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PPRM

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In the ear tag thread, a few posts talked of old cows.....Pasture them in River-Bottom, ect. . One comment was about if made sense to keep these in the finacial world......My answer is yes, but to expect them to need some help and give it to them....

First psrt as to the yes on keeping old cows. When you compare it to keeping replacements, they are a bargain. I work with thee cows so they produce at least decent calves. I hav also made some of my best money buying other folks old bred cows and working the mineral and feed to them.

Second part is to expect to have to help them. By managing these cows seperatelyt, I can keep them in condition to breed. Some of it is soft grass. Some of it is a little more supplement in the winter (By supplement I am talking grain, not licks or tubs). To do this cheaper, they need to be kept away from youger cows that will push them out.

Key is to keep condition on them so they breed back. Then it is a matter of waiting till they can't make a decent calf. I see a lot of guys selling ten year old cows that with care could have made 3-5 more calves or even more.

It is a lot cheaper than raising replacements. Plus, if you get your replacement percentage down, you ar keeping a higher grde of calf,

ok,

Done with my soapbox,

Pat
 

George

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No one around here thinks a cow of 10 can be productive :( . The oldest I have now are a pair of 15 year olds ( Yes they are registered, tagged, tattoed so I know their age) :!:

The reason they are still here is they have earned their way :) . I have a 1970 model stud horse I used to cut on and do general cow work - - - he has not paid his way the last 3 or 4 years :( but he built up a good retirement :D - - - if I see him in trouble I will put him down :( but he earned the right to stay until then. :)

If you have the right facilities, and temperment you can make some good money buying the "old bred cows" giving them a little TLC and moving them after weaning if need be :D . I have seen these cows bring 1/4th of what a young hiefer will bring at the local sale barn.

This is the way I got started in the registered Charlois business - - I could not afford the kind of cows I wanted :( and worked a deal with one of the local breeders and took his culls at a discount :) . Was he ever suprised that I took 15 cull cows and ended up with 18 great calves the first year! :D :D :D Kept the best hiefers back, and kept several of the cows another few years.

Possibly someone will see another year or two in me later on :D :D :D
 

Hanta Yo

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George,

I went to college and they told me cows over 10 should not be in the herd. I tend to disagree. We've had cows over 10 who had good teeth and raised some of our best calves. The only problem with them is that some of them learned bad habits and taught some of our young cattle the same bad stuff. Also, keeping tag numbers straight, I figured out how to keep 2 - 375's (one born 1993, the other 2003) straight in "Cowsense" which is the herd program we use.

I'm glad you got a good start on your herd!!

Hanta Yo
 

PPRM

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Gearge,


Your story reminds me of growing up in Joseph Oregon. Invariably someone would be talking about one of the historic family ranches and they'd trace the start of these back to an ancestor that got his start buying cull ewes and keeping back the ewe lambs. As the ranch got paid for, they would transition into cattle.

These stories all ended with the ranch no longer having the ewes and not making any money (nice toys but no money, LOL).... I kinda figure I am doing the sae with old cows. plus, the heifers from these have one of the most economically important traits.....LONGEVITY...

On the colleges saying no more than ten years, where's the studies they have that prove this??????? They must use a different pencil than I, LOL,


PPRM
 
A

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Hanta Yo said:
George,

I went to college and they told me cows over 10 should not be in the herd. I tend to disagree. We've had cows over 10 who had good teeth and raised some of our best calves. The only problem with them is that some of them learned bad habits and taught some of our young cattle the same bad stuff. Also, keeping tag numbers straight, I figured out how to keep 2 - 375's (one born 1993, the other 2003) straight in "Cowsense" which is the herd program we use.

I'm glad you got a good start on your herd!!

Hanta Yo

Hanta Yo- I have to agree with you- Mine are always culled on what they are and what they are producing--Few years ago I had a chance to run some more cows- kept some replacement heifers, bought some registered heifers to improve quality (?) and wanted to have some calves right away, so I bought some of a top outfits ( registered hereford, angus, and baldies) 10 year old bred culls- paid $385 for them ( tells you how long ago it was)... I still have a few of those old gals left- probably will most all go this year- but those cows have been the highest dollar producers for the last 3 years and have given me some great replacements....

If I was looking to start a herd, I would buy some from one of the places I know that automatically culls at 10- work up from there... But I'm lucky because I have some good deeded pasture to put the old girls on and nurse them on- while the younger ones rustle the BLM stuff.......

I told this story before - but one of those $385 cows had twins- she accepted the heifer- so I sold the bull calf as a newborn for $200- sold the heifer calf in the fall for around $575- then sold the cow for around $525-- anyway when I was figuring up paperwork that winter I figured that $385 cow brought me in over $1200 that year....I really had to give the seller ( that I know quite well) a bad time out of that one :wink: ......
 
