Raising the right size for better efficiency and profit for small farms
There have been many recent articles related to what is the best size for cows that make the most economical sense. There have been some weights stated that could be ideal for economic reasons. They seem to range between 800 - 1200 lbs according to what the goals and objectives of the breeder are. This range is what we consider “Classic Size”.
There is no official definition of what “classic” means when associated with cattle. There are cattle called “miniature” with vague or no definition associated with why the frame scores were selected for them. A mature Miniature Hereford cow could weigh, on average, between 450 lbs to 850 lbs. according to Noble Research Institute's Frame Score Calculator. Our Mini Hereford bull weighs around 1,200 lbs and we don’t call that “miniature”.
Miniature Hereford sizes were selected to be smaller beef cattle for small farms. The Largent Ranch originated the idea of “Miniature Herefords . Here are the objectives associated with them.
“This idea was due in part to the rise in popularity of small acreage farms, or “ranchettes”. So many people were leaving the big cities to live on 5-15 acre country homes, they would want a small, gentle animal as a pet, agricultural tax exemption status, and the more adventurous may even want to raise their own beef. Small animals would eat far less than their modern-sized counterparts, and thrive in smaller environments”.
The Miniature Hereford were defined as frame score sizes of (0000-1). Modern-day Herefords are defined as frame score sizes (4-9). That leaves a hole between frame score size 1 and 4). We believe there should be a better definition for beef cattle that describes why specific frame score categories identify Classic Herefords.
MAU Classic Diamond 1 week old
MAU Classic Diamond 2 months old
MAU Classic Diamond 12 months old in Denver winning Reserve Division Champion Heifer
Growing a “Classic Size” Hereford heifer that is also a Miniature Hereford
Our definition is:
“Our classic size Herefords should be an acceptable size for the commercial beef industry. The size should result in good feed efficiency and weaning weight/cow weight ratio that is 45% or better resulting in the cattle being financially justified in the commercial industry. Our objective will be based upon research indicating cows weighing around 1,000 - 1,100 lbs are more efficient and can produce more beef per acre when sufficient number of Classic Herefords are in a herd that requires the same amount of feed that the 1,400 lb. Cow requires. A 1,000 lb. Chassic Hereford cow will only require 71% of the feed that the 1,400 lb. Cows required. In other words, you can have more cows per acre with the Classic Herefords than the super-sized Herefords or you will need less feed. The classic size range should be around 800 – 1,200 lbs, which is 200 lbs on either side of 1,000 lb goal. Those weights generally cover the frame score sizes 0-4”