I will totally agree that most 1800 lb cows are not what most people are looking for in N America today. That said, I think it would be wrong for us to totally eliminate all of these cows, as I think the day will return when some of these genetics are wanted again. If I have learned anything about the beef industry, in my lifetime involvement, it is that the perfect sized cow changes constantly. I also know that it much easier to get small cattle than it is big cattle. In my opinion, any cow that helps pay the bills, is a good cow, regardless of her size. Here is one example....
Last fall I purchased a cow in a dispersal for $5300. She was a big cow, in fact, we weighed her directly off the trailer after a 550 mile haul and she weighed 2130 lb.Her calf was weaned that day, and this cow had only had grass for nutrition. You are probably asking" why would I be so dumb to buy such a creature?" The answer is, that I have not seen many cows as thick and as easy fleshing as this cow in recent years. I can remember herds full of cows like this, in Western Canada, when I was growing up, but now they are few and far between. She is thick enough that two people could sleep on her back. She was wintered in our herd with no grain supplement and was one of the best fleshed cows when she calved. Yes, I am sure she ate more than a 1200 or 1400 lb cow, but I also know that she did not eat twice as much. She raised a good bull calf that weaned at 720 lb at 157 days of age,with no creep feed, and he is certainly going to make a good herd sire for someone. He has the same thickness as his dam, and sire, and he has lots of muscle and style.
Since she has calved, we have flushed her twice. In these two flushes we have collected 41 grade 1 embryos. She will be flushed again in October. So far we have sold 24 of her embryos, mostly to Scotland, Australia and USA for over $17,000.So far, I have owned her for 10 months and she has already tripled our investment in her. I have a notion that before she is done producing ( providing God doesn't call her home) that she is going to generate even more revenue. I already have two US breeders wanting embryos from other sires than we have flushed to so far. So is this cow too big???? Personally, I am really starting to like this cow. I will also add that prior to this year's bull calf, she has had 4 heifer calves that have averaged over $4000 when they were sold.
My point is, yes, this cow is probably too big for most people's operations. I have seen many people complain about someone else's cows being too big, yet, I have watched these same people buy bigger cows at sales. Go figure? So, in my world, the perfect cow size is whatever the buyer demands. I have to say that I am a little overwhelmed in the interest we have received in this cow from Australia, where most cattle are raised year round on grass. We have sold several embryos from her to a large Aussie commercial rancher, with over 25,000 cows,who is hoping he gets all bull calves. His intent is to try and raise herd bulls for his commercial herd... and he wants bulls that come from bigger framed cows that also have fleshing ability.
By the way, she is TH and PHA free, has calves unassisted 5 times, and has one of the best dispositions.... a true gentle giant. She has a good udder and milks well.
So, to all those that like to bash big cattle, please do not clump this cow in with the rest of the big cows out there. This cow may not work in your program, but she is certainly looking like she is working in mine. I would also suspect my banker would like me to have a few more cows like this cow. I have attached a picture of her. I think I may have posted it before, a few months ago. She is pictured running on pasture in January 08 on a -35 degree morning.