Registered Cattle producers know their top end of the herd can have special high values. It is fun to plan, breed, raise and profit from high-value well bred genetics. However, further down, lower on the fun scale is the consistent profit from the not-so-fun cattle. This is the part that is often bypassed, dismissed, avoided and wasted. This article for Texas Longhorn producers is the fun side of moving-out low-end cull cattle and steers not of the herd sire quality. This is the bottom end fun part of the business that angus producers can't achieve.
Texas Longhorns are not like reptiles, hamsters, kangaroo, coon dogs, barn cats, gold fish, or x-wives -- you can eat Longhorns. They are valuable when processed, healthy to eat, and the act of food production in the USA is a patriotic service to humanity -- it prevents importing. Unlike selling TL bulls to an industry that buys about 5000 per year, over 300 million people in the USA not only eat beef but import 20% more beef than is produced in the USA. It is a product that thrives on the appetites of USA young and old alike.
At Dickinson Cattle Co about 200 cattle are sold annually as cut and wrapped beef through the Longhorns Head to Tail ranch store. These are the bottom half of the herd that do not reach up to herd sire quality or breed improving cows. The more this group is used for beef, the better the remaining genetics get. It is wonderful -- it is profitable.
Sixty of the 200 cattle are grain fed steers. These are steers not good enough for the DCC herd sire market. They are bred for gain-ability so they are perfectly designed for the consumers, when they fail to achieve herd sire status.
Recently these 6 DCC steers were processed. This is the data after 102 days on grain. This is the real profit on the lower end. True, it requires some sales effort, yet by going direct to the consumer it has no middleman for commissions, discounts or costly motels/meals/travel costs. Those who enjoy raising cattle and bypass the great meat-product profit of Texas Longhorn cattle are leaving a huge stack of dollars on someone else's table. Here is the recent data.
- Point Velvet weight 1365 finished, gain in 102 days 447 lbs, 3.67 lbs per day.
- Drag Hot weight 1355 lbs finished, gain in 102 days 441 lbs, 3.61 lbs per day.
- Raffle Drawn weight 1305 finished, gain in 102 days 427 lbs, 3.5 lbs per day.
- Esmerelda weight 1255 finished, gain in 102 days 359 lbs, 2.94 lbs per day.
- Jama weight 1240 finished, gain in 102 days 372 lbs, 3.05 lbs per day.
- Noble Wine weight 1145 finished, gain in 102 days 285 lbs, 2.34 per day.
- Total live weight 7665 lbs on 6 steers.
- Total hanging weight 4599 lbs on 6 steers.
- Retail return for freezer beef at $4.05 per lb in quarters $18,626
- Retail return each for freezer beef at $4.05 per lb in quarters $3,104
- Average gain per day of each steer 3.19 lbs
- Byproducts include polished skulls (average $475 each) and trim-beef pet food ($240) each.
- Total all parts harvested $3,819 per steer.