According to the Noble Foundation, for most cattle producers, culling cows is not an easy task. However, some culling needs to be done each year to maintain optimal productivity. Records on each cows yearly production would be beneficial when making culling decisions, but collecting some information when the cows are processed can give you a good place to start.
Cattlemen should make it a point to evaluate all breeding females at least once a year. Weaning is likely the most convenient time to do this evaluation. In addition to their vaccinations, cows should also be pregnancy-tested, evaluated for structural soundness and aged based on the condition of their teeth. This information will take a little extra time to collect, but will be valuable when determining a culling order. In addition, this culling order will be useful during a drought as it is usually more profitable to cull unproductive cows as a drought is beginning than to try to hold on until the drought is over.
Usually, the best cows to cull are the ones that have the least chance of being productive in the long term or are the farthest away from being productive (heifers are costly animals). Use the following list as a guideline for establishing your culling order.