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Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Frame scores - how small is too small?
« on: February 06, 2012, 09:49:56 PM »
Today I saw some data on a pen of sale bulls that really concerned me. In the data were listed frame scores that were in my oppinion too small to be usable. Several of the bulls were 3.25 to 3.75 frame scores, keep in mind that these bulls are not bred to be low lines. I can't help but wonder how far we will go down in frame scores and try to market them as "moderate" before someone finally decides that - "Oh my gosh we went to far again!" and we start the trend back to larger framed cattle. Personally I like bigger cattle and 6+ frame score cattle don't bother me at all if they are good, but I have no use for a 3.25 frame score animal in my program. RW
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Offline leanbeef

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 10:02:31 PM »
I know of one breeder who has several 3 and 4 frame cattle in their sale catalog every year, and they talk about it like it's a good thing. I don't see using cattle that small in our program because we need more performance than I can picture in cattle that little. And I LIKE little cattle compared to most people! My take on those extremely small frame scores (from what little I've paid attention to them) has to do with low maintenance costs and productivity/efficiency. I think there has to be a niche market for carcasses that small right now, and I don't want the lessened performance I would expect from those cattle, but who knows. I guess we'll see where this ride goes, huh...

Offline knabe

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 10:11:14 PM »
If cattle sell that are the size of goats, people will raise them.
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Offline LDT

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 10:46:50 PM »
when you sit and watch some of those cattle sell, and ask an order buyer what he thinks, the comment will be short black pen.  that is not a compliment coming from guys who buy thousands of cattle.  having said that, if you can identify a need or want go ahead and produce to fill it.

Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 11:01:00 PM »
The thing that bothers me is that these bulls are targeted at commercial producers and they give up alot of performance in the form of pounds at weaning and pounds at yearling both. Most of my customers either sell at weaning or a few that sell as yearlings. I can't imagine selling them a bull that I know will cost them pounds at their point of sale (last time I checked, most cattle are sold by the pound sooner or later). My point being with this post is that there are people trying to market smaller, poorer doing bulls by calling them moderate. Moderation has become the catch phrase that covers any small framed animal out there. I think the pendalum has swung about as far left as it is going to and we will see the swing back towards the middle in the near future. If not, we may all be raising whatever breed you choose and calling them Low Lines or miniature. RW
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Offline justintime

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 12:00:41 AM »
My customers sell pounds, and it is extremely hard to sell a small framed bull in these parts. You can sell an occasional smaller framed bull for use on heifers but not very many. I'm old enough that I can remember the cattle of the 60s, and believe me, I have spent far more of my life than I care to remember, getting away from them cattle. I personally have no use for any bull under a 5 frame. I like 6- 6.5 frames but will use a 5.5 if he is good enough. There are lots of commercial producers here that still want bigger framed bulls. Our grading system here is paying premium prices for larger framed carcasses every year, and the discounts on small carcasses are bigger each year as well. Maybe this is more a Canadian thing.... I'm not sure. Calving ease is important, and easy fleshing ability is as well, but you don't have to get these cattle so small that they are no earthly good to achieve either one or both of these things. There are bigger framed genetics that offer both... and if you can't find them you need to look in other places.
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Offline Aussie

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 01:44:06 AM »
Arh RW my favorite topic
I agree fully with RW and JIT.

Where I come from  FRAME & THICKNESS = WEIGHT = PROFIT

You need to have this  ^   with this  ^         or the equation will not work.


The NSW Department of Agriculture developed a research herd from registered Angus stock at their research centre in Trangie NSW Australia. The research centre was created in 1929 to provide quality Angus genetics to the NSW cattle industry. Seed stock were purchased from Scotland, Canada, America and selected Australian Studs to form the foundation of the herd. From 1929 to 1963 the Angus herd was prominent in the Australian showing circuit and won many major awards. The research herd was closed to outside genetics in 1964 after the purchase of herd sires from leading Australian Studs, Wambanumba, Glengowan, Tulagi and Wallah.


