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Offline sjcattleco

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2010, 10:11:52 PM »
Lets not confuse lower performance for lower profitability!!!!!!!why raise 600 lb calves when buyers want 500!  Top calf prices are 500 to 550  so why raise over that....and  as a purebred breeder why would you try to raise cattle that performed to a certian degree but  were not profitable... performance  does notalways  equal profit.

here is a good example and it right on the money 99% of the time.  A ranch will support 200000lbs of cows! do  you run 200 1000lb cows or 160 1200lb cows!!! The answer is you run the 200 it will always make you more moeny!!!

 I do not raise anything for feed except grass!!!!therefore I pay full retail for any feed that is put livestock around here.  the last year I calved 2 yr olds I spent $5000 on feed and sodl the calves for $5000... performance  yep... profitable...NOPE!!!!  plus I had to do all the chores !!!! also if I take care of my females when they are 2-3  I will calve more 11 + yr old cows!!! I will more than gain the first  calf back!

Someone is an earlier post mentioned calving and management like it was done back in the 70's..... I can almost bet you that the NorthAmerican cow herd is closer to what it looked like in the 70's  so why not manage them the same way!!!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 10:18:02 PM by sjcattleco »
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Offline justintime

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2010, 10:31:12 PM »
Lets not confuse lower performance for lower profitability!!!!!!!why raise 600 lb calves when buyers want 500!  Top calf prices are 500 to 550  so why raise over that....and  as a purebred breeder why would you try to raise cattle that performed to a certian degree but  were not profitable... performance  does notalways  equal profit.

here is a good example and it right on the money 99% of the time.  A ranch will support 200000lbs of cows! do  you run 200 1000lb cows or 160 1200lb cows!!! The answer is you run the 200 it will always make you more moeny!!!

 I do not raise anything for feed except grass!!!!therefore I pay full retail for any feed that is put livestock around here.  the last year I calved 2 yr olds I spent $5000 on feed and sodl the calves for $5000... performance  yep... profitable...NOPE!!!!  plus I had to do all the chores !!!! also if I take care of my females when they are 2-3  I will calve more 11 + yr old cows!!! I will more than gain the first  calf back!

Someone is an earlier post mentioned calving and management like it was done back in the 70's..... I can almost bet you that the NorthAmerican cow herd is closer to what it looked like in the 70's  so why not manage them the same way!!!


If you are confident that calving at 3 years old works for your operation, then that is what you should do. In my operation I cannot do this, even though I am like you in that I grow nothing but grass. Any other supplemental feed is purchased here. I presently have a set of two year old females that have never been fed grain and I think they are the best set I have ever had. There have been many,many economic research studies done in all parts of North America as well as all around the world, and I think that 99% of the ones I have seen come to the conclusion that calving at two years of age is one of the most important economic decisions a producer can make. I tend to agree. I know there are still a few producers who calve at 3 years of age, so if it works for you, then that is what you should do.
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Offline sjcattleco

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2010, 10:46:31 PM »
LOL  well I am not arguing with you at all... and I am not telling everyone to go out and do it but if folks are raising cattle in a similar way as I am all i am saying is maybe you ought to go OLD SCHOOL and try it this way!  maybe you will make some money.


 Now  If I was located in SK Canada and produced the quality  and the quantity of forage you guys do I would probably still be calving at 2 - 2 1/2  but with the heat, humidiity, endophyte fescue and other stresses we have here going to 3 was the best way to go. And once you do it you really only lose the incme off of the heifers 1 yr and in mycase it was break even so who cares!! 
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Offline aj

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2010, 08:28:30 AM »
Thats
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 10:59:29 PM by aj »
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Offline justintime

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2010, 10:30:10 AM »
Thats what the definition of insane is. When purebred breeders start telling commercial people what kind of cattle they need to raise. I always thought that a measure of success was "pounds weaned per cow exposed to bull" minus costs. I know alot of people tally up the pounds weaned say off a quarter of grass. This is what they need to know. If they loose one single calf at birth this really eats away from the averages. "A dead calf has a distressfully low weaning weight". But in my opinion us dumbass registered people keep using big birth weight bulls and slap each other on the back about the ridiculous wda of age figures we can artifically produce in Denver and Louiville ever year.jmo


If you read what I said in my previous post, I said if calving at 3 years old works for you, then that is what you should do. I also said that calving at 3 years old doesn't work for me, nor does it work for many others who either raise cattle near me, or in many other locations. That said, if it works in your operation, by all means go for it.

