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46
Highest selling bull I know of from Canada was Thermal Energy. What happened to your 32k bull? I honestly dont remember the Bull you speak of. Americans pay good money for bulls. The UK prefers bigger cattle. Australia seems to as well but not to the extreme of the uk. Americans want 6 frame at most, thick, easy calving cattle.  Thats why Mark always wants to see them from behind.
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Our bull at $32,000 was HC Bluebook 22B. He sold to a show outfit in Ontario. The runner up was a well known purebred herd in Canada, and there was at least 1 commercial man who I saw bid to over $18,000 on him. When I spoke with him after the sale, he said he has just sold 700 calves and averaged almost $1600 on them( the highest cattle market we have seen here in history), so I think he had some coin in his pocket that day. He did buy 4 bulls that day with a high of $9850 and the other 3 in the $4000- 5500 range. This guy is another repeat customer and he has bought bulls the last 3 sales for his herd of 800 black cows in Manitoba. I have attached a picture of Bluebook taken at 13 months of age. I have semen from him in Canada, USA and Australia. Unlike lots of American bulls that sell for good money and have syndicates formed to do so, The buyer of Bluebook was one breeder and an AI unit in Ireland. In order for semen to go to any EU country, they must be IBR negative, which means they cannot be vaccinated with IBR vaccine. I had not vaccinated Bluebook as I was trying to get another bull that would qualify for Europe. When this happened, I agreed to forgo their share of the purchase price and I took back ownership of the semen rights in him. It worked out OK for me, as I have sold just over $20,000 of semen in Canada, and close to $8000 in Australia as well as about $3000 in the US.

47
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.

I agree with you in regards to Cruiser's buyers deciding not to sell a half interest for what they paid for him. That was their decision and I had no part in it. I was not involved in Cruiser other than I had collected a few straws of semen when he was a year old. When the man that bought him died suddenly, his wife asked me if I would winter a set of replacement heifers for her. She offered me a half interest in Cruiser to do this. I accepted her offer and I am glad I did. I would love to use some bulls that you have mentioned here, but very few Americans collect Canadian qualified semen.
I have not pursued the US market for several years, and Touchdown is the last bull I had at Cattle Visions. I still get quarterly checks from them for sales. I prefer to sell semen myself, only because it gives me a connection with the people who are using my bulls. I have semen stored at Hawkeye Breeders and I have my bulls listed on our website and I still seem to sell a nice quantity each year. I also have semen from 8-10 bulls in Australia, and I sell far more semen there than I ever thought of selling in the US. Like I said earlier, my customers are basically commercial producers, but I have a few sales each year to purebred breeders. My top bull in 2015 was $32,000 and another at $14,000. Cruiser was the top bull in 2016 at $16,500. Last year, my top bull was $11,000. Last year I had commercial buyers pay $9000, $8000 and two at $7000 and these are prices I can certainly live off.  When I started my ET program, it didn't make much sense to me, to do the same thing as everyone else was doing. I have used some American breeding but I don't chase it. I don't particularly try to produce show cattle which is what most everyone else seems to try to do. The UK and Australia are my biggest embryo markets with several hundred embryos sold to the UK each year. Australia has been close but the wicked drought has slowed that market down some. I still am selling embryos down there though. I am doing things differently than lots of others do. The fact that since I started in this ET deal, as a way to get to genetics to the US when BSE hit Canada, I have sold over 2400 embryos to 14 countries is something I never imagined would happen. I think it proves that there is a definite interest in Shorthorn embryos around the world. I predict that the Far East countries like Viet Nam, and Mongolia could be the next big market that shows up. Both these countries have been buying thousands of doses of Red Angus semen in Canada in recent years. I recently had a Mongolian government official meet with me, and he is very interested in Shorthorn genetics some time in the future.

48
I know that I have spent 4 months or so trying to photograph a bull. After about 500 shots and three months.....I came up with the perfect photo. Half of the photo's sucked. But I could put two photos......of the same bull up.....taken on the same day......and they don't even look like same bull.

