Female sales are expected to contribute almost half of cattle sales in any beef business, so choosing which ones to sell can have a huge impact on profitability because:
- male sales are usually a priority in management strategies and genetic selection, and female sales may be overlooked
- successful breeders mean a successful herd
- genetic progress and herd structure are improved.
In intensively managed controlled and mated herds, the sale of surplus females corresponds to normal annual livestock marketing plans. Stocks can be easily rounded up for the short term, and put options can be easily changed if needed.
However, in large, extensive and continuously mated herds, a breeding cow may only be courted once or twice a year, so the process of accumulating sufficient numbers and securing markets becomes more difficult.
On the spot, decisions must be made for each woman regarding survival, future productivity and market specifications. Here’s what livestock managers in these environments need to consider when deciding which females are kept and which should be sold this year.
Minimize the cow mortality rate
Minimizing mortality rates in breeding cows is critical to business success – it is the main driver of profit when rates exceed 5%. Thus, the process of selecting breeders for slaughter is a balance between keeping enough cows to produce enough weaners, maintaining stocking rates that do not exceed carrying capacity, and ensuring that as few animals as possible die off. the farm where their value can never be realized. .
A “no slaughter” approach results in overstocking and increased mortality rates, and profitability is compromised when all or bad breeders are retained.
Check the market specifications
Before sending cull females for processing, check the processing charts and make sure the animals weigh more than 180 kg dressed weight.
Remember that the stage of pregnancy influences the percentage of clothing for women, which is always lower than for men.
Cost of replacement heifers
Do you have suitable pregnant replacement heifers available to replace them with unproductive breeders? Keep this in mind when deciding which animals to slaughter.
Five slaughter guidelines to improve profitability
1. Bad Temperament: Breeders with a bad temperament are a potential work and safety problem and should be removed as soon as possible.
2. Deformities: Females with deformities such as bottle nipples, cancerous eyes and ingrown horns should be removed to ensure animal health and the welfare of the whole herd.
3. Fat, non-lactating cows over 5 years old: Many of these animals will be pregnant at the first round, so it is very likely that they will calve out of season and not start again the following year.
4. Senior Cows: Before starting the herding, the decision should be made to slaughter animals with broken mouths. Animals that lose teeth are difficult to fatten and sell, and their weaned offspring often have a lighter body weight.
5. Maiden Heifers: Young females above their critical mating weight who have failed to conceive should be culled, as their future long-term productivity is generally below average.