Reducing stock numbers after a natural disaster

If you have detailed records on your animals, you can manage a structured reduction of less-efficient animals across the beef herd. Having an effective animal recording system is best practice.

There are several ways that you can reduce your stock numbers after a natural disaster without putting your future productivity and cashflow at risk.

Market animals that are ready for slaughter

It's a good strategy to market animals that are ready for slaughter, preferably starting with the heavier, older animals that meet market specification.

This can be broadened to include slightly unfinished animals that will benefit from either a short period of agistment or time in a feedlot.

Relocate stock to agistment

You could relocate some stock to agistment on other properties that have good pasture.

Send stock to a feedlot

Some stock may be moved to a feedlot to provide you with a short-term cashflow. This also decreases the stocking rate pressure on pastures.

Identify stock for sale

You have a number of options when deciding which stock to sell.

It is likely that you have a percentage of steers that you could sell.

At the same time, depending on the time and the stage of the breeder herd reproductive cycle, you should identify for sale:

  • non-pregnant dry cows
  • those of poorer temperament and with horns of all ages.

These can be followed by older breeders that have reared their last calf or weaned their current calf.

Also consider...