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Anonymous

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Hanta Yo said:
OT,
Are ya comin' to the doins' at Deadwood? Even tho you are an R-Calfer, would love to talk "cows" with you!

Doubt it Hanta Yo-- We finished combining wheat today- but are going to try and start the flax Monday (?)-- Don't know how far we will get as the inch of rain we got midmonth has produced a lot of green runners- then to top it an Oil Company we have been dealing with will be in Tuesday to negotiate with me on an oil lease- first time in 10 years they have wanted to lease it again, so now we are price haggling...Maybe I'll still get to see an oil well pumping in the yard someday :wink: :lol: :lol:

But you never know- much of what I do is decided 5 minutes before I head out the door- and the wife did get those days off......
 

Soapweed

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PPRM said:
In the ear tag thread, a few posts talked of old cows.....Pasture them in River-Bottom, ect. . One comment was about if made sense to keep these in the finacial world......My answer is yes, but to expect them to need some help and give it to them....

First psrt as to the yes on keeping old cows. When you compare it to keeping replacements, they are a bargain. I work with thee cows so they produce at least decent calves. I hav also made some of my best money buying other folks old bred cows and working the mineral and feed to them.

Second part is to expect to have to help them. By managing these cows seperatelyt, I can keep them in condition to breed. Some of it is soft grass. Some of it is a little more supplement in the winter (By supplement I am talking grain, not licks or tubs). To do this cheaper, they need to be kept away from youger cows that will push them out.

Key is to keep condition on them so they breed back. Then it is a matter of waiting till they can't make a decent calf. I see a lot of guys selling ten year old cows that with care could have made 3-5 more calves or even more.

It is a lot cheaper than raising replacements. Plus, if you get your replacement percentage down, you ar keeping a higher grde of calf,

ok,

Done with my soapbox,

Pat

You are right, PPRM, about there sure being a place in the ranching business for old cows. My theory has always been to keep all of our cows "saleable" at all times, and maybe we give too good of care to some of the middle agers because of this.

In going to a sale barn and observing a bred cow sale, the young moderate sized uniform-looking cows in good flesh tend to bring the most money. In other words, these are the ones that look like they'd go back out on a ranch and continue to make a good honest living. Even older "short term" or "broken mouthed" cows in good flesh sure sell for a considerable premium over other skinnier uncared-for-looking cattle of the same vintage. My theory is that if a cow is in about a 5 or 6 condition score (not roly-poly fat or skinny), she is always as saleable as she can get. If cows like this are worth more to a potential buyer, they are worth more to me.

Every fall we mouth our older cows at preg-checking time. Anything with teeth missing gets sorted off and we sell them private treaty. These are termed "cornfield cows" and are usually good for two or three more calves with good farmer feed and care. Often I just send them sight-unseen to a couple buyers who have bought them many times in the past. These cows are worth $100 to $150 premium over what they would bring at the sale barn with just weigh-up price. I sell the best of these at this premium, and end up wintering and calving out the ones that don't quite "fit the load". We use the calves from these older cows to "adopt" on to any good young cows that lose their calves in the spring, and then we dry up the old cows and sell them on the weigh-up market at that time.

Older well-cared-for cows have proved their abilities through the years, or they wouldn't still be in the herd. Kinda goes along with "the older the violin, the sweeter the music." :wink:
 

George

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When I was younger and had more energy I bought a lot of someone elses neglected cattle - - - came to the sale barn skinny, wormy, muddy - - I could keep them away from my main herd. Baby them a little and turn them back to the same sale barn and many times double my money in 30 days.

I have tried to get my son to do this but he would rather complain about how little money he makes on the cattle he has.

I used to go into Georgia and Tennessee and group calves, bring them home for 30 days care and sell what I could and feed the rest. Many times I made more money per head on the calves I owned 30 days than what I made on the ones I fed out. I built a reputation that calves from me knew how to eat and grow. I had to stop that after the motorcycle wreck but there is a good place for someone to make money if they have a good eye for calves and are willing to put in the work.
 

PPRM

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OT,

I think you bring up another point. To run these you have to have the right resources. What you have done is planned ahead and marketed the end you can't deal with the best to give back the best return.

I know what you are saying about shaping up cows. Mine tend to be pretty good flesh and I tend to either top or be near the top at the sale. I used to take it a step farther at times of the year when there was a more consistent White Fat Premium. I would put these on feed for a bit....But we have plenty of trim in this country now, so good slid flesh seems to be the ticket,


PPRM
 

Angus Cattle Shower

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You know, I have to disagree on this one. When my Dad started off 20 years ago, He bought some bred heifers, heifer calves, and Some cull cows. Those bred heifers lost their way. 4 of the five calved in a snowbank, and he kept the other one. He still has some of the culls (2) and all of the heifer calves, and they are all 18-24, and they raise some of the best calves on the farm! Dad's pet cow has been having great bull calves, and we do steer them, so I used hercalf, made a $20.00 bet that mine would finish before The brother's, and now I am 20.00 richer!! :p 8) :D :wink:
 

PPRM

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Hmmmmm...... Angus Shower, I'm not sure why you say your disagreeing...Our thread has been supportive of the value and money that can be made on these.......Your post seems similar,


PPRM
 

Denny

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In my eye's cows that keep produceing after 10 years of age are the backbone of your cow herd and ALL daughters of those should be retained for replcements.It takes a whole lifetime to build up a GOOD cowherd and one generation to wreck it all.I would rather keep replacements from cows that have in fact proved themselves rather than keep them from some 1st calf heifers just because they have the 'NEW' genetics new isnt always better..
 

