Packaging Cattle Makes More Money

According to Progressive Cattle 2021 Beef Statistics, 81.3 percent of all U.S. cattle operations own between 1 and 99 head of cattle.  This number is down 5.9 percent from last year.  Thus, the vast majority of cattle operations are run by relatively small operators that typically supplement their cattle operation income with off the farm employment by one or two members of the family.  Typically, operators of this size operation are in the business because of their love of cattle and the cattle raising way of life.  At relatively small level of operation, monitoring income and expenses are crucial since small operators must spread their operating cost over a small number of cattle and margins for error are not forgiving.

Another interesting statistic from Progressive Cattle 2021 Beef Statistics is that 82.6 percent of U.S. cattle operations are segmented into Cow-calf/Seedstock.  The seedstock breeder’s goal is to become a respected “price maker” rather than a “price taker” by devoting constant focus on details of their animals.  Animals that help achieve this goal for the breeder will result in a line of cattle that will be blended into the commercial cow-calf operation thus making the cow-calf operation more profitable.

Seedstock breeders use purebred cattle sales to present their best animals to the public for review and sale.  A good breeder recognizes that in a free enterprise system only animals that fill a need in the marketplace will bring the highest value.  Thus, their best animals are marketed  to demand a higher price thus making that breeder  a price maker rather than a taker.  It’s the added attention to detail that makes their animals more valuable.  Unfortunately, most breeders do not recognize that there are several things you can do that will allow your animal to be seen at it’s best at the purebred cattle sale.

A committee at Beefmaster Breeder United has developed an outline that when followed will develop your animal to it’s fullest potential.   This information will soon be available to all Beefmaster Breeders United members from the BBU web page.

Beefmasters Breeders United.  118 W. Bandera Road Boerne, TX 78006 Office: 210-732-3132 | Fax: 210-732-7711

Consignment Sales: Tips for Success
Consigning to a satellite sale is an exciting time to show case your breeding program! Below is a list of tips and suggestions to help ensure your consignment is a success!

Selection: • 90-120 Days prior to sale, determine which animal(s) the consignor would like to nominate to the sale.

  • Selections should be based on criteria the consignment sale has in place. o Example: would consignor like to sell open heifer, bred heifer, etc.?
  • o Send your best animals (Showcase your breeding program)
  • o These sales are not a place to sell cull animals from your herd.
  • o Utilize experienced satellite members/pre-screening committee/Sales Chairman to help make your selection decisions.
  • o Asking for help will give you a chance to learn from other consignors past experiences.
  • Read the BBU Standard of Excellence Guidelines on the BBU Website under the Forms Section prior to selection and feeding time frame.


  • 90 days prior to sale, animals need to consume a minimum of 1.5% of body weight in quality feed (suggested to feed a complete ration such as a show calf ration, not a maintenance ration).
  • 60 days prior to sale, increase feed to 2% of body weight. Continue this amount until sale time.
  • Example: 1000# heifer: 90 days prior: 15#/day, 60 days prior: 20+#/day.
  • If feeding a low-quality feed, consider increasing the percentages seen above, as well as length of feeding period.
  • Keep high quality hay/pasture available at all times during feeding period.

Grooming/Health Work/Sale Prep:

  • 90-60 days prior to sale: Deworm and vaccinate animal.
  • Within 30 days of sale, animals should be seen by a vet for Health Certificate as well as palpations/BSE/Trich needs.
  • Two weeks prior to sale, animals should be groomed. o At minimum, animals should have head, ears, crest, and tailhead clipped. ▪ Bulls also need to have their prepuce clipped of long hairs; this could be done at vet at time of semen evaluation.
  • Make sure tattoos are legible, and ears are clean.
  • Be prepared to bring your own water/feed buckets as they are not always provided at the sale location.
  • Consider having a banner/signage with ranch name etc. to promote your breeding program.

Like most other endeavor’s, very few will take the extra time and effort and expense necessary to follow this outline.  Following this outline will ensure your animal is showing it’s best potential.  It will not only differentiate you from less aggressive  breeders but will also allow you to generate more money from each animal sold.  Good animals, tended well, will generate more money for you and increase your reputation as a serious breeder.

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