YOUR TAKE on PHARO CATTLE COMPANY?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Up North, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    As I understand it, a Cattleman(or Woman?) based in Colorado named Kit Pharo has developed a network of cattle farms who raise and develop beef cattle with his/her unique genetics and frame sizing theories. The Pharo Cattle Company markets and sells many breeding bulls and breeding semen all geared towards (and I quote from his newsletter here)"..."cattle that can excel in a low-input, grass-based environment"....
    To learn more about Pharo Cattle company, .... www.PharoCattle.com ...
    I guess the basic DEBATE is their thick, easy fleshing moderate size cows verses Large Frame Beef Cows. YOUR TAKE???????????????
     
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  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    I don't specialize in any special genetics, and mine are not large framed grazers, that do fatten off of pasture with little input. I don't grain them at all. It isn't hard to find low input beef cattle, that are small framed. Find a few crosses, that look like herefords, they usually have good grames, with low input.




    Jeff
     
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  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Up North, I am acquainted with Pharo cattle and I feel that he has/had a good thing going. Pharo's recent flooding of the market with frequent bull sales acquired from various sources are questionable in my mind. He is moving so fast that he cannot have control and I feel that he cannot produce the volume of bulls he is selling with confidence as there seems, on the surface, that nothing is culled that can pump viable semen. All the bulls he sales cannot be as good as purported.
     
  4. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Interesting insight. So do you prefer Large Frame Brood Cows or moderate(medium) sized brood cows ????????? Which do you feel most profitable over 10 year average??? Appreciate your input.
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Kit Pharo is correct with the size, medium frames are the way to go. I also think that you need cattle that are bred to thrive on the type of forage you are going to provide. I have a bull that cannot maintain body condition on the same feed that my cattle thrive on. The reason the bull has problems IMO is that he and his parentage are pampered animals from the producer. I was going to buy a Pharo bull until the origin of the seed stock started coming from off Kit Pharo's farm/ranch.
    PS...a medium to small frame animal that can thrive off rotational grazing is definitely the most profitable animal that I can grow. I just sold a small load of feeders calves and I was most pleased.
     
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  6. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Agman glad to see we were not the only ones to have this experience with bulls. I believe you are dead right on the money that bulls raised in confined situations where the feed is brought to them will not adapt to harvesting their own feed- even when feed is available in ample supply.
    We primarily use Registered Ayrshire bulls for cleanup and a few heifers. As they are a smaller numbers breed, we bought bulls that were available with genetic background we desired from Breeders who did not raise cattle on grass. This was a costly mistake. They fall apart, lose condition, go timid and don't breed. This while the ones raised here that start grazing at 400 lbs. are holding condition and doing well. So, I guess we will have to retain bulls from our very best cows, and seek out bulls raised in a grazing environment in the future.
    ***Glad to see you beef producers receiving these prices! Keeps the enthusiasm up when gritting your teeth thru some of the tough parts of the business.
    Hope we hear the reasons some folks prefer Large Frame Beef Cows.
     
  7. milkinpigs

    milkinpigs Dairy/Hog Farmer

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    That's the reason I'm interested in the NZ bulls. Beef producers here use the large frame bulls because steers sold locally will be going to the feedlots from the panhandle on up to Nebraska. It's simply a matter of producing what sells. Cattle like you have been looking at will sell but they are docked heavily.It's like grass dairying;you lose butterfat but still clear more money than a drylot.
     
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  8. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    MilkinPigs if I understand you correctly you are saying Large Frame Beef Cows produce higher profit animals to sell in commercial feedlot market, while moderate size cows produce more profitable cattle for direct market or specialty beef sales? Makes sense to me. Be interesting to hear from someone who has tried both production models in the same environment for a comparison.
     
  9. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Your large framed beef cattle will sell for more in a market, than the smaller framed beef cattle. Simply because those large framed beef cattle get more attention, and people are willing to spend more to get those, and they also feel they can make more because they are getting more meat on the hoof. While probably true, they spend more raising them due to their maintainence.


    The smaller framed beef cattle, steers that are 1.5 years and weigh 1100-1200lbs are easy to sell to a consumer directly. We did this, and you do make more. We sell ours for 2.00/lb hanging weight or more. You can't get that much per lb selling through the market. Since I feed grass to them, the input is ridiculously low. As I said earlier, my beef cattle aren't large framed, and aren't any special genetics. But they can produce calves, which do become beef.


    Jeff
     
  10. Sprout

    Sprout Well-Known Member

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    I like big framed Angus cattle so large or small you tell me. They fall on the medium small side for total beef breeds but large for their own breed.
     
  11. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I want a mature cow that by the time she is 4 years old with her second calf she weighs 1150 lbs +-.
     
