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Four Reasons Shorthorns Should Be In Your Herd

On June 3, 2021, we will be celebrating 14 years in business. Like any agricultural pursuit, there have been highs and lows, good days and bad; however, when you are doing what you truly have a passion for, the bad just doesn’t seem to matter nearly as much. Looking back now, it seems not that long ago we were sorting through lots at a pasture sale with excitement bubbling up. Then, we found The One. Luckily for us, The One happened to be a Shorthorn.

For the past 10+ years, we have found countless reasons to be grateful for our Shorthorn cow herd and recently I saw ads produced by the American Shorthorn Association that actually put numbers to what we have witnessed year after year.

Four Reasons Shorthorns Should be in Your Herd:

1. Maternal Ability

Fertility is one of the top predictors of profitability in a cow herd. If a cow doesn’t become pregnant she will never produce a return on the investment you have in her. Once a heifer calf is retained or purchased for a replacement it takes nearly 2 years before a calf is on the ground and another 6-10 months before a cow/calf producer sees a return on her. According to MARC, 94.2% of Shorthorn heifer become pregnant by the time they are 550 days of age compared to 86.0% of Angus and Hereford Heifers and 84.7% of Simmental heifers.

So, what if you don’t have Shorthorn cows and don’t want to replace your entire cow herd? Try a Shorthorn bull! Shorthorn-British breed crosses increase a cow’s years of lifetime production by .93 years. But what does that actually mean? An additional calf! So, as the ASA ad puts it, “What’s an extra calf worth” to you?

2. Carcass Traits

Every cattle producer knows that the end product in the beef cattle life cycle is meat! Cattle producers want to create that meat efficiently as possible. Profit = Income – Expenses. Cattle producers also want to create a quality product at the same time. Their cattle are ranked on both- Quality and Yield Grades. Shorthorns had the best calculated yield grade of 2.6 compared to Hereford, Red Angus, and Angus (2.8, 2.9, and 3.0 respectively) well still averaging Low Choice and maintaining the lowest amount of trimmable fat among the group!

3. Docility Pays

Docility affects average daily gain which affects your bottom line. According to Tri-County steer carcass futurity, cattle were chute scored for docility on a scale of 1 to 6. Scores 1-2 were considered docile, 3-4 were restless, and 5-6 were aggressive. Those that had a score of 1-2 had an ADG of 3.56 compared to 3.45 for chute scores 3-4 and 3.37 for chute scores 5-6. Shorthorns averaged a 1.7 chute score. Docility Pays. Shorthorns Pay.

Not only does docility pay, it also makes life easier!

4. Junior Focused

Shorthorn breeders are also incredibly junior focused and the association has one of the best junior breed organizations in the country. There’s no doubt that the National Junior Shorthorn Show is the event that is most looked forward to for juniors all over the US, the national junior board is second to none, and the scholarship program helps juniors further their education.

These are only 4 of the many reasons we appreciate Shorthorns here at Bright Lights Show Cattle. We hope if you are looking for a Shorthorn that you would be sure to check out what we have to offer!