Size and composition of the herd

TitleSize and composition of the herd
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1952
AuthorsAres F.N.
JournalAmerican Cattle Producer
Pagination14, 16, 18
Date PublishedDecember 1952
Keywordscattle production, grazing tests, herd composition, herd size
AbstractThe size and makeup of the herd is important in obtaining sustained cattle production and maximum returns from Southwestern ranges. In this region of severe and recurrent drought, forage supplies are uncertain and the cattleman must be ever ready to adjust his herd and his operations as the weather dictates. On most ranches, breeding cowsform the backbone of the herd. The principal market products are calves sold in the fall and yearlings sold in the spring. These range-raised growing animals are in good demand as stockers and feeders. Breeding cows are difficult to move and demand for them is likely to be poor, especially during drought. Furthermore, when the stockman is forced to reduce his breeding herd because of inadequate forage he sacrifices the results of years of effort in selection and grade improvement. Most of the forage on semidesert ranges consists of grasses which make their growth during the summer rainy season. Much of the herbage produced cures well on the stalk and provided year-long grazing. Accordingly, the stockman is able to judge the amount of hisforage supply in the fall and can plan hisyear's operation. Grazing tests at the Jornada Experimental Range provide information on the kind of herd composition and date of stocking which will produce high calf crops, low death losses and consistently good beef production and yearly income.