Getting The Best Cattle Prices
Here at Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction, we care about getting you the best cattle prices for your livestock. Here are some of the best practices to consider before marketing your cattle at our sale barn to ensure they bring a premium.
Our cow-calf producers have a big influence on the marketability of their cattle when they first select their breeding stock. There are many factors that determine the value of a feeder calf. Some of these factors can be influenced through your operation’s breeding and genetics program and others through good management practices. These factors include:
Breed And Color
The breed of your calves can influence prices independent of grade. Certain breeds or breed-types bring a higher price because of perceptions by the order buyers as to how these breeds typically perform in the feedlot. Calf color can also impact the determination of value because it can be a clue into the calf's breeding.
The United States Department of Agriculture has established official grades for feeder cattle based on their frame size, thickness and overall health. Frame size refers to the animal's skeletal size, its height and body length in relation to its age.
Frame size is also related to the weight at which, under normal feeding and management, an animal will produce a carcass of a given grade. Large-frame animals require a longer time in the feedlot to reach a given grade and will weigh more than a small-frame animal would weigh at the same grade. Animals are assigned to three frame sizes: Small, Medium and Large.
Muscling, Condition, and Sex
Muscling is evaluated by looking at the thickness of the animal. Thickness in feeder cattle refers to the development of the muscle system in relation to skeletal size and is the amount of muscling present in proportion to bone and fat. Thicker-muscled animals will have more lean meat. A calf that is fleshy won't bring a premium. Steers bring a premium over bull calves. Castration pays.
Preconditioning programs involve a series of best management practices on the farm to improve the health and nutrition of calves. Preconditioning adds value to calves for buyers. When preconditioned calves are marketed in a system that recognizes the value that has been added, our cow-calf producers benefit from the higher prices.
The purpose of preconditioning programs is to reduce stress from shipping calves at weaning, improve the immune system, and boost performance in postweaning production phases (i.e., stocker production and cattle feeding) and in carcass performance (i.e., higher grading carcasses with fewer defects). Calves need to be weaned a minimum of 45 days.
We appreciate you giving us the opportunity to market your cattle. We have a wide variety of buyers which ensures competitive bidding and better prices. Our cattle sale is held every Wednesday at noon with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Located conveniently off highway 65, you can access our sale barn with ease. Your check will be ready in the office promptly after your animals are sold or will be dropped in the mail the following day.
We welcome all sellers and buyers and market all types of livestock. Our cattle prices are determined and known to all and require no minimum number of cattle. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.