When buying female replacement cattle or breeding bulls, it’s important to use data and visual observations to make the best selections, according to an expert.
Dr. Jason Cleere, beef cattle specialist from College Station, gave a series of demonstrations on conformation at the recent Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Convention in Fort Worth advising the best methods for buying replacements.
“If I look at what the cow looks like visually first and not look at the data, things like Expected Progeny Differences, or EPDs, birth weight, other evaluations, I may not be making the best choice,” Cleere said. “When it comes to selecting female cattle, I look at the feet and the legs first. You’ve got to start at the ground first.”
Cleere said he wants to choose female cattle that have sound feet and good bone structure. “Over time, if you have a cow that does not meet good physical criteria, those joints in the hips and shoulders will start to align and she will lose cushion and mobility,” Cleere said. “That’s going to lead to problems down the road.”
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.
Learn more about Opportunities to Support Extension.