PPRM

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Denny,

I think part of it is the cowherds have changed a lot over the last 30 years. I'd say the average quality of most cowherds has gone up considerably. Maybe 30 years ago with some of these theoies and the thought of turnong over your genetic base, well it may have made more sense. But I think there are a lot more good cows out there now and not near the payback???Just a thot as to where some of these theories may have originated as far as turnong cows over.

I really agree with you and will go a step further. I love to see the age of the dam on a bull next to his perfomance numbers. One of the best I ever had came out of a 200 bull group and was in the top 5% for WW,growth and YW...and out ofa 13 year old cow from an outfit I know doesn't baby the cows...

PPRM
 

Angus Cattle Shower

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PPRM said:
Hmmmmm...... Angus Shower, I'm not sure why you say your disagreeing...Our thread has been supportive of the value and money that can be made on these.......Your post seems similar,


PPRM

I was talking about the "study" :oops:
Sorry, next time I will try to be clearer.
 

Angus Cattle Shower

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Horseman said:
Angus Cattle Shower said:
You know, I have to disagree on this one. When my Dad started off 20 years ago, He bought some bred heifers, heifer calves, and Some cull cows. Those bred heifers lost their way. 4 of the five calved in a snowbank, and he kept the other one. He still has some of the culls (2) and all of the heifer calves, and they are all 18-24, and they raise some of the best calves on the farm! Dad's pet cow has been having great bull calves, and we do steer them, so I used hercalf, made a $20.00 bet that mine would finish before The brother's, and now I am 20.00 richer!! :p 8) :D :wink:


If your 18 to 24 cows are raising your best calves then you have a serious problem with your younger cows. This has to be a joke and I suppose you got me.

Ha ha. I said some of the best calves, because they are what they are, and mabye they do get pampered a bit because they are older.
 

DOC HARRIS

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PPRM said:
Gearge,


Your story reminds me of growing up in Joseph Oregon. Invariably someone would be talking about one of the historic family ranches and they'd trace the start of these back to an ancestor that got his start buying cull ewes and keeping back the ewe lambs. As the ranch got paid for, they would transition into cattle.

These stories all ended with the ranch no longer having the ewes and not making any money (nice toys but no money, LOL).... I kinda figure I am doing the sae with old cows. plus, the heifers from these have one of the most economically important traits.....LONGEVITY...

On the colleges saying no more than ten years, where's the studies they have that prove this??????? They must use a different pencil than I, LOL,


PPRM
The "so-called" experts seem to have developed a sense of what is the correct way to breed, feed, raise, sell, and make money with beef cattle! There is no doubt that the Universities and the Experiment stations have discoverd many techniques and ideas and ways to improve the skills required for a successful beef BUSINESS - HOWEVER - when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of being successful - EXPERIENCE and PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE invariable turns out to be more valuable than theory and hit-and-miss guessing! Don't get me wrong - most of you know how I feel about EPD's and good Genotype and Phenotype being necessary for long-term planning for improvement, BUT correct Ranch and Herd Management is No. 1 in importance, and Experience tops that list! Most of the time, the 'old ways' are best because they have stood the test of TIME! PRODUCTION is KEY and if the 'old girls' can still cut the mustard - more power to them! :wink:
 

George

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Is it possible also that the cows in a commercial herd might be older than what the owner thinks? :eek: I know if I didn't keep records I could very easily loose track :roll: - - - and as time goes by I can still look at a cow and have to think of how long she has been here. :D
 

shorthorn

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I have some cows like that. I cull by who doesant wean an average calf and by who looks the roughest after a winter. So far that has been working well. I will baby them a little but not much. We strive to feed no hay to our cows. They get hay in times of ice or a deep snow. We stockpile grass all fall for them and let them earn their keep. But you would be surprized at the age of some of my cows. They are crossbreds and they hang right in there at the 12 and 15 years old with no supplement or problem. When they do become a problem we hold them over the winter with the fat cattle and put some weight on them and than ship.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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Ok, I'm gonna be the one to ask this question. When you say "stockpiling grass" and not feedin hay...what are you talkin bout?
Is it cut grass? or planted grass?
That's just a new term that I've never heard.
LOL when we stockpile grass means we are cuttin and balin hay.
 

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