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31
The Big Show / Re: Looking for old Shorthorn bull pics
« on: April 12, 2019, 08:12:45 AM »
He was very thick, and deep with exceptional softness, as well as smooth as an apple.  He looked like he was very easy fleshing.
There were some cattle in the 60s that were larger framed, especially here in Canada. They were the exception rather than the rule though. I remember Scotsmorr Fascinator being a massive bull, and he was a bull that bred very well. He was a 2500 lb bull that weighed that year round. Four Point Major was also a massive bull who weighed over 2600 lbs. Nupar Cherrio was another of the massive bulls I remember from the 60s and early 70s. We found him in a commercial herd near Yorkton, Saskatchewan when he was 8 years old. He was probably one of the biggest bulls I have seen.  There were several others that I remember, and almost all of them were bred by breeders who lived off the beaten track and didn't use much Scottish breeding from that era.


What would you say Red Max Prince was frame score wise Grant? Was I undershooting at my guess of 4.5?

Russ

I'm not totally sure what frame he would have been. I am thinking he would have been a 5 to 5.5. He certainly wasn't small but he had a massive amount of body on his frame. Most people think that all the cattle back in the 60s were small framed. Most were, but there was some big framed cattle as well. Most of the bigger framed cattle were bred in herds that did not follow the fads of the day. Doug Morris who owned Scotsmorr at Saskatoon, told me that his dad went and found the biggest bull he could find to breed his cows, and this was the sire of Scotsmorr Fascinator and was a bull named Rock Rally. Doug showed me a dug out place near his barn where his dad would back the cow into so the bull could breed her. He thought this was ridiculous so he wanted to find a big bull. I remember the first time Gene McDonald from Shorthorn Country saw Scotsmorr Fascinator he stood behind the bull and the peak of his cowboy hat rested on Fascinators tail head. ( Gene wasn't super tall but he wasn't super short either!)  He said he was the biggest bull he had ever seen. Not only was he a big bull, he was also a very good bull. I have often wished there had been semen collected on Fascinator or even a son of his.

32
The Big Show / Re: Looking for old Shorthorn bull pics
« on: April 10, 2019, 10:51:39 PM »
I prefer the look of Red Max Prince, but he was born in 1964 so chances are he was fairly small? Picture just not taken in 2 feet of straw, but I can sure appreciate the type he displays in the picture. Goliath looks fairly useful too - again picture taking/clip jobs probably make him look more extreme than he is. Gregs structure and type are just not good - but again just a picture so who knows.

Red Max Prince was a bigger bull than most in that era. He was raised by George Zelonka, Redvers, SK and we went down to try to buy him when he was about 6 years old. George did not have a scale on his farm, so he loaded him in his grain truck and took him to the grain elevator to weigh him. He told us he weighed just over 2400 lbs and my dad and I both thought that was fairly accurate. He had a massive body and was taller than most bulls in that era. George had him priced at $5000 and we did not buy him. That was a bunch of money back then, especially for a 6 year old bull. I remember my dad saying that he would have paid that for him, if he has seen some better calves from him. That day, we didn't see any calves that we thought would be as good as Red Max Prince was himself. He was very thick, and deep with exceptional softness, as well as smooth as an apple.  He looked like he was very easy fleshing.
There were some cattle in the 60s that were larger framed, especially here in Canada. They were the exception rather than the rule though. I remember Scotsmorr Fascinator being a massive bull, and he was a bull that bred very well. He was a 2500 lb bull that weighed that year round. Four Point Major was also a massive bull who weighed over 2600 lbs. Nupar Cherrio was another of the massive bulls I remember from the 60s and early 70s. We found him in a commercial herd near Yorkton, Saskatchewan when he was 8 years old. He was probably one of the biggest bulls I have seen.  There were several others that I remember, and almost all of them were bred by breeders who lived off the beaten track and didn't use much Scottish breeding from that era.

