Weights of SP 2007 and 2014

 Speckle Park Weights – Comparison of 2007 and 2014?
by R. Remin
2014

            In one form or another this is possibly the most frequently asked question about Speckle Park cattle and one for which we have little objective hard data.  Our answers vary based on our experience with the breed.   Agribition 2007 gave us objective hard data.  At Agribition 2014 the weighing of all beef cattle was mandatory.  All Speckle Park were weighed and their weights were printed by Agribition staff on the stall cards, in the show catalogue and again in the published show results.  There were a total of 62 Speckle Park weighed at the show and this gave us an excellent cross-section of animals of varying ages and both sexes from twelve herds and in varying degrees of “show fitness.”

 

            A word of caution is in order regarding these statistics.  These are show cattle which were fit for the show and thus these numbers are higher than in a herd straight off of pasture.  On the other hand remember that there was a significant range of degree of finish among these cattle because not all exhibitors fit their exhibits to the same degree.  For example, one of the lighter bull calves actually was arguably the largest framed in the group.  Also bear in mind that if one is tempted to “discount” the weights on the mature cows and bulls because of “show condition,”  one must also discount the weights on those larger calves for the same reason.   (You might be interested to know that at this show the heaviest animals in each class did not usually win.)

Seventeen heifer calves averaged 662 pounds; the heaviest was 818; the lightest 517 pounds; the mean (the middle weight in the group) was 683.  As for the spread:  one heifer was an eight hundred pounder, six seven hundred pounders and seven five hundred pounders.  Birth dates ranged from January to April.      

Heifer Calves 

 

CWA 2007

Stockade 2014

CWA 2014

Number of animals

17

13

19

Average weight

662 lbs.

665 lbs.

669 lbs.

High

818 lbs.

770 lbs.

815 lbs.

Low

517 lbs.

520 lbs.

522 lbs.

Mean

683 lbs.

685 lbs.

660 lbs.

 

Twelve bull calves averaged 693 pounds; the heaviest was 825; the lightest 586; and the mean (the middle weight in the group) was 703.  As for the spread: one bull calf was an eight hundred pounder, six seven hundred pounders and three six hundred pounders.  Birth dates ranged from January to April.

Bull Calves

 

CWA 2007

Stockade 2014

CWA 2014

Number of animals

12

7

9

Average weight

693 lbs.

806 lbs.

831 lbs.

High

825 lbs.

945 lbs.

970 lbs.

Low

536 lbs.

680 lbs.

691 lbs.

Mean

703 lbs.

790 lbs.

850 lbs.

 

The average on 29 calves (bulls and heifers) was 675 pounds.  More than half of these calves were in the group of six and seven hundred pounders.  WPDA (weight per day average) on this group ranged from 3.72 to 2.09 with an average of 2.64.  The mean was 2.66.  There were two with more than three pounds per day – 3.72 and 3.26 WPDA – and April calves at that!

All Calves – Agribition 2007

Number of animals

29

Average weight

675 lbs.

High

825 lbs.

Low

517 lbs.

Mean

683 lbs.

WPDA average

2.64 lbs.

WPDA high

3.72 lbs.

WPDA low

2.09 lbs

WPDA mean

2.66 lbs.

 

Fifteen bred heifers averaged 1153 pounds; the heaviest was 1390; the lightest 900 and the mean (the middle weight in the group) was 1128.  There was a nice even spread of animals through all of the range of weights.  Three in the thirteen hundred pound and three in the nine hundred pound ranges.

Bred Heifers

 

Agribition 2007

2014

Number of animals

15

20

Average weight

1153 lbs.

1156 lbs.

High

1390 lbs.

1360 lbs.

Low

900 lbs.

944 lbs.

Mean

1128 lbs.

1130 lbs.

 

Seven yearling bulls averaged 1462 pounds; the heaviest was 1760; the lightest was 1186 and the mean was 1331.  As for distribution: two were in the seventeen hundred pound category and three in the thirteen hundred pound category.

Yearling Bulls

 

CWA 2007

Stockade

CWA 2014

Number of animals

7

7

7

Average weight

1462 lbs.

