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Author Topic: Frame scores - how small is too small?  (Read 18948 times)

Offline E6 Durhams

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2012, 09:07:05 PM »
Thank u sir. I value your opinion. lock and Load seems to me to be a good bull but I can see your side of it. I always enjoy looking over the Brylor semen catalog. Not alot of dinks in there lol. I dont see the red angus breed being known for puds. As a outsider looking in, Id say they have more to offer then just about any breed. Thats why I plug them in :) Hows the Walkerton bull doing? I havent got my 2012 brylor book yet. I didnt look up the number yet you provided. i will shortly.

Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2012, 09:23:05 PM »
Thank u sir. I value your opinion. lock and Load seems to me to be a good bull but I can see your side of it. I always enjoy looking over the Brylor semen catalog. Not alot of dinks in there lol. I dont see the red angus breed being known for puds. As a outsider looking in, Id say they have more to offer then just about any breed. Thats why I plug them in :) Hows the Walkerton bull doing? I havent got my 2012 brylor book yet. I didnt look up the number yet you provided. i will shortly.
We had a bit of a scare with the Walkerton bull last year when he caught an infection coming out of Denver. For several months he was not producing semen and I was afraid he was done, especially after calving out all of our first calf heifers to him. After an aggressive antibiotic treatment and some time he is once agian producing excellent quality semen. I absolutely love his daugters and retained all of them for replacement females this year. He will see hard service this year on both heifers and mature cows. I don't think our breed is in trouble yet but if the trend that I see happening continues for another couple of years I think it could be. It takes alot longer to bring up a frame score than it does to take one down. I hope that we don't get carried away with the "moderation" of the breed, we were really never a breed that was known for big framed cattle even back when the trend was to breed them as big as you can. Even in last years bull sales I saw commercial cattlemen go home with empty trailers because they couldn't find a "growthy" bull in some of the offerings. I guess sooner or later the check books will speak loud enough to get the attention of some breeders. RW
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Offline sue

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2012, 09:49:09 PM »
Road Warrior you have to pm me the catalog offering .  I dont think your breed is in jeopardy.

 If a group of breeders want to produce grassfed beef and remain or become a part of agriculture through grazing then we should applaud .  It's another part of agriculture and one less party trying to tear down what most of us want to make a living at..
 The growth in grassfed beef doesnt really fit your deal so pass these sales on to Ken Brubaker ( i hope I have his name right?) .
 5L sure has a large diverse following and seem to do very well- this should be a sign that forage based genetics are as serious as lbs at weaning and 6 frame cattle are to you?
Recently Michigan state University's  Dr jason Rowntree  published an article regarding the dollar/hd / acre in grazing and maintaining a 4.5 frame female base. His total number of cattle grew. ...   I see no threat in this program of 175 Red Angus females?   Michigan needs a strong cow/calf program we have alot of ground that cannot be tilled . So let's stop hauling feed to the cattle and get these Recreational/hunting  acres turned into pastures and agriculture... Not everyone can operate a cash crop farm and haul feed to cattle. Many see and enjoy and group of cattle grazing in a natural environment. Land owners are not all farmers .
  If I walked into a groccery store and asked a lady if she cared if she ate a 6 frame steer or a 3.25 frame steer raised in Michigan ... I bet she say "oh give that Michigan raised beef please". People want to know where the food came from?
 why should we haul cattle to Iowa to finish when we have the resources right here?  Grass and  3.25 frame cattle is waaay beyond a "niche" market.
It's okay to want 6 frame too.   sorry I am using Michigan as a example...
 But just leave the low input guys alone...  AS pointed out in this thread before  Breed what works for you. , if you dont have a customer base (  sale consultants) then pass on to someone who does.  Keep the larger picture in mind ... we need EVERYONE INVOLVED  IN BEEF AGRICULTURE.
On a side note the docility of shorthorns really really appeals to growers.
Registered Red Angus x Shorthorn Composite Cattle. www.lakesidecattle.com

Offline E6 Durhams

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2012, 10:02:29 PM »
Walkerton and the No Suprise Lancer bull were my picks from the Brylor catalog RW before I knew you owned him. I have always admired how the red angus has done its own thing and pretty much ignore the hot trend. Im glad the bull is up and running again. I will be watching how he proves out with a keen interest. Between Big Rock, Toast and Walkerton, your bull is my favorite Mulberry son. I think as long as folks like you are steering the ship, red angus will be just fine.


