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The Big Show / Re: Hill Haven Fire Storm 28C
« on: January 15, 2019, 09:24:17 AM »
Guys and girls.. I have no dog in this hunt. I just gave you my honest opinions on Fire Storm. I have talked with several people who have calves on the ground from him, and not one of them has made any comments about calving issues. If you don't want to use him, that is perfectly fine. If you don't like his EPDs, that is perfectly fine as well. Personally, I think Shorthorn EPDs are moving in the right direction, but I don't think they are where they need to be yet. I used a bull here a few years ago, that many of you bashed very hard. I used him because he had the most performance of any bull I have ever produced and did this with a modest BW. I was bashed almost beyond belief, but I felt this bull deserved as chance to be used. He sired 5 calf crops here and I did not assist a single calf born from him. 99% of his bulls went to commercial cattlemen, and I did not have a single complaint about calving issues. Not a single one. After his 3rd calf crop I contacted the ASA as I was told his EPDs would improve over time. I had not helped a single calf to be born, but his EPDs had barely moved, I was told that they would definitely move as more data was sent in. I continued to send in my data and they still hardly moved. One of my best bull customers is still using 2 sons of this bull and he runs 400 cows and calves on grass. He recently told me he hopes he can use these two bulls for few more years especially since their daughters have come into production. If I had listened to all the doom and gloom some of you here had given me, I would have not used a very important breeding bull here that did an excellent job. I retained a son of him that was even better than his sire. I sold him as a 8 year old bull last year and I am now working on selling all the semen left on him to another breeder. The European and Australian semen rights have been sold as well. I think we have to use our heads when breeding cattle as well as any other tool we have available. I think both these bulls helped improve my herd, and their genetics are now being used all over the world. If I had just listened to the wisdom provided on Steerplanet, I would have missed out on some of the best breeding bulls I have ever owned. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but we all have to use our heads in breeding better cattle... not just emotions.
In regards to my banding any calf over 110 lbs, that was a BW I picked for no apparent reason many years ago. It was a place to start.  I was planning to move it lower if it was too high based on any issues that arose. I have not had any complaints from over 400 bulls sold since I set this as my high mark for BW. I prefer my bulls to be less than 100 lbs and most are in the 90 lb range. In our environment, I have started to tell bull customers that if their cows cannot have a 90 lb calf on their own, they better sell their cows and buy some that will. I have very good friends that raise Angus cattle, and I cannot believe the number of calves they have that are over 100 lbs at birth. With all this in mind, I think we would be better off, if we started talking more about calving ease as opposed to just talking about birth weights. Birth weights are part of the equation but so is calving ease.
Getting back to Fire Storm, I have absolutely no interest in him, other than I like the bull. I have seen his dam many times and she is the type of female that most of us would agree than any good bull should have. She is a beautiful female with an outstanding record of producing good offspring. That is all I know. Time will tell and I am quite sure we will know a lot more within the next few months, as more calves from Fire Storm are born. Right now, all I know is I like a lot of things this bull offers. I know a lot of people are using him. I know that embryos sired by him are selling fast to breeders in many countries. We will know soon if all these people are completely mad in using him! 

