It is well documented that 2011 has been one of the driest years on record for most of the southwest. We have been extremely dry, just as many of you have been. However, years like 2011 can tell you something about your cow herd. Here is a quick comparison of the cows at Yeso in 2010 versus 2011.
In 2010, the mature cows (four years old and older) at Yeso averaged 1201 lbs at weaning in October. Only one cow out of 81 was open. The two and three year old cows averaged 1046 lbs. Six out of 76 were open, making the group 92 percent bred. Both sets of cows were in average body condition with most being assigned a body condition score of 5 or 6. In 2011, the mature cows at Yeso averaged 934 lbs at weaning at the beginning of August. This set of cows was 267 lbs lighter than the year before. Needless to say, they were thin. However, only two cows were open out of 82 head. The two and three year old cows averaged 855 lbs, 191 lbs lighter than the previous year. Only four out of 56 were open or about 93 percent bred.
We pride ourselves in producing moderate framed, moderate milking, easy fleshing cows. We also make an effort not to pamper our cows. We believe in the type of cows we are trying to produce, and though the year was terrible, we were thoroughly pleased with our conception rates. We feel that through our continued efforts to produce low-input cattle, we have gotten closer than ever to producing profit-oriented cows that are ideally suited to excel in our demanding environment.