33
The Big Show / Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« on: February 18, 2019, 09:45:21 AM »
I agree with much of what has been said here, but I do not think it is entirely the job of a breed association to do this. It would be a big help if the breed association did provide the information to assist the actual producers to do the foot work. Printed material is only a part of the solution to this. Getting some local abbatoirs and even better, a local restaurant or restaurant chain to use your Shorthorn beef is where it has to start. This is not an easy job, but if you are serious about developing this market, you have to be willing to spend a lot of time getting it started. You have to have a constant supply of high quality beef that is from an inspected approved plant, or you will never be able to develop such a market.
My experience in this area, is limited, however, I was successful to a small level to get into some niche markets like this, when we were operating our feedlot. I started by talking with local abbatoirs who sold meats from their stores. I got two of them to try some Shorthorns and within a few months, both of these firms wanted me to supply all of their beef. One of these, wanted 5-7 Shorthorn animals to slaughter each week. The other wanted 3 per week. It became a real chore to find enough Shorthorns to keep them supplied, as I was not producing enough myself. By the time, we decided to quite feeding cattle, we were supplying 5 abbatoirs with all the beef they needed, but I could not find enough Shorthorns to supply them all. The two original markets actually advertised their beef as being from Shorthorns and advertised it as being the best marbled and tender beef available. We ended our feeding operation for several reasons. The main ones were that we had a constant problem finding good employees, my dad wanted to slow down as he was already into his 70s, and a few years of drought also became factors in the decision. My first love was producing breeding cattle, so we downsized our operation, dad retired to town but still came out to the farm most days until he was almost 90.

Hold on. You were selling 8-11 steers a week and decided to quit? Say what? Id have found the shorthorns or shorthorn cross cattle and continued down that path. God only knows where that would have lead down the road. While delivering a bull to Brian Banzet in Kansas I drove past a restaurant called The Shorthorn Restaurant. Its in Chetopa, Kansas. I was so floored I had to top and take a picture. I thought that was a great name. The place itself was just a little hole in the wall in a town that didnt have much going on anywhere.

Food trucks are another great avenue for producers to sell to. The menus change, the owners are flexible with different products and they sell at pretty high volumes. Id love to have my own food truck someday. Or a restaurant type deal at the farm. Ive talked with a few chefs who would do a farm to table meal right at the farm. Once a week or once a month. You can charge up to 125 a person here in central Ohio. Local food is very trendy in th Columbus area and people will travel to rural areas to have a new eating experience. I supplied the pork for one dinner last summer and it connected me with a chef from a Cameron Mitchell restaurant.

It may take several producers using similar genetics and finishing cattle the same to group together to supply a restaurant or farmers market.

Like I said, it was a very hard decision to make. We were running a 1200 head feedlot, had over 200 cows at the time as well, and we were constantly looking for workers to help. We could not compete with the wages offered in the near by oil patch, so we were always dealing with those who couldn't keep a job someplace else. The last two guys I had work here, were both arrested, one of armed robbery and kidnapping, the other for selling drugs on the side. My dad got to the place where he wanted to slow down and after looking at everything, we knew that something had to change. The feedlot was the most intensive work load, and the source of Shorthorns around here at the time was not huge. At the same time, we were going through some major droughts and feed was constantly in short supply. I wish we could have done things differently but those were the decisions we had to make.  Sometimes the decisions we have to make are not the ones you want to make. And it was all I could do to supply 7-8 head of Shorthorns each and every week. Looking back, it would have been better if we had went together with other Shorthorn breeders and kept this market going. Two years after we decided to quit supplying this abattoir, it burnt down and the owner did not rebuild so this market may have been gone anyways It was successful while it lasted.

34
The Big Show / Re: List of triple clean Shorthorn bulls
« on: February 18, 2019, 09:31:01 AM »
In the past year, I have just started to test cattle for myostatin and the results have been interesting to say the least. Overall, I am surprised at the number of animals that have one strain of myostatin. I have only tested two, that have two strains. One of the cows I have tested is the dam of Waukary Patent 8161. She is now 14 years old and still going good. She carried 1 strain of myostatin ( The E226X strain, and she is free for the NT419 and F94L strains). In all my years of raising cattle, I have only had 2 double muscled calves, and they were both produced from line breeding to the same bull who has been tested to be a myostatin carrier. I am pretty sure that there has been a lot of cows over the years that carried one strain of myostatin, and I am wondering if this is something to worry about or not. In some of the reading I have done, I am finding out that there are cattle in most every breed who carry at least 1 strain of a myostatin gene. And oftentimes, they are popular lines in that breed. I also have found several cows that are free of any myostatin strains, and I am certain it is impossible to know which ones they are without doing the tests. There are usually no physical indicators as to which ones they are.

