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Offline red

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Horned or Polled
« on: April 26, 2008, 08:14:12 AM »
Question is do you breed for polled cattle by using polled bulls & cows? does it make a difference to you if they're horned? Also how do you remove the horns? I know Joe Boy had bought what he thought was a polled bull but he turned out to have horns. I think that might happen more ofthen then thought of.

Rose was horned & most of her calves have also had horns. Cowboy Cut did produce a polled calf. I have a couple of other that also throw horns.

We typically have them surgicaly removed. Take them in at about 500 pounds. Had one that was done elsewhere & she has a scur growing back.

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Offline ELBEE

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 09:42:59 AM »
With linebreeding "Irish" it's tough to keep the horns off. Somewhere around-about the 3rd criteria we consider horns, if all things are equal, we go polled. This has left us with a predominately polled herd.

Dehorner of choice? An electric powered heat element. A circle about the size of a quarter. If used while it can straddle to the base of the horn (before about 3 months), and used properly (by me), it can give that "polled" look. Takes some time, but I think it's the most economical, and least stressful of the choices.   
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Offline oakbar

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 09:50:02 AM »
We consider the polled trait more of a "preference" than an actual criteria for selection in our operation.    All other things being equal, I'll pick the polled bull and as ELBEE said over time you really reduce the number of horned animals you have.  In the Shorthorns at least, I think we would eliminate too many good genetic possibilities if being polled was the primary criteria.   Again, that't what seems to work for us it may not be for everyone.
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Offline SWMO

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 11:51:14 AM »
Agree with Elbee on the electric dehorning and also selection.   Much less stressful on the calves to dehorn this way  head look good also.

Offline Olson Family Shorthorns

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 03:27:46 PM »
Well....polled is probably preferred here, but our best ones seemed to be horned.  My Sonny cow is horned, but we didn't know until we clipped her head and found the scars from cosmetic dehorning.  My show heifer was horned, and this year's bull calf out of her is horned too....but her first two calves were polled.  I don't mind having one or two dehorned every year, but it would get old if every calf, every year were horned.  Oh, and our preferred method of dehorning would be the cosmetic-surgery style.  If done right, it looks REALLY good.  It takes a pretty close inspection to tell that she was horned.
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Offline Zach

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2008, 03:34:47 PM »
it dosnt matter to us if they are horned or not, we'll get em off their heads lol.

we just do it the "barbaric" way and scoop em out. but a burner up there and there fine, alot of stress if you do it wrong, but they usually only jump around a little when we do it..
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Offline aj

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2008, 07:17:47 PM »
I remember being told that in say the mid 70's that horned herfords had a butt and the polled herfords did not. When you single trait select for polled or say the black color in say simmentals you have to give up quality.After a while quality will come up and after a couple trends or fads pass I think quality evens out. I will get crucified for this....but some of the first black purebred black simmentals were god awfull cattle. But in order to get black you had to use that first black or homo black purebreed bull. Then when the gene pool enlarges you can select for better quality. Same thing for the polled factor. I remember when the horned herford people literally hated the polled herford. They were inferior cattle(and they were). But time allows for selection pressure allows for increasing quality. Polled herford are good cattle now. It is nice to not have to dehorn. I have a homo polled shorthorn and of course the red angus are homo polled also. It is a convienience trait unless the humane society gets envolved. I hope I'm dead when that happens.
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Offline kanshow

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008, 08:33:14 PM »
The best way to dehorn your herd is to use a polled bull - or so my dad says!      The polled gene is easily isolated so there really isn't much guesswork involved.   I don't think that we've used a horned bull in years ..   we still have a few horned cows and we get a few horned calves.   We dehorn at weaning. 

Offline Rocky Hill

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2008, 01:53:57 PM »
We used to have the vet burn them out but they always grew back so we stopped. Besides that, this winter when we had to chose which cattle to cull, we got rid of everything with horns anyway.

I don't know if this is true or not but I always heard that if cattle have a double set of eye lashes, it means they're double polled. Has anyone else heard of this?

Offline kanshow

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2008, 02:01:50 PM »
We used to try to dehorn them by burning as babies but we started missing a lot.  They weren't popping a horn button by vaccination time so we couldn't tell.    At weaning, the horns are still only nubs with only a few that have much horn growth. 

Either way - burn or scoop - you have to make sure you get all the tissue in the area around the horn... that usually means into the hairline a bit - otherwise you get stub horns growing back.

   
« Last Edit: April 27, 2008, 02:03:27 PM by kanshow »

Offline worthabit

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2008, 03:39:11 PM »
horns? what are horns?      Oh that's right, we raise ANGUS! (lol)

Offline Olson Family Shorthorns

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2008, 03:42:29 PM »
I'm glad you have ANGUS, rather than "Angus"....pesky Holstein & Chi genetics causin trouble for some breeders....
Shorthorn cattle and genetic opportunities available at all times. (515) 520 1972

Offline TJ

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2008, 05:22:17 PM »
horns? what are horns?      Oh that's right, we raise ANGUS! (lol)

I raise angus... notice all small case letters. ;)  100% DNA tested pure.
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Offline ELBEE

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2008, 08:48:40 AM »
De-horn to keep from git'in hooked! Is there anythin ya can de-(whatever) ta keep dem-dar ANGUS from kick'in?

                                                                                 :o
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Offline worthabit

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Re: Horned or Polled
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2008, 10:33:04 AM »
De-horn to keep from git'in hooked! Is there anythin ya can de-(whatever) ta keep dem-dar ANGUS from kick'in?

                                                                                 :o
never have any trouble with them kicking here, must be that chi coming out in them that olson family shorthorns was talking about!

 

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