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The Big Show / HC Free Spirit 6Y
« on: May 09, 2015, 10:19:10 PM »
I am pleased to announce that the Australian rights in HC Free Spirit 6Y have been purchased by Sprys Shorthorns, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia. We are extremely pleased to have Spirit work in one of the best Shorthorn operations in the world. We have semen available in Canada and the US but the European and Australian rights have now been sold.

Also, semen from HC Bluebook 22B x will be available in Canada after May 18th and US qualified semen will be available in early June. Bluebook topped our sale at $32,000 in March. His stats are: 85 lb BW unassisted, 692 lb ww ( actual) and 1312 lbs at 12 months ( actual). He is thick, long bodied, moderate framed and an outcross to most bloodlines. He also has one of the best temperaments we have ever produced. His dam is an extremely easy fleshing female.  His full sister has developed into one of the very best females ever born here in over 100 years of raising Shorthorns. Limited semen will be available in 2015 at $50/ straw. With cattle prices still breaking records every week, we think this is a very reasonable price.

The Big Show / Genetic Defects in Shorthorns
« on: May 09, 2015, 01:35:41 PM »
In recent times, I have seen many cattle producers getting pretty hot and bothered over an animal that was a DS carrier. One case in particular, that comes to my mind, was a good heifer that sold recently. I never saw this heifer myself, but I have been told several times that she would have sold for 2-3 times more, if she had not been a DS carrier. My question is why so many people are freaking out over this DS defect? I suspect if this heifer had been a TH carrier or possibly even a PHA carrier, that she would have not been discounted much in the sale. So does this mean DS is a worse defect than TH or PHA?
A few years ago, I was sitting at one of the major production sales in the US and I heard a couple people talking near me about TH. One man asked the other person, what the " TH carrier" status meant on a heifer he had selected. The other man answered him and said that he just meant that the heifer would show better being a carrier. He told him not to worry about buying a TH carrier heifer. The heifer sold for $40,000.
To me, there is no such thing as a good defect among these defects I have mentioned. If I had to chose a defect that I could live with, I think it would be the DS defect. I got a real shock a few weeks ago, when I got the test results back on some of my donor cows. One of my non appendix donors came back as being a DS carrier. I never expected this result, and she had produced in our herd for many years. I have 5 daughters and several grand daughters in our herd. So far, I have tested 3 of her daughters and all three have come back DS free, and I am awaiting the results on the other two. I have never seen any issues from this female line and it makes me wonder how many other DS carriers have gone through my herd?  My DS carrier cow, who was a donor cow for me for many years, is now a recip. Her DS free daughters will replace her in our breeding herd.
So I am wondering why so many people are treating this DS defect with more fear and loathing than I think was the case with TH and PHA? As I said, I would prefer all breeds to eliminate defects when they appear. I think we are playing with fire, and some day someone is going to get burnt. So why is it, that we have now seen genetic defects for several years and now the most recent one, DS, is being treated as if it caused leprosy.

The Big Show / HC Bluebook 22B
« on: April 16, 2015, 09:03:56 AM »
Bluebook was the top selling bull in our Sun Country sale this year at $32,000. He had an actual BW of 85 lbs unassisted. He had an actual 365 day wt of 1312 lbs and has not been pushed. He probably has the best disposition I have ever had, as he led from the moment a halter was put on him. A flushmate sister sold at Agribition for $7500. I can't decide which one is the best.
They are sired by Waukaru Orion 2047 x and their dam is HC FL Sparkle Delight 2X. 2X is presently being flushed back to Orion and we hope to implant many of them in May.
Bluebook is presently in stud and we hope to have semen available in Canada, USA and Australia within the next few weeks. He is pictured here a few days after his first birthday.