35
The Big Show / Re: Direct marketing of Shorthorn beef
« on: February 18, 2019, 08:54:08 AM »
I agree with much of what has been said here, but I do not think it is entirely the job of a breed association to do this. It would be a big help if the breed association did provide the information to assist the actual producers to do the foot work. Printed material is only a part of the solution to this. Getting some local abbatoirs and even better, a local restaurant or restaurant chain to use your Shorthorn beef is where it has to start. This is not an easy job, but if you are serious about developing this market, you have to be willing to spend a lot of time getting it started. You have to have a constant supply of high quality beef that is from an inspected approved plant, or you will never be able to develop such a market.
My experience in this area, is limited, however, I was successful to a small level to get into some niche markets like this, when we were operating our feedlot. I started by talking with local abbatoirs who sold meats from their stores. I got two of them to try some Shorthorns and within a few months, both of these firms wanted me to supply all of their beef. One of these, wanted 5-7 Shorthorn animals to slaughter each week. The other wanted 3 per week. It became a real chore to find enough Shorthorns to keep them supplied, as I was not producing enough myself. By the time, we decided to quite feeding cattle, we were supplying 5 abbatoirs with all the beef they needed, but I could not find enough Shorthorns to supply them all. The two original markets actually advertised their beef as being from Shorthorns and advertised it as being the best marbled and tender beef available. We ended our feeding operation for several reasons. The main ones were that we had a constant problem finding good employees, my dad wanted to slow down as he was already into his 70s, and a few years of drought also became factors in the decision. My first love was producing breeding cattle, so we downsized our operation, dad retired to town but still came out to the farm most days until he was almost 90.

36
The Big Show / Re: Shorthorn History Buffs
« on: February 18, 2019, 07:44:09 AM »
I have a cane of Hub's Director semen that I have been wanting to use for awhile. I also have some semen from a few other bulls from the 60s and early 70s. I also have semen from a few of the older Lincoln Red sires from this era as well ( Gotho Signal 3rd, Claydene Ever Reddy, etc) I have some older Dual Purpose Shorthorn semen from bulls like Meadowbrook Prince 16th, Meadowbrook Roan Chief, Seagrave Royal Imperial, Green Row Dominator ( a paternal brother to Canadian Image ).  As I said earlier in this thread, some of the bulls from this era, are useful tools when combined with genetics from today. Some are definitely not useful. I keep thinking that there was a reason that Shorthorns in the late 60s and early 70s lost favor in the beef industry and we should remember this. I think part of the reasons for this, was the poor carcass traits and Shorthorns were being discounted by the feedlot buyers and the packers at that time. I still have the carcass data we collected from our feedlot on Shorthorn and Shorthorn crosses from the 70s and quite honestly, they were pretty terrible results. I can certainly see why the packers didn't like them. This certainly wasn't true with all of the Shorthorns in that era, but the trick is to know which ones will work today. I think we should be very proud of the way Shorthorn breeders have improved the carcass traits on many of today's Shorthorn cattle without losing most of the maternal traits the breed is also famous for. Shorthorns today can compete with most any breed when it comes to carcass quality, feedlot gain and feed efficiencies. We all need to realize the incredible product we have and promote it as such.
When I was 15 years old, I took a bus and travelled 600 miles to work for a few weeks at one of the biggest names in the Shorthorn breed at that time in Canada. I will never forget the first job I was given on arriving there. I was teamed with another young guy who was working there, and we were given bottles of disinfectant and we went through the pasture and one of us would pull the large lumps of fat around the tail heads of some of the cows while the other one would pour the disinfectant in between the big fat patches. The smell will stay with me till I die. Some of these cows actually had maggots and rotten flesh between the gobs of fat. Not all the cows were like this, but there was far too many of them for my liking. The waste on some of these cows had to be enormous. I am also reminded of having the opportunity to visit with Donald and Diana McGillvary in Scotland 5 years ago. Their Calrossie herd was world famous in the 50s and 60s and they sold bulls in Perth Scotland in those days that brought incredible prices. Both were in their late 80s when I visited with them and we had a great visit about all the cattle I remembered from my childhood. At one point, I asked Donald if he thought there were any Shorthorns left that could be traced back directly to the Calrossie herd from that era. Without any thought, he said " I hope to Hell, there are none". He then went on to explain how wrong they had been in chasing fads during the Shorthorn hey days of that era. He said that they never tried to produce cattle that would be useful to the industry down the line. He also said that his biggest regret was that some of the cattle he had bred were part of the reason Shorthorn popularity spiralled downward until the breed was placed on the endangered breed list in Britain. They remained there for several years but in recent years, they have now become one of the fastest growing breed in Britain today. Breeders are using the best Shorthorn genetics they can get from around the world. They are raising different types of Shorthorns today than we are here in North America, but they are breeding cattle that are wanted in their marketplace. I saw many Shorthorns when I was over there that I would not use here, but I also saw some that I would have loved to use. I also think it is important that we do not consider the type of cattle being produced in other countries to be the wrong type. They may be wrong for what you are trying to produce, but they may be exactly the type their market is seeking.  I am going back again this summer and I am looking forward to seeing them again.