The Big Show / Re: Hill Haven Fire Storm 28C
« on: January 12, 2019, 07:17:59 AM »
I have no ideas what is wrong with you Ryan. It must be a pretty sad existence to have to live such a negative life. You don't have to believe me, I really don't care. I actually just got another 20 straws of Fire Storm since I posted the last post so I now have got 110 straws. The main reason I am using Fire Storm is that embryos sired by him are selling quickly. I have a partner in England who owns 10 donors with me. He tells me the Fire Storm embryos were the first to sell out. I have found the same thing. In regards to flushing cows, yes, I usually flush my donors at least twice, some 7-8 times before they come back home and get bred again. Right now, I have 7 cows at the ET center,  and I often have one or two more there. Why would I do this? Probably because I have made selling embryos a big part of my business. I just passed selling 2400 embryos in the fall of 2018 and they have gone to 14 countries. I am not bragging, it is a fact. There is a market for Shorthorn embryos if you work at developing a market. Two years ago, I sold the first Shorthorn genetics from North America to Costa Rica. I have recently got emails from Argentina, Chile and Sweden regarding Shorthorn embryos. I am doing it differently that most are, in that I do not concentrate on American show genetics. I will use them occasionally, but most of the time, I try to offer different genetics than most others do. My embryo inventory just arrived two days ago from the ET center and I have 358 embryos and have 3 more flushes in the next week. You  may be surprised to know that I just sold a set of 30 Shorthorn embryos to a guy in Texas. He has never owned a Shorthorn before.
I only commented on Fire Storm because I think he is a pretty good bull. I have not heard of any calving issues, but like any bull, use your head when you use him.
I have often heard that it is people who that are less successful than you are, who will attack you and that people more successful than you, will not. If this is true, you must be less successful than most any other breeder, because I have seen you attack most everyone. Unlike you, I will cheer for a good animal, regardless of it's breeding and regardless of who owns it, whenever I see one.
In regards to Bayview Unique K11, time will tell but from what I am hearing from Australia, he is going a good job. If you happened to even read what I said about him, I said that one breeder in Australia bred a group 70 heifers, and half were bred to Unique and half were bred to a calving ease trait leader. He said that there was no noticeable different is calving problems from each bull. I then said, until we see how he does in North America, I am not going to call him a bull to use on heifers. I had two young couples from Australia visit me 6 weeks ago, and they were very high on this bull and they said he looks far more impressive in real life, even in the severe drought they are experiencing. I have not seen the bull myself, but he is getting good reviews and I felt he offers some newer genetics. Time will tell if he works here, and if he doesn't, I will dump his semen. I am not going to lose my farm if I have to do so. So Ryan... please grow up!  I wish you would realize that you are hurting yourself more than you could ever hurt me by doing this.
One of the nice things about this business is that we don't have to use the same sires as anyone else. Ryan, you don't ever have to use Fire Storm, and quite frankly, I hope you don't. Just last night, I got an email from a guy who has just started calving and he mentioned that he has had 3 Fire Storm calves this week and they look very good. He didn't mention anything about calving problems, he just said his 3 calves looked very good and  that he was waiting for 2 more to arrive. He said he will be using more of him this year. And the reason for his email, was to ask me some questions on the Fire Storm embryos I have in our online embryo sale coming up later this month.

The Big Show / Re: Hill Haven Fire Storm 28C
« on: January 11, 2019, 08:28:33 AM »
I am not hearing any horror stories about calving problems from Fire Storm here in Canada. Of course, if there are birth weight issues, the sires almost always gets the blame. A few years ago, I purchased some semen from a well known calving ease trait leader, and I used a few straws. I had two bull calves born and I castrated both because they were over my own rule of any bull calf over 110 lbs gets banded at birth no matter how good they are. These two calves were the only two I banded in that calf crop. I don't think it was only because of the sire.  I wish we could have an easier way to discuss calving ease besides by using birth weights. Birth weights are a component of calving ease, but as a leading cattle buyer said to me, " if I wanted lighter birth weights, the first thing I would do is select genetics that would produce shorter bodied calves". To me, this makes some sense. I have been told that taking 1 inch out of the rib of a new born calf represents 8-10 lbs, I have never been able to find research to prove if this is correct or not, but one person told me that Oregon State did some research that found this to be true.
Getting back to Fire Storm, I am pretty sure that we would be hearing about the horror stories if they were happening out there. So far, I have heard none. In regards to his sire, Waco, I looked back in my calving records and I have had 8 Waco sired calves born here. All unassisted with BWs of 90-102 lbs.