As far as being a purebred breeder, I guess I am, as I do register and sell purebred stock, but it would be very hard to imagine how I could run my cow herd on a more commercial manner. We have had a very exceptional year in 2010, with more than average rainfall so our pastures have lots of grass and our hay crops are excellent. I have over 4 years supply of hay now, and I still have another 100 acres to bale ( if the rain showers will stop long enough to get it done). Will I sell some hay this year?  Absolutely not, as in our environmental conditions we may not cut much hay next year.. or the following year. Our average rainfall ( including snow) is 12 inches. I believe that aj posted previously, that his area of Kansas gets 18 inches annual precipitation. We can get hot weather here, but I suspect it takes more rainfall in Kansas to do the same thing as we do here. I suspect our environments are not much different when everything is considered.
I normally stock most of my pastures at 20-25 cows per 160 acre field. I have some leased native pasture that I am only allowed to run 27 pairs on 960 acres. There have been some years when we have had to bring them off this pasture early because they have eaten all the grass. They have been other years when I could have run triple this many head on it.

Most of my bulls sell to commercial producers so I cannot afford to produce big BW bulls. I am a big believer in optimum cattle and I try to produce low maintainance cattle.The guys I sell bulls to, demand performance in their herd bulls, so I have to try to balance birth weights without sacrificing too much performance. That is why I am thinking that I have to think more about calving ease than I do about simply birth weights. I band every male calf that has a BW over 110 lbs and I started this practice over a decade ago. Since then, I have sold a few hundred bulls, and I have not had one complaint about calving problems from my bull buyers. Keep in mind that calves born in our climate will weigh about 10-15 lbs more than if they were born in a more moderate climate. I prefer to have all my calves under 100 lbs at birth, but I find IN MY OPERATION, that I lose too much performance if my BWs get too small. That is why I preach about " optimum" cattle. That is cattle that are moderate in all traits, from birth to death.
 My cows have only seen grain supplement once in the last decade and that was in the spring of 2008 when I purchased some distiller's mash from the ethanol plant to flush them prior to breeding,  after they went through the worst winter in 30 years or more. We normally get one cut from our hay crops, but there are times when we do not get a hay crop at all. In the decade of the 1980s, we cut our hay twice, and one of these years we only cut it because there was a few bales there. It did not make economic sense to do this, other than we were able to get a few bales for the barn.

I will agree that it is a good management practice to tally up pounds weaned from a quarter of grass. I think that is a great practice and I think many more people should do this. In our operation, seeing that we are strictly a cattle operation, I use a little different formula, and that is I calculate the dollars produced from each pasture, and more specifically from each female in the herd. This helps make many culling decisions and it helps wave good bye to some nice looking cows that don't produce as good as some less attractive cows. Some days I think it would be nice to be able to raise cows and not have to worry about how much income they are going to produce, but I think this does help keep a person more grounded on what is actually important in this business.

As I have said before, I think there is a place for cattle shows in the beef business. I do not agree with lots of things involved in cattle shows, but I look at them as just another sector of the industry.  I don't think they are the end all- be all. If nothing else, they provide a place where cattle producers from all parts, to get together to compare notes. Personally, I do not place much emphasis on who wins, but I do go through the barns and I find the cattle I think will work in my operation. I could really care less where they stand in class.

