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Big Muddy rancher

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Hope I don't get in trouble for using this. It's from the PCC newsletter

Most commercial producers know they don't need cows that weigh over 1200 pounds. They know that smaller cows can actually produce more total pounds and more profit than big cows on the same forage resources. I visited with my friend, Paul Schultes from South Dakota, on Monday about cow size. Paul said thousands of young bred cows have been selling in western South Dakota. Last week, he gathered up information on all the young, running-age, bred cows that sold at two major sale barns. Their average weight was 1466 pounds. That was the average -- not the maximum. Paul said there are lots of 1600 to 1800 pound cows.



Paul said, "There aren't many real ranches left in western South Dakota. It appears that they have all been crossbred with a feedlot." Paul's point was that they no longer have the type of cattle that can survive without heavy levels of hay and supplementation. PCC has many customers in western South Dakota, so I know Paul was exaggerating a bit. However, if most of the young cows in western South Dakota weigh over 1400 pounds, there is a BIG problem -- and it is getting BIGGER.
 

Mike

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Problem with using weights for a barometer is that I have some frame 5 cattle that weigh 1400. What am I going to do? Put them on a pasture diet?

To me it's best to use Frame Scores AND Weights to hit a happy medium.

I am surprised each year when I have to weigh my registered cows at weaning time for AICA data. Those smaller framed, easy fleshing ones fool me every time.
 

BRG

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Pharo talks alot of steam. Alot of what he says makes sense but only in moderation. He pretty much insulted all of western SD by saying that. My ranch is in western SD and they earn a living. So far only fed hay 1/12 weeks this winter, and my cows are around a 6 frame average. it doesn't have to be little cows to work.

If moderate is what you want and need so be it, but the way he shoots all other seedstock breeders down makes me sick.
 

lazy ace

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I drove by Pharo's place last spring it looked to me like his grass fed bulls were being fed from concrete bunks! :D

My wife has a theory about the round baler making cow size bigger meaning if we still fed them by hand we would only keep the smallest, easiest fleshing cattle. It gets easier to overfeed your livestock. Personally I like my loader tractors.


have a good one
 

Faster horses

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I think Pharo's philosphy is interesting. Listen and take what you can use and don't worry about the rest of it. We have one Pharo bull and he is just as big as any of the other bulls. I have seen his forage-raised bulls, and I would worry that they might be stunted. He does give you things to think about, I will give him that.

One thing I do not agree with and that is wintering cattle without water. Sure, they won't die, but they don't do very good either. We have wintered cattle in the past where water was short and you can really tell the ones that didn't get enough water. Water is the first nutrition requirement; it allows the rest of the diet to be digested efficiently as possible.

Old cowmen used to say, "If I had to be short on grass or water, I'd rahter be short on grass."
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I just threw that out for discussion. I lean to his way of thinking but I haven't seen any pictures of his bulls that I like. And like some of you I think he takes it a bit to far. Oh well some good opinions anyways.
 

Northern Rancher

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Ohh we've wintered cows on snow for years-licking snow is a heck of alot easier on them then drinking cold water-they don't stand around and shiver-if snow gets short we haul water but most years we 'snow ' them for 4-5 months. Were about 1,000 miles north of you so get a bit more snow lol.
 

Andy

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Kit makes a guy think and that is a good thing. If i jumped on his band wagon my cost would actually go up, but I do some of the same things that he does to decerase my cow cost. Cows will do fine on the right kind of snow but an average we only have a month of good snow here.
 

Faster horses

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Takes energy to melt that snow too, don't think it doesn't. And how much water is in your snow? Here it can be really dry...

To each his own, but you'll never convince me cattle can winter as well without water as they can with it. Especially if they are being fed hay.
 

theHiredMansWife

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Takes energy to melt that snow too, don't think it doesn't.

I'm gonna bet that the difference between frozen snow and a water tank that has just been axed open isn't much. Almostfrozen water is pretty cold, too...
Though in general I agree with you that actual water is better than snow...
 

