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Offline -XBAR-

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2016, 01:35:23 PM »
I would assume broad shoulders/narrow shoulders, broad hips/narrow hips would be evaluated from the top, front, or rear view, instead of the side view as I mentioned in my question regarding depth from the side resulting in a wedge shape from that angle.  Most of the bull buyers I hear do not want a broad shoulder in anticipation of potential calving issues.  They also tend to want a well shaped hip showing some muscle expression.  Perhaps this is how man challenges nature by trying to form our animals to our perception of ideal?  I've been participating in and watching shows for over 50 years.  Many, many times I have heard judges comment that they want a certain animal to have a deeper flank, which directly contradicts "wedge shaped" from the side view.  There are readily available feed additives that supposedly help develop a deeper flank.  The desire to have a higher proportion of the weight to be in the rear half to increase the percentage of higher priced cuts also contradicts the "wedge shape."  (at least with more emphasis on front depth)  One final thought to help us all get more confused:  If we select bulls with narrow hips, will they not tend to sire calves with narrow hips?  Wouldn't the resulting female offspring with narrow hips be more prone to calving difficulties, especially when mated to another bull with broad shoulders?  I guess I prefer both sexes to be somewhat of a happy medium, enough depth, front and rear, enough width, front and rear, without being too extreme in any one measure.

Notice in my example how the 'wedge' can be evaluated from both a birds eye view and from the profile.  The torso/wedge is not a 2 dimensional shape but rather a 3 dimensional triangular prism. 

When I say broad shouldered, I mean broad in relation to the width of his hips.  Sure a bull with broad shoulders relative to the circumference of his foreribs is going to be harder calving. You don't want the shoulders setting outside the ribs but rather laid evenly so that the transition from the front third to the middle third is smooth and gradual. 

I agree I'd like to see the bull carry his muscle farther on down in his lower quarter towards his hock.  Still the chest floor needs to be the lowest point in relation to the rest of the bottom line.  Judges commenting about bulls needing deeper flanks are commenting on nothing other than an aesthetic preference. They need more time evaluating functional characteristics in the cow pasture and less time primping in a show barn.  You're right, suggesting a bull have a deeper flank is contradictory to the ideal wedge design. These are the type of comments that expose how often judges prioritize aesthetics over functionality.

 Bulls you want deeper front 1/3s.  Females you want deeper rear 1/3s.  Bulls you want larger heart girth (relative to flank girth) Females have larger flank girth (relative to their heart girth).  Both bulls and females should be wedge shaped but the direction of their wedge being opposite.  Bulls tapering towards the rear.  Females towards the front. 

No one suggesting selecting bulls with narrow hips.  What was stated was that the hips be narrower than the shoulders. 



Offline Duncraggan

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2016, 02:22:08 PM »
Xbar's post came through while I was typing my response and I couldn't articulate my thoughts better! I think I can sketch better though.

Offline -XBAR-

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2016, 02:28:11 PM »
From the side view at least, I would not classify the Emulous bull shown as wedged shaped.  I would wager he had at least adequate hip width and not too much shoulder, though it's hard to tell from the side view.

From the profile you can't tell anything about this bull's width and very little about the prominence of his shoulder so  your comment is a bit confusing. You would have to evaluate him from a Birdseye perspective to make those comments.  From the profile you would need to evaluate the depth of his chest floor and then follow his bottom line towards his rear to make that  determinate.   

His design is a bit distorted by how over conditioned he is but I would absolutely say he is wedge shaped bull.

Offline oakview

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2016, 02:59:54 PM »
If that bull is wedge shaped, your definition of wedge shaped and mine are different things.  That's fine.  My recollection of the Emulous bulls of the past is that they were not bulky fronted, narrow hipped animals.  That is what I would base my wager on.  The drawings of the triangles make me hope I never have an animal that looks like that!  I assume they are exaggerated somewhat to make a point.

Offline r.n.reed

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2016, 03:30:15 PM »
 Here are some pictures of Double Brute taken last winter to help the discussion along
Gary Kaper

Offline Medium Rare

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2016, 04:51:36 PM »
I prefer to see the top of the wedge or triangle more parallel to the ground with the long sides meeting well behind the animal. Otherwise, the animal tends to take on more of a "buffalo" appearance, which I do not find desirable. There are a couple bulls currently being pushed who take on the near perfect isosceles or buffalo appearance and I believe you can see its negative affects in their daughters. The other end of the spectrum is the countless androgynous appearing club calf bulls who never get around to throwing very many daughters that live up to expectations.

While each is of their own type and kind, these three beasts have pretty well stamped out the wedge/triangle theory, as my eye sees it, through their daughters.

Offline Dale

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #51 on: June 22, 2016, 06:14:48 PM »
If memory serves, Dad used to talk about wedge shape in dairy cattle, although we had only a few nurse cows way back when.