1522 lbs.

1623 lbs.

High

1760 lbs.

1765 lbs.

1820 lbs.

Low

1186 lbs.

1300 lbs.

1550 lbs.

Mean

1331 lbs.

1500 lbs.

1596 lbs.

 

            The two two year old bulls averaged 2197 pounds; they weighed 2263 and 2131 pounds.

Two Year Old Bulls

 

CWA  2007

Stockade 2014

CWA  2014

Number of animals

6

3

3

Average weight

2197 lbs.

2175 lbs.

2180 lbs.

High

2263 lbs.

2325 lbs.

2330 lbs.

Low

2131 lbs.

1965 lbs.

1940 lbs.

Mean

 

2235 lbs.

2270 lbs.

 

There were a total nine cows shown with calves at side -- four two year old pairs and five mature pairs.

The four two year old cows averaged 1238 pounds with the heaviest being 1415 and the lightest 1038 pounds.  The calves ranged from 726 to 557 pounds; three of the calves were less than six hundred pounds.

Two Year Old Cows with Calves – Agribition 2007

Number of pairs

4

Average weight of cows

1238 lbs.

High weight of cows

1415 lbs.

Low weight of cows

1038 lbs.

Average weight of calves

607 lbs.

High weight of calves

726 lbs.

Low weight of calves

557 lbs.

 

The five mature cows averaged 1556 pounds with the two heaviest being 1975 and 1705 pounds; the lightest two were 1382 and 1139.  The calves all were in between 751 and 705 pounds.  Yes, the heaviest cows had the heaviest calves and the lightest cows had the lightest calves.   In the show the lighter pairs  placed over the heavier pairs.

Mature Cows with Calves – Agribition 2007

Number of pairs

5

Average weight of cows

1556 lbs.

High weight of cows

1975 lbs.

Low weight of cows

1139 lbs.

Average weight of calves

733 lbs.

High weight of calves

755 lbs.

Low weight of calves

705 lbs.

If one considers the weight of the weaned calf as a percentage of the weight of the dam an indicator of efficiency (“pounds produced against pounds of cow fed”), our numbers are very informative.  Galloway and Welsh Black breeders claim a goal of sixty percent – the weaned weight of the calf is sixty percent of the cow’s weight.  The presupposition of course is that larger cows eat more.  If on the other hand one is only considering the total pounds weaned, then this information is of little practical value.  In either case the stats demonstrate that, when calculating the calf’s weight as a percentage of the dam’s weight, larger cows do not fair well.  

In the Speckle Park two year old cow calf class the percentages (weight of calf over weight of cow) were 51%, 45%, 50% and 54% in the order they placed in the class.  The lightest pair was the 54%; the heaviest pair the 51%.   The average on this group was 50%.

Among the mature cow calf pairs the percentages were lower over all at 48%, 53%, 62%. 42% and 38% in the order in which they placed in the show.  The bottom line: the two heaviest pairs had the lowest percentages.  The sixty two percent belonged to the lightest pair (a 1139 pound cow with a 705 pound calf with a 2.82 WPDA) which placed third in the class.  The average on the group of mature cows was 49 % (calves’ weight over dams’ weight).

Overall the average of the percentages on all nine Speckle Park pairs was 50% (calf weight over dam weight).  By eliminating the extreme, in this case the two heaviest dams with the two lowest percentages, the average will only increase to 52%.

Calf Weight Over Cow Weight as a Percentage – Agribition 2007

Number of pairs

9

Average percentage on two year old cow pairs

50 %

High percentage on two year old cow pairs

54 %

Low percentage on two year old cow pairs

45 %

Average percentage on mature cow pairs

49 %

High percentage on mature cow pairs

62 %

Low percentage on mature cow pairs

42 %

Overall average percentage on nine pairs

50 %

 

            Of course, now what we all really want to see is what these numbers looked like at a show before 2000.  Unfortunately those numbers are not available because, even though the animals were weighed, the weights were not recorded in the show catalogue nor in the show results.