I think in the economic times we are in, anyone who can raise cattle without supplemental income from an off farm source, has to be doing many things right . That is why I say, if it works for you, then that is exactly what you should be doing.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 10:37:55 AM by justintime »
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Offline aj

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2010, 12:43:37 PM »
The Shorthorn breed
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 11:02:21 PM by aj »
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Offline Okotoks

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2010, 01:20:01 PM »
Its crazy.Its almost like you live in another country or something up there. Its a mainly a showring breed. Its crazy. If you mention trying to lower birth weights you get ridiculed to pieces. You once said you had never had to work for anyone but yourself. I don't know of anyone who hasn't had to work for someone else. It is a work ethic deal. Every kid needs to work for someone else to learn a work ethic. It is crazy for a purebred guy to tell his customer what kinds of cattle he should raise. Its backward, its crazy,its insane. Someone wanting to sell bulls to commercial guys should "listen to their customers" and give them what they want.
[/quote


Ok it seems this birth weight thread has gone a little sideways here! First off if you are referring to Canada yes we do actually live in another country. That said I might have more in common with a breeder in Montana than he will have with a breeder in Florida! As per work ethic I don't know anyone who works harder than JT and gets more done. Plus his main market is commercial bulls, yes he sells herd bulls and breeding genetics around the globe but commercial bull buyers go back year after year so he is doing something right that bull buyers like.
Birth weight is important and we need to identify bulls that have light birth weights which is why you started this thread. Calving ease is ultimatley more important as it is a combination of pelvic size, calf shape and birth weight. Different regions will determine the cow size needed that works in a given area. In dry grass country smaller cows make a lot more economic sense than in heavy rain area where they can graze year round. Some years up here we don't get 5 months grazing so cost of feed is a huge factor as how much economical feed you can get up. There is no question we as breed to need to concentrate on genetics that gives us calving ease wherever we operate. Commercial men(and purebred breeders) should not be worrying about getting live calves on the ground.
I would be interested to hear what other shorthorn bulls people are finding that give them the birth weights and calving ease they need.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 12:03:25 PM by Okotoks »

Offline justintime

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2010, 01:49:17 PM »
. Someone wanting to sell bulls to commercial guys should "listen to their customers" and give them what they want. They don't care if lucy jane was an all-american or not. They don't care if some bulls full brother brought 20,000$. They don't care if a dam was a donor cow. They want to buy cattle (cheap as they can) that fit the parimeters that their enviroment has allready set in their operation.
[/quote]



That is exactly what I am saying. I have to listen to my commercial bull buyers and they are telling me loud and clear that they want bulls that will produce calves that are born easily and still grow. Where I live my competition is Angus, Charolais and Simmental  bulls with 1300- 1500 sale day weights at 12-14 months of age.  My neighbour's Charolais bull sale averaged $4500 on 65 bulls with 2 selling to purebred breeders. There were lots of bulls over $5000 to commercial buyers and they were some of the highest performing bulls in his sale. Whether this is right or wrong, that is simply the reality I have to work in and compete in. Where I live the commercial producer want performance. From what others have said in this thread, I assume it must be different where they live. I have to try to compete with these other breeds and raise a product that is a good option to the bulls of other breeds. Maybe what I am doing, will not work for you but it appears to be working for me, and until I see indications that my bulls are not working for my customers, I will continue to " fine tune" my breeding program.I sold 38 yearling bulls this spring, and for the 6th year in a row, I have completely sold out... and I refuse to give bulls away like some others do.  I have worked a long time to get commercial acceptance and I am pleased to have been able to get bulls sold to some good commercial producers with over 500 cows. These are outfits that make their entire living from cows and their cows put their kids through college. I have had parts of 2 Canadian National Champion bulls in the past three years, and while it is a good feeling to win, it doesn't even hold a candle to the feeling of having a rancher with 500- 800 cows come into your yard and buy 5 bulls. Ribbons and banners don't mean much and don't pay many bills. That said, I do believe that winning a show can have an impact on your commercial bull buyers. After Saskvalley Pioneer won three major shows in Western Canada, we had more commercial interest in our bulls than anytime in my lifetime.