That is exactly why I had a lady who takes cattle pictures for a living take the picture of Cruiser that I posted. I have tried to do it by myself, and I have never had any that looked as good as the bull does. Her exact words were " he is the stoutest Shorthorn bull I have ever laid eyes on'. Her family has been in the beef business for generations and she takes pictures throughout Canada.
What you have said here is exactly right. We almost froze to death picturing last week when it was -25 and windy so I took some more today. It still took me a long time to feel my fingers when I came into the house, but I did get some taken. Sometimes you have to take several pictures to get one that even looks like the animal actually does.

49
I took a few pics of some Cruiser calves this afternoon.

The first one ( red and white markings) was the lightest bull calf we had at 75 lbs. He was born unassisted from a 2 year old heifer on February 24/18. The dam is a daughter of Waukaru Orion 2047 from the Picture Perfect cow family. He was weaned on October 25th and had a weaning weight of 504 lbs. No creep was fed to any of these calves.

The white bull was the heaviest Cruiser bull calf born in 2018. He was born March 13/18 and had a BW of 90 lbs. He weaned October 25/18 and weighed 632 lbs ( no creep) His dam is a two year old daughter of HC Bedrock 73B who is a low BW sire as well. There was 128 lbs difference between the lightest BW and the heaviest BW at weaning, with no difference in calving ease.

The red heifer was born March 3/18. She was the heaviest Cruiser heifer at 92 lbs and was born from a mature cow. She is a First Kiss cow from Waukaru. She weighed 646 lbs on October 25th ( no creep).

All the Cruiser calves have been unassisted at birth so far, with no visible differences in calving ease. The weaning weights were very consistent with the calves BWs, that is the lighter BW calves were also the lightest at weaning. I am weighing all the calves next week and it will be interesting to see if this pattern has continued after weaning.

This kind obviously won't work for xbar, but I think they will work for what I am trying to do. Hopefully they will also work for my customers. 

I have mentioned this here on SP before, but for the past 12 years now, I have weighed all my bulls every 28 days from weaning to our sale date in March. It has been interesting to see some trends. There has been many sires represented in these bulls. Counting the bulls in the pen this year, I have records on 404 bulls. The only bulls that go into the pen are those who were born unassisted  or have needed assistance because of a malpresentation such as a foot back, a head back or a backwards calf etc. If I help a calf, it does not get into the bull pen unless I feel it would have been born unassisted if it had been presented correctly. In 12 years of test figures, I have yet to find a single bull that was in the bottom 50% of my birthweights that has indexed over 100 for postweaning gain. NOT... A... Single... One!  I still offer the lower performing bulls as they are good choices for breeding heifers. Cruiser did not make the 100 index ( average in the pen ) the year he was in it. He was my high seller because of his shape and muscle. This is why I have been saying, that we should be talking more about optimum birth weights rather than minimums. The trend I am seeing may be more pronounced in the Shorthorn breed, I don't know. I have talked with lots of people in other breeds and most tell me that they occasionally see a very light BW bull with above average performance. I keep hoping I will eventually find one. I am starting to think that almost everything in life is best in moderation, and that includes birth weights.

