When Buying And Selling Cattle Shrink Is A Big Concern


   Shrink is a big concern when you’re buying and selling cattle. If you’ve ever had weights available it’s fascinating to compare shrink percentages. I just received the on-test weights for our Missouri Feedout steers we sent to Iowa on November 1. The weights don’t really give a true shrink picture since it was not taken right off the truck.
   The south Missouri cattle were weighed in at Joplin Regional between 3 and 4:30 pm. We shuffled them around at the yards before actually loading them at 9:30 pm. They arrived at the feedlot in the early morning hours, around 3:30 or 4 am on Wednesday, November 2.    They of course received hay and there was water in the pen but it may not have been what they were used to. They were next weighed on Friday, November 4.
   From Tuesday after noon until Friday morning the calves from southwest Missouri had an average shrink of 3 percent. However, the range went form a steer actually gaining 5.2 percent to one that lost 12.7 percent going from 842 pounds down to 735 pounds. It’s ironic, the steer that gained 5.2 percent died on November 28 from bloat. It was probably just a coincidence.
   We tell folks in the feedout to not be overly concerned about these early weights as true gains level out as the days on feed increases.     During the warm up period, the average daily gain was 3.29 lbs. The range went from 0.81 to 5.48 lbs. per day. Feedlots like cattle that arrive thrifty and eat and gain from day one. ∆
   ELDON COLE: Extension Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri

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