Good post sue. you can follow them on facebook I believe? The grazing station that is. Lots of good, proven red angus options out there. As far as grassfed goes. Its exploding around me. IMO, your product is worth more when they know where it came from and you spend way less then in a feedlot. Red angus convert grass to pounds as well as anything I have seen. I have never pounded the grain to them but I cant see how they dont excel there either. Its a match made in heaven :) red angus x shorthorn  (angel)

Offline ROAD WARRIOR

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2012, 11:00:44 PM »
Sue, First of all let me make this statement - If I am hired to work a sale for Ranch ABC, I will do my very best to market their animals for them irreguardless of what their program is. I worked a sale in Oklahoma last fall and the night before the sale I was asked which lots I was going to try to get sold, my answer was very simple - ALL OF THEM. I am not debating that there are some absolutely phenominal moderate framed cattle out there. I have seen them and helped market them. I am more directing this towards some cattle that I am seeing being marketed as moderate when in fact, they are just small framed cattle that in reality are harder doing than many of the big framed cattle from years ago. I personally don't consider a 3.25 frame animal with a 382# WW and a 763# YW a marketable breeding animal ( I will not name the breeders or the animals as that is not how I do business) but I saw this animal marketed as a moderate, calving ease sire (he did not sell). Larry Melhoff (5L) does a great job with his cattle and they absolutely work for him in his enviroment. I have absolutely nothing against the guys making their living off of the low imput/grass fed beef business. I have bought a little over $25,000 worth of cattle in the last year for a gentleman that does exactly that and has a phenominal freezer beef business working for him. I put in alot of miles in a years time as a buyer representative/sale manager. I see litterally thousands of Red Angus cattle sell in a years time and I will buy you whatever kind of cattle you are looking for, BUT!!!! I will not misrepresent an animal to you to make a commission. My reputation is worth far more to me than a couple of hundred bucks I might make off of a sale. I know the difference between an animal that is moderate and usable and an animal that simply will not grow.
  I also own and opporate a registered Red Angus herd and after selling bulls to my local customers for 20+ years, I can tell you that the bulls that are a 5 frame score or less are the hardest ones to market to my bull buying customers. For my enviroment and my customer base the smaller framed cattle won't work, this is where my concerns are stemmed from. The RA gene pool is small enough that if the majority of the breed goes to frame score 4 cattle (strictly a hypothetical number) it will be hard for me and several others to find usable genetics to put into our herd. I don't think that this scenerio will take place in the real world for the fact that there are still alot of herds around that won't get caught up in the "trends of the time" and have customers much like mine. A year ago I talked with a cattle buyer from Myers Natural Beef, he expressed to me that his ideal "steer" weighed 1350# at 15 months old to fit their program. At that time he was having troulble finding enough RA sired steers that fit his needs to fill orders. Yes, the all natural qualifications are part of the limiting factor but he stated that finding "big enough" steers was a concern of his. Last year at the Iowa Beef Expo Red Angus sale there were a few 4 frame bulls in the offering, there was also an obvious lag oin the price that was being paid for those animals. I could have bought 3.8 to 4.8 frame bulls for $1,100 that day and I talked to two commercial bull buyers that went home with empty trailers because they felt that they couldn't afford the prices that were being paid ($3750 and up) for some of the larger more powerful bulls that they liked and were not interested in the smaller bulls at all. I have been "in the barn" long enough to know that a breed gets a reputation as being (fill in the blank) and all of the breed is classified as that. I kind of like the reputation we have had for a few years of just being good, functional cattle. RW
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Offline worthabit

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2012, 04:53:16 PM »
The average carcass wt. in Canada last week was 886 lbs for steers up from 853 the year before and 824 for heifers up from 797 a year ago. I don't think there are too many frame 4 cattle making those weights.

Offline Woody

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2012, 07:05:28 PM »
I love the term "moderate". If you raise 7 frames a 6 is moderate. If you raise 4 frame cattle a 3.5 is considered moderate. To me it's a way of saying "smaller than I usually offer"
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Offline -XBAR-

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2012, 07:47:45 PM »
I like to think a 3 is small. a 5.5 moderate and an 8 big when discussing frame scores

Offline outspoken

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2012, 08:28:17 PM »
I like to think a 3 is small. a 5.5 moderate and an 8 big when discussing frame scores
x2.. but I would narrow that window up a little.. call it a 4 small (I have a 4.5 cow-- and i think she's almost midget compared to the rest.  5.5 moderate-- and 8 a monster.. we've had 7 frames and they TOWERED> 

my ideal.. 5.3 to 6.3 on a shorthorn cow-- 4.7 to 5.5 on an angus...

