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Author Topic: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?  (Read 7311 times)

Offline blackcows

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Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« on: March 21, 2010, 07:52:40 AM »
I am working on putting togeather a cash flow for some cows and trying to decide what a fair number to use for average life expectancy of a cow (useful life).  Do any of the breeed associations track this number?  Anyone ever seen any numbers in regards to this?  I am thinking about using 10 years as a number but don't really have a scientific basis for this number just an estimate based on my experience.

Mike

Offline aj

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 08:59:15 AM »
Depends on enviroment. Basically a range cow here the age 7 is considered to be fairly shot. This is based on teeth mainly. Now this is a mineral salt range conditions. No thrills. there are exceptions. With protein tubs,silage grain etc. It could be 10-12 years. That is my opinion. The Red Angus breed has a "stayability" epd that kinda tries and measures this. Disposition,udder quality, fertility figure in also. Excellent topic.
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Offline BadgerFan

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 09:02:57 AM »
On the average, I bet 7-8 years gets most of them.  Keep in mind all the opens, disposition issues, heifer calving/milking issues, etc that can cause a cow to exit the farm early.  I'd plan for the average cow to make 6-7 calves.

Offline big tylerr

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 01:12:36 PM »
i have seen cow live for 15 years

Offline kanshow

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2010, 01:25:31 PM »
I'd say figure on 7-8 safely ...  knowing that some will fall out younger than that while others will last a lot longer.   

Offline LN

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2010, 03:36:52 PM »
I'd say figure on 7-8 safely ...  knowing that some will fall out younger than that while others will last a lot longer.   

I'd agree with that. Also depends on breed type and whether the cows are crossbred.
Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin'for, worth fightin' for, worth dyin' for, because it's the only thing that lasts.     -Gone With the Wind

Offline VJ

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2010, 03:44:55 PM »
I know a guy who keeps excellent performance records on a herd of about 200 commercial cows. He says the most productive years of a cow are from 4 - 7 yrs old. At 9 the cow's performance drops off considerably.This is based on weaning weights.
If your head is in the freezer and your ass in the fire, on average you should be pretty comfortable.

Offline ZNT

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2010, 06:02:13 PM »
If you are working on a cash flow, instead of calculating age, you should treat your attrition as a percentage. I would figure approximately 15% attrition each year with 2% of that as death loss and the remainder as culls that can be sold at the salebarn or to a packer. To keep you herd at the same size, you will need to calculate in either that many replacement heifers to retain or that many replacement cows to purchase each year.

Good luck. It's hard to crunch the numbers on a cattle operation and have it look pretty. No matter how well you are doing!
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Offline showstick09

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2010, 07:26:04 PM »
I am 19 years old, and we still have a cow that we bottle fed and raised when I was 5. So i guess you can do the math, lol. 

Offline forbes family farms

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2010, 08:28:34 PM »
I have a 20 year old cow and a 22 year old cow, know that this is not normal though both are simmental cross angus cows that are in perfect condition they are my top 5 best cows i have this will be there last year on the farm its sad to let them go but they have paid for themselves and behond.
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Offline steerpimp

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 08:05:41 AM »
I took a 25 year old cow to the sale barn a couple months ago.

Offline kanshow

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Re: Life Expectancy of a Beef Cow?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 08:45:44 AM »
We all know of those really old cows and most of us have some.   However, it would be pretty hard to convince a banker that those old cows will remain productive for any amount of time.     Seems like during a cow's life, she has a gradual start up, a peak, a gradual down turn, and then an end.    We can't predict when or what that end will be - not breeding back at age 10, weaning off a tiny calf at age 12, breeding back late at age 14, getting cancer eye at age 6.   Who knows...      We have a 17 year old cow who has always calved in the first 1/3 of calving season year after year, her calf has always been good sized at weaning. However, we are nearly thru with calving and she just now calved at the tail end of the season.   Her body condition is not great, she is now requiring more care than the rest of the mature cow herd.   I think this is her last calf here.  We also have a 7 year old cow who has cancer eye...  she's done here too. 

 

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