The Big Show / Neon Leon
« on: April 15, 2015, 08:15:31 AM »
Here is a picture of a calf born here a couple days ago. He is 100% Shorthorn with a non appendix pedigree. His sire is Birdtail G Gus 1W and his dam is a double bred grand daughter of Deerpark Dividend. The dam is in the background of the picture.
Neon Leon has dark red googles, ears and legs from the hock down, as well as a few small red spots. The other side of his body only has a couple small red spots about the size of a silver dollar behind his shoulder. To my knowledge, there is nothing even close to this coloring in his background. His dam, grand dam and great grand dam are red neck roans similar to his dam in the picture. The Gus bull is also a roan, who is a bit on the wild side for color, but I never expected to have a calf like this. Neon Leon was 88 lbs and unassisted at birth. This picture was taken at 1 day of age and it does not show his thickness very well. He is getting thicker by the day and I think he is going to be an excellent calf.

The Big Show / Moderate BW bulls???
« on: March 02, 2015, 12:52:44 PM »
About 10 days ago I received a phone call from a potential bull buyer, and he asked me why I did not have any bulls in our sale that were over 100 lbs at birth. I was not 100% sure why he was asking this question, so I answered him by saying that we believed in keeping our BWs moderate and we believed in selling bulls with unassisted births. He went on to tell me that he was looking for bulls with more BW than this, but he preferred to keep his BWs under 125 lbs because he runs a lot of cows and he does not like assisting cows any more than the next guy. I asked him how many cows he was running, and he replied that he would calve out 300 cows. When I heard this I asked him if he had many assisted births using bulls with BWs that large. He told me that he assisted 21 cows calve in 2014. He also said that assisting 7% of his calves to be born was about the best money he had made that year as his steer calves averaged close to 800 lbs at the sale barn at weaning. His heifers averaged about 40 lbs less.  After we had visited for a while on the phone and I told him that I could not give him the name of anyone who had Shorthorn bulls with 120- 125 lb BWs, he said he might just come to our sale anyways to see the bulls in person. I thought that this guy was a very rare cattle producer. I had one other bull buyer who always wanted the biggest BW I had, however, he passed away about 2 years ago. I thought he had probably taken his BW preference to the grave with him.

Well, last night it happened again. The phone rang and the guy introduced himself and he told me he was interested in buying a bull. He then asked me if I could recommend some bulls to him and he said he wanted the ones with the biggest BWs. By the way, this guy lived about 600 miles from the other producer. He also asked me why our BWs were so moderate? I laughed because not many people refer to our Timeline bulls as being "moderate" despite every one of his calves born here being born unassisted.  This guy also wanted a bull with a 125 lb BW and he said if the bull was exceptional for growth, he would consider a bull with a BW of 130-135 lbs. I asked him what on earth kind of cows he had and he said he had 30 fullblood Maine cows and 150 Maine/Angus cross cows. He said he did not assist very many calves at birth but he thought the odd assist was well worth it for the additional weight the calves had at weaning. He also told me that he had averaged almost $1900 for his calves at weaning, and had only kept 11 later born calves that he was selling next week. After we talked about some of our highest BW bulls in the sale, he asked me if I would save a big BW bull out of this year's calf crop an he would buy it as well.
I was surprised to have one phone call like this, let alone two of them. I guess it goes to prove that there are people out there who don't follow the crowd and that there is a market ( no matter how small) for most anything.  Personally, I don't agree with these guys, as I think we need to produce calves that are born easily and are moderate in all ways. I think if we can do this we eliminate problems before they happen and still have good performance as well.

BTW, our Sun Country Shorthorn Sale is March 10th and will be broadcast live at www.cattleinmotion.com. We also have additional information on our own website and we hope to have the ultrasound data online by tomorrow or Wednesday.

The Big Show / Early 2015 Bull Sales
« on: February 15, 2015, 08:27:42 AM »
What have the early bull sales been like where you live?  There have been some outstanding sales here in Canada and in the northern US. The early Angus sales, mostly in late December, saw averages of $7500 - $8200 on farm sales of over 100 bulls. So far, it appears many are experiencing average prices go up $2800- $3000 over last year. Really quite amazing!

