What Is The Average Age Of Beef Cows In Your Herd?

Monthly beef and dairy cow slaughter peaked in November 2011 at 613,000 head.. Since that peak, monthly cow slaughter has declined by about a third, with beef cows making up a declining percentage of that monthly total compared to dairy culls. This week’s online poll is: What is the average age of beef cows in your herd?

Be sure your thoughts on your culling strategy in the comments section after voting.

Discuss this poll 22

Anonymous
on Sep 15, 2014

I'm selling all my older cows and replacing them back with younger heifers keeping my herd young. The rains are here and I feel for the old cows culling them.

Anonymous
on Sep 12, 2014

I use other folks train wreck a - thin heavy needs - to harvest my grass. Calve them out, breed them to my Angus bull , sell the calves, then sell medium condition,medium-bred cows and start over. Most are short and solid with some younger cows when they are a bargain.

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

Just started operation with 3-yr olds in Feb. Avg age is now 4. Planning to cull 20% per year to have complete rotation every 5 years once the cows get to 8.

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

Young cows, 5 years or less. Bought purebred Gelbvieh for longer stayability in the herd. Can't see putting money into cows with a short-term breeding life cycle. Also bought a few Balancers.

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

We have always culled open cows, soundness problems or cows with "unpleasant personality traits" ;-) etc... As a result we have a great crop of replacement heifers but not enough pasture to expand our herd any more. Hate to sell these nice heifers.

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

young herd heifers to third calf cows. Young herd because just started buying cattle 3 years ago

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

Herd is younger due to expansion in 2011 and 2012. Bought young breeding stock in drought affected areas and moved them east. Took awhile to adjust to more lush conditions but made money because they were bought right.

on Sep 10, 2014

We have a grass pasture operation which is dependent on rain and irrigation water so we can handle older and non sound animals. We cull everything that cannot produce or take care of their calves. Also if they are getting to the age where they cannot recover their weight or are not breeding back they go. We are retaining our best heifer calves. We are at the age where we have to work smarter not harder!!

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

Drought from mid-2010 through 2013 reduced the number of heifers we could keep. We keep cows as long as they hold their condition, raise a good calf, and most important, breed back. We have a few 14 and 15-year-olds that still have sound udders and raised big calves this year. Use of EPD's gives us good heifers, but they don't tell the whole story: Some of those have developed udder problems by 5-6 years of age. By the time we found this out, we had kept a pasture full of heifers from that bull. The old cows have proven their ability to survive in our environment and produce a paycheck every year. And the longevity we try to get helps us sell more heifers and reduce the replacement expense.

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

We have been lucky to have plenty of water. Didn't keep any heifers from 2013 calves will replace culls with some middle aged bred cows.

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

Cull at 10 and any that don't raise calf bad udder or are open in fall.

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

I am trying to make my cow herd much younger and am downsizing cows mature weights! had too many cows in 2012 and probably the fall of 2013 but have much extra grass this year!

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

Culled heavy last fall due to hay shortage.
Same issues might force selling weaned heifer calves if weather fails to cooperate.

Anonymous
on Sep 10, 2014

On a 270 cow herd, we keep 90% of our replacements each year because our young cows continue to have our top calves. That means in 2014 we calved 96 1st calf heifers.Turning generations works when we use EPD's properly to source your bulls.

Anonymous
on Sep 5, 2014

kept the young cows, but sold a lot of good older ones, wish I had them back now that we have had rain.

Anonymous
on Sep 5, 2014

We cull for open, poor Mother hood, poor body condition, and last attitude. We are increasing the herd by 30% so we keep ugly mothers and just keep an open eye working them plus I have a great border collie that fears no cow and can control the uglyiast mother.

Anonymous
on Sep 5, 2014

9+ years because if they keep bringing babies and they are good mama then its ok to keep them

Anonymous
on Sep 5, 2014

Cull about 20 percent annually. Look at profitability over productivity. Calving success, calving ease, BCS at weaning, temperament.

Anonymous
on Sep 5, 2014

culling open cows and cows with soundness issues

Anonymous
on Sep 5, 2014

I culled a lot of open and older cows during the drought of 2012. Now, if I cull due to Neosporosis that will take the middle out of my herd. The average age would still be the same.

Anonymous
on Sep 5, 2014

I will continue to cull cows at age 12, dry cows, lame cows, bad bags, and heifers that don't breed up quickly.
I will give a little more grace this year to heifers that loose their calves for no fault of their own, and for cows that wean poorer calves - ANY calf will make money in this market.

Anonymous
on Sep 5, 2014

The drought forced us to move older cattle out of the herd. Severe drought in the desert just doesn't allow "one more calf" out of those older cows that can't weather the conditions .

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