Cow number pace has been slow in recent weeks

For the past three or four weeks our cow numbers have been extremely low. And the cow packer price has picked up enough it has to be that way in several other areas, too.

Some said, “Well, we have sold a lot of cows.” And I would agree but I didn’t think we had sold any more than we would have on a normal year. One thing that is making our cow numbers less is for the past two years any older cow that is six months or more bred was often being bought by the packer and they were killing those cows before they calved to get the blood of the unborn calf.

If they were old and four and five months bred it appeared they sent them to a feedlot to get them further bred to do the same. And sometimes that blood was valuable enough that they would get the 8- and 9-year old bred cows bought for that also. I asked other sale barns 200 miles away if they were doing the same and they said they were. This takes a lot of the future beef off the market as half of those old breds would go back to the country to raise one more calf.

The negative part for the sale barn is they do not get to sell that cow again. The man that processed that blood from the unborn calf said they would spin it and there were about five layers of quality with the top being very valuable and the bottom less valuable, which might end up in makeup. This blood is sterile, or not infected, coming from an unborn. I know some is used for cancer research but another packer said, “I can tell you the value of that and it is about $70 per head.” And, referring to the other packer, he said he is giving a lot more than that. For those of you that sent your old cows directly to slaughter bypassing the sale barn, you just lost $150 to $200 per head.

Grazing cattle prices are very strong. We sold 182 black heifers weighing 540 pounds for $152.50 per hundredweight. And 222 black heifers weighing 600 to 632 pounds for $141 to $142.50 and 69 red and Charolais cross heifers weighing 575 pounds for $146.

A teacher was talking to her third-grade class about whales. And the teacher made a statement that a whale’s throat is very small. One girl in the class said, “Well, it says in the Bible that a whale swallowed Jonah.” The teacher said, that was impossible because their throats do not open wide enough for that. And the girl again said that it does say it in the Bible. The teacher again said that is not possible.

So the young girl said, “Well, when I get to heaven I’m going to ask Jonah if that was true.” Then the teacher said, “What if Jonah didn’t make it to heaven?” And the girl said, “Well, then you ask him.”

Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Oklahoma, is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Slapout, Oklahoma.