50
More assumptions on your part Ryan. If you had any idea of what my family and I have been through, you may think before you say some of the things you said here. Actually I have had to pay for my farm twice, and thanks to my cows I do not owe 1 red cent to anyone now, except for a small balance on one credit card. I would never promote a bull that was a cow killer. Believe me, I would rather ship the bull and toss any semen before I did this. I invested a fair bit of money in two different bulls in the past few years that I shipped after seeing their calves. I will also remind you, that if we ever have a chance of regaining market share in bull use by Shorthorns, we can't just produce bulls as good as any other breed, but we have to produce bulls better than the breeds we are trying to gain the market share from. In a previous comment, I mentioned my best bull buyer. The first year I sold bulls to him, I also had a herd of 100 purebred Charolais cows. He came here to look at Charolais bulls. He bought 3 Charolais bulls and 2 Shorthorn bulls that day. Two years later, he started only buying Shorthorn bulls and he now also uses some Angus and Simmental bulls to keep some hybrid vigor in his herd, but he would be the first to tell you, that his Shorthorn sired calves are born as easily as either the Angus and Simmental sired calves. Another bull customer, who runs over 800 cows turned a Shorthorn bull out with a Polled Hereford bull with a set of yearling heifers. I kinda held my breath, because I did not consider the Shorthorn bull he bought from me, as being a good choice for heifers. He told me the next spring, that he wished the Shorthorn bull had bred all the heifers as he had far more calving problems from the Polled Hereford bull.
You can spread all the hate you want against me. As I said, I only took the time to respond because you are making comments on my integrity and that is where I draw the line. I have had a couple people send messages telling me to get a lawyer and sue you for what you have said, but I am too old to get that concerned about a bottom feeder like you.
Like I have said numerous times now, I would not hesitate to ship a  so called cow killer. I find it interesting that you have now called 3 different bulls I have commented on, as being cow killers, and I have yet to have a single calf from any of them require assistance except for a malpresentation. Two years ago, I did not touch a single calf at birth, which was the first time ever. Last year I only assisted two at calving. Both we cows I was keeping for another person but my own cows all were unassisted. I have said enough. I am quite sure I won't shut you up!

51
So no references? Imagine that.  You can blow smoke up everyones ass and deflect and write paragraphs about irrelevancies but you wont bother to go on and on to answer a direct question.  Thats as telling as it gets folks.

Those that heed my warnings of what you and your cattle are all about will all be better off.   Its essentially an obligation of those who have first hand experience to speak up and warn the unsuspecting who might be inclined to fall prey to your rainbows and butterflies bs. 

For those who may not be familiar with your reruns.  Heres a classic http://www.steerplanet.com/bb/the-big-show/a-bull-that-can-cross-the-boundaries-between-clubbie-and-cowboy-cattle/ 

Would Id be safe at this point to call him a total bust?  The bull that was to save the world and merge the lines not having even one notable offspring.



I chose NOT to make any references in my post and I think that is the only fair thing to do to my customers. I certainly am not going to bring them into this discussion so you can bash them as well. You have to be totally NUTS if you think I am going start giving you a list of names. Probably what I should do, is list the names of people who keep contacting me, and apologizing to me for what you keep saying about me.  I will put my reputation against yours any day of the week, and I don't think I should have to be accountable to someone with about the worst reputation I have ever heard of in my 50+ years of breeding purebred Shorthorns. You don't like me. That is fine with me.  I have lots of other people who seem to think I am an OK person, and I will say that I am NOT a liar. I only state the facts as I have seen them. You bashed a bull that I used for several years and basically said nothing would ever come from him that would amount to anything. I sold him to another breeder at 8 years of age and I found out that he died a couple weeks ago. The people who bought him, just finalized buying all the semen that remains on him. One of the breeders in Ireland that purchased the European rights in him just emailed me and wants some more semen. I can't send any to him, because it is all sold now.
On another recent thread, there was a discussion as to where everyone has gone to on Steerplanet. I stayed out of that thread, but I will only say that a lot of people have left because of the attitudes of some of the regulars on this site, who have never set the world on fire breeding anything in their lives. A few of these people , including xbar, seem to only comment with negative comments. Very seldom will you see a post where they agree with something, and almost never will you see them mention any animal that they have raised that anyone who consider to be good for the beef industry.  We all have the freedom to use whatever bloodlines we want to. None of us have to be bashed and bullied by people like you, who have basically done squat in regards to producing cattle that are being sought out by others.
In the past hour, I have received another 3 texts from well known American cattlemen (not all are Sharthorn breeders) saying some pretty nasty things about you. I wasn't even going to respond to your ridiculous comments in your previous posts and then I ready where you slammed my honesty. That is where I draw the line. I have done everything in my life based on my reputation, and I consider my reputation to be my most valuable asset. Obviously, you don't care about your reputation, as you can just sit in front of your computer and make up any comments you dream up. Ryan, we live over 1200 miles apart. There is room for us both to raise whatever kind of cattle we want to. I simply cannot imagine what you are trying to prove here. You have damaged your own reputation beyond anything I have ever saw before. I will make you one promise. If you post pictures of some of the cattle you have raised that you think are the right kind, and I do not like the looks of them, I will not comment what I think on a public page such as this. If I like your pictures, I will definitely comment that I like them/ That is one of the big differences between us.
I could really care less, if I ever sell bulls to purebred producers. I have said this in the past, and I think  the same today, that, for me,  there really is no feeling quite as good as seeing cattlemen, who raise their families entirely from the calves they produce, bidding and buying bulls in your sale. It Is even better, when they return and buy some more. Ryan... you are a grown man... please grow up! I really haven't decided if I feel pity for you... or sorry for you... or both!