Offline Eggbert

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2012, 09:28:46 PM »
It seems like there is a post regarding ideal frame score every couple months.  I think I have linked to this research in prior posts, but here it is again. 
If you have the time it is worth the read - http://www.bifconference.com/bif2010/documents/08_johnson_radakovich.pdf

Here is excerpt that is most germane to the discussions in this thread:

Metabolic Weight versus Live Weight. The average elephant weights 220,000 times as
much as the average mouse, but requires only about 10,000 times as much energy in the form of
food calories to sustain itself. This is because of the mathematical and geometric relationship
between body surface area and volume, which in biology is articulated by Kleibers Theory. It
states that metabolic weight = live weight^.75 (Kleiber, 1932).

Essentially, the bigger the animal, the more efficiently it uses energy.
For instance, eighty seven 1200 lb cows require the same amount of food energy for maintenance as one hundred 1000 lb cows (Table 1).

This is a hypothetical but realistic scenario - do you want 87 cows or 100 cows? 
87 cows (1200 pound cows) - wean 600 pound calves = 52,200 pounds
100 cows (1000 pound cows) - wean 500 pound calves =50,000 pounds

Chances are that the calves out the 1200 pound cow will outperform the calves after weaning as well.


Offline E6 Durhams

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2012, 11:34:53 PM »
Can you really compare a elephant who has been breeding by natures selection process for millions of years and cattle who have had people screwing them up for hundreds of years? Your theory makes semse but I dont know if it can work with cattle. 1200 lb cows compared to 2000 lb cows? how would that work out? Just thinking out loud.

Offline Stockman Genetics

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2012, 08:11:31 AM »
That equation works for any animal. Its not about human selection but more about the basic science created by god that we are trying to quantify,  this is why in colder climates most clients I talk to believe that 1200 is too small and 1350 is about right.

Offline CAB

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2012, 10:59:17 AM »
One of the better threads posted up here for some time. I like 5.8 to 6.3 framed cattle & always have. It's why I have always had a  harder time using the smaller clubbie bred bulls.

Offline DRB

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2012, 11:02:21 AM »
It seems like there is a post regarding ideal frame score every couple months.  I think I have linked to this research in prior posts, but here it is again. 
If you have the time it is worth the read - http://www.bifconference.com/bif2010/documents/08_johnson_radakovich.pdf

Here is excerpt that is most germane to the discussions in this thread:

Metabolic Weight versus Live Weight. The average elephant weights 220,000 times as
much as the average mouse, but requires only about 10,000 times as much energy in the form of
food calories to sustain itself. This is because of the mathematical and geometric relationship
between body surface area and volume, which in biology is articulated by Kleibers Theory. It
states that metabolic weight = live weight^.75 (Kleiber, 1932).

Essentially, the bigger the animal, the more efficiently it uses energy.
For instance, eighty seven 1200 lb cows require the same amount of food energy for maintenance as one hundred 1000 lb cows (Table 1).

This is a hypothetical but realistic scenario - do you want 87 cows or 100 cows? 
87 cows (1200 pound cows) - wean 600 pound calves = 52,200 pounds
100 cows (1000 pound cows) - wean 500 pound calves =50,000 pounds

Chances are that the calves out the 1200 pound cow will outperform the calves after weaning as well.




So the difference is 4 more 1200lb cows vs the 1:1 3% across the board maintenance which would give you 83 cows.

You missed the negative $/lb margin for heavier calves, completing the math for last weeks Ontario stocker market ( http://www.cattle.guelph.on.ca/markets/weekly_reports/2012/20120210.pdf ):

87 x 600 lb calves x 1.51 per lb = $78822
100 x 500 lb calves x  1.70 per lb = $85000

That's a bigger price spread than I usually see, normally more like down $0.10 per cwt increase.  But hmmm, even with 10c difference those lighter calves made more $.

There are a lot of factor that play here, I'm not saying it's this simplistic.  But producing maximum lbs or max $ per acre in a limited feed scenario (I only have the land I have, and don't want to buy dumptrucks of corn...) is what I'm interested in.

David






Offline Stockman Genetics

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Re: Frame scores - how small is too small?
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2012, 11:14:31 AM »
Poor marketing is no excuse. Keep those calves until yearnings or retain and you will easily make up that difference.

 

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