The Hidden Cost of Big Calves

We all know big birth weights can be disastrous in a first-calf heifer program because of increased labor and death loss.   However, there is a hidden cost associated with big birth weights that few ranchers have considered.

Birth weight is highly correlated to a calf’s gestation period.   Studies have shown big calves have longer gestation periods.   We’ve personally seen instances where big 90-pound calves have gestation periods that are 20 days longer than 70-pound calves.   I have heard of gestation periods in other herds that are as much as 10 days longer yet.

PCC Down Under

We are very excited to announce that Pharo Cattle Company is making plans to host its first-ever bull sale in Australia.   The demand for our low-input (high-profit) genetics has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years.   Aussie cow-calf producers, for the most part, are think-for-themselves individuals who are not afraid to think outside the status quo herd.         

We are forming a partnership with Furracabad Station in New South Wales.   Furracabad Station has been purchasing some of the very best PCC Angus bulls.   They are mating large numbers of non-pampered,

Horse Terminology Explained

  • Good Mover:  Runaway
  • Spirited:  Psychotic
  • Excellent Disposition:  Never been out of the stall
  • Bold:  Runaway
  • Well-Bred:  Sire and Dam are also brother and sister
  • Athletic:  Runaway
  • Needs Intermediate Rider:  Runaway
  • Event Prospect:  Big,

Let the Fun Begin

The Price-Rollback Sale is officially underway.   There are 23 PCC Solar Bulls to choose from – nine in Colorado, eight in Texas and six in Missouri.   These bulls are priced from $3500 to $6000.   Some of these bulls would have sold for $8000+ had they sold in our spring bull sales.   The prices on these bulls will be ROLLED BACK $250 every day until they are sold.

Open the links below for more information.  

What is a Paradigm?

Although the word “paradigm” has been a part of the English language since the 15th century, it never received much use until the 1960s.   We didn’t hear the word used much in agricultural circles for another 20-plus years.   Pronounced “para-dime”, the word has always been defined as “one that serves as a pattern or model.”   Since the 1960’s, we have used the word paradigm to refer to a set of assumptions, concepts and practices that constitute the way we view the world around us.   Therefore, a paradigm shift would involve rejecting one worldview in favor of another one.  

Held Captive

Elephants have been trained and used by humans for over 4000 years.   How is it possible for a 180-pound man to restrain an 11,000-pound elephant with a piece of rope and a wooden stake?

When an elephant is very young, it is tethered to a wooden stake driven deep into the ground.   This stake is physically able to hold the young elephant despite repeated attempts to escape.   After many unsuccessful attempts to escape, the young elephant eventually believes escape is impossible.   This belief is carried into adulthood.  

Hair Shedding

Hair coat is the best indicator of animal health and well-being.   A healthy beef animal will have a vibrant-looking hair coat – slick and shiny in the summer and cuddly-looking in the winter.   In contrast, an unhealthy animal will have a dull, dead-looking hair coat.

An animal’s ability to shed off quickly and completely in the spring is a very important trait to select for.   The late Jan Bonsma had much to say about this subject.   Among other things, he said,

Heat-Tolerant Composites

Pharo Cattle Company has had Angus, Red Angus and Polled Hereford cattle with substantial heat tolerance for most of two decades.   For the past ten years, we have been experimenting with the creation of a slick-haired, heat-tolerant composite that would be even more suited to climates with high heat and humidity.

To date, we are most satisfied with the results of breeding our slick-haired Red Angus females to Mashona bulls.   Mashona is an indigenous breed from Africa that originated with the Shona people in Zimbabwe.  

The Herd Quitter Concept

From the inception of Pharo Cattle Company, we have always been very different from the status quo beef industry.   In the mid-1980s, we realized the beef industry was headed in the wrong direction at a high rate of speed.   While nearly everyone was focused on increasing the size and individual performance of their cattle, we said, “It doesn’t matter how big your cattle are or how fast they can grow if they are NOT profitable.”   We decided to provide an alternative to the “bigger is better” way of thinking.

Results for All Three Spring Sales

All total… we sold 429 low-maintenance PCC Solar Bulls in our three spring bull sales for an average price of $5505.   Below is an analysis of our three bull sales – broken down by Breed, Calving Ease, Fleshing Ability, Disposition and Overall Rating.   These traits are evaluated and scored using our unique 5-star system.   In this system, 5-star is the best and 1-star is the worst.   Three-star is average, except for calving ease.   Two-star calving ease is average for the Angus and Red Angus breeds.