As far as buying cheap bulls, I am finding that many of the better commercial cattle producers take pride in their herd bulls and I have seen some people pass on some pretty good bulls because they were priced too cheap. I have not sold a bull under $1800 in over 20 years, but I also price them within reason. If they are not worth a premium, they can hang on a rail. The last bull I sold this spring was a horned bull, and I priced him reasonably to a commercial man who runs a good outfit. I wanted to sell a bull to him and hopefully start to sell more bulls to him in the future. When it came time to settle for the bull, this guy said he should give me more money for the bull. I told him I was satisfied with the price I had offered him, and he said that I was selling myself short on the bull. Around here, I am seeing more and more commercial producers chasing purebred breeders away at bull sales. In our own bull sale, I was considering keeping one of the best Major Leroy sons I have produced to use in our herd, but we had a considerable amount of interest in him, so I decided to put him in the sale. I must have talked to a dozen purebred breeders about him. When the hammer fell he sold to a commercial man at $4850 and the runner up bidder was another commercial man. I am finding it is easier to get good dollars from commercial producers than it is from purebred producers. There will always be producers who want a cheap bull but as far as I am concerned they can buy one from someone else or at the local sale barn.

In the past couple years, I have watched numerous bulls sales in our area, and there have been lots of sales with 25-30% of the bulls passing with no bids. Almost every one of these bulls has been in the low end of the performance numbers. As I said, it may be different where you live, but that is the reality here. I would be very foolish if I did not pay some attention to this, especially if I want to stay in business. I do not want huge bulls. As I said previously, I want what I refer to as optimum cattle in all ways of measuring them.
I can still remember my grandfather telling me almost 50 years ago, that he priced his bulls at what 8 weaned calves or 5 finished steers would bring on the market. I have oftentimes thought about that and wondered if that was the formula used today, what a different industry we would have. My grandfather quit farming in 1947, and he sold many bulls in his lifetime, and he refused to sell cheap bulls then. I guess I got this from him.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 02:08:43 PM by justintime »
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Offline trevorgreycattleco

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2010, 03:51:40 PM »
JIT, why did you not keep a semen interest in the Leroy son you were going to keep? How come I rarely see a bull you r using that was bred by you(Timeline, Touchdown is all i can name)? I find it hard to classifie your breedings as anything but fire and ice matings, sorry. Any bull around the midwest that weighed over 95lbs at birth will never bring good money around here. Canadian ranchers tolerate more BW than we do in the states, I think we can all agree on this. It's hard to knock any bull from Saskvalley, when they win a show, I feel it is iceing in the cake. They are certainly not bred for showring only. All I am saying I guess is if a ranch has been around for generations and I don't see pedigrees stacked with their own genetics it makes me question the consistancy of the herd. When a outsider looks in and sees different bulls from all over the place, they have to question it. I agree you must have some performance in your bulls or they will never last, but they also better come easy and grade a good carcass. I think when you breed a smaller bull to a bigger cow or vice versa to "even it out" all you can hope for is a fire and ice mating. IMO this is why JPJ works so good for Jungels but other peole struggle to get the same results as him. His cows are BIG, JPJ is small. Fire and ice again.  I'm not trying to pick on you JIT, I think you can handle these questions and conversation without flying off the handle. If I am way off base, I appologize, but it's breeders like you that are at the forefront of our breed that are going to help little fish like me get my foot in the door. We all need to somehow work together and try to somewhat agree on the direction of our breed by producing cattle that will increase the commercial mans profit. Nobody can ignore the BW problem within our breed, Couple that with the fact that many "hot" sires have large BW EPD's and lack alot of performance considering what they weighed at birth. AJ makes a great point regarding retained heifers with large birthweights. Think about it.
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Offline OLD WORLD SHORTIE

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2010, 05:01:37 PM »
What are we talking about here show heifer bulls or range heifer bulls, because when it come to shorthorns neither can compete with each other in their respective domains. I'm sorry but I don't raise or market my cattle by the pound, so I could really care less if one has a 3% more pounds of weight at weaning on grass when I can feed and make up the difference. I am trying to obtain a specific phenotype, yes I want them to look like show cattle. I want long necks on my females and huge bone mass, tons of hair, oh and huge butts. If ever I start a commercial herd then I will think on getting a performance driven bull, just not now. By the way exactly how many commercial breeders are using shorthorn bulls? What are the numbers I want to know just how many head of shorties being ran as range cattle? What are the numbers, someone give me the numbers, I'm tired of all the performance data I want to see more cattle in the pastures.
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Offline Okotoks