52
His sire is a cow killer. His dams sire is a cow killer.  He has as much natural muscle as any bull youve ever had.  Yet, at 4yrs old, is wider than any bull youve ever  had. (Including the 3000lbers) Yet hes being presented as a heifer bull option.  Truly remarkable. 


Just as a reference you know so I can exclude the possibility of my dealings with you being the remote exception, can you refetence even one Shorthorn breeder in all of the United States who has made a repeat bull purchase from you? 

The reality is that if even a 1/100th of your claims held any validity, there would be semen studs and breeders lined up at your doors  but theres not.  Lots of stories from buyers in far off lands but few papers being transferred (check the database) and even fewer notables using your bulls.   In fact,  I cant think of one single breeder in all of North America using any of your genetics.    Is there not anyone else that finds that wildly ironic considering how noteworthy he presents them as being?  Serious question. 

Funny background about how you re acquired this bull too.   Interesting how theres always a convoluted dynamic of sorts that accompanies every latest and greatest bull you decide to champion.

So back to the question can you reference even one?  Id like to speak with them and get a first hand account.  Surely as a businessman you have a book of reference?


Ryan... you can make all the assumptions you want. I will let my record stand anyday besides yours. I feel fortunate to have spent my entire lifetime in this business, and I have never worked for anyone but myself My cows have provided me with my income. I also feel fortunate that over 90% of my bulls sell to commercial customers and I have sold over 320 in the past 10 years. I sold completely out of bulls for several years and last year, I could have sold at least a dozen more. My bulls averaged over $5200 last year ( Canadian $) and 22% sold to repeat buyers. I expect your record is much better but I won't ask. My best bull customer has purchased 22 bulls in the past decade and he told me recently that he is going to need two more this spring. He runs 300 cowds and calves on grass.  How many have you sold Ryan? And how many purebred breeders are using your genetics?  I keep getting emails and texts from Americans apologizing to me for your comments. I always reply to these people that they don't have to apologize to me for anything you say, as I think most people consider the source.
I knew when I posted a picture of Cruiser on here, that I would receive abuse from you in particular as well as a few others. I thought that he was a bull that should be seen by others. I am a bit overwhelmed by the number of people who has asked about semen from him. I know that you would never buy semen from him, and quite frankly, if I ever collect Cruiser, I hope you never buy any. As for repeat buyers in the US, I try to concentrate on selling to Canadians but if Americans wish to buy, I will try to work with them to get their purchases delivered. I have several US customers, and I have made trips to Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma and Iowa numerous times with cattle to repeat customers. I have sold cattle to 21 states and there are several repeat buyers. I could go on and on but I won't bother.
Quite honestly, if I had listened to your advice over the years, my breeding program would be far lesser than it presently is. What you say to me and about me, does not concern me. The only thing that does bother me, is the thought that someone out there may actually believe the crap you spread. Enough said!