  12. Sprout

    Sprout Well-Known Member

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    Well my angus girl's got that beat. She weighed 1,500+ at two years old.
     
  13. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Scratching my head thinking 3 1500 lb cows =4500 lbs. on hoof eating grass or 4 1150 lb cows =4600 lbs. beef on hoof eating grass.
    ! Begs the question which combo yields most efficient use of said grass?
    Which combo produces most gross dollars in product sold?
    Which combo require least dollars in labor at calving season?
    Since producers responding are running cattle on grass based systems,
    then which combo does least damage to sod&plants when ground is wet?
    Which combo incurs highest breeding expense?
     
  14. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    UpNorth, here is my take. I am in the cattle business on the scale I am to make money. I realize that really what I am selling is the productivity of my pastures. The production of the pasture is a result of many factors but an acre, regardless of where it is, will produce X amount of forage depending on these factors. To maximize the production/profit from the acreage I must convert that to saleable meat as economically as possible. Would you agree with this last sentence? To maximize the output of each acre, I need animals that can thrive, reproduce and be sought after by buyers while requiring the minimun input costs. It is a given the Angus calves bring a premium at the local sales barn. Therefore I produce black calves. Personally I like colored animals. I sell feeder calves in the 500 to 550 lb range since these animals will transport cheaper to the feed lots and a premium exists for this weight. A smaller cow requires less forage than a larger cow therefore I can have a higher head count. With a higher headcount I can have more calves. With Angus there are almost no calving problems so the headcount has no bearing on vet expenses. I have never had a vet to my farm! With the full utilization of the forage from my pastures I can market more pounds of meat per acre with the smaller cows. The entire discussion comes down the how can you get the most pounds of meat, at the best price to me per pound, to the buyer at the least costs. People sometimes confuse the price per head and the price per pound. A large calf may sell for more money per head since it weighs more. However, the pounds of meat produced per acre are greater from the smaller cows and the greater number of head of calves produced will offset the additional weight carried by the larger calf significantly. I have difficulty conveying this information to others and often I feel that after stating the information the listener seems to be thinking "what is he trying to tell me?" It is like trying to explain rotational grazing to a person that has fed hay all his life and they ask "what do you do when the grass is all gone?" It all come down to management, be it management of the pasture, management of the animals health, management of the input expenses, management of a product the customer wants, management of marketing and finally management of the profits.
     
  16. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    And you have done a very good job of explaining WHY people need to understand "the rule of 10%" as it is called in the environmental sciences-- 10% of the sun's energy that hits a plant will get converted into plant material, (primary productivity), 10% of the plant material that gets eaten will get converted into material for whatever ate it-- and so on down the line. Making sure your soil is healthy-- with nutrients in the right balance, not permitting overgrazing, maximizes the primary productivity-- which in turn, maximizes the end product-- the amount of meat that leaves that area.

    When considering the frame sizes of cattle, look at something housewives USED to be aware of-- and this informatin centers around turkeys, but can be applied to any meat source-- Once a turkey hits 10 pounds( BBW__ the commercial turkey)- his bone structure is NOT going to get any larger-- any extra poundage is meat--so, a 20 pouind turkey, at cost per pound, will be less expensive than he was at 15 pounds, and that would have been a better price per pound than he would have been at 10 pounds. Taking a large framed cow, and having to "input" nutrients to grow that frame produces less "meat" for the money.A smaller framed cow will reach it's maximum skeletal size a lot sooner, therefore allowing the extra meat to be produced earlier in it's life, making it more profitable to sell at a younger age... Just like in grocery shopping, it is "Price per unit" that one must look at-- I have found better "deals" by purchasing several smaller packages than by automatically reaching for the "buy one-get one" bargain that is this weeks current hook in the advertising flyer..
     
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  17. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Agman- VERY WELL PUT!!!
    We are paid to convert plant matter into a form of nutrients human beings can utilize for their survival. The animals are the tools to do this with. It is the pounds of meat or milk produced per acre at the lowest cost possible that results in maximum net profit.
    I see your position clearly.
     
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  18. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Someone was comparing turkeys with cows. Remember bone weighs more than muscle, and a large framed animal will weigh more, because its frame being bone, weighs more. It might produce the same amount of meat, because its weight is in its frame.



    Jeff
     
  19. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So, if smaller is better, how far do you go? For example, why not use lowline angus or crosses with them?

    Hay bales have gotten bigger so there are fewer to handle, perhaps same with cattle? I would also think that some body parts like the brain are the same size regardless of frame size. So why have extra brains running around the pasture?
     
  20. Sprout

    Sprout Well-Known Member

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    I would say the three. Remember to factor out the guts, hide, and hoves that each head has before you get to the meaty part.