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2010, 05:15:07 PM »
What are we talking about here show heifer bulls or range heifer bulls, because when it come to shorthorns neither can compete with each other in their respective domains. I'm sorry but I don't raise or market my cattle by the pound, so I could really care less if one has a 3% more pounds of weight at weaning on grass when I can feed and make up the difference. I am trying to obtain a specific phenotype, yes I want them to look like show cattle. I want long necks on my females and huge bone mass, tons of hair, oh and huge butts. If ever I start a commercial herd then I will think on getting a performance driven bull, just not now. By the way exactly how many commercial breeders are using shorthorn bulls? What are the numbers I want to know just how many head of shorties being ran as range cattle? What are the numbers, someone give me the numbers, I'm tired of all the performance data I want to see more cattle in the pastures.
Well a person can breed to show cattle or show their breeding cattle! The shorthorn breed probably shows more cattle and has bigger shows for the size of our breed than any other. Trouble is the average commercial breeder is more interested in performance cattle. By performance I mean everything to fertility, good momma's, good udders, rate of gain, calving ease ,feed converstion etc.
If a show heifers characteristics are just imporantant on show day there is going to be a huge disconnect.
The shorthorn breed has a lot to offer commercial breeders but but we have to put some emphasis on what they need in their breeding programs if we are to succeed in putting shorthorns in commercial pastures. The CSA recently tried to determine how many shorthorns were in commercial pastures and it was about 2%. Good news is we have lots of room to grow our market share!

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2010, 06:38:32 PM »
Not sure why people think they need to change the breed. Why not just change what your herd needs to make it profitable. I tried to raise purebreds here but could not sell a bull so I now use my cows and cross them to sell steers. That seems to be working. Telling people what they are doing is not good for the breed is silly. Do what you need to pay the bills, and quite blaming others for the problems in your operation.
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Offline aj

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2010, 08:30:34 PM »
I stand corrected as always.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 11:03:17 PM by aj »
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Offline justintime

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2010, 09:04:17 PM »
JIT, why did you not keep a semen interest in the Leroy son you were going to keep? How come I rarely see a bull you r using that was bred by you(Timeline, Touchdown is all i can name)? I find it hard to classifie your breedings as anything but fire and ice matings, sorry. Any bull around the midwest that weighed over 95lbs at birth will never bring good money around here. Canadian ranchers tolerate more BW than we do in the states, I think we can all agree on this. It's hard to knock any bull from Saskvalley, when they win a show, I feel it is iceing in the cake. They are certainly not bred for showring only. All I am saying I guess is if a ranch has been around for generations and I don't see pedigrees stacked with their own genetics it makes me question the consistancy of the herd. When a outsider looks in and sees different bulls from all over the place, they have to question it. I agree you must have some performance in your bulls or they will never last, but they also better come easy and grade a good carcass. I think when you breed a smaller bull to a bigger cow or vice versa to "even it out" all you can hope for is a fire and ice mating. IMO this is why JPJ works so good for Jungels but other peole struggle to get the same results as him. His cows are BIG, JPJ is small. Fire and ice again.  I'm not trying to pick on you JIT, I think you can handle these questions and conversation without flying off the handle. If I am way off base, I appologize, but it's breeders like you that are at the forefront of our breed that are going to help little fish like me get my foot in the door. We all need to somehow work together and try to somewhat agree on the direction of our breed by producing cattle that will increase the commercial mans profit. Nobody can ignore the BW problem within our breed, Couple that with the fact that many "hot" sires have large BW EPD's and lack alot of performance considering what they weighed at birth. AJ makes a great point regarding retained heifers with large birthweights. Think about it.


Some breeders keep semen interests in several bulls they raise and sell.I only do this on very rare occasions. In the case of this Major Leroy son,  I had his mother, and his two full sisters and his dam was rebred to Leroy again. I also had 16 full sib embryos in my embryo inventory, some of which will calve here next spring.I did not think I needed to retain a semen interest when I had several opportunities to keep these genetics in my herd. I do not AI many females anymore except I do use AI in my ET program. This year, for the first time in several years I synch't a set of heifers and also a set of 30 cows when Star P Matrix got injured.