Most have you have probably happened at SAV in North Dakota yesterday. I would think it was a world record event again. The sale grossed $11.6 million and saw 487 bulls average $18,440.  197 females averaged $13,370. Top bull sold for $725,000. Another at about $230,000. I heard lots of bulls selling to commercial producers at $15,000+. 
Also yesterday, Soderglen in Alberta averaged $9970 on 234 bulls. I heard that most of these bulls went to commercial producers. The sale season is just starting and it looks like it is going to be one for the record books.

Of course, these are sales that do well even in poor times, but they do set the bar, so to speak. What are you hearing where you live?

The Big Show / what do you think?
« on: January 18, 2015, 08:27:31 AM »
We just started picturing our sale bulls and hopefully can get most of them done today. Here is one of them. He is HC Bluebook 22B ET x. He is an ET son of Waukaru Orion 2047ET  and HC FL Sparkle Delight 2X ET. He is 10 months old here. He was born March 19th, 2014 with an actual BW of 85 lbs. He sells in the Sun Country Sale, March 10th at Johnstone Auction Mart, Moose Jaw, SK.
We only had 3 Orion calves in 2014, and after seeing them, we have purchased 2 more shares in him! I think all three are home runs! What do you think?

20B is a flush mate sister to Bluebook and she sold for $7500 at Agribition in November. 34B was Junior Heifer Calf Champion at Agribition.

Bluebook weighed 1105 lbs today ( Jan 25th/15) His actual BW was 85 lbs. Actual weaning wt 645 on Sept 24th/14. He has averaged 3.74 lbs/ day on a pelleted ration that is designed for 3.0 lbs/ day gain. Based on his gain since weaning he may have a 1303 lb actual weight at 1 year.

 Our online embryo and flush sale will be held on Jan 29th and 30th at www.edjeauctions.com. On offer will be genetics from sires and dams from around the world. All but one set of embryos are exportable to most countries. In the past two years, our embryos have sold to 9 countries and we are pleased that several new herds have become established from our genetics.
The sale will close at 8PM CST on Jan 30th.

For this sale, we are offering free delivery to one location in the US ( usually an AI center like Hawkeye Breeders, Adel, IA) and they then will send them out to wherever the buyer wishes to have them stored, or they can be stored at Hawkeye until they are needed.

We also offer a minimum pregnancy guarantee of 50% at 70 days following implantation providing an experienced embryo technician is used. This is one of the best pregnancy guarantees in the business.
The sale offering is now online on the sale site. We hope you will check out the sale offering and also check out our website for more information. www.horseshoecreekfarms.com.

The Big Show / Grass fed?
« on: October 29, 2014, 03:54:45 PM »
I'm wondering how many consumers even question this package of fish?  Maybe they should also say that it is Gluten free and 100% organic!

The Big Show / Is now a good time to buy embryos?
« on: July 09, 2014, 09:08:05 AM »
I have noticed recently that many  breeders who have embryos for sale, are still pricing them at the same prices they asked for the past few years. With all classes of live cattle selling for more money now than they have been in history, shouldn't embryos be higher priced as well? I am just wondering that if someone was wanting to get some embryos from some excellent donor X sire matings, that maybe now is the time to be trying to find them. It seems to me that some that I have seen offered are a real steal!

Embryos are not a good option for everyone, but they do offer the opportunity to purchase genetics from some of the best animals at much lower dollars than live offspring from them would cost. If you are in the business for the long haul, they are an option worth considering.

The Big Show / July/14 pasture pics
« on: July 04, 2014, 01:50:50 PM »
I thought I would post a few pics taken in the last couple days in our pastures. We have been blessed with excellent rains and the pastures are great but it does present some challenges to take some pictures. You have to be careful driving in the pastures as you oftentimes cannot see the calves.

1) April heifer by HC Free Spirit 6Y ET. Dam is by Wolf Willow Major Leroy 1M
2) HC Bazinga 13B. A March11/14 bull calf by HC Timeline 17T ET.  BW 92 lbs.
3) Six S Leah 55L and May heifer calf by Free Spirit. ( BW 82 lbs). Leah is now 13 years old and she is the most prolific cow we ever owned. She has produced 328 embryos so far( averaged over 27/ flush) and we have sold them to 9 countries. We are almost sold out of her embryos now.
4) New Beginnings Elsie's Jade - now almost 16 years old. She is headed for the ET center 1 more time.

