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Offline Rocky Hill

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Uniform Herds
« on: March 22, 2008, 06:50:54 PM »
I was just wondering how many people try to breed calves to look almost identical to one another? I don't know of many people in real life who do this was curious if anyone on this site has a uniform herd.

I have my three simmental heifers (half sisters - same sire) bred to the same bull. I'm really excited to see how the calves look. I have one due sometime this summer, another in November, and the last in December. 2 are solid black and the other is a black baldy and the bull is a black baldy as well.  ;D I talked to a bunch of people and they said the calves should be nearly identical.

I also ended up buying two more half sisters to my current three but they're still with their mamas. I buy them young because I plan on showing them as well.

So, does anybody else have an entire herd of half sisters? How similar do their calves look?

I'm excited to see my simme babies when they're born.  ;D

Offline shortyisqueen

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2008, 08:40:48 PM »
Rocky Hill, in theory, your calves should be pretty close to the same. There are always variations, but if you get a bull to work on certain cow families, breeding that bull to others of the same cow family should greatly increase the chances of having more 'successes' in your calf crop versus some hits and alot of misses.

Our entire cow herd (90 head) is built on cow families. Most of our cows are at least half sisters, with many being 3/4 and 7/8's related. When we try out a new bull, we usually try to use him on no less than 10 or 15 head so we can get a good cross-section of what cow families he works on. If he works good on certain familes, in the second year of use, he is bred to EVERYTHING in those families. Sometimes you can out-guess yourself breeding 15 different cows to 15 different bulls. This way, we can find out what clicks and what doesn't and tailor large groups to producing the kind of cattle we are aiming for. Our calf crop is pretty uniform in type and kind.

It will be interesting to see how your calves turn out. Of course, the uniformity in your calf crop will also be based on the uniformity of your three heifers - Half sisters can still turn out pretty different. Do they look quite a bit alike now? Did you buy them all from the same herd or are they fairly different in their management? Anything similar on the bottom side of their pedigree?

Offline Rocky Hill

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2008, 09:53:48 PM »
They look kind of similar - especially the two solid colored ones. The bwf has a little bit of a cleaner neck and of course, a white face.  ;) The guy who owns the bull I used uses him on a crossbred herd and his calves are pretty impressive.

I might try to post some pictures of them later.  :)


Offline kanshow

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 10:42:01 AM »
 We want our commercial calf crop to look like peas in a pod.  That's what sells them.   That is why our cows are highly related and we use sets of bulls that are related to each other - ET brothers if at all possible.  That's also why we try for the shortest possible calf crop.  Our commercial heifers are usually AI'd to the same bull.    We don't make as much money on the late calf or the oddball that has to be sorted off.   That's what works for us...   

Our PB cows - we do run different types & cow families because we are after different things.   It's good to keep some diversity in this end of it for us. 

Offline aj

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2008, 07:39:30 AM »
A.I.ing is good and probably nessecary. But I think the closed herds are kinda neat. I always liked looking at the HUBS shorthorn pedigrees. Alot of times every ancestor for generations back were bred by HUBS. They didn't go for the flavor of the week fad or what was hot. A.I. is great but it tends to be a "me too" philosophy and not nessecarily a planned breeding program. For better or worse I haven't brought in a new female for 15 years or so. I move the population in a general direction with the use of a bull. I wish I had a better a.i. program. ;D
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Offline itk

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2008, 10:10:51 AM »
I don't think many of us here in Kansas have good AI programs and to some degree has worked to our advantage as a state. Besides HUBS we have Lauers, Loving, Elbee, Terry and many other herds who are just loaded with great cows and the only prefix that shows up on the animals pedigree is the one it was born with.
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Offline red

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2008, 12:31:21 PM »
my cows are of varying shapes & sizes. I guess I don't expect their calves to look the same but I was them to all look good.

Red
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Offline stick

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2008, 12:51:20 PM »
I know way back when, there were a lot of Shorthorn herds in Canada, (verify this JIT) that were noted for the uniformity of their calves. One that comes to mind was the Aberfeldy herd. This was before people worried pleasing the tastes of all the different judges.

Offline Rocky Hill

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008, 04:34:28 PM »
Thanks, everyone.  :)

I have 3 crossbred cows and they aren't related at all. One is a holstein, one is a jersey x angus, and the other is a simme x charolais (I am keeping a heifer out of the simme x char though so 2 of them will be related). But all 5 of my simmentals are half sisters.  ;D
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 04:48:52 PM by Rocky Hill »

Offline kanshow

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2008, 05:12:13 PM »
Does anyone remember the Shorthorns at KState?  Wasnt' that herd completely closed (no new genetics added ever) for decades?   Thinking that Walt Smith was the one in charge of that?   Or am I imagining this....   

Offline aj

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2008, 06:38:54 PM »
kanshow....you are absolutely right. I know jc and the old timers have talked about it. The herd was linebred and jc told me no recessive genetics ever showed up in all the linebreeding. I assume the herd was dispersed at sometime. :)
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Offline kanshow

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2008, 07:42:56 PM »
I hate to date myself but I believe that herd was still there when I was there because Dr. Smith was still teaching.   I have looked to see if anything was ever published about them but have found nothing.    I want to say that herd was kept for 30+ years, but again, I have no real data - besides hearsay from old KStaters like my dad.    It would be interesting to me to know what lines that herd was based on too. 

Offline GONEWEST

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2008, 02:01:02 PM »
It's much easier to produce a uniform cow herd with purebred cattle. But even then it doesn't turn out the way you think it will. After selecting for type for several generations and having a set of closely related sisters all of the same type, then you can expect some uniformity. I have 7 flush sisters from a clubby bull and a purebred cow and you can't tell that one is related to the other.

Offline red

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2008, 03:10:54 PM »
 (welcome) GoneWest!!!!
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but most succeed because they are determined to."
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Offline Rocky Hill

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Re: Uniform Herds
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2008, 05:00:45 PM »
My simmentals are purebreds. :)

If you bred a bull and a heifer that have the same dam but different sires, would it be considered inbreding or line breeding?

 

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