The Big Show / Re: Hill Haven Fire Storm 28C
« on: January 03, 2019, 08:03:56 PM »
I have been impressed with Fire Storm since I first saw him and have been using his semen in our ET program since it became available. I have just ordered another 20 straws, which makes 90 straws that I have used so far. I expect I will be using more in the future.
It seems that word is getting around the world as to how good Fire Storm and his offspring are, as I can hardly keep embryos sired by him in inventory. In the past two weeks I have had emails from Argentina and Chile asking only about Fire Storm embryos. I have already sent embryos by him to Australia, the UK and Ireland. A couple months ago, I posted a note on my facebook page offering a set of Fire Storm embryos and within minutes of posting, they sold to a breeder in Australia. I got real lucky, in that I found a tank that was being shipped to Australia that had room and we were able to get them to the buyer in a few days.  I am liking the calves I have seen from him as well
I was very fortunate to have been asked to be a judge of the Supreme Champions at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in 2017. I thought Fire Storm was easily the winner, but I did wonder if a few people would accuse me of being partial to my own breed if I voted for him. It really wasn't a concern, as when the votes were in, every judge had picked him as Supreme Champion bull. The judges came from across Canada and the US, and some of them told me he was the best Shorthorn bull they had seen in years. I have a full sister to Fire Storm here that will be entering our ET program this spring.
Matt, Dale and Bob, you should be very proud of breeding and developing a sire like Fire Storm. I think he is a real breed improver!

The Big Show / Re: Don Harsh
« on: December 19, 2018, 10:10:39 PM »
I have used Larry Spaans Trucking out of NW Iowa several times and I have found them to be very good. Every time I have used him, he has done is best to find other cattle heading in the same direction so the trucking costs can be shared. He lives very close to Trans Ova at Sioux Center, so he does a lot of trucking to and from there to all parts of the US. I think he has a few trucks on the road.

The Big Show / Re: Roan Brute
« on: November 18, 2018, 11:49:47 AM »
I sent you a PM Gary. Did you get it?

The Big Show / Re: Roan Brute
« on: November 15, 2018, 07:59:22 AM »
I like this guy!  Soft made, appears to be sound structured, deep sided and showing signs of masculinity at weaning. What is his pedigree? And here in Canada, we seem to be able to sell this color very easily! Very interesting!

The Big Show / Re: Shorthorns lost another good breeder
« on: November 04, 2018, 08:03:43 AM »
I was very shocked to hear that Bradley had passed away, as I had heard the day before his passing, that his health was improving but he was still in the hospital. He was one of the real gentlemen I have met in the Shorthorn breed. He was a great stockman and a great lover of Shorthorn cattle. He did not seek a lot of glory but just raised the best Shorthorns he could and as a result, his efforts started many new herds in eastern and southeastern US. He used to phone me occasionally, and talk about Shorthorn bloodlines and our conversations usually lasted quite awhile. I will miss him and I want to send my condolences to Shirley and this family and friends. Another very good man has gone! He will be missed.

The Big Show / Re: Royal Highland show 1966
« on: November 02, 2018, 08:12:57 AM »
Louada made several purchases from Bapton but I don't remember them buying the entire herd. I do remember when Gordon Blackstock died and I also remember that he was supposed to be moving to Louada but he died before this happened. It could well be that they had done a deal on the entire herd as well. When I was at Louada in late June, 1967, there were a few Bapton cows but far more Denend cows in the herd. Louada Farms was a beautiful place and Wib Donaldson and his wife were the most gracious hosts. Gary Latimer of Remitall and myself delivered the first Polled Herefords to Louada. We were just 16 years old and I often wonder what was wrong with our parents, to allow two 16 year old kids to head off on a 2000 mile trip,( one way) and deliver cattle and buy cattle all the way down and back. I have often wondered what happened to the Louada farm property once Wib died.

The Big Show / Re: Home raised herd bulls
« on: October 27, 2018, 09:50:00 AM »
Both bulls are excellent bulls and you should be commended for raising two bulls this good. As for which one is the best, I think I want to reserve judgment until I could see them in person. I have driven a lot of miles over the years because of a picture. Don't take me wrong, as I think these are both excellent bulls. I just think I would want to see them with my own eyes before I made a decision.

You should also be commended for realizing what you have there, and using them in your own herd. When I was 16 years old, I spent a few weeks working at Remitall in Alberta and I have always remembered Louis Latimer telling me, that the real good breeders are never afraid to use a sire that they have produced. I think there is some truth in this statement.

