Quality Calf Project
Most farmers in Louisiana Ranchers and Growers Association-related cattle producer organizations are raising Angus or Brangus commercial cattle. The first step is to find out if enough of them can raise similar calves to have sufficient numbers to market together. To determine this, producers who volunteered to be a part of the project are weighing calves at birth, at three months of age, and at weaning, which is targeted for seven months old. Weight is an objective measurement that tells the farmer how his/her animals are doing in comparison to others. The project goal is to wean 500-pound calves at seven months old. At the conclusion of the project, the goal is to have enough similar calves to sell as a truckload (50 – 55 animals).
- The Quality Calf Project is an effort to help small beef producers raise calves that can be marketed as a group or truckload to take advantage of market opportunities. To sell together, calves must be similar in age, size and quality.
Targets: 1) Birth Weight; 2) 3-Month Old Weight; and 3) Weaning Weight.
Four producers participated in the first phase of the program, keeping records and weighing 20 calves born in March and April 2011. They kept records on the animals, on what the calves were eating, and on the costs involved. Of the 20 calves, nine weighed 500 pounds or more at weaning, which took place at seven or eight months for these calves.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
The first phase results are included in a chart that is attached to this report labeled: “Quality Calf Project Results for Spring 2011 Calves”