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The Big Show / Re: I officially call BS
« on: December 10, 2015, 10:18:55 PM »
Transparency and integrity are key I believe to a successful sale, not the sale average that gets published in the magazines.  When I was putting together the online sales for the Texas Maine Association here on Steerplanet, I would have each consigner set their base bids for their own consignments, and I told them that the price they set was the price they were willing to sell the animal for.  I know it looked a little funny having cattle of similar qualities with different starting bids, but it was real, and the buyer knew if they had the first bid, they owned the animal if nobody outbid them.  Our sale average may not have been something to brag about, but at the end of the day, we had a lot of happy buyers.

And thank you Jason for providing the service.  I hope to see more people take advantage of this very economical and functional service here on Steerplanet.

The Fullblood Chi breeders may just need to start their own organization like the Fullblood Maine breeders did.  The Maines have a group called the Maine Traditionalist.


The Big Show / Re: "Cowboy" has been in a bad wreck
« on: June 25, 2015, 01:56:31 AM »
Thank you for letting us know.  Prays go out to him.

The Big Show / Re: Trouble getting cows to stick!!
« on: May 28, 2015, 07:37:54 AM »
There are just some cows that don't stick to A.I., and just have to be bull bred.  In your case, it sounds like something different.  Have you changed the genetics in your herd at all?  More clubby genetics in your cow base?  What bulls are are you using?  Who owns those bulls?

If you do just the one insemination, I would do it at 18-24 hour vs. 12 hours.  Studies have shown very little reduction in conception rates for once/day vs. twice/day breeding.  In general, I think people tend to breed too early rather than too late.  I've been guilty of it in the past too, and I personally think my conception rates got a little better when I became more patient on when I breed.

Best Genetic Decision - When the TH and PHA defects came about, we tested all of our cows, culled all carrier cows, and only used clean bulls from that point on.  Luckily, we only had 1 or 2 carrier cows, so it was not much impact to our operation.

Best Non-Genetic Decision - Though still somewhat genetic related, but we stopped using "clubby or steer-sire" bulls.  Our birthweights went down which made calving season much less stressful, and by focusing more on seedstock genetics, it does not matter if we get bulls or heifers any more, both are just as easy to market.

Completely off subject, but it makes me proud to say that this post is #1000 for me.  I am happy that this is the topic that put me over the top.  We have felt strongly about both of these decisions in our operation.  It was the right thing for our operation, and we feel it is the right thing for the industry.

If you are not using expensive semen, I would just breed her at 12 and 24 hrs.  Losing another 21 days may cost more than the extra straw of semen is worth.

The Big Show / Re: Unusual weather messing with heat?
« on: May 25, 2015, 07:03:29 PM »
In some cases, the cattle's estrous cycle can go on "hold".  I've had cases where cattle have been synchronized, and instead of coming into head between days 2 and 5, some may start showing heat 6-7 days after the Lutalyse injection, after the weather improves.  Weather and environment have more affect on estrous cycles that most of us give it credit for.

The Big Show / Re: When to move cows after AI?!
« on: May 08, 2015, 08:28:26 AM »
There are a lot of differing opinions on when is the best time to move cattle after breeding, but one could say "never" is the the best time.  These time frames are very arbitrary.  It really depends on what kind of changes the cattle we be going through during the move.  Are they going to be changing from a drylot situation to a lush green pasture, the cattle's disposition, the distance of the haul, the temperature and humidity during the move, etc.

In the end, every time you move cattle, or make changes, there is risk.  You have to do what best works for your resources you have, and the constrains in which you have to manage within. 

The Big Show / Re: Awards for th free cattle.
« on: April 30, 2015, 09:13:36 PM »
That is an interesting idea.  Maybe creating a pool that concerned people of the cattle industry could put together, be it ranchers, packers, breed associations, etc.  A general pool could be established where proceeds could be divided between all Overall Champion and Reserve Champion Steers at a pre-determined set of Majors throughout the U.S.  If you were the lucky one, and had the only TH and PHA Free Champion Steer for that year, it could end up being a winner-take all. Could end up kind of lucrative.

Donations to the pool could easily be done through a "Crowd Fund" type account.

I'd love to hear more discussion on this!

The Big Show / Re: AI question
« on: April 30, 2015, 09:02:33 PM »
I will sometimes breed cattle twice, 12 hours apart, when I have not seen a definitive standing heat to time my breeding off of.  Some cattle are just shy, and will only show secondary signs.  If the semen is reasonably priced, and I have extra units available, I will just breed them twice to cover my bases.

There are a few reasons why associations will not set specific criteria for registrations. 

1.  DIVERSITY - Genetic diversity is a good thing in any breed.  This diversity is what allows the same breed of cattle to be raised in lush green pastures of Iowa, to the mountains of Wyoming, to the deserts of New Mexico. No one kind of cattle works in all environments.  Plus, just have cattle have changed over the past 50 years, they will continue to change.  Genetic diversity is what will allow these changes to happen.

2.  ACCURACY - EPD's are only as good as accuracy of the person submitting the data.  For the most part, EPD's are founded around the honor system, so establishing a threshold may reduce the accuracy of the data on cattle that are below or on the bubble of being able to be registered.

3. MONEY -  Breed associations are looking for ways to register more cattle, not less.  The more registrations means more income for the association, and like has been stated earlier, many of the associations are not in the best financial shape, so reducing registrations is a touchy subject.  This is the same reason why many associations were slow to address the issues of genetic defects.  Tough rules could have been put in place to eradicate many of these defects, but these tough rules would have reduced the number of registrations and would have impacted the association's bottom line significantly.

The Big Show / Re: Cidr's do you use yours more than once?
« on: April 09, 2015, 10:03:23 PM »
We typically use ours twice.  We do make sure to always use new CIDR's in our donor cows when flushing, and we do not use those CIDR's a second time since they are in the cow longer than the normal 7 days.

The Big Show / Re: AI Heifers
« on: April 09, 2015, 09:50:36 PM »
In your situation with only 2 heifers, your best bet is to find someone that provides A.I. services.  Here in North Texas, we provide a service where the cattle are housed at our place for approximately 10-15 days, synchronized, heat checked, and A.I'd.  It's costs more, but it saves our customers having to purchase working facilities, A.I. equipment, semen storage equipment, and the time and hassle that comes with heat checking regularly and consistently.  The service also allows me to be more affordable on my A.I.'ing since I do not have to load up my supplies, drive to and from the farm, just to do 1 or 2 head.

If you give your location, there are probably steerplanet members that can assist you.

First off, I think many of these breed associations are missing the revenue boat by not pushing the Majors to require breed steers to have registration papers.  They may not be legit, and they may not guarantee a calf classifying, but someone is spending the $15 to register that steer, plus any other registrations and transfers they are being paid to get that steer registered. 

Secondly, many of these breeds associations are not that concerned that the champions of "their" breed are not really what they are.  If a MAB steer that classifies as a Shorthorn goes and wins the whole dang show, then the Shorthorn breed can run with that for advertising their breed can compete with the crossbreeds.  The general population in the cattle industry are never going to know that the steer wasn't really a "Shorthorn", but they will sure think about using that breed in their herd.

It all is a frustrating system here in Texas, but it works well enough, especially for the number of entries they have to process at each Major.  I always used to laugh at the color system the West Coast used to classify, but now it almost looks like they were ahead of the curve, rather than behind it.  Simple, yet effective. Classifying by color would sure eliminate the bias's that some classifiers have in their decision making.

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