Beef Buzz News
The Cattle Frame Pendulum Swings Back and Forth And Back Again
Fri, 08 Jun 2012 19:31:22 CDT
At the recent Alltech International Symposium on the Future of Agriculture held 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.
Dr. Dave Lalman speaks on cattle frame size.
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.
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