The Big Show / Re: NAME THE BULL!
« on: October 27, 2018, 07:58:49 AM »
I saw Leader 18th a few times at Ron Hofstrands in North Dakota and I never saw him looking like that!  It may well be Leader 18th, but the picture must have been taken on a very poor day. I will always remember going to Hofstrand's in fall one year, and seeing Leader 18th and a pasture full of his calves. At the time, I thought they may have been one of the best sets of calves from any sire I had ever seen. They were all stamped alike and all were pretty darn good! If I had not been using Highfield Irish Mist ( also a son of Leader 18th) I would have tried to buy one that day.

The Big Show / Re: Shorthorn History Buffs
« on: September 14, 2018, 09:03:16 AM »
As I have mentioned a few times in the past, there are several bulls from the past that should remain in the past. Some breeders think that if the bull had semen collected, he must have been a good bull. There are a few bulls from the past that were definitely ahead of their time. These are the bulls that can be useful today, but again, you must carefully mate them to good females, in order to produce offspring that can be marketed successfully. A few years ago, I did some flushes using sires from the 60s and 70s with dams from today. I mated TPS Coronet Leader 21st with two of my biggest framed, thickest cows. The resulting calves were very interesting. These calves were softer made and moderate framed. All of these calves did lose performance when compared with my other calves from today's genetics. I also used Pheasant Creek Leader 4th, who I consider to be the best bull ever from the Leader line, and I used him with two huge cows. Again, we got moderate framed thick and easy fleshing calves. These calves were considerably better than the Leader 21st calves. I had 4 ET full brothers and I kept one to use in my own herd, and I found that his calves were even better, probably because the older lower performance genetics were 1 generation more diluted in these calves. These calves were very marketable and we sold several through our sales at good money. One thing I did notice about these calves, was that they consistently had smaller ribeye areas that our bulls consisting of modern genetics. We were ultrasounding all our yearling bulls and this was consistent every year. These bulls from the older genetics in their background did have easier calving traits as well as easier fleshing ability.
In regards to the ribeye areas, we did extensive carcass evaluation in our own feedlot during the 70s and early 80s. Here in Canada, our federal department of Agriculture had a program called the "Blue tag program". This program allowed producers to purchase a blue tag for $1.00 and when the animals with these blue tags were slaughtered, their carcass data was sent to the producer. We probably did several hundred head while this program was available. We did all our Shorthorn and Shorthorn cross animals as well as a cross section of other breeds of animals we were feeding to get a comparison . It became very apparent why Shorthorns had lost favor with feedlot operators and packers in that era. I still have these carcass data sheets showing the Shorthorns of that era having excess fat, and very small ribeye areas. There were 1250 lb live weight steers with 8.0-8.5 square inch ribeye areas. This was considerably less ribeye area than the other breeds we collected data on.
One of the most significant things our carcass data collection did show, occurred when we collected the first data on our Shorthorns sired by Irish Shorthorn sires. Our first crop of steers sired by Highfield Irish Mist averaged over 4 square inches more ribeye area than those from current genetics of that day. This was something we did not expect to see, at least in such a major way. We brought the Irish cattle from Ireland to help improve testicle size and shape, rump structure and udders on the females. The Irish cattle we used did all of these things extremely well. At the time, Shorthorn bulls had major issues with poorly shaped testicles and many of them had tipped and/or twisted testicles. There were lots of issues with poor udder and teat shape, and I can still remember some of those horrible balloon teats on the cows. Another problem was that many of that eras cattle did not carry their thickness through their hips and rumps and there often was far too much fat deposited in these areas. Highfield Irish Mist added improvement in these areas in one generation. I never saw an Irish Mist daughter with a poor udder, even if their dams had bottle teats and swing bags. He added thickness from hooks to pins in his offspring and he certainly corrected testicle size and shape. His contribution to improving carcass quality was a huge added bonus that we did not expect at first. I still consider Highfield Irish Mist to be a "once in a lifetime" bull. He consistenty settled over 100 cows every summer, and always came in from pasture in better shape when he went out. He had perfect feet ( which was very unusual for an Irish bull ) and he never had his feet trimmed in any way. At 14 years of age, he could still out walk any person and if you were trying to keep up with him, you would have to occasionally have to run for a little ways to catch up to him. I have often wondered how long he would have been able to breed cows as he was still athletic and sound at 14 years of age. Just prior to turning him out at 14 years of age, he got a twisted gut and we rushed him the U of Sask Vet college. As they started to operate, he suddenly had a massive heart attack and died on the operating table. When they did an autopsy, his heart had completely blown apart, and they expected this occurred because of the stress the twisted gut had caused.
Today, we have Shorthorns that still have the maternal traits that the breed has been known for, for many decades. We also have  Shorthorns that can compete with most any breed for carcass quality and they are especially good at adding marbling. That said, I still maintain that there are a few sires from the past, that have some good traits that can add improvement to today's bloodlines. The trick is to be able to select which ones these are, and which ones should be tossed out.