37
The Big Show / Re: Question for Canadians
« on: February 15, 2019, 07:28:16 AM »
I have 13 water bowls from very old to new, and from 4 different makes. None of them are fool proof when you get very cold winters like we are having right now. Six years ago, I started putting in- line heat tapes in the water bowls and since installing them, I have not had any problems with water bowls freezing. These heat tapes go right into the water line and come out just below the bowl and so far they have saved me hours and hours of kneeling beside a water bowl trying to thaw it out. I am not sure if these heat tapes are custom made by a company or not, but a local feed store owner has them made for him locally. He sells hundreds of them every year.
The only issue I have had since installing these in line tapes happened last winter when one water bowl quit working. It turned out that the water line froze on the way to the fountain despite being buried 8 feet in the ground. We had very little snow, and the frost kept going deeper in the ground in the cold weather. All I could do was wait for spring to arrive and it finally thawed on June 23rd. So far this winter, no problems at all.

38
The Big Show / Re: Proof the show ring is still screwing things up.
« on: February 12, 2019, 08:04:30 AM »
It's actually not the show ring that is driving this shape, it is the abattoirs. All the cattle slaughtered in the UK are graded on carcass confirmation. Obviously not all beef bred cattle have as much muscle, but farmers will buy Limousin, Charolais and Blue bulls based on their muscle. A lot of these bulls have 2 copies of the myostatin mutation and its very common for farmers to have a cow herd of continental based cows. It would not be uncommon for beef finishers to have a full house of commercial cattle like this ready for slaughter. Also with the increasing influx of dairy bred animals finished for beef, they will never be able to reach anywhere near the top grades.
Some people are calling for a change in the grading system to better reflect the quality of beef, but there are no signs of this happening yet.


I think Hopster is closer to the truth, that it is the packers that are leading this campaign for cattle like this. I don't think any producer in North America would want to raise cattle like this, and I see some breeds in the UK starting to make some regulations regarding cattle that carry the myostatin strains. The British Shorthorn society will no longer accept animals that were produced from sires that carry two strains of myostatin. I really wonder how many people realize how many cattle here in North America carry at least 1 strain of myostatin. On the other hand, I was told a few days ago, that a packing plant in the Western US is now offering a premium of about $180 per head if they carry two myostatin strains in their genetic make up. I want to find out more about this, and make sure it is even true. Has anyone else heard anything about this? I was told that this packer believes that the Myostatin strains are closely linked to tenderness and this is why the are wanting cattle that carry them. I guess the packer doesn't have to raise these critters so they really don't care that much.

39
The Big Show / Re: Bulls Heads
« on: February 08, 2019, 06:58:26 AM »
The head deal may be more of deal for a first calf heifer calving I don't know. Shoulder width would be hard to measure. It would be fascinating for someone to have a study........measure heads, hooves, actual weights, and calving ease. And then correlate all comparisons. Then.....what does work best. Measuring a head is usually easier than hoisting the damn calf up.

