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Author Topic: Bad Udders  (Read 16247 times)

Offline Larissa

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Bad Udders
« on: June 25, 2013, 01:30:41 PM »
Is it just me, or does it seem like bad udders are becoming more accepted these days? Not just in clubbies, but purebreds as well. Lately I can't believe how many cows advertised as "donor cows" have just terrible udder quality. I guess I understand if ONLY male embryos are being sold, and ALL the bull calves are steered and NONE of the steers are cloned to make the next big promotional bull. Then I see no problem with it, but obviously that doesn't happen very often. Definitely not pointing fingers at any one breed or breeder, just wondering if you guys have noticed it too and what your opinions are. 

Offline BTDT

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 01:39:49 PM »
"Open and ready to flush" - a quote that I see in most sale catalogs that make me cringe. 
One, why would she be open???
Two, why would you flush a hard breeder, infertile cow?


Offline -XBAR-

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 02:14:30 PM »
I see this all the time in the shorthorns.  Wild how some can overlook this.

Offline Possum Trot Ranch

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 02:29:57 PM »
I think it is more noticable with club calf genetics since the breeding criteria is usually made for terminal offspring (steers).  The males from those mating may go on to win some big shows but the females end up in the herd (or someone  else's).  Since you were not selecting for good udders in the first place, you end up with more bad udders than if you were selecting for maternal traits.

Offline Okotoks

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 04:02:42 PM »
I think whenever the emphasis is put on the show ring we tend to overlook functional selection traits. If you only show the females as heifers there's a good chance you will end up with a lot of champions being flushed and they have never been evaluated as a producing female. Let's face it showing cattle sometimes gets pretty removed from practical cattle production so it's up to us as producers to try and make sure judges are ones that hasve a connection the industry. We should also want classes that show older animals. In the fall at Canadian shows the champion females are most often cows with a calf at foot. When you are heading into the Supreme Shows most breeders are hoping it's a cow/calf representing their breed because a heifer just won't have the power.

Offline SWMO

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2013, 04:13:16 PM »
I think whenever the emphasis is put on the show ring we tend to overlook functional selection traits. If you only show the females as heifers there's a good chance you will end up with a lot of champions being flushed and they have never been evaluated as a producing female. Let's face it showing cattle sometimes gets pretty removed from practical cattle production so it's up to us as producers to try and make sure judges are ones that hasve a connection the industry. We should also want classes that show older animals. In the fall at Canadian shows the champion females are most often cows with a calf at foot. When you are heading into the Supreme Shows most breeders are hoping it's a cow/calf representing their breed because a heifer just won't have the power.

This won't happen in very many breed shows in the US simply because the pairs do not compete for Grand Champion Female.
I do believe that is why you don't see all that many pairs being exhibited in the States.

Offline oakview

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2013, 04:37:36 PM »
The only bad udder I can remember in the past 25-30 years was about 7 years ago.  It developed in a heifer we tried really hard to turn into a good show heifer.  Show feed for life, never left the barn, you know the routine.  The cow family had been in the herd for years and years, never had a bad udder from the sire, either.  She did quite well at the winter beef expo and at a few of the weekend shows.  About a month before the county fair, at 15-16 months of age, she started developing an udder like she was going to calve shortly.  Trouble is, she wasn't bred.  As a matter of fact, I couldn't get her bred until several months later.  One of the best females I raised and I ruined her.  At least I had a couple of sisters later.  I suppose there are hormones or shots you can give them to prevent this from happening, but I guess I've never learned all the show tricks.  Genetics is a good place to start, but there is plenty of blame to be placed on the way show heifers are handled. 

Offline Steve123

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2013, 04:46:55 PM »
Many years ago when my college judging team was doing a workout at a large western ranch, I asked the owner how they did udder scores on such a large operation.  He looked at me and said "Udder scores? If they bring back a big calf and are bred they stay, if not they go. I don't have to suck those udders, it doesn't matter what I think".

That's when I learned the difference between academia knowledge and ranch knowledge.

Offline BTDT

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2013, 10:09:23 PM »
Steve, While I have to agree there is a difference between "book knowledge" and "first hand knowledge", there also has to be some common sense.  If a cow had the teats of the size and shape of a bottle nipple for calves, the cow would be sold due to udder score.
On the flip side, I will never forget last year, while attending a show, I heard the judge say, "The heifer that wins the class does have a questionable udder for an April heifer, but I am going to over look that today."  WHAT?  This heifer had not had a calf yet, and was 5-6 months from calving yet 2 of her teats were the size of coke bottles. Glad that judge isn't selecting my replacements.



Offline DakotaCow

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 01:02:48 AM »
The only bad udder I can remember in the past 25-30 years was about 7 years ago.

Oakview, are you saying that's the last bad udder you had in your herd or the last bad udder you saw...showering, catalog or otherwise? If you can only point out one questionable udder in your herd the last 25 years I would have to say that's quite impressive if not questionable.

Offline justintime

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 08:46:21 AM »
In this day, there is absolutely no excuse for having bad udders in your herd. Period! I see it all the time and it drives me crazy. I can understand a person keeping an older cow who has been one of the top producers in the herd, for that one last calf, if her udder suspension going. I cannot understand anyone keeping any female under 10-12 years old that has a poor udder. I have a rule, that if I have to help a calf get started sucking because the teats are too big or too low, she gets put on the sale barn list.
I also have a very good Gelbvieh recip that has raised some excellent ET calves, but this year I had to help her calf get started nursing. She will be on the first load to the Golden Arches this fall.
There is absolutely no excuse for this.
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Offline oakview

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 09:09:38 AM »
I was referring to my own herd.  I did remember last night a cow that was purchased for me on order about 10 years ago that came with a bad udder.  She didn't stick around long.  I've got a 10 year old that's showing some signs of age, but that's about it.  Maybe we've just been lucky.  Probably makes a difference that we don't have 100 cows, either.

Offline willow

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2013, 09:30:04 AM »
I wish we would have been more savvy about bad udders and paying attention to that trait when we got started into this business years ago.  We started with two pairs and that is how we have built our herd.  Well the one cow from the one pair that made it around here has a bad udder and she has of course passed that on to some of her offspring.  We have been convinced that eventually this problem will become less of a problem the further we get away from that cows genetics.  Ugh! Countless hours spent on my part with bad udders.  We have officially started culling cows with a bad udder.  I know now you don't have to have bad udders to have clubby cows.

Offline TYD

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2013, 09:49:34 AM »
The only bad udder I can remember in the past 25-30 years was about 7 years ago.

Oakview, are you saying that's the last bad udder you had in your herd or the last bad udder you saw...showering, catalog or otherwise? If you can only point out one questionable udder in your herd the last 25 years I would have to say that's quite impressive if not questionable.

Dakotacow I think it is totally wrong for you to ask oakview if they have seen any bad udders while showering lol I believe you meant showring lol but thanks for the laugh

Offline oakview

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Re: Bad Udders
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2013, 01:43:50 PM »
I'm not going to touch that line with a ten foot pole!  Always nice to have something to laugh about. 

 

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