The importance of selling quality stock We all know that reaching the

The importance of selling quality stock
We all know that reaching the point in your herd’s life where even the stock you want to sell are as good as the ones
you want to keep seems like a long and difficult journey, but is it really that far away? In this article we look into the
importance of selling high quality pedigree and commercial animals, and how it can be achieved.
Firstly, the benefits of having
stock for sale that you would
gladly keep hold of yourself go
far beyond just keeping a good
reputation with your customers.
It also means that you can have
complete confidence in the
product you are trying to
advertise, as well as contributing
to making the breed look good
as a whole, which in turn attracts
new members who feel like they
can buy top drawer cattle even if
they are just starting out. This of
course holds more benefits later
down the line, as with a larger
membership comes growth in all
areas such as attendance at
sales, pedigree stock prices and
confidence in the strength of the
This is all very well and good,
and ideally we would all want to
see these things happen, but
how do we achieve it? From
what I have seen it is fair to say
that some people can make it
look easy, and the rest of us may
be left wondering if we could
ever achieve such a standard,
especially if you only have a few
cows in your herd. However the
principles are simple, and can be
applied to herds of all sizes.
Management is a huge factor in
making sure your stock can
reach their full potential. Very
simply, if you show people
around a herd of cattle which
are not in good condition, or
where the calves look like they
are only ¾ as big as they should
be, you will not attract business.
Although times are obviously
hard, there should not be many
reasons why a Traditional
Hereford would not thrive as
well as any other, as we are
involved with a breed that
makes it very easy for us to show
them off in perfect condition.
This involves making sure that
the cows have the best
opportunity to rear their calves
as well as they can after they are
born, as the importance of this
time for youngstock to be as
good as possible later down the
line cannot be over-emphasised.
A Traditional Hereford female
which has an ample supply of
grass and forage will be able to
maintain herself while milking
well, without becoming over-fat.
It is likely that Traditional
Hereford cows that are in poor
condition even with enough
forage may have problems
outside their nutritional intake,
such as worms or diseases, and
herd health must be taken into
account, as this is a very
important consideration to
potential buyers.
It is not just quality pedigree
females that have an impact on
how your cattle are viewed. The
selling of both bulls and fatstock
are indicators of the overall
quality of your herd too, and
should be treated with equally
good care. By offering a bull for
sale you are showcasing the
potential of both his pedigree
stock and the ‘bread and butter’
of your client’s business; steers
and heifers for the beef trade, be
it farm shops or wholesale
slaughterhouses. This means
that when presenting young
bulls, they should be showing off
their beef qualities by being as fit
and muscular as you would want
your finished animals to be,
rather than either underweight
or too fat. Of course the rules
are slightly different for a bull
serving cows, as he can be
granted a little leeway for
‘working condition’ as is natural,
however he again should not be
particularly over-fat, as this may
appear as though he is not doing
his job properly.
The bottom line here is that the
animals you offer for sale should
not be those which you are
trying to ‘get rid of’, but those
which you are proud to show
people as an example of the
standard of your herd. If the
young bull that you have your
eye on to sell starts to develop
faults, or is not the kind of
animal you would use on your
own cows, then do not be afraid
to kill him; this validates your
business as a commercial beef
provider, and eliminates the
possibility of a bad reputation.