More Traditions and Sayings

There is evidence that the origin of some of these traditions and sayings are not 100% true. Nevertheless, I find them interesting. The following are a few more theories about life in England during the 1500s.

  • With the thick thatched roofs that were filled with all sorts of bugs and animals, it was impossible to keep things from falling from the roof into the house. That posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and droppings would fall on the beds. A bed with four tall posts that held a cloth covering offered some protection.

Colorado Bull Sale Results

Our third and final spring bull sale is over – and the dust is beginning to settle.   Considering the weather preceding the bull sale, we had a great turnout for our 28th Annual Colorado Bull Sale.   Our pre-sale meeting with Peter Ballerstedt was very well attended with Herd Quitters from 11 different states and Mexico.  

We served 167 meals prior to the sale on Monday.   There were 60 registered bidders at the sale from 11 different states and Mexico.   In addition to the in-house bidders,

Game Changers

While most people just play the game, others change how the game is played.   Those who change how the game is played are called Game Changers.   They rewrite the rules.   They see things differently.   They reject the status quo ways of thinking and doing.  They detest being average.   They find ways to be highly successful – even when everyone else is struggling to break even.   Game Changers make things happen!

I recently went through the membership list of the PCC Discussion Group.   This group was established many years ago for PCC customers.  

Two Down and One to Go

Our 6th Annual Missouri Bull Sale is behind us.   The pre-sale meeting with Peter Ballerstedt had 80 people from at least 10 different states in attendance.   We served lunch to 265 people.  

We had 119 registered bidders at the sale – from 16 different states.   There were 63 people using our Stay-At-Home options – from 26 different states.

We sold 146 bulls for an average price of $5801 – with a range of $2600 to $9500.   These bulls were sold into 20 different states.   

One Down and Two to Go –

Our Texas Bull Sale is behind us.   The pre-sale meeting with Peter Bierstadt had 40 cow-calf producers from at least four different states and Mexico in attendance.   Peter’s presentation was very well received.   It generated many questions.  

We had 51 registered bidders at the sale – from 5 different states and Mexico.   There were 56 people using our Stay-At-Home options – from 19 different states.   Demand for our low-maintenance genetics has been increasing at an Unbelieva-BULL rate – but that should be expected.   Status quo genetics are no longer profitable.

A Day with Jim Gerrish

Pharo Cattle Company does much more than sell bulls.   We provide a program that is focused on helping you make your business as profitable, enjoyable and sustainable as possible.   We always keep your next generation in mind.   Our ultra-low-maintenance bulls are just one part of this program.   There is a reason our customers are the happiest and most profitable cow-calf producers in the world.

With your long-term success in mind… we decided to put our money where our mouth is.  

Talk is Cheap

This time of year, I glance through hundreds of catalogs and advertisements for bull sales.   With very few exceptions, everyone is essentially offering the same product.   It is extremely rare to find anyone with a program or a product that differs from the status quo.   Some may talk about the importance of fertility, fleshing ability, cow size, maintenance costs, etc., etc., but very, very few have a product that will actually make a difference.

One bull sale ad stated, “Ranchers need low-cost / low-input cattle…”   Since this is exactly what we’ve been saying for nearly three decades,

The Latest HOT Topic

I just thumbed through the latest DROVERS magazine.   It seems that the latest hot topic within the status quo beef industry is parasite control – with an emphasis on deworming.   There was one article on deworming and many advertisements for drugs and chemicals that are supposed to keep your cattle healthy.   In truth, however, the use of drugs and chemicals does nothing but create more and more drug-addicted cattle.   Today’s status quo cattle cannot live without their drugs.   No one gains except the big pharmaceutical companies.

I saw a quote in the deworming article that I thought was worth sharing.  

Pre-Sale Meetings

We will have pre-sale meetings at all three of our sale locations.   These meetings will take place at 6:30 pm the night before the sale.   Our featured guest speaker will be Peter Ballerstedt.   We had Peter speak at our spring bull sales several years ago.   Peter was very well received.   His message was very challenging and inspiring.   Peter is a true Herd Quitter – and he is very passionate about it.

We invite you to come listen to a presentation that will help you improve your health and the health of your family.  

Complexity Bias

Several weeks ago, someone in the PCC Discussion Group shared an article on Complexity Bias.   It was difficult to read – but I found it very interesting.   The following is a quote from the article.

“Faced with two competing hypotheses, we are likely to choose the most complex one.   As a result, when we need to solve a problem, we often ignore simple solutions – thinking “that will never work” – and instead favor complex ones.”

This is exactly what many cow-calf producers do.