calves came in almost 75 lbs lighter than in the past and our calves normally bring as much money as a good set of natural calves so we will continue to implant I think you need to just sit back and take a look at your own operation and see what will work the best and how you can improve your cattle.


Faster horses said:
Just find what works for you in your operation, RA.
If it's not broke, don't fix it. Keep it simple. If your calves
are bigger now and it works for you to cut them at birth,
then do it. Lots of people do. There really isn't a wrong
or a right way, it's just what people prefer and what best
fits their operation. It would be pretty hard for Soapweed,
or ranchers with that large of an operation, to cut or
band every calf at birth. What he does works for him,
what others do works for them.

Just keep on enjoying what you are doing.
It's refreshing to have someone so excited about ranching!!



I appreciate it! Great advice. You all are doing a great job helping me.

I hope it doesn't seem like I hijacked this thread.
 

Silver

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We've knife cut at birth (when tagging) for years and didn't notice lower weaning weights. We did notice less stress and infection when done at birth. Like the others said, whatever works for you and your operation.
 

littlejoe

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R A said:
I guess I need to look into this more as well as all the other stuff I'm doing. I know I'll never band. I liked knife cutting them at birth on some of them this year because they seemed to show way less stress over the ordeal than the ones that got cut at a older age. .....but if they aren't going to gain as much, whats a guy to do? My calves are way bigger this year than last, so I am not noticing any down side to how I am cutting, maybe. More stuff to think about.

Little green cheerios cost about a buck a hundred.

No sharp knives.

No open wounds, flys, infection.

And your Never gonna try it?!
 

R A

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Silver said:
We've knife cut at birth (when tagging) for years and didn't notice lower weaning weights. We did notice less stress and infection when done at birth. Like the others said, whatever works for you and your operation.

Thanks Silver, for adding this....good to hear. I really liked doing it that way this year and I think I will stick to it.

....and I believe I have you to thank for the tip of not cutting straight through the cord when castrating, but scrape it back and forth until it cuts it. I read that I believe from one of your posts maybe, way before I joined up, anyway, I read it before my first branding last year and think that is a great tip!!! No bleeding hardly! That really helped me...thanks!
 

R A

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littlejoe said:
R A said:
I guess I need to look into this more as well as all the other stuff I'm doing. I know I'll never band. I liked knife cutting them at birth on some of them this year because they seemed to show way less stress over the ordeal than the ones that got cut at a older age. .....but if they aren't going to gain as much, whats a guy to do? My calves are way bigger this year than last, so I am not noticing any down side to how I am cutting, maybe. More stuff to think about.

Little green cheerios cost about a buck a hundred.

No sharp knives.

No open wounds, flys, infection.

And your Never gonna try it?!

:D Nope, never will. On the same hand I would never tell someone not to do it....I'm just not. I'm more than willing to try new things, raising these beef critters, but some things are probably getting set in stone I feel, as I go along here.
 

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