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Beef Buzz News


The Cattle Frame Pendulum Swings Back and Forth And Back Again

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 17:46:32 CDT

At the recent Alltech International Symposium in Lexington Kentucky, Dr. Dave Lalman, professor of animal science at Oklahoma State University, gave a presentation on the metamorphosis undergone by beef cattle in the United States over the last century. He covered the spectrum from cattle frame size to crossbred vigor to the right amount of muscle for optimum efficiency.

In his presentation, Lalman focused on the question, "Are our cattle more efficient now than they have been in the past?"

In the first part of a four-part Beef Buzz series, Dr. Lalman, talks about how the pendulum regarding frame size has swung back and forth a couple of times in the last century.

He says cattle in 1900 had about the same size frame as we have today, but they were fatter back then.

During the 1940s and 50s things got to the point of insanity, he said, with ridiculously small frames being the rule of the day. Unfortunately, selection for smaller and smaller frame size brought genetic problems and dwarfism.

The pendulum swung back in the 60s to cattle with frame sizes comparable to today, but it didn't stop swinging there. Cattle from the 70s through the 90s reflected a "bigger is better" until we had insanely large cattle, Lalman says.


Click on the LISTEN BAR below to here more of the BEEF BUZZ. The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.







   

Dr. Dave Lalman speaks on cattle frame size.
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