 I have probably used as many home bred bulls as most any breeder, and I have never been afraid to use the bulls I have raised that I liked, especially if their dam has been one of our best producing females.  HC Merger 93M was used here for 5 years as was HC Mist's Return 13R.HC FL Touchdown 123T ET bred over 60 females here this year, and from the look of his first calves, he will be used here well into the future. Timeline will see natural service here next spring.  HC Neutron 152N was used here for two years before he was sold to Huberdale. HC Northern Gold 40N ET was used here the past 3 years until he was injured. HC Right Time 11R and HC Rockport 15R ET were both used here before they were sold to other herds. HC Street Legal 90N was used here for 4 years and then was sold to one of the  best commercial operations in this area. We also used HC Real McCoy 150 R ET before he sold at Agribition to Paragon Ranch. HC Motivator was used here one season then sold to two purebred breeders in SK. We have some excellent calves on the ground this year from HC Leader's Legacy 9U ET ( the Leader 21 son that sold to Galbreath Farms in ND).Also HC National Guard 77N ET was used here two years and he proved to be another excellent calving ease bull despite having two crosses iof Rodeo Drive in his background. National Guard then was sold to a commercial herd at the top price in our 2006 sale as a three year old. They reported that they never touched a calf from him in 4 calf crops. ( How can this be, with Rodeo Drive and Charmer in his genetic makeup???) I make this point to once again say that there is no way we can put all cattle from a specific bloodline in the same basket. It just doesn't work this way.  There are numerous other bulls we have bred here that have been used in our commercial herd over the past several years. I will also add that the dams of Mists Return and Touchdown are still in our herd at 17 and 16 years respectively. Both have calves on them this year and both are safe in calf again. Neuton's dam is also still here at 15 years. Real McCoy's dam died  at 12 years, at the ET center a year ago when a cyst on her rumen broke ( probably from an old hardware injury). Northern Gold's dam is our Elsie's jade donor who is almost 11 years and bred to calve early next spring. Timeline and Leader's Legacy were from our Presto donor, and she was just shipped at 14 years. She still looked like a 4 year old  but had a uterine infection that we could not correct after being flushed over 20 times. Motivator's dam was struck by lightning when she was 15 years old and Rockport's dam is still one of our best females in the herd. What I am trying to point out is that I am not afraid to use  bulls I have raised especially if their dams have proven to work in our conditions and our management.

We don't have females in our herd from some of these sires now for one simple reason.... we sold them as breeding stock. In the past 4 years we have sold over 100 females privately from the farm for breeding purposes, not counting the ones we have sold in production sales. One producer asked me if I would sell any females, and I told him I would price every female in the herd. I made up a complete list and sent it to him. A few days later he came back and had another look and took 68 females without questioning one price on the list. He took every National Guard female, several Merger and Mist's Returns.

In regards to BWs I think we have the best BWs we have had in several years this year. There was only 1 bull calf over 110 lbs and he was one of the last born and he is a steer now. We never assisted a single bull calf at  birth. I assisted 4 calvings and all were heifer calves. Two were  backwards, one was a convenience pull and one was a real calving issue. I don't think this is too bad a record. I am surprised by how many friends who raise Angus cattle are telling me that they are having lots of 110 + lb calves, and I think they are the next breed to have to deal with some BW issues. I have heard of some 125 lb calves from some well known Angus AI sires this year. I find that kinda interesting, and you don't hear many Angus breeders talking openly about this. I am not arguing with anyone about the fact that the Shorthorn breed has to moderate some BWs. I am just saying that I think we should not just select for low BWs but select for calving ease and all the things that contribute to this. There are several excellent calving ease bulls in the breed. We just have to identify them. Take another look at Okotoks Diamond Prophecy bull. To me, he is a prime example of the type of bulls we should be trying to mass produce. He is siring calves with very moderate BWs, he is easy fleshing, and he has  pretty good performance. I will also bet the farm, that his daughters will have very good pelvic measurements and they will be fertile and trouble free. I would also say that his daughters will have early puberty, which is a very important economic trait.

Several years ago, Jim Leachman ( Leachman Cattle Co) used to spend some time in our area. I happened to run into him in a restaurant in my hometown one day, and we had lunch together. We had a long conversation about the beef business, and I asked him that if he could only select for one trait what would it be? Without much hesitation, he replied that it would be early puberty in his heifers. He said that selecting females that had early puberty would produce more money in a herd, than selecting for any other trait. I guess his answer surprised me, but I have thought of that conversation many times since.