There has been some research done on this and Jan Bonsma from South Africa did quite a bit of measurements of the length and width of heads and how it should correlate with different measurements of cattle. I heard Bonsma speak once, probably back in the late 60s and it was fascinating how he said the length and width of the animals heads could tell you. I am still trying to find some of his speeches and I would think some of this should be on the internet someplace. Seems like everything else in the world is on the net someplace. I will keep looking. In the meantime, I have attached a picture of a bull's head I have always liked. This is Saskvalley Pioneer 126P who was a herd sire for us several years ago. I am still using him some each year.

40
The Big Show / Re: Bulls Heads
« on: February 06, 2019, 08:36:00 AM »
I also believe you can tell so much from a bull's head and also from a female's head. As a long time sales manager used to tell me "just send me a picture of your sale animals heads, and I will tell you which ones are going to be in the sale". I used to think he was just being smart, but now I think he actually was smart. As with most things, I don't think it is best to have extremes in anything in the head but you definitely want some width between the eyes but not to an excessive amount. Wider skulls can lead to calving problems especially when used on heifers. I also think in a bull's head, you want to see masculinity and in a female's head, you want to see femininity. In other words, a female's head should resemble one of the cheerleaders on the sidelines, rather than one of the defensive guards.
Another trait I used to see old timers mention was the circumference of the bull's tail. One of my mentors when growing up, used to tell me that I should never use a bull with a small circumference of his tail. He used to say that when you put you hand around the tail about half way up from the top of the switch, your should be able to just make your fingers touch each other. I always thought that there was a far bit of leeway in this as some guys have monster sized mitts and some don't. This man told me that the bulls with smaller circumference tails were not as hardy as those with bigger circumference tails. I think there is something to this, as the easiest fleshing cattle always seem to have thicker tails.

41
The Big Show / Re: Bulls Heads
« on: February 06, 2019, 07:35:21 AM »
I did not ever use Enticer, as I did not like the way his offspring sloped off from hooks to pins. I was told by very good authority ( by a man who was involved in raising Enticer) that his dam was the Reserve National Champion Maine female in the US a few years before. This was a trait pretty common in Maine cattle in that era, so I am tending to agree with what he told me. Unfortunately, this type of thing happened in many breeds in that day, as it was before DNA testing. The only tool available to verify purity was blood typing, and it was far from being totally accurate. I remember talking with the head of the blood typing lab at Ohio State, ar the Graham Land and Cattle dispersal in Minnesota, and he confirming that most breeds were infusing cattle from other breeds. He said that some Milking Shorthorn blood types could slip through the blood tuping tests in Angus and that they had found 7 full blood Maine bulls that blood typed as purebred Shorthorns. I also remember getting a phone call from a well known Angus breeder in that era, asking me if I knew where I could find semen from McKee's Matchless Dairyman, a red Milking Shorthorn bull. This guy told me that this bull sired solid black calves when used on Angus cows and they also blood typed as purebred Angus. This wasn't just a Shorthorn thing. I believe the advancements in the past few years, with DNA testing, have cleaned up a lot of crap that was happening.

42
Seems to me that Grants sale has a sale average that would put him right there with Saskvalley and Muridale sale averages. I didnt crunch true numbers. Generally speaking is all Im saying. I see lots of saskvalley and muridale genetucs being used down here. Almost every big commercial type sale here has offspring of genetics from sask and Muri. Studer, JSF, Bar N, Leveldale, BSG, Paint Valley, all have used those genetics heavily. Ive never seen an HC bull being plugged in lately. Seems to me the HC cattle could be a nice outcross to those other ranches but you never see it in any of their pedigrees. I could be wrong. The JT Trans X bull must of done some good. Thats a outfit that sells in Grants sale. I see lots of criss cross from the saskvalley and Muri programs. Similar environments maybe. Ive never been to either place. Never seen JITs cows. Done lots of deals with XBAR and have some of his cattle here now. He had a bull calf hand picked for me. He didnt like how the calf was developing so he sent me a different bull. His opinion on bulls and his experience shouldnt be looked upon as an attack on somebody. Its reality. Grant has a good thing going with his embryos and semen sales. He does good at the shows up there. Cant say he hasnt done his share of winning up there. Cant begrudge a mans success. I think the disconnect comes when another post comes up claiming a world beater of a bull with minimal evidence to back it up. If I pay 16k for a bull and somebody offers me 16k for half soon after, its a ridiculous business decision to say no. Ridiculous. Unless its a personal beef I cant see why somebody would say no. How many shorthorn bulls have sold 16k in semen? Offspring? That list isnt very long compared to angus. Ive seen angus bulls bring 18,500 at a local sale in Ohio! Never seen a shorthorn bull bring more than 3500 at anything smaller than a beef expo. I dont know if any outfit here that sells every bull they have for sale. Maybe some do. I just dont know of any.