53
The Big Show / Re: Galbreath and Shady Maple Farms Bull Sale
« on: January 22, 2019, 07:04:55 AM »
A very useful set of bulls ! Several with outcross genetics to many of today's bloodlines. Bulls that will work in most any situation.

54
he has urine stains or something on the white part of his hide.


definitely a no go here.  (sarcasm)


Thanks knabe!  That gave me a chuckle!  The urine stains come from him laying down by the hay feeder the night before we pictured. He had a big straw pack he could have laid on... but no.... he has to flop down in the S**t.!

knabe... here is his other side. Maybe you can use this side?

55
Who carries semen in the states?

The only semen that has been collected was some " in herd use only' semen that I collected for my own use when he was a year old. In order to get US qualified semen, he would have to be quarantined in a licensed AI stud for at at least 45-50 days and then after he passes all tests, semen can be collected. The closest stud qualified to collect US semen is 600 miles from here, so if I get a chance before breeding season, to get him out there, I will. If not, it will be next winter before we can get some.

56
he has urine stains or something on the white part of his hide.


definitely a no go here.  (sarcasm)


Thanks knabe!  That gave me a chuckle!  The urine stains come from him laying down by the hay feeder the night before we pictured. He had a big straw pack he could have laid on... but no.... he has to flop down in the S**t.!

57
About a year ago, I posted a picture of HC Cruiser 59C and I received a fair bit of abuse including being called a liar etc etc. A couple regulars on this site accused me of tampering with the photo with photoshop. ( obviously they didn't realize that I don't know the first thing about doing that and I have no desire to learn!) Well, here is a picture of him taken last week  and here are some facts for you to consider before you tell me what is wrong with him or me!( by the way, he is definitely not perfect, but I think he does have some strong traits) I will also say that these are the actual facts.

1) he was born from a 2 year old heifer unassisted with a BW of 82 lbs.
2) he was our high selling bull in 2016 at $16,500 at 9 months of age. After buying him, the new owners told me that they were surprised they bought him so reasonably. They said they had gone to the sale prepared to go a fair bit higher. One of the reasons they were so high on him was that they were tired of hard calving clubby genetics and having replacement heifers from clubby bulls that didn't milk or had poor fertility.  They bought him, to produce show steers and heifers. A week after they purchased him, a leading clubby producer in these parts offered them $16,500 for a 1/2 interest in him. They turned him down as they wanted to have the first calves from him. I was able to get back into him, after the man who purchased him died suddenly, and his wife offered to give me a half interest in him back if I would winter 25 replacement heifers for her. That really was a " no brainer" for me.
3) At 9 months of age, Cruiser had the highest score of all our sale bulls that year in his breeding soundness exam. He tested 93 % at 9 months
4) I bred a few cows and heifers to him from semen I collected before he left here. His first son sold in our sale at $9000 last year, selling to a commercial herd in Manitoba to be used on black cows.
5) I picked Cruiser up on December 12th, 2018 and since arriving here, he has been running on a quarter section with our other herd bull and he has only had a few pounds of bull pellets and hay each day. I know some will say that he is far too fat, but I will assure you that is meat you are looking at in this picture. When I picked him up on December 12th, he had been running with cows on pasture  and wheat stubble before that.
6) So far, we have had 12 first calf heifers calve to Cruiser. 100% have calved unassisted with most BWs between 78-88 lbs. We had one calf at 90 lbs last year, but the heifer calved this calf easily.
7) He is without any doubt the widest based bull we have had on this farm in my lifetime. I have had two pretty good cowboys ( that raise some really good Angus) see him recently. One of them said that Cruiser has as much natural muscle as any bull of any breed he has seen. The other guy said he ranked him as one of the best beef bulls he has seen of any breed.
8) He has great feet and is structurally sound. His feet are perfectly formed and I would be very surprised if he will ever need to have his feet trimmed.
9) since picturing him last week, I have had two inquiries from cattlemen who don't even raise Shorthorns, to buy into him, as well as numerous requests for semen. We have not collected semen other than the few straws of " in herd use " semen I collected when he was a year old.