And frostback... you are 100% correct. If we all made the changes we need to, to make our herds profitable, there would be no need for this debate. I have absolutely no problem with what someone else raises as that is their choice and they can live and die by their decisions. And I will do the same in my operation. Bad mouthing other breeders, other bloodlines than the ones you use, and trashing everything from a bloodline, does no good for anyone.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 11:50:30 PM by justintime »
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Offline justintime

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Re: Shorty hf bulls
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2010, 10:14:21 AM »
aj.. here are my thoughts on the questions you asked...

1) favorite TV show --- Flintstones, followed closely by old reruns of Carol Burnett and Red Skeleton. I am also a fan of some of the Law and Order and CSI shows. ( NOT CSI Miami - that red headed moron drives me crazy!)

2) Who mostly influenced me in my formative years.... tougher question. There were lots of people who I think I learned from. Louis Latimer from Remitall instilled many lessons about the beef industry.Arthur Huber from Huberdale, was a quiet man who taught me many things about cattle. The main thing he taught me was that if you do not have pride in what you produce, you will never experience much success.I remember him explaining why cow families were important, and why it was important to use the best sires you could find and afford. He also believed that if you look after your cows, they will look after you. This theory certainly worked for him.   My dad taught me a good work ethic, and to try to " do it right the first time". He also told me there was no such thing as failure until I stopped trying. He is still influencing me at 85 years old. Some days he can still accomplish more than I can. He also taught me that things in the barn yard can seem to be disasterous at times, but as long as things in the house remain good, you will get through it. He also taught me that if you can't do it honestly, don't do it at all. There are many others.

3) Yes, there are standard pelvic measurements that should be used. I have seen research papers on pelvic measurements that show breed averages for pelvic measurements. It is interesting that Shorthorns average 2 square inches more pelvic area than other breeds at 12 months of age. I suspect this may be the reason for some of the BW issues in the breed. Shorthorns have always had the ability to calve bigger calves, so there was never as much selection pressure put on lower BWs over many decades. This situation developed over a long period of time, and  it will take some time to correct it... but it will come in time. Average is not a bad term, and in traits like pelvic size and birth weights, average is a good thing.  There has been much research over the years at Miles City research as well as many others, that also show that Shorthorns also have early puberty compared to other breeds. Pelvic measurement is an easy process and I think more people should start keep some records themselves. The research I have seen indicates that selection of low BW sires  will also lead to selection of smaller pelvic areas in their daughters. Maybe if breeders started to keep their own records they may start to understand that low BW is not the total answer. Moderation is important and optimum is probably best in many traits including birth weights.

4) off shore drilling.   I am not opposed to off shore drilling, however, I do not think it should be a #1 priority until all land sources of energy have been developed. For example, there is a new oil field development that covers a large part of NW North Dakota, NE Montana, Southern Saskatchewan and SW Manitoba, that is called the Bakken zone project. They have known that it existed for years, but it is just in the last few years that they have developed the technology to develop it. It is reported that there is more oil in this zone than Saudi Arabia has, so it is a huge deal. There are actually 3 levels of oil in this area. The first has been developed for years. The Bakken, is the second level and it is now just being developed. I have heard reports that the 3rd level may be as good or even better than the Bakken, but it is really deep and complicated to develop. It will happen in time.  The oil produced in the Bakken zone is unique stuff. It looks like olive oil, and it needs very little refining, compared to normal oil deposits. The oil workers wash they tools in the raw bakken oil and they shine like they are new. I suspect some of the old JD tractors would run on this stuff raw.The production from some of these Bakken wells is amazing. A head engineer on one of the drilling rigs told me that some of  the wells have paid for all the drilling and development costs by the time they can pull all the drilling pipe out of the hole. Some of these wells are flowing, at least for some time at the beginning of their production.  I think there is much more that the US and Canada can do to develop their own energy requirements,, before much off shore drilling is required. I also think both Canada and the US have to concentrate on developing more oil reserves on their mainland areas. Canada has an abundance of oil and the oil sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan are one of the world's biggest oil reserves. It is expensive oil, but it has just started to be developed and I think expensive oil is still a better choice than lining the pockets of some Arab sheiks.

