Keep or Steer?

At Sassafras Valley Ranch, we want to make sure that we are retaining high-quality genetics.  For a bull calf to be retained as a bull and not steered, it must meet certain criteria. To do this, in the fall, Bruce scores the cows and the calves using an evaluation or score sheet.  Not only does he look at the bull calf itself, but also its dam—both are scored on the following traits.  We also score heifer calves using this same evaluation tool.

Dam Scoring

Longevity 

1 = 1 to 3 years old

2 = 4 to 6 years old

3 = 7 to 8 years old

4 = 10 years or older

 

Udder quality

1 = poor, large

2 = below average

3 = above average

4 = great, small, tight

 

Condition

1 = emaciated, very thin

2 = thin (can see all ribs)

3 = moderate (can see 2-3 ribs)

4 = very good, smooth

 

Frame

1 = too big or extremely small

2 = a little tall

3 = moderate

4 = very moderate

 

Disposition

1 = charges

2 = nervous, agitated

3 = calm, uncaring

4 = curious, extremely gentle, calm

 

Hair

1 = rough hair, longer coat (not appropriate to season), not slick

2 = below average

3 = above average

4 = appropriate to season, slick/oily

 

Girth 

1 = narrow

2 = below average

3 = above average

4 = wide

 

Calf Scoring

Thickness

1 = thin

2 = below average

3 = above average

4 = thick

 

Performance

1 = slow growth

2 = below average

3 = above average

4 = fast growth

 

Frame

1 = too big or extremely small

2 = a little tall

3 = moderate

4 = very moderate

 

Disposition

1 = charges

2 = nervous, agitated

3 = calm, uncaring

4 = curious, extremely gentle, calm

 

Hair

1 = rough hair, longer coat (not appropriate to season), not slick

2 = below average

3 = above average

4 = appropriate to season, slick/oily

 

The scores are added and combined (cow/calf).  The higher the score the better.  The scores are then evaluated to see which bull calves will be retained as bulls and which ones will be steered.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s