I don't think any of us have ever seen prices like we are presently seeing. Last week an Internet sale here saw  one set of 450 steers averaging 990 lbs sell for $1.98/ lb for delivery direct to an Alberta feedlot. This amounts to an average price of $1960/ head and totaled $882,000 for this set of steers. In this same sale several sets of steers averaging 850 lbs brought $2.12/ lb or $1800/ steer.
In the last 2 days I have had two people tell me of commercial cow/calf pairs selling for $4000. I need to find out where this is happening if it is true. I am also hearing that the fall bred cow sales are almost full now which means there will be many more dispersals in this country again. Two weeks ago, I sold my last two bulls, that I was intending to hold over to sell as two year olds to a guy who dispersed his herd 3 years ago. This guy is actually starting to buy cows again!  IMO, he got this a bit backwards. The two bulls he purchased were late April bulls but both passed the semen test with excellent scores so he wanted them. He offered me $3800 each and I decided I better take the money now rather than take my chances next spring. My calf crop this year is about 80% bulls so I have lots of bulls to pick from for our spring sale.
Our local 4-H regional sale was held yesterday and 152 steers grossed just under $800,000. There was only a small number of steers that sold under $3.00/ lb and they were right at the start of the sale after the Champions sold. Some 4-H clubs averaged over $5/ lb.
So my question is:  what are you planning for your herd? Are you planning to expand, decrease cow numbers or sell out?

The Big Show / Sprys On Target H189
« on: June 19, 2014, 08:09:19 AM »

Here is a video of Sprys On Target H189 that I am bringing semen from Australia by late summer. He is very complete and structurally sound with excellent numbers. In this case, I think the numbers actually fit the bull very well.

The Big Show / High dollar generating cows
« on: May 18, 2014, 08:46:57 PM »
 A visitor was telling me about another breeder who had a cow that had produced about $180,000 in progeny and that she was old and not producing anymore. He said that this breeder was going to send her to market, as she was no longer producing for him. The guy telling me this story thought it was simply awful that anyone would ship a cow that had been so important and he said she should be able to live out her life and be buried on the farm. I can see both sides of this discussion and I was wondering what everyone else thought about this. Personally, I have done both. I have shipped a couple cows that have been big money makers for me, and I also have a couple cows here right now that I will just let enjoy their last few years and I may just bury them her when the time comes.
What does everyone else think about this?

The Big Show / Food for thought... or just one man's opinion.
« on: April 21, 2014, 10:57:03 PM »
I delivered a bull to a commercial producer a few days ago. He runs a top notch program here in Canada, and he is considered to be a leading cattleman. While visiting with him that day, he said some things that I have thought about a lot since.
One of the things he said, that in a marketplace like we are seeing now, commercial producers cannot just give the same management to their herds as they have in other years. He said that never before has the producer been paid as much for added pounds, and that a few extra pounds can mean a considerable increase in the total dollars received. He said that he normally pulled the creep feeders into the pastures about 1 month before weaning so that the calves would be used to eating some grain ration when weaning occurred. This year he already had the creep feeders in the pens.

Probably the thing that he said that gave me the most to think about was that he said that cattlemen should be looking at sires with more birth weight in years like this when prices are high. In his opinion, if you were willing to consider a bull with a 100 lb BW in past years, you should take a serious look at some bulls with BWs of 110 lbs now.. providing they were still born unassisted. His point was that performance follows BW to some extent, and if you can get growthier calves right from birth, even if you have to provide a little extra management to get them, that it could be the biggest money making decision made. I had to agree with him, in that since we have been performance testing our bulls, I have never had a bull with a BW in the lowest 50% of the calf crop, ever have performance in the top half of the calf crop after weaning. There has not been one,.... in a few hundred calves over the past 8 years of records. As I said, this guy is a true cattleman and he makes every dollar his family lives on from his cows. So, do you agree with any of this guys thoughts or is this just radical thinking?

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