Do heifers have more potential value than steers?

Do heifers have more potential value than steers?
Beef Systems Educator, Nebraska Extension
Agnus heifers feeding in pasture.

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This article was first published in Nebraska Extension's BeefWatch newsletter on June 1, 2023.

When going out to tag calves, most cow-calf producers would prefer to find a new bull calf rather than a heifer. This is logical given that the bull calf, which in most cases will become a steer, will weigh more, and bring more money per pound when selling at weaning than his heifer herd mates born at the same time. In the feedyard, steer calves grow faster, are more efficient and finish at heavier weights, providing greater pounds to sell at harvest. Steer performance justifies the premiums paid for steers over heifers.

For the cow-calf producer though, could heifers have more potential value than a steer? Heifer calves provide more options and opportunities than a bull calf. To produce calves, you need heifers and relatively few bulls. While the bull is important genetically, he doesn’t contribute much to the environmental factors that influence success in the production of calves. The cow provides and delivers the vast majority of what a calf needs from conception to weaning.

Heifer calves give a cow-calf producer several marketing options . . . 

Read the full article on BeefWatch