There is no easy quick fix way to develop a market for Shorthorn bulls. Over 30 years ago, I made a long term goal of mine to develop a market for my bulls. I made this a goal as I watched several of my friends in other breeds sell their bulls to make their payments. I was always selling my females to do the same thing. It took years and years to start to sell Shorthorn bulls here, in quantity. It still requires a pile of work each year, but it is getting easier than it used to be.

43
Sorry for the spelling mistake xbar. I am so used to using a " u" after a " q" that I did not even notice that I had done that. I thought it was a interesting story to mention. Nothing more than that. I also know that these two Arabs came very close to purchasing one of the Charolais champions at the Royal that year as well. The deal fell apart after the terror attacks in France as well. I heard this from the General Manager of the Canadian Charolais Assocation. I only mentioned this story as I thought it may interest some. Obviously, not you. I am fine with that.  To me, it just shows that the entire world is becoming a market place for beef genetics.

44
The Big Show / Re: early years of simmental
« on: January 26, 2019, 07:40:26 AM »
My parents were travelling in southern Alberta, when they heard, on a farm show on the radio,  about a new breed that had recently been imported into Canada. The bull Parisean was in an AI stud at Cardston, Alberta. This stud was Universal Semen Services. As they were only about 100 miles from Cardston at the time, they decided to go and see this bull. When my parents arrived back home, dad told me he had bought 10 straws from this new bull. We were running 350 cows at the time, so we used this semen on some of our Shorthorn cows. We got 4 bulls and two heifers from the cane of semen. We kept the two heifers and bred them back to have 3/4 calves. One of them had a 3/4 Simmental heifer calf, in the first crop of 3/4 calves born in Canada. We were offered $10,000 for this 3/4 heifer calf sight unseen, which was a pile of money 50 years ago.  It was interesting times. The next few years were a bit mind blowing when I think back. I cannot think of another breed that has re-invented themselves as much as the Simmental breed has done in recent years.

45
Oh I remember him. Didnt the shorthorn place with the Clydesdales buy him?

Yup... that is correct. After Bluebook's show career was over, the owner said to me that he was only worth market price to him then. I told him I would give him market price, and of course he then said he would not do this. After a few months of negotiating, I was able to do a deal to bring him back here. 
As a sideline to the Bluebook story, when he was shown at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto as a two year old, we were approached  by two dark skinned men who asked if they could see Bluebook out of the stall. I took him up and down the isle a few times while they looked at him. They then asked if he would be for sale? it turns out that they were buying agents for a Shiek in Quator, and they said that they had been buying Charolais and some Shorthorns in England. Quator is the wealthiest country on earth. The guy who owned Bluebook said that most anything was for sale but he would need $50,000 in US cash in order to sell him. They did not even blink at the price and said they would agree to this and would be back in 1 week with the money. One day later, there was a Muslim attack in Paris where a lot of people were killed. I talked with the guy in Ontario and we both agreed that there are times when money is not the only thing of importance. He emailed the Arabs and said that the bull was no longer for sale. I did some checking when I got home ( and I still have their business cards) and they were indeed who they said they were. I found the name of the Shiek in Quator, and read that he has a dairy herd of 1800 milking cows and that he was also starting to raise beef cattle that had been purchased in England. They were distilling water from the ocean and irrigating the desert to produce forage for the cattle herds. The story also said that he had purchased several Thoroughbred horses in sales in Kentucky at some very high dollars. ( Some in the $1 million range).  Bluebook is  here now and is doing a very good job for us. I ma not sure what would have happened if they hadn't attacked Paris that day. There is a good chance Bluebook would have boarded a private 747 and now be living on a sand pile.

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