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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Feeding and Marketing Cull Cows

Authors
item Funston, R - MONT STATE EXT SERV
item Paterson, J - MONT STATE EXT SERV
item Williams, K - CUSTER CO EXT SERV
item Roberts, Andrew

Submitted to: Research Update for Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: January 15, 2003
Repository URL: http://www.larrl.ars.usda.gov
Citation: FUNSTON, R.N., PATERSON, J.A., WILLIAMS, K.E., ROBERTS, A.J. FEEDING AND MARKETING CULL COWS. RESEARCH UPDATE FOR FORT KEOGH LIVESTOCK AND RANGE RESEARCH LABORATORY. p. 76-77. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Sale of cull cows accounts for 15-25 % of yearly gross revenues of cow-calf operations in the United States. Yet many beef producers view market cows as culls rather than an important source of beef for the food industry and therefore may overlook opportunities to add value to market cows, and thereby increase returns from this portion of their operation. Properly managing and marketing cull cows may mean the difference between a profit and a loss for a year. Feeding cull cows for a period of time before selling may improve quality of animals and overall profitability. Beef from market cows is widely used in the retail and food service sector in a variety of product forms, not all of which is ground. Thus, it is important to identify management practices and cow characteristics that influence factors affecting value of market animals. Objectives of this research were to determine effects of steroid implants, initial body weight and body condition score on feedlot performance, slaughter weight and carcass characteristics of cull cows fed a high concentrate diet for approximately 90 d. Neither initial weight nor body condition affected feedlot performance of cull cows in this research project. Implanting, however, had a dramatic effect on improving feedlot performance and increasing hot carcass weight and ribeye area. While it is important to consider seasonality of cull cow prices and price differences between cull cow slaughter grades when deciding whether to feed cull cows, there is potential for increasing revenues from cull cow sales by implementing this management strategy.

Technical Abstract: Sale of cull cows accounts for 15-25 % of yearly gross revenues of cow-calf operations in the United States. Yet many beef producers view market cows as culls rather than an important source of beef for the food industry and therefore may overlook opportunities to add value to market cows, and thereby increase returns from this portion of their operation. Properly managing and marketing cull cows may mean the difference between a profit and a loss for a year. Feeding cull cows for a period of time before selling may improve quality of animals and overall profitability. Beef from market cows is widely used in the retail and food service sector in a variety of product forms, not all of which is ground. Thus, it is important to identify management practices and cow characteristics that influence factors affecting value of market animals. Objectives of this research were to determine effects of steroid implants, initial body weight and body condition score on feedlot performance, slaughter weight and carcass characteristics of cull cows fed a high concentrate diet for approximately 90 d. Neither initial weight nor body condition affected feedlot performance of cull cows in this research project. Implanting, however, had a dramatic effect on improving feedlot performance and increasing hot carcass weight and ribeye area. While it is important to consider seasonality of cull cow prices and price differences between cull cow slaughter grades when deciding whether to feed cull cows, there is potential for increasing revenues from cull cow sales by implementing this management strategy.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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