Culling cows from the herd is a normal part of annual ranch management. How and when cull cows are marketed represents your last opportunity to generate revenue from each cow. There is an opportunity to add value to cull cows to generate some additional revenue for a cattle enterprise. Just as there are options to be compared before marketing weaned calves, producers should weigh their options before marketing cull cows.
Improving the value of cull cows offers income opportunity for cattle producers. Keys to success include having cheap feed resources available in the form of un-utilized pasture or forage and supplemental feed-stuffs at low or no-cost. Low-value cows can be turned into a value-added product by improving the carcass weight and condition of the cow to place into a different carcass quality category. Realize that some cows will have a ceiling of value and not every cow will make a profit. Cow performance and market timing affect a cow’s value ceiling. So each producer must evaluate the risk associated with flipping cows, the added costs and most importantly, the opportunity for profit.