18 vs 24 months old steers?

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PCJR21

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Nov 14, 2017
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42
Help me better understanding 18 vs 24 month old steer comparison. We have only ever Bred and raised steers for fairs with 18 month old end date. Recently it came to my attention that a lot more people are showing 24 month old steers than I realized. We had a few steers this year that I was told, “by guys that know” that the steers needed to be a little older to have a more mature look! So I started paying more attention to that subject. Brandon Callis, on the Stock talk Podcast the other day (probably my second favorite podcast they have done!) mentioned something Similar about getting them to there full potential in terms of Bone and body but the cattle start to show signs of looking old.

What percentage of people are showing steers 24 months old at their end date?

Is the extra age worth the risk of making them
Look stale or over finished? Or is that just the people doing it wrong?

Is there a difference in the slick cattle deal, where you need a more mature look or something?

We all want to get them to their full potential. Is it really just that simple?
 

Bradenh

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Jan 10, 2010
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Location
Central Texas
The burly store ones are def more popular With haired cattle than slick I’m sure someone can site exceptions to the rule that worked out but generally it’s harder to hide the traits of a stale one when they’re naked. For haired shows (ft worth atleast) there does seem to be some popularity in holdover steers that often can be 2 but I give those guys credit for holding them together  because I can’t do it. It’s not on the agenda to change I suppose I’ll have to learn how to feed a holdover before the industry goes back to younger cattle....
 

oakview

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May 29, 2008
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In my opinion, to reduce frame size a lot of performance has been lost.  Maybe it just takes longer to get one to the desired weight you want to hold.  I don't like to feed steers that take 18 months to reach market weight, let alone 24.  I understand, though, that very little reality exists in the steer show game.  Showing old steers is nothing new.  In the 60's it was common for state university cattle herds to bring a steer back to the International for a second go round. 
 

mbigelow

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Mar 11, 2015
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I have been contemplating doing the opposite.  I was going to look at my larger calves at weaning and push them to be 1200 by 12 months.  I have one now that has only been on 9 lbs of grain and free choice wheat hay since weaning and he is right at 1000 lbs.  So, i thought if i had known he would gain that well i could have pushed him and made the light weight division next week at the count fair at 12 months old.  Seems to me it would save on the feed bill and produce a better end product.
 

Steve123

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Mar 13, 2008
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Back in the day they would "mouth" your steer at check in.  If he was missing to many baby teeth they would disqualify you.  Not sure any show is doing this anymore.  It definitely was not an exact science.
 

Tallcool1

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Jun 21, 2012
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970
We have showed fat steers in that 20-22 month age range. 

There is a big difference between a steer being fat and a steer looking mature.  It has nothing to do with weight.

Many (if not all) fat steers showing at that 1350 weight range are pulled back nearly 100 pounds.  They have to be that weight in order to have a mature look.  On a moderate framed one, that takes time. 

The reality is that the steer was fat at 1350, but he didn't LOOK fat.  He looked immature.  He was so clean chested and pencil necked that he just didn't look like a fat steer. 

The steers selling in Ohio right now (early state fair in Ohio) are often times disclosed as being January and February steers (some of them, not all).  That could mean that they are really November or December steers.  That puts those steers right in that 20'ish month age range by State Fair. 

I personally believe that 24 months is a bit old, but again, 20 or 22 months isn't.

As far as holding one together Show Stopper, you absolutely COULD hold one together.  It isn't that difficult as long as you don't care about doing any jackpot shows with them.  You can't push them at the feed bunk.  You turn them out on pasture with a round bale, and let them grow.  They look horrible...until it is time to start feeding them.  They recover in a hurry. 
 

PCJR21

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Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
42
Tallcool1 said:
We have showed fat steers in that 20-22 month age range. 

There is a big difference between a steer being fat and a steer looking mature.  It has nothing to do with weight.

Many (if not all) fat steers showing at that 1350 weight range are pulled back nearly 100 pounds.  They have to be that weight in order to have a mature look.  On a moderate framed one, that takes time. 

The reality is that the steer was fat at 1350, but he didn't LOOK fat.  He looked immature.  He was so clean chested and pencil necked that he just didn't look like a fat steer. 

The steers selling in Ohio right now (early state fair in Ohio) are often times disclosed as being January and February steers (some of them, not all).  That could mean that they are really November or December steers.  That puts those steers right in that 20'ish month age range by State Fair. 

I personally believe that 24 months is a bit old, but again, 20 or 22 months isn't.

As far as holding one together Show Stopper, you absolutely COULD hold one together.  It isn't that difficult as long as you don't care about doing any jackpot shows with them.  You can't push them at the feed bunk.  You turn them out on pasture with a round bale, and let them grow.  They look horrible...until it is time to start feeding them.  They recover in a hurry.

Great info thanks!
 

KSanburg

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May 5, 2010
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695
Location
Western Colorado
It's interesting that this comes up, we raise March calves for our late summer and fall shows. A couple years ago we took one to Denver at 21 months and I really appreciated the mature look. No issues holding him and he looked good,  I will say that I think we have lost some performance in our cattle. I've noticed that the March calves are becoming more difficult to get them to their target weight unless you get them on feed earlier. Interesting thread.
 
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