So far, I am pleased with the calves I have had from him. He downsizes frame and adds thickness, without slowing performance. I have a couple coming two year old daughters to calve in April. They look like the right kind.  We are selling 5 sons in our March 5th Sun Country sale. All were born from first calf heifers and all were unassisted at birth. We are also selling two replacement heifers sired by Cruiser as well. 
I have also attached a picture of his first son we have sold. HC Enforcer 60E. He sold for $9000 at 11 months of age and went to a commercial producer.

58
The Big Show / Re: Hill Haven Fire Storm 28C
« on: January 18, 2019, 02:09:09 PM »
Obviously the cow is at least half of the equation-the Aussie cattle have been bred for commercial useage for many years-I would have to assume that they are genetically alot easier calving than most of the Shorhorns up here  O0
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Well I am hearing the same thing as shortybreeder. I spoke with two more breeders in the last 24 hours that have had Fire Storm calves born in the past two weeks. So far, I have not heard of a single  calf that was assisted at birth. One guy said he now has 5 on the ground and they look really good. He said they are weighing in the low 90s at birth.( From research done in the past, a 90 lb calf in Canada is similar to an 80 lb calf born in Texas from the same genetics ) But that really doesn't mean much to most of you EPD experts. You seem to be convinced he will be a cow killer, yet those with actual experience with calves on the ground are not saying anything like this. I think I know who I am going to believe. I have asked everyone I have talked with, if they plan on using Fire Storm again this year. Everyone has said, based on the calves they have on the ground that they will definitely using him again.... but I guess that doesn't matter.  There will be a bunch more Fire Storm calves born in the next few weeks. So far, I have seen several of them and I have not seen a poor calf yet.
So I am now wondering, that after you all are done bashing Fire Storm, have you got any plans as to who you are going to bash next? The negativity presented by some of the regulars on this site is a bit mind boggling!

59
The Big Show / Re: Birth weight epds and such
« on: January 17, 2019, 10:39:58 PM »
Breed from what genetic base? The problem is that the only Shorthorns people want are show cattle-They are great for kids etc-As sonn as they are done showing-itd back to Simms and Angus-even Black Limmies-(I actually think that they get no credit-Ive seen some way good ones-as long as they eat a few tranquilizers every day) O0

That may be more true for you in the US but it certainly isn't true for everyone who raises Shorthorns. I have sold out of bulls every year for several years now, and I am not alone in doing this. More and more Shorthorn breeders are selling more and more Shorthorn bulls, and not just giving them away but getting good dollars for them as well. Since we started our own bull sale, we have sold over 90 % of our bulls to commercial producers... and that is what I like to see.  I also don't believe Shorthorn EPDs are total crap either. I don't feel they are totally accurate either. It just takes far too long to see the EPDs move for some traits as there are not enough numbers being submitted. For that matter, I wonder how accurate EPDs are in other breeds as well. I think they are far more accurate in the larger breeds but I really wonder where some breeders get the data they send in, when lots of them don't own a scale. I have visited several farms and I find out they don't have a scale. So where do they get the data they send in?
My vet said today that one of the Angus bulls she used has an actual BW of 78 lbs in the AI catalog, yet she had several purebred Angus calves from him with BWs of 100 lbs or close. Of course the genetics in the dam plays a part but a 25-30 lb spread between sire and his calves does make me scratch my head at times,
This reminds me of my visit with a breeders from the Midwest US who told me that he did not have to weigh calves at birth anymore. He said that after calving his herd of 85 cows for 35 years, he could look at a calf and be within 4-5 lbs of it's birth weight. I find it interesting that this same breeder had 3 or 4 sires that were BW trait leaders. I guess I missed out on getting that gene which would have allowed me to look at a calf and know what it weighs,.
I only started this thread, because I am trying to figure out more about using EPDs. I guess I was just a bit surprised that I would get a 112 lb heifer calf from parents with such low BW EPDs. Maybe it was a unique genetic thing that happened. I have so many questions and I don't have all the answers. As I said, I keep hearing about calves in several breeds being 100 lbs or more and yet when the bull sale catalogs come out the following spring, I never see any BWs close to this. I am sure the realty big calves have been steered but how many aren't. One of my bull buyers runs Shorthorn, Angus and Simmental herd bulls. He has told me he sees little differences in calving issues. Like many commercial operations, I don't think he weighs many calves as he calves on pasture. He also said he would use all Shorthorn bulls but he likes to keep some hybrid vigor in his herd, as it is the only free thing in the business. 

