Prolapses, inferior calves, fence crawlers, foot or leg defects, chronic diarrhea and meanness should all be reasons to send a cow down the road.
One steer defecating on a load day costs $5. A pound of manure is $5. Every time you get a steer nervous it costs about $10.
For Gordon Hazard, who has been in cattle production for over 75 years and a veterinarian in Mississippi since the late 1940s, there are simple tactics in handling cattle that translate into raising cattle for a profit.
Hazard prefers to run a yearling grazing operation. He buys steers cheap — ones that have been mismanaged and mistreated — and they respond to good treatment
"In Mississippi, we have our choice — from cattle that look like giraffes to cattle that look like moles," he says.
Hazard says that processing plants and feedlots want about 50% blacks. There are many Simmental Red Angus coming back. There's also a lot of Brahma, which the flies don't bother, but which limit the sale price because the more Brahma means more restrictions on where you can sell it.