Raising the right size for better efficiency and profit for small farms
There have been many recent articles related to what is the best size for cows that make the most economical sense. There have been some weights stated that could be ideal for economic reasons. They seem to range between 800 - 1200 lbs according to what the goals and objectives of the breeder are. This range is what we consider “Classic Size”.
There is no official definition of what “classic” means when associated with cattle. There are cattle called “miniature” with vague or no definition associated with them. A mature Miniature Hereford cow could weigh, on average, between 450 lbs to 850 lbs. according to Noble Research Institute's Frame Score Calculator. Our Mini Hereford bull weighs around 1,200 lbs and we don’t call that “miniature”.
Miniature Hereford sizes were selected to be smaller beef cattle for small farms. The Largent Ranch originated the idea of “Miniature Herefords (http://www.miniatureherefords.org.au/?page_id=20). Here are the objectives associated with them.
“This idea was due in part to the rise in popularity of small acreage farms, or “ranchettes”. So many people were leaving the big cities to live on 5-15 acre country homes, they would want a small, gentle animal as a pet, agricultural tax exemption status, and the more adventurous may even want to raise their own beef. Small animals would eat far less than their modern-sized counterparts, and thrive in smaller environments”.
The Miniature Hereford were defined as frame score sizes of (0000-1). Modern-day Herefords are defined as frame score sizes (4-9). That leaves a hole between frame score size 1 and 4). We believe there should be a better definition for beef cattle that describes why specific frame score categories identify Classic Herefords. We use the same objectives for our Red Lowline Angus cattle.
MAU Classic Diamond 1 week old
MAU Classic Diamond 2 months old
MAU Classic Diamond 12 months old in Houston winning Division Champion Heifer
MAU Classic Diamond est. mature weight 950 - 1,000 lbs and frame score of 2, the heart of the Classic Size objectives
Growing a “Classic Size” Hereford calf
Our definition is:
“Our classic size Herefords and Red Lowline Angus cattle should be an acceptable size for the commercial beef industry. The size should result in good feed efficiency and weaning weight/cow weight ratio that is 45% or better resulting in the cattle being financially justified in the commercial industry. Our objective will be based upon research indicating cows weighing around 1,000 are more efficient and can produce more beef per acre at an acceptable size for commercial ranchers. The classic size range should be around 800 – 1,200 lbs, which is 200 lbs on either side of 1,000 lb goal. Those weights generally cover the frame score sizes 0-4”