What's The Average Age Of Your Mature Cows?

As a result of drought last year, and for several years in some locales, producers have been forced to cull their herds. As a result many older cows were sold. This week's online poll question is: "What is the average age of your mature cows?" Be sure to share your thoughts regarding your personal experience in the comments section after voting.

Discuss this poll 13

Anonymous
on May 25, 2014

one of cow is more then 30 year old and she have been give the birth of 27 cattle

Anonymous
on Jan 26, 2014

I have two cows that will be 20 yrs old this sept. They have never had a calf and still have teeth. My pets.

Anonymous
on May 24, 2013

have( 2) umpire 1000 RED ANGUS COWS that are both 17 years old..they will both be weaning calves soon and marked for flushing..fault free, great uddered, and what we need in the cattle world to make money..they have produced every year, drought or not.....1 of the cows, mother, was flushed at 19....

Anonymous
on May 12, 2013

We tend to keep a young herd since it is just as easy for us to retain and develop replacement heifers as it is to winter cows and have facilities to help with calving a lot of heifers. We also have seen that selling bred middle age females brings a decent price

Anonymous
on May 11, 2013

We have kept some limo cow to 20 year old an awhile bunch to 18 , now ill grant u she mite wean a 400 lb calf , but a few months ago it was worth 750 to 800 dollars. Now she made me 200 to 300.00 dollars maybe more, an she paid for herself 12 to 15 years ago ,so profit per cow is how I do it!!!

Anonymous
on May 11, 2013

I just got my 10th calf from my Brangus momma. She is a great milker and raises great calves

Anonymous
on May 10, 2013

Truth is that, if you cull 10% of each group each year (and most can't keep it that low) you average will be 4-5. Play with the numbers and see.

Anonymous
on May 10, 2013

The decision to 'cull' should be based on more than just "years lived". It might be more advisable to cull "Ol Betsy" and acquire "Nu Betsy", who could be more profitable by virtue of better feed efficiency, producing progeny with more desirable EPD's and Genomic enhanced traits through DNA selection choices. A successful producer usually doesn't retain a SIRE for 15-17 years - even if he would live that long. The same justifications for culling Bulls applies to mature cows as well for the same reasons of enhancing profits through improved functional productivity, more dependable EPD Accuracies, and incorporated qualitative and quantitative traits and characteristics into the producing cow herd. "Improvement" is the operative word here, not just longevity.

Anonymous
on May 10, 2013

We have one that is calving this year at age 16. She had a high indexing calf last year. We have had cows calve at age 17.

Anonymous
on May 10, 2013

we have cows in all age groups the only way the cows are culled is when there body score starts to slip and the calfs are slipping off her can 13 year when that happens we had one that was 15 when she had her last calf

Anonymous
on May 10, 2013

Prime of life for a beef cow is 5-10 years so average herd age in a well managed herd should be 7-8 years. When I saw recommendations to cull 'old' cows during last year's drought I felt a better recommendation was to cull cows with teh lowest production.

Anonymous
on May 10, 2013

It depends on your individual herd, and individual animals in your herd. I have retained most of my heifers from cow lines with proven longevity and the majority of my herd continues to re-breed and produce a high-quality calf well into their teens. I know ranchers who cull every cow after the age of 10, because their cows start to fall apart at that age. The recommendation to cull old cows is based on the fact that, with the higher cost to buy hay and feed because of the drought, older cows will have fewer years to repay that investment than a productive young cow.

Anonymous
on May 11, 2013

I agree 100%-cows over 10-11yrs. in our environment--start to breakdown in different areas--better to keep them younger--build to upgrade your genetics--you have worked hard for it.

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