60
The Big Show / Birth weight epds and such
« on: January 17, 2019, 05:09:43 PM »
I had our first calf of  2019 today from a first calf heifer that was purchased last fall. Since arriving here, this heifer grazed a fall pasture with the rest of the cows until early December, and she had been on good quality grass hay since then. She had not had any grain since arriving here. I hear so many people who constantly praise or bash some bulls because of their BW EPDs ( of which some have been bulls I have owned)
I would like those who follow EPDs religiously explain what I should have been expecting from this two year old heifer. Here is a bit more information and the EPDs of the heifer and of the sire she was bred to:
The heifer is moderate framed and has two bulls, considered to be among the easiest calving in the breed as her sire and  as a grand sire.
EPDs for 2 year old heifer - CED  9  BW  1.5   WW 61
Epds of sire of calf -           CED   13  BW  0.9  WW 58

The sire of the calf is an American bull who is being used in several herds a safe choice to breed their heifers. There is no Maine or Trump bloodlines in him.
This heifer calved quickly and unassisted which is what I like. From the time the water bag started to show until the heifer calf was wobbling beside her mom looking for a teat, 40 minutes had passed. It was an easy birth on both the mom and baby.  It was a heifer calf and once it had sucked some and started to dry, I decided to weigh it. I always try to guess before I weigh it and see how close I am. On this calf, I guessed it was 90 lbs because the calf is incredibly long bodied. When I put it on the scale, I couldn't believe my eyes.... it was 112 lbs. I thought the scale may be not accurate so I weighed a bad of prepared feed, then weighed a block of salt and it weighed them accurately. I should also mention that this heifer was due to calve on January 19th which is two days from now, so she did not go over term.
I understand that there are some abnormalities from time to time, but if this had been a bull calf, he would have already be wearing a band around his testicles. If I had mentioned on this site that I had a bull calf with a BW of 112 lbs, I know I would have  received a lot of flack. I did not have a single calf weight over 100 lbs in 2018 and the calf born this morning is the heaviest in 4 years here. The last " big" calf I had was 4 years ago, and it was again sired by a trait leader for BW. It was also a heifer calf and it weighed 124 lbs and it did need assistance being born.
My vet just left our farm after euthanizing my wife's two remaining donkeys, who were both suffering from severe arthritis. It was really bad when colder weather set in and we decided to not let them suffer any longer. My vet also has a herd of purebred Angus cows and she mentioned that she had 35 calves in the last 7 days. She also said that she had never seen healthier active calves as this year's crop. The 35 calves her has had were sired by 2 leading AI sires from the US. Both are considered to be lower BW sires. My vet said that they are beautiful calves but they were much bigger than she expected with almost half of them weighing over 100 lbs. All were born unassisted though. I hear this often from friends who raise several different breeds of cattle. I also realize that calves born in Canada weigh more than calves of similar breeding born in the southern US. I live 30 miles from the US border, so the climate here is similar to the climate in several northern US states.
I also understand that my calf born today is just one, so I may have  just had an exception to the rule. But I see similar things more than I think I should.
Just a few months ago, a person who works for a leading breed association mentioned on Facebook that the beef industry was very close to being able to select genetics by their EPDs alone. Needless to say, I had to disagree with him.EPDs may be a great tool providing their accuracy is high, but they are only a tool that can never replace the eye and mind of a good cattleman. I will be interested to hear your comments....

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