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Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 09:53:21 PM »
Thanks CAB, yes supposedly there are 40 breeds of cattle that have Shorthorn in their origins.

I went up to the lease to check the cows today. With these cell phones, I'm always armed with a camera so took a few more pictures to show NF the sire of his 638D bulls (429B) female side of his pedigree.


This is Y82S. She is your 638D bulls paternal great grandma. She'll be 12 in the spring.
IMG_1013 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr


130W is your bulls grand dam. Her daughter, 171Y is the full sib sister of your bulls sire (429B). This photo op was the reason I dug the phone out today. I thought the mother/daughter combo was pretty cool!

IMG_1003 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr

The cows sure have fleshed up since weaning!

This is 403B. Your bulls young dam. Her dam is a maternal half sister to the old cow at the top.

IMG_1019 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr

It's a pretty incestuous combination, but I sure think you'll be pleased with the tightly wound good maternal genetics that are programed into your bull! As you can tell, it was spitting a little snow again today, but temp wasn't bad at 38 degrees.









Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 10:30:57 PM »
Hope you all don't mind, but I'm posting a few more pictures before I turn in for the night. From today going back to a couple summer ones.
No long winded commentary!

IMG_1002 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr
IMG_0970 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr
IMG_1017 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr
IMG_1016 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr
IMG_20140727_095507_142 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr
DSC_0633 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr

Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2017, 09:49:35 AM »
IMG_0881 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr

Just an example of steers from a "maternally" focused herd. This was taken in mid-to late October. They came straight home off the cows onto pasture and supplemented with salt/mineral only. Weaning date was 9/9/2017.They never had a bite of any kind of grain period. They were sold at the Feeder Sale  at the Montana Livestock Auction near Butte. There were 22 head. Average weight was 621 lbs and they brought just over $150/CWT. There were 8 head of these that were banded soon after weaning. They still looked a bit "staggy". I'm sure was taken into account by the buyers. Some had a bit of white markings, but the majority were solid red. They were all  a minimum of 98% Shorthorn. These steers are all from 294A and 429B .

 


Offline mark tenenbaum

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2017, 12:46:32 PM »
Hey Red Bulls whats your good all around bull that semen is available on-gonna breed some heifers O0 O0

Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2017, 09:28:48 AM »
Mark, The "heifer bulls" that I have saleable semen on at present are Dover and CPCL 6th. I would also breed any of my heifers to 294A or 429B.
I also plan on collecting them for home use only at this point. As I'm sure you know, if one looks at the phenotype of newborns from true "calving ease" sires who haven't been phenotypically modified from what "nature" produces in order to satisfy the "eye of man", one does not necessarily need to seek out sires who only produce 60-70 lb. BW's.

English Bulldogs are one of my favorite pet breeds to look at. However, I think most would have to agree that man has greatly modified the phenotype from their wolf ancestors. The few bulldogs I've been around are very affable dogs. I'm fascinated by their looks and personality. I often thought I'd like to own one until I looked into the breed more closely. There is a reason that a very high percentage of them cannot deliver or raise pups on their own. As one who is very concerned about the welfare of the animals under my care, it is safe to assume that I will never purchase a bulldog.

If you'd like to discuss bulls (rather than bulldogs), PM me or feel free to call me at 406-360-3793.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 09:41:06 AM by RedBulls »

Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2017, 01:13:41 PM »





 One of the great challenges a commercial cattle producer faces is in determining which claims made by their chosen seed stock producers are factual. The Shorthorn Association has partnered with the U of I to conduct a sire progeny evaluation. An unbiased sire progeny test out of a cross-bred herd of cows is surely a good thing for the folks on the farm, and I applaud the University of Illinois for facilitating this project. From what I understand, the sires being tested are just Shorthorns? I would like clarification on this.

Having come from a commercial cow/calf background, I have had lots of questions about my chosen breed.
But, with only fond memories from one old Shorthorn cow from my long past youth to go on, I set out to become a Registered Seed Stock Producer. Its been a common experience for me to run into old timers who also remember (very fondly) the Durhams from their more youthful days. And, in the interest of total transparency, I finally settled on the Shorthorn because I didnt care to be a tiny little minnow in the vast Black Sea.

