Eight Pounds of Sugar –

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Kit Pharo | 2 comments

Johan Zietsman, a very astute rancher and consultant from Zimbabwe, said, “Grass-efficient animals will look like eight pounds of sugar in a 5-pound sack.” We believe that to be a very accurate analogy. Grass-efficient animals will be moderate in height, with extreme thickness and fleshing ability. Unfortunately, most of today’s beef animals look like five pounds of sugar in an eight-pound sack.
The two cows pictured above represent extremes – but they do a great job of illustrating the difference between what works and what doesn’t work. A picture is worth a thousand words! These two cows are the same age and weight. Both calved 60 days prior to the picture being taken – and both are being fed exactly the same.
The cow on the left resembles eight pounds of sugar in a five-pound sack. The cow on the right resembles eight pounds of sugar in a 12-pound sack. Which cow is more grass efficient? Which cow is ready to breed back? Which cow will wean the biggest calf? Which cow will be more profitable? The answer to all of these questions is the shorter cow on the left.
The cow on the right is struggling to meet her maintenance requirements. Therefore, she won’t raise much of a calf and she won’t breed back. She is a tall, lean, late-maturing cow with high maintenance requirements. She might do okay in a feedlot – but she is NOT grass efficient, and she will NEVER be profitable!
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