The Big Show / Re: Baron Victor
« on: August 12, 2018, 05:50:22 PM »
I agree with blending some of the best genetics from the past with some of today's genetics, and I have done a considerable amount of this myself. I truly respect breeders who take the time to keep breeding the best bloodlines from past decades. The only issue I have is with the breeders who try to embrace anything from the past as being something that should be reused. As I said before, just because someone collected semen on a bull in the 60s or 70s does not make him a good bull. Some of these cattle were total failures then and are still the same today. Study your lessons when you are selecting older genetics.

The Big Show / Re: Bred heifer acting strange
« on: August 11, 2018, 10:40:09 AM »
I would suggest you get your vet check her out asap. That is what your vet is for. None of us on here have seen your heifer or how she is acting so we are just guessing what it could be. I was going to guess, but then thought " why would I do that? Time could be most important in this situation, so get her to a vet or get your vet to your farm right away."  Hope everything works out for the good. If she was mine, I would already be on the road to the vet clinic with her.

The Big Show / Re: Baron Victor
« on: August 11, 2018, 09:26:37 AM »
I would think there would have to be some Canadian cattle of dual purpose descent that would be "native" in Canada.  There are several dual purpose herds in the states that I think would be "native." 

I have always been interested in why people want to preserve these genetics, other than for just the sake of preserving the genetics.  That is a good reason, but are there others?  My experience has been that a blend of the old with the new is pretty good.  On the other hand, if the old genetics, or the new for that matter, aren't what you want, the resulting mix won't be good, either.  Perhaps the best breeding bull I've bred and used combines the breeding of Leader 9th, Deerpark Leader 18th, and Cates' Nobody's Fool cow.  He's extremely pleasing to the eye and I use him with utmost confidence on heifers.  I have always found it kind of fun to try to combine the genetics available and come up with a success once in a while.

That is precisely the reason to preserve the old genetics; had semen from Leader 9th not been available, you would not have been able to produce that "best breeding bull."

Of course the old genetics will not work in every situation, but that is certainly not a valid argument against preserving, and experimenting with, heritage bloodlines.

I appreciate breeders who try to preserve genetics from the past. The only issue I see with some of them is that they " assume" everything from the past needs to be preserved. I think we need to remember that some of these genetics were bad when they walked on earth and are bad now. There are some other genetics from the past that truly need to be preserved and blended into today's and future generations.
I remember doing carcass data on many old lines back in the 70s and getting results from 1200 lb steers that showed they had 7.5- 8 square inch ribeye areas and excessive fat coverage. IMO, it is no wonder that the beef industry punted the Shorthorn breed to the background in the late 60s and early 70s. I have to say that the Shorthorn breed has done a pretty good job of breeding carcass improvement into their cattle without losing some of their historic good qualities. As Shorthorn breeders, we all need to embrace these good improvements and stop finding fault in everything.
I went on an Angus tour a couple days ago, and I was very pleased to have a well known Angus breeder walk up to me and tell me that he had just returned from a few weeks in Scotland and England and that the Shorthorn breed is far ahead of the Angus breed in these countries. He said the best cattle he saw on this trip were Shorthorns. He kinda perked this old guy up !

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