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Abstract

Most cattle producers market their calves through a local livestock auction facility. When marketing through a sale barn, many of the marketing aspects cannot be controlled or managed by the cattle producer. For instance, cattle producers do not control the volume of buyers or the quantity of cattle marketed that day. A producer can, however, control sale location, sale timing and at what weight they choose to sell calves. Another controllable factor that may influence price and profitability is the choice of a producer to sell male calves/feeder cattle as steers or as bull calves. If bull calves are not intended to be kept as herdsire prospects, a producer has the choice to castrate them or leave them as intact calves at the time of marketing. The decision to cut a male could be based upon age of the calf and/or the method that the producer chooses to utilize for castration. The decision leaves producers with a common question, “Does cutting calves increase revenue?” This publication aims to help producers answer that question.

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