In 1963 the emphasis at Trangie was changed to scientific research in the form of performance recording. The project, involving weight gain, structural measurements, objective visual assessment and selective breeding, continued through to 1973 and pioneered performance testing in Australia today. The trial which produced the Lowline breed began in 1974, with funding from the Australian Meat Research Corporation, to evaluate selection for growth rate on herd profitability. The aim was to establish whether large or small animals were more efficient converters of grass into meat. This project continued for 19 years. The Trangie herd was divided into three groups based on yearling growth rates. The high yearling growth rate cattle were named High lines, the low yearling growth rate cattle were named the Low line and a randomly selected group was named the Control line. A program of detailed evaluation was implemented, which included weight gain, feed intake, reproductive performance, milk production, carcass yield and structural correctness. The protein conversion performances of the High line and the Low line cattle were monitored and recorded on an individual basis. The lines continued to grow apart with the selection process and recorded on an individual basis.

After 15 years the Low line of cattle were around 30% smaller than the High lines. The result of the efficiency in conversion was the same for the bulk of the Low and High line groups.

The attached article which is heavy going states that Low an High lines reached maturity at the same age.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 03:33:18 AM by Aussie »

Offline knabe

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2012, 03:57:38 AM »
If maturity is measured by having been bred at 1 year for a calf at two, but one could have been bred at 7 months and the other at 9, then they don't mature at the same age.  They may age at the same prodipuctive age, but not at the same age.  Will read it to see if that is the case.
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Offline DRB

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 12:10:59 PM »

I think people are missing the point on the usefulness of small framed animals....  grabbed this from the lowline Canada site, hope it comes through (based on the Trangie research, more actual lbs per acre produced with smaller framed cows).  This is a short-term vs long-term thing.  The argument is that you'd be better off with smaller framed cows, and then using a bigger framed growthy bull on them to produce terminal product.  The point of a small framed bull is to make smaller framed cows... not be the terminal cross sire that is suppose to produce pounds.

David

Offline Aussie

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 04:24:46 PM »
DRB those figures are very convincing. To explain my argument I have included a copy of the grid from the packer I work for. This one is taken from a presentation I gave to farmers on production and hitting premiums. At 15 months in dollar terms those small frame cattle come out on that grid $3000 dollars a head a handy result. But I would suggest those cattle have finished growing. Most of the other breeds have the ability to keep growing and adding value and in the end say at 18 months returning a greater profit.
All areas are different and I am sure many look at our production systems and shake their heads with this frame frame frame talk hope this goes a way to explain it.
Here is a link to some pictures from John Wood US Wellness Meats took in a recent trip to our area http://blog.grasslandbeef.com/bid/71048/Tasmania
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 11:44:17 PM by Aussie »

Offline Freddy

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 06:00:08 PM »
ENVIRONMENT  is one variable and a lot of us have that to deal with ..In my region  the big cow  in the years I have watched ,more problem breeding back ,the 1000 lb Angus of 40 years ago seemed like you could walk a bull through there pasture and they got bred, not all these fancy minerals to help them breed back and they would last atleast 3 years longer and in some cases more than that ....I get a couple more years out of my Charolais than I  do from todays Angus ....  The Angus cows I have noticed that I flush every other year now they make that 15 year mark and look good but stop producing egg's  ...   Our climates have got to make quite a difference in the cattles longevity ......  Those 1000 lb. Angus cows that I talked about were  bred to Charolais and had smokey calves ,it seemed they were as big as the cows ,and i'm sure they weighed almost 600lbs. ...This was in good hard grass counry .......usually born in March and April ....
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 06:06:00 PM by Freddy »

Offline sue

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 08:50:43 PM »

I think people are missing the point on the usefulness of small framed animals....  grabbed this from the lowline Canada site, hope it comes through (based on the Trangie research, more actual lbs per acre produced with smaller framed cows).  This is a short-term vs long-term thing.  The argument is that you'd be better off with smaller framed cows, and then using a bigger framed growthy bull on them to produce terminal product.  The point of a small framed bull is to make smaller framed cows... not be the terminal cross sire that is suppose to produce pounds.