Ive always felt that accurate records are a necessary thing. Birth weights here are determined with an actual scale. The calfs feet are completely off the ground, which is also a handy restraint for getting the tattoo and ear tags installed. It also makes one a lot more cognizant of the importance of cow disposition. Pretty early on, we invested in a scale for Weaning weights and yearling weights (whenever available) as I got tired of hauling them to town twice a year. I could get into telling my opinions on a lot of EPD data, but will resist that temptation.
The endpoint of surplus animals is always the rail. Ive always been cognizant of this fact. No matter how good of a set of mamma cows you have, its critical that you also know you produce a saleable product for the table. About 4 years ago, I began an email/phone conversation from a young rancher in a neighboring state. Here is the relevant excerpt from one email:

I appreciate the offer of a cane of 105U, but I think it'd be cheaper to ship it than come after it.  I think I have my dad talked into letting me try another shorthorn bull this year, would you be able to get us 2 canes, maybe at half price?  I would like to use at least 20 straws, we get a better idea of what the calves will be.  Your EZ bull seems to be working in the feedlot, I thin we had 5 steers of his in the pen, and they are tied for the 2nd highest Feb 9 weight by sire groups.  They are also the lowest ADG group in the pen, which is strange.  They also were some of the top weaning weight calves.  The best I can figure is they are gaining a more consistent amount over a longer period of time, and I don't care how they get the weight, as long as they have it when we sell them.  That being said, I'd like to use 105U, and see how his calves do, and when we get a few EZ heifers calved out and see how they look, maybe I can talk my dad into using a little more shorthorn in our program. 

We are getting a bunch of semen through the red angus and simmental associations, and part of the deal is we keep performance records on the calves, and they pay us a 75 dollar premium at slaughter.  It is an interesting program, and really cheapens up our breeding program, and I like the idea of a premium check, if we can ever get to that point.  All of this makes it very hard for me to sell my dad on buying shorthorn semen.  Do you know, does the shorthorn association have a similar program?  Even if we didn't get the premium, not having to buy semen would help a lot.  I'm not trying to guilt you into sending us free semen, sorry if I come across that way, I just need an edge to get some shorthorn bulls into our program.  From what I've seen of your program, and one other program we've looked at, I think your genetics would help us moderate our cow size, and add a little marbling in our fat cattle, and a third cross would help us manage our breeding program a little better.  I also like experimenting, it would be fun to run a herd of cows with no main stream genetics in them, and be able to get a premium on the rail

We felt that this would be a great opportunity to at least have a small sampling of what our genetics do on the hook, so were more than happy to release semen to him. These folks run commercial Simmi x females.

We provided him with 10 units of DRC 101VM, 20 units of YY105U, and 10 more units of EZ (Coalpit Creek Leader). The summary grading information sheet is below: I wrote the Shorthorn sired averages on the front.

SPYYCARCASSimg222006 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr

Offline mark tenenbaum

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2017, 06:01:47 PM »
Thanks Ill probably call sometime when its convenient-not breeding till spring so no worries. Im not as concerned about BWS on heifers up to 85 pounds or so-more about shape, phenotype and pedigree. Im doing the opposite of linebreeding and try to match what I have to older or more tradtitional breeding-to me its a good mix and study in contrasts. Bear in mind-my cattle live in tough citcumstances too-I like your cattle alot for all the reasons everyone is giving-my cattle are ez calving sometimes to an exreme (dwarfy calves out of the wrong breeding-due in one case to a wounld up Irish xmaine background) and I like them for guts rib *(like yours)hardiness (like yours) and top and width especially wide butts and hips  which I think would nick with what I see in yours O0 O0 O0



Offline -XBAR-

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2017, 09:25:07 PM »
I would have liked to have seen the quality grade comparison had the 105U calves been taken on up to a half inch back fat like the others.

Love the 171Y cow   (clapping)

I weaned and shipped the remainder of calves todaY, Ralph- ended up w/ 6 bull calves making the cut thatll be entered in a local upcoming Bull test next month.  1 on the 6 was out of a first calf heifer, which is pretty remarkable being a heifer and weaning a standout calf under the conditions I run them in.  Shes YY Asvard Leader daughter, 518C- 4223564.  She did a great job and is bred back the same way for another April calf.
You can follow the leader or you can be a breeder. Its your choice.

Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2017, 09:30:08 AM »
Thanks Ill probably call sometime when its convenient-not breeding till spring so no worries. Im not as concerned about BWS on heifers up to 85 pounds or so-more about shape, phenotype and pedigree. Im doing the opposite of linebreeding and try to match what I have to older or more tradtitional breeding-to me its a good mix and study in contrasts. Bear in mind-my cattle live in tough citcumstances too-I like your cattle alot for all the reasons everyone is giving-my cattle are ez calving sometimes to an exreme (dwarfy calves out of the wrong breeding-due in one case to a wounld up Irish xmaine background) and I like them for guts rib *(like yours)hardiness (like yours) and top and width especially wide butts and hips  which I think would nick with what I see in yours O0 O0 O0

Thanks Mark, I'm looking forward to visiting with you! In my opinion, you are dead-on about calf shape vs. BW. From what I'm seeing and hearing from "Commercial" folks, selecting for 65-70 lb. birth weights over several years, often leads to producing a herd of cows that can only birth smaller calves. That has also led me to question some EPD numbers as (to me), it only stands to reason that if a calf has tremendous growth after birth, why did he not possess that same quality during his last few weeks in the womb? Studies show that the sire is a big factor in determining gestation length for the fetus. Why shouldn't this also have a detrimental effect on calf vigor at birth? We mere humans can "tweak" Mother Nature, but I don't believe that we can fool her for long!

Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2017, 12:12:45 PM »
I would have liked to have seen the quality grade comparison had the 105U calves been taken on up to a half inch back fat like the others.

Love the 171Y cow   (clapping)

I weaned and shipped the remainder of calves todaY, Ralph- ended up w/ 6 bull calves making the cut thatll be entered in a local upcoming Bull test next month.  1 on the 6 was out of a first calf heifer, which is pretty remarkable being a heifer and weaning a standout calf under the conditions I run them in.  Shes YY Asvard Leader daughter, 518C- 4223564.  She did a great job and is bred back the same way for another April calf.

You've made my day Ryan. If there is one thing that will interrupt my nightly sleep cycle, it is to get up for a (ever more frequent) visit to the commode and then get to wondering how these cattle are working in other environments for folks. With your busy schedule, it's hard to catch up to ask you personally.

You are absolutely right about the YY105U bull. It was several months ago when I received this data. I called Tom Mc very soon after.

(The McMillans are long, long, time Shorthorn breeders. Tom's great grandfather trailed his Shorthorn cows from the railhead in Livingston, MT to his newly deeded homestead west of Lewistown, MT in 1889. The family has raised nothing but Shorthorns since. They raised registered cattle for quite awhile and now just run about 250-300 head of commercials. The ranch has grown substantially over the years and includes a lot of farming and hay production, plus sheep. They also own a large enough piece of ground in the mountains to summer the cows. His son is an excellent photographer who's talents can be seen by "Googling" McMillan Shorthorn Ranch. Tom also buys several potloads of calves every year to send to Nebraska to feed. He retains ownership on those that have not been bought to fill other orders and so has a wide comparison of breeds. In his own words to me when I asked him once: "Ralph, there are years when the Shorthorns are the only ones that make me any money").

Back to the 105U bull. When I called Tom, He said "well, they just didn't feed 'em long enough". This begs me to throw out another question to you all;
Is it always more economical to feed cattle to higher weights in order to receive the same added premiums that the smaller (but acceptable) carcasses received? That is an honest question: The way my mind works, I would think think that year in, year out, a sire that produces a high percentage low choice 800+ lb. carcass at a YG 2 might be more economical to raise than the extra feed/management required for a cow herd to attain Choice carcasses of 900+ (or more) lbs.? The 105U calves no doubt had more room to grow and marble without excess back fat.

Here is another question: Could it be possible that the cow/calf producer has become so focused on the carcass (end product) that the extra feed/labor/mortality/etc. it takes in raising them can make our own operation(s) less economical? We know we have the ability to make 'em bigger. The question is, should we continue down that road? When is enough, enough?

I just shipped 105's dam this fall as a coming 14 year old. Her genetic background was varied (within breed outcross). She birthed and raised all 12 of her calves without human intervention. She was still sound and had good feet/legs. She had a very good udder and very acceptable teat structure. That is why she stayed here. Most years, her calves had the most "eye appeal" at weaning. She weighed nearly 1,700 lbs across the scale when she sold. It was often difficult to find homes for her bull calves due to BW, which certainly weren't out of proportion to her size. If I were I raising cattle for the rail rather than for the guy in the country, I would have flushed her. I collected the 105U son when I shipped him. He produced 500+ units of semen in one "jump" at Genex Hawkeye on his way to Billings Livestock. He had come back here when Tom was done with him as he wanted me to raise him more. He can be easily reconstituted if I wish. As a "cow" old 48P was very functional. My more (what I consider) "maternal" cows are very functional.