Maybe the dairy cow was supposed to have a wedge when viewed from the side, getting deeper toward the rear of the cow.  Dairy bulls may be the opposite with their side-view wedge being deeper at the front?  Is beef type similar?  Many beef breeds have some dairy blood.

It is amusing to hear "experts" want deep, level flanks in beef cattle.  If those cattle low in the flank are followed through into the meat cooler, their deep flank is filled with fat.  Where I come from the object is still to produce red meat instead of fat.



Offline aj

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #52 on: June 22, 2016, 06:28:18 PM »
The BIF conference held in Kansas.......held a week ago......stated that in 24 years the industry has not improved weaning weights. It is a joke to think in terms of "weaning weights". If you can get these average weaning weights......from a smaller more effecient cow ........that would make sense to me. The %weaning weigh of the cow kinda makes sense. But man.......you guys are talking cause you like to hear yourselves speak. There is no potential to increase weaning weights unless you are creep feeding calves with silage.
People can't believe we have such a big moon for such a small town.

Offline beebe

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #53 on: June 22, 2016, 08:09:13 PM »
If memory serves, Dad used to talk about wedge shape in dairy cattle, although we had only a few nurse cows way back when.

Maybe the dairy cow was supposed to have a wedge when viewed from the side, getting deeper toward the rear of the cow.  Dairy bulls may be the opposite with their side-view wedge being deeper at the front?  Is beef type similar?  Many beef breeds have some dairy blood.

It is amusing to hear "experts" want deep, level flanks in beef cattle.  If those cattle low in the flank are followed through into the meat cooler, their deep flank is filled with fat.  Where I come from the object is still to produce red meat instead of fat.
Is there a bull that does not wedge from front to back?  The top view would be more important to me.

Offline -XBAR-

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #54 on: June 22, 2016, 08:38:32 PM »
If memory serves, Dad used to talk about wedge shape in dairy cattle, although we had only a few nurse cows way back when.

Maybe the dairy cow was supposed to have a wedge when viewed from the side, getting deeper toward the rear of the cow.  Dairy bulls may be the opposite with their side-view wedge being deeper at the front?  Is beef type similar?  Many beef breeds have some dairy blood.

It is amusing to hear "experts" want deep, level flanks in beef cattle.  If those cattle low in the flank are followed through into the meat cooler, their deep flank is filled with fat.  Where I come from the object is still to produce red meat instead of fat.
Is there a bull that does not wedge from front to back?  The top view would be more important to me.

Offline Lucky_P

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #55 on: June 23, 2016, 08:38:06 AM »
I know nothing of the bull XBar posted just above, but shear off all that fluffy hair and put him out to pasture to breed 50 cows...then pull him in, take a photo and let's see what he looks like - mud, manure, and all.  May still not have the 'perfect' wedge that's being discussed... but I'll bet that he'd look significantly different.

Offline -XBAR-

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #56 on: June 23, 2016, 09:21:21 AM »
 He's wedge-shaped in the opposite direction like a female.  Run a tape around his heart and his flank and I guarantee you his flank girth is larger. This androgynous body type is the equivalent of a pear-shaped man who's hips are wider set than his shoulders. 

Offline oakview

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2016, 10:49:46 AM »
He sure is a nice show calf, though!  If he's who I think he is, he carries a lot of the genetics of one of the "ideal wedge shaped" bulls shown a few posts earlier.  With feed, hair, and perhaps a little tweaking you can make them look about any way you want.  I noticed several things about the three bulls and their wedge shaped lines:  All three are from different eras, all three successfully used for much different purposes (2 of the 3 heavily show oriented), one bred in Ireland, one in the US, and one in Canada, their "wedge lines" never meet as opposed to the drawings (thank goodness).  Two of the three have been used successfully for multiple decades.  The influence of the other will most likely be felt for a while, too.  The owner of each has done well which proves why we need diversity, both genetic and phenotype.  Ideal is in the eye of the beholder.  I don't think you can dictate it to anyone else.  If you like it, if you can sell it, if your customers like it, raise it and enjoy yourself. 

Offline beebe

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #58 on: June 23, 2016, 12:33:22 PM »
He's wedge-shaped in the opposite direction like a female.  Run a tape around his heart and his flank and I guarantee you his flank girth is larger. This androgynous body type is the equivalent of a pear-shaped man who's hips are wider set than his shoulders.
Thanks for the picture.  I don't see many bulls like that in my world.

Offline librarian

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Re: Shorthorn weaning weights.
« Reply #59 on: June 23, 2016, 12:34:40 PM »
With every respect to the individuals in this photo- I think it's a beautiful illustration of the complementary geometry of male and female. Truly, neither is complete with the other.
'Those who do not understand the old will not understand the new'. -farmers quote

 

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