Cattle growth expectation

Asked December 4, 2016, 10:07 PM EST

Our registered cattle have constant access to fresh water, hay and a mixture of grain and cubes daily. Although they look normal, the cattle at the registered sales are taller and meatier. What might other breeders be doing which might constitute this difference?

Montague County Texas

1 Response

Without knowing much about your herd, I would be lead to believe that the genetics are what you may be concerned with. Historically the larger cattle have progressed from northern herd genetics, which with plenty of feed, water, etc. will show more potential. In most instances with Registered Cattle sales, those animals are feed very heavy to make them gain the most potential they can genetically show.
If you have Registration papers on them, take a look at the EPD's (expected progeny differences) on Weaning Weight (WW) and Yearling Weight (YW), the higher those numbers are in relation to the breed average may help you determine where you are and where you want to go. Each breed has different acronyms for the above information, so be sure to look closely.
Larger cattle doesn't always mean the right thing either. It takes less feed to maintain your herd and/or allows you to run less acres per cow. In the end it is about a product you are happy with and can maintain efficiently.