Kit Pharo from Pharo Cattle Company on Cattle Genetics and Building a Low Input Cow Herd
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Optimum production is always much more profitable than maximum production. Bigger is not always better! Optimum production is the point at which net profits are maximized. Profit is what we really want to maximize.
Fit Their Environment. To achieve optimum production ranchers must produce cows that fit their environment, instead of artificially changing the environment to fit their cows. Since many ranchers have cows that are too big and inefficient, they are forced to change their environment by feeding harvested and purchased feed to keep their cows in production. This quickly takes most of the profit out of ranching. We want a cow that can survive strictly on what the ranch produces with little, or no, inputs. A cow ought to be supporting the ranch, instead of being supported by the ranch!
In order to produce momma cows that fit our environment, we require our cows to run on short native grass year-round with very little feed supplement. We let the environment sort out the “good ones”, while we show absolutely no sympathy for open, late, or dry cows. They must produce and wean a calf every year or they are culled. There are no second chances!
Desirable End Product. We not only want a cow that fits her environment, we also expect her to produce a desirable and profitable end product. Her calves must be able to feed efficiently, as well as meet the requirements established by the current beef industry. The industry wants a steer calf that can produce a 700 to 800 pound Choice carcass with a Yield Grade less than 3.
Contrary to popular opinion, we believe it is possible to produce ideal replacement heifers and ideal feeding steers with the same bull. To prove this point we enrolled our steer calves in a feed and carcass test for three years in a row. We are extremely pleased with the results. The averages are posted below.
In Weight: 560 Out Weight: 1225 Carcass Wt.: 775
% Choice: 75% Yield Grade: 2.3 Rib Eye Area: 13.3 sq. in.