5) Will China be a potential Shorthorn embryo customer in the next 9 years?   I am not sure if it will happen in the next 9 years, but I am fairly certain it will happen. China is now the second largest economy in the world, recently passing Japan in the second position. Every economy I know of, that has increased wealth has also increased their beef consumption. I do not know about the US, but there are several Chinese agricutural delegations each year to Canada. The Chinese have purchased a number of Shorthorn cattle from the US and Canada in the past decade, and I understand that they have been very pleased with their performance there. A few years ago, a Chinese delegation was touring Shorthorn herds in Alberta, and they stopped at Alta Cedar. One of the delegation asked Bill Boake for a price on one of his herd bulls. Bill did not want to sell the bull, and said the bull was not for sale. The Chinese ag official would not accept his answer so Bill put a high price on the bull, thinking this would stop this Chinese guy in his tracks. Without hesitation, he told Bill to get him ready for export, and the bull and several females were shipped to China. I also know that there was a shipment of 70-80 Shorthorn heifers from the US to China a few years ago. Ralph Kaehler from Minnesota , was involved in this sale, and he has gone to China a couple of times to see how the cattle are doing.
Two years ago now, I received a phone call asking me, if I would be willing to meet with a man from the Mongolian Ministry of Agriculture in Regina, SK. I did not know what this was about but I decided to go and meet the guy. He told me that Mongolia would be developing a very large beef industry within the next decade ( which I suspect means within the next 25 years, the speed things happen in Communist countries) The climate in Mongolia is very similar to the Northern Plains region of the US and Southern Canada, and the land base is huge. There is almost twice as much  grassland in Mongolia as there is in the US and Canada combined. A friend of mine has toured Mongolia a few times, and he comes back every time, more amazed at the potential they have for agriculture. It is a true undeveloped frontier. It is just a matter of time until this happens. The man I met with, asked many questions about embryos and he said that he liked Shorthorns and would like them to be a part of their beef plan. He also said that they would concentrate mainly on Angus and Hereford genetics to start with, but he wanted to develop a Shorthorn breeding unit to provide genetics to use to develop F1 females. He sounded very sincere, and I have had a few emails from him since our meeting. I have a site meter on my website and there is several hits from Mongolia and China every month.  
This embryo market in the world could get huge, as embryos and semen are quickly becoming the preferred source of genetics in the world, because of the shipping costs involved. Russia has taken several thousand Angus embryos from Canada in the past two years. At the ET center where we do most of our flushing, they had 700 Angus donors in their facility for most of the year collecting embryos for this order. I know of two Angus breeders who put their entire herds in the ET center, flushed them 2 or 3 times and then shipped the cows to market. They were wanting to retire, and were contemplating holding dispersals, but this option was easier, and provided as much or more money that they would have received from holding sales.
It may not be in my lifetime, but I am fairly certain that it will happen.

6) What price level do I think cloning would be feasible in my operation?   Cloning is not an option in my operation at any cost. I am not convinced that it is right and I am a firm believer that if you cannot generate a genetic replacement from any female or sire, that is not as good or superior to them, then there is something wrong with them or something is wrong with your breeding program. I know the science behind cloning but I am not convinced that it is an answer. No animal is irreplacable.... even Heatwave!

7)Could you talk me into judging the next National Shorthorn show?  quick answer -  No. I have judged lots of shows over the years, and I enjoy it, but I will not judge major national events like the National show. I know what I like, and I have no problems placing cattle as I see them, but I know I am not good enough on the microphone to do justice to a show of this kind. Being asked to judge a show is a definite honor, but thanks but no thanks.

8)Will the Colorado Rockies make a miracle run at the playoffs?  Your guess is as good as mine. I highly doubt it, but it is a possibly. Stranger things have happened.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 12:51:37 PM by justintime »
Experience is what you get when you don't have it when you need it.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and bad breath!
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity
If love is blind... why is lingerie so popular?
The only thing worse than an idiot ... is an educated idiot!

 

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