Faster horses

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These posts reminded me that we are very fortunate that our cattle have artesian water to drink all winter long. That is one of the reasons we bought this place, the artesian water that is on most of it. We never have to chop ice out of a creek or a tank. Guess I had kinda taken that for granted.

Thanks for the reminder!
 

PureCountry

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For curiosity's sake I'd like to see his outfit someday. I read his newsletters and those of several other folks. I meet good cattleman whenever I go to a seminar, trade fair, bull sale, whatever. Every person I meet, I try to learn something from. I think I'm pretty good at knowing when to keep my mouth shut and my ears open. In any crowd, you can usually pick out the ones who are - OR AIN'T - worth listening to.

As for Kit Pharo, I agree with most of what he says. Mainly because we were already heading in the direction of smaller cows and a grass-based operation, and it's working. Our costs are lower than ever, and those small thick, fleshy cows are raising the same size calves as the bigger ones.
 

George

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This year is the first I have had really large cattle - - - I am in the process of going back as the Charolis I purchased are great cattle but way to big. I got three hiefers in November that are due with the first calf in April and they hit the scales at 1,520# and are not fat by any means. Several of the 5 year old and older are at or over a ton.

Yes I sold some very nice calves but I feel I can go back to Angus cows bred to Charolis and get more pounds per acre.

Don't get me wrong these cows seem to calve easy, take good care of their calves, and really look good - - - but they really know how to eat and eat and eat!

I'm going at 10:00AM tomorrow to get 8 registered Angus hiefers that I will breed in July and I will keep replacing any cows that are culled with the Angus.
 

Tap

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Paul said, "There aren't many real ranches left in western South Dakota. It appears that they have all been crossbred with a feedlot." Paul's point was that they no longer have the type of cattle that can survive without heavy levels of hay and supplementation. PCC has many customers in western South Dakota, so I know Paul was exaggerating a bit. However, if most of the young cows in western South Dakota weigh over 1400 pounds, there is a BIG problem -- and it is getting BIGGER.

We bought 30 hd. of cows from Paul at one of these sales. They averaged in the 11wt. area, but there were some 1400lb. and heavier cows at that same sale. I visited with him that day about this very topic before the sale. The ironic thing is that 15 of the cows we bought from Paul had our brand on them, as we had sold them to him about 18 mo. earlier. We didn't have room for them then, but since have added some grass, or scenery anyhow. :wink: lol.

Didn't have to rebrand them anyway, that was a plus.
 

Tumbleweed

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I visit with Paul fairly often about the cattle and how they have changed. A lot of times people will ask if he has any cattle they could run for him. For one reason or another they maybe can't get the money to run cows or don't want the risk. Sometimes he will buy cattle and stock them up then pay a pasture bill by the month to them. He says he has to be careful about the cattle he buys because if they are to big a framed and are heavy milking they will probably get thin and come up open. A lot of the people who run cows for him expect them to pretty much live on the grass they have and maybe a little supplement. So I guess thats where his statement about the ranches being crossed with a feedlot come from. There arn't to many cattle any more that can live year round mostly on grass with just a litttle supplement, raise a calf every year or ranchers that expect them to.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I figured that when I started this thread we would get some good discussion and you guys didn't disapoint me. I just started getting Pharo's newsletter sent to me and didn't ask for it so I am fairly new to most of what he says but have heard some of it before. Even if you don't agree with him at least it makes us think. Tap at least you now know your raising the kind of cattle you would lijke to buy.
 

Tap

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Yes Tumbleweed, Paul told me about some of his cows he has/had out with other ranchers. He does seem to try and stick with his ideas pretty well. He knew the cattle he had purchased from us before he bought them, and knew that they would do what he wanted. I guess he had been keeping the bull calves they raised for his own sires. He does have a lot of ideas about things, but the problem is that he has so much going on at a time upstairs, and maybe I don't process information that speedy. :wink: :D

I think our cattle will hold their own as far as wintering on little supplement, and still raising a good calf and breeding back. Later calving helps a lot with this IMO. Our winter bill has been very reasonable so far this winter. Some of our cows have less than 15 dollars/hd. invested into them besides the pasture they are on.
 

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