Without individually feeding measured amounts of hay, can I be sure that she ate more than the 1,350 cow here? No. But physiology would sure suggest that. These are truly questions I struggle with in being and remaining a "reputable" breeder.

I'll most likely try making more 171Y's through use of her full sib 429B  brother and then sell those bulls at 2 years when they are showing more of their potential. But, it is a road less traveled.

Offline nf

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2017, 06:47:58 PM »
Thanks so much for posting all of the pics RedBulls.  I am so impressed with the consistency and ease of flesh your cattle possess across the entire herd.  Also, the scenery isn't too bad either!

Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2017, 10:00:50 PM »
Thanks NF. And thanks for your business last spring! I'll look forward to visiting with you soon.


X-Bar, I'm pretty sure this cow is the full sib sister to the sire of your 513C heifer. Tried to blow up the picture to read the ear tag, but was still too blurry.
IMG_0534 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr

This is YY Gus' Double Y105U for sure.

DSC_0618_edited-1 by Ralph Larson, on Flickr

Offline mark tenenbaum

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2017, 12:12:29 PM »
Has Loving tried any of your cattle? I cant remember-maybe 10 or 12 years ago there was a picture of one of you Montana breeders in an ad with a Roan Canadian bull relaxing-was that you? O0

Offline nf

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2017, 09:17:03 PM »
Redbulls, your original point of this thread was to ask the question, What is maternal?  You then went on to identify your thoughts on the topic.  You said,

In a lot of the country, a commercial type bovine must be have strong, sound, feet/legs, as it can be a ways between a water hole and the next blade of grass. She has to have a quality udder with small enough teats for a calf to find on its own. She must give birth unattended. She needs strong maternal instinct; her slimy, wet, new baby is the most important thing in her life and will remain so for the next 7 months. She must be able to produce enough milk under often times marginal conditions to wean a good calf. Most importantly, she must be very fertile.  AND-- its a huge plus when a range cow has the ability to discern the difference between a coyote and a human being when it comes to weighing, tagging, and tattooing her newborn.

I would summarize your description as functional.  To me any animal must meet the above criteria as the minimum requirement to remain in the herd.  But to me a functional animal might, or might not, be maternal.  In my way of thinking maternal is where the efficiency of production comes in.  A maternal animal raises her calf very efficiently.  It gets into the cost of production.  More specifically, the cost of optimum production. 

This is where I see people split into two camps.  One camp says the smaller the cow the better and accept smaller calves.  The other says the bigger the calf the better and accept bigger cows.  What I have yet to understand is how they don't see they're both right to a limit.  I want the smallest cow I can have, that when bred to a terminal sire, has the ability to wean a high percentage of her body weight on a calf that will finish at 1,350 Choice+ YG2 or better (conventional market).  Or, when bred to a maternal sire can replicate herself.

What I think most people would be shocked by is how small of a cow can actually accomplish this.  For the past couple of years we've fed out all of our non-breeding stock and had them quality and yield graded at slaughter.  We routinely have 1,000 to 1,100 pound cows accomplish the above stated goal.  We also have had 1,500 lb cows that can't... (they're gone..)

Side note: It's amazing how quickly you can improve your herd when you're hit with real data and take action on it!

I think a huge problem in today's cattle business is the belief propagated by almost all breeds that they are the one and only solution to all your problems.  There are so many challenges to making money in the cattle business for the commercial cow calf producer that I am simply amazed so many of them give up heterosis and the efficiency gain of a cross bred maternal cow herd, terminal third breed sire, and all calves go to market approach in favor of a close to purebred strategy.  Further, I don't know any longer which breeds are maternal, terminal, or so confused they themselves don't know. 

That's my soapbox for the night Redbulls.  I probably could have saved a lot of typing and just said a maternal animal is an efficient animal.

Offline RedBulls

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Re: Breeding up from the Bottom (side)
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2017, 09:20:14 AM »
Has Loving tried any of your cattle? I cant remember-maybe 10 or 12 years ago there was a picture of one of you Montana breeders in an ad with a Roan Canadian bull relaxing-was that you? O0

No, Marty has not. He talked about jumping in his plane and coming up to see the cows a year or two ago, but haven't seen him.
I don't believe I was in any ad pictures! Ads should be attractive!

 

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