Can Angus Cattle Be Big And Efficient?Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:34:20 CST
Over time, the average size of beef cows has increased by 200 pounds or more. To keep up with feed costs-even today’s feed costs-that just means she needs to wean 50 more pounds of calf, according to South Dakota State University animal scientist Ken Olson.
He says big does not always mean inefficient. In 1990 the average cow weighed 1,200 pounds. Now the average is 1,400.
Olson studied the amount of feed consumed by cows weaning calves at different weights. His calculations showed that older formulas which based weaning weights on a ratio between the weight of the cow and the calf are not economically efficient.
Olson says his numbers show that if a 1,200-pound cow weans a 500-pound calf, a 1,400-pound cow needs to wean a 550-pound calf for maximum efficiency.
Press the play button to hear more from Ken Olson.
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