Cull older cows

As cows pass 10 years of age, their productivity and market value begin to drop. Cull these cows before they become a profit drain and get them on the market while they can still fetch a respectable market price.

Cows with physical problems should be culled

Cows with bad udders, bad eyes, crippled or bad feet and legs should be “shipped.” These cows will only go down hill in production, condition and value. They also create a “poor image” for the industry. These cows are more susceptible to stress and are likely to die before “grass.”

Cows that calve “out of season” should be considered for the cull pen

During short feed supply is a good time to get rid of these cows. An argument for keeping these cows might be made during times of plentiful feed supply, but not in times of a feed shortage.

Take a hard look at late calving cows

Calving dates should be evaluated and those cows that calve late may miss getting bred next breeding season. For those producers working to shorten the breeding season, culling late calving cows would help.

Poor producing cows should be critically evaluated

This is the place where a good set of records would be needed. If records are available, cull those cows that produced calves with low weaning weights. If records are not available, take a look at the calves with their dams.

Cows that lost their calves for any reason should be considered for culling

Cows that have lost their calves since birth will not produce a return and will continue to eat feed and mount expenses.

Cows that are “wild” and create problems when worked should be considered for culling

A reason to cull a wild, easily excited cow is not needed either in times of plentiful or limited feed supply.

Due to the short feed supply brought on by drought conditions in many areas of the state, marketing some of the cows in the herd may be needed.

By taking a systematic approach to culling, improvement in performance could be seen and the result could be a better cow herd as well as improved feed utilization.