David

I just looked over  Loving shorthorns sale catalog today... 5 frame on the average with high 600 to 7 ww? What are missing out on? ... nobody on this board brags enough about the money they save on feed? Please take a look at this up coming sale?  Sorry frame does not equal lbs. 
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Offline GONEWEST

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2012, 10:06:53 PM »

I think people are missing the point on the usefulness of small framed animals....  grabbed this from the lowline Canada site, hope it comes through (based on the Trangie research, more actual lbs per acre produced with smaller framed cows).  This is a short-term vs long-term thing.  The argument is that you'd be better off with smaller framed cows, and then using a bigger framed growthy bull on them to produce terminal product.  The point of a small framed bull is to make smaller framed cows... not be the terminal cross sire that is suppose to produce pounds.

David

I just looked over  Loving shorthorns sale catalog today... 5 frame on the average with high 600 to 7 ww? What are missing out on? ... nobody on this board brags enough about the money they save on feed? Please take a look at this up coming sale?  Sorry frame does not equal lbs. 



Well....................................................I took a look at the catalog, too. Just out of curiosity.  And I am guessing it must have been a different catalog than you looked at because I didn't see the same things.  What I saw was bulls that had absolutely zero post weaning performance.  Now maybe they were fed wheat straw after weaning? But no matter how they were fed, one has to assume for the data to be meaningful they all had to be treated the same, right? Lot 18, the smallest framed bull ( 4.1 Really??) gained 2.175 lbs/ day post weaning and had a yearling weight of 876. Which were both lows for the bulls listed.  While lot  19, the largest framed bull ( a virtual MONSTER at 6.5   ::)  ) weighed 1365 at yearling and gained 4.375 pounds post weaning. BY FAR the next two highest yearling weights are from the only two 6 frame bulls in the book. FROM WHAT I SEE by looking at this catalog is that frame is directly related to pounds. And FOR ME, they are the only three bulls that come close to having acceptable performance for use as a commercial herd sire.  But again, maybe I looked at another the wrong book.

As far as nobody bragging about the money they save on feed, it's because that's a flawed perception. I proved it mathematically previously, but maybe you missed it. If you have animals that actually perform, you can't feed them too much. To summarize, feed efficiency varies between animals from worst to best by only about 10%. If you have average animals then the best ones on the planet beat yours by only 5% and feed efficiency is only a moderately heritable trait. So there is not much difference between animals or breeds. Using .14 cents a pound feed,  MARC data on feed efficiency, 1.98 per pound last week in NE, and a 500 pound steer to eat your feed, every dollar of feed you put into him returns you $3.50. The more he eats the more you make. You don't SAVE money on feed, you leave money on the table by not feeding and not utilizing genetics  that gain weight at a high rate. If feeder prices weren't so high, this wouldn't be the case, but they are.

I have zero problem with the type of cattle you raise or Lovings or the Cartwrights or whomever.  That environment in KS maybe can't support anything else other than mediocre performance. But there are other places that can. The more they weigh the more they pay and the sooner they weigh it the more they pay. There are few production scenarios where that is not true.


Offline Aussie

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2012, 10:27:26 PM »

I just looked over  Loving shorthorns sale catalog today... 5 frame on the average with high 600 to 7 ww? What are missing out on? ... nobody on this board brags enough about the money they save on feed? Please take a look at this up coming sale?  Sorry frame does not equal lbs. 
Maybe you missed my message in bold blue further up the page about frame and thickness. Giraffes don't weigh much elephants do. Sue in the spring/summer flush if we don't eat our grass it goes to waste. We need performance cattle to eat it and turn it in to meat

Offline thunderdownunder

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2012, 11:04:55 PM »

I just looked over  Loving shorthorns sale catalog today... 5 frame on the average with high 600 to 7 ww? What are missing out on? ... nobody on this board brags enough about the money they save on feed? Please take a look at this up coming sale?  Sorry frame does not equal lbs. 
Maybe you missed my message in bold blue further up the page about frame and thickness. Giraffes don't weigh much elephants do. Sue in the spring/summer flush if we don't eat our grass it goes to waste. We need performance cattle to eat it and turn it in to meat

Last time I checked, the cattle topping the markets weren't dwarves.  (:))
Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

 

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