Got Milk?

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Weezie

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Sep 7, 2016
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I was wondering what are the best shorthorn bulls to add milk? EPD's aside, what bulls have you found made a serious impact on milk production in a generation. Ideally, I would like to maintain look while adding more milk but I'm curious to hear everyone's opinions.
 

idalee

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Aug 18, 2013
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I will take a stab at this.  Coalpit Creek Leader 6th daughters all milked well with very good udders and were tremendous mothers.  The son we used, bred by Ralph Larson,  also carried the same traits.    I have had only one daughter of Kamilaroi Meat Packer,  so take this for what it is worth!  She had an udder the size of a small tea cup and a brain about the same size!  After careful attention for more than a week,  I was finally able to turn her out but she still had trouble keeping track of her calf.  She finally seems to have adequate milk.  Regarding EPD for milk,  that is one EPD trait that I have little use for because it seems that Shorthorn calves are great little robbers and Shorthorn mothers pretty much let anybody suck,  so a high EPD for milk may only mean that the calves are aggressive eaters. 
 

Weezie

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Sep 7, 2016
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Thanks Idalee for your response! I agree with you on the MILK EPD. I think in a vacuum the EPD has some merit but in the situation that you presented it seems like that could distort the number. I figured seeing how a cow milks compared to her mother or even farther back would be the best knowledge possible in determining actual milk production. I will look into Coalpit Creek Leader 6th a little more.

Is there any other bulls that come to mind?
 

shortybreeder

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idalee said:
I will take a stab at this.  Coalpit Creek Leader 6th daughters all milked well with very good udders and were tremendous mothers.  The son we used, bred by Ralph Larson,  also carried the same traits.    I have had only one daughter of Kamilaroi Meat Packer,  so take this for what it is worth!  She had an udder the size of a small tea cup and a brain about the same size!  After careful attention for more than a week,  I was finally able to turn her out but she still had trouble keeping track of her calf.  She finally seems to have adequate milk.  Regarding EPD for milk,  that is one EPD trait that I have little use for because it seems that Shorthorn calves are great little robbers and Shorthorn mothers pretty much let anybody suck,  so a high EPD for milk may only mean that the calves are aggressive eaters.
I'll second this. We have one fresh heifer Muridale Murango x JSF McCoy who's a pretty low milker, but her bull calf has been milking out another heifer who lost her calf. Then I have another young heifer who I saw 5 different calves nurse from her in the span of 10 minutes.. the son of the low milker looks fantastic but the daughter of the better milker isn't exactly a standout. The higher milker goes back to GFS Creole and Crooked Post Grissom. Although for what it's worth, the former is 55% percentile milk EPD and the latter is 5% EPD, so I think in this case they're in line.
 

mbigelow

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Mar 11, 2015
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Austin City limit, Byland Steadfast, Deertrail Buckshot, emerdale Lincoln, lc diamond cutter. The list is in order for how they have worked at adding milk. 
 

mark tenenbaum

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Sure like to find some Buckshot I saw him three or four times as a calf-and WHAT A COW  I saw a very cool diamond cutter back when Shorthorns were great ZIA pictured in a sale way back -Laughtner will MAKE SHORTHORNS GREAT AGAIN I"d be happy to  to make them thick again with out poisen feed and monster BWS O0
 

Weezie

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Does Shadybrook Scotty 83K breed similar to Buckshot? Is there any Buckshot semen around anymore? What's the story on Austin City Limit and LC Diamond Cutter?
 

CAB

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Milking ability is only 20% hereditary. I don't know for sure what the percentages are for udder quality and teat size. Just guessing I would say more inheritable than milking ability. That is strictly a guess though.
 

mbigelow

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Austin city limit is a rodeo drive son out of a hilltop lancer(mikling shorthorn) he was bred by waukaru shorthorns and produced good females.  He did throw some large bw calves every now and then.  Contact shadybrook abot scotty and Buckshot.  Diamond cutter was a leggs 21 son out of an appendix cow. Irish on the top and good honest cattle on the bottom. Another good bull but can add some attitude every other calf is nps Durango.
 

idalee

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Heritability for milk yield in dairy cattle is about 0.30 but not sure how it is for beef cattle.  However,  I was raised with Native Milking Shorthorns and I know that you can spend a lifetime building milking production in that breed and destroy it all with a single unfortunate breeding decision.  Unpredictable transmissibility of milk production is probably the most disappointing attribute of that breed. 
 

idalee

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Yes,  CAB,  I had seen that graphic and I guess I don't understand how to use it because it looks like the heritability for milk for Angus is 0.12.  Generally speaking,  the Angus cows I see almost all have abundant milk and I had always thought that their milking genetics were of higher heritability than that. 
 

Dale

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Weaning weight of a cow's calves is the best way to measure milk production in beef cow.  Or not?  Harold Thieman/TPS said that he told his county agent (helping weigh at weaning) to "knock off 100 lb." of a fat bull calf's weight since he was a "robber."

Environment has a way of sneaking up on us.  How about our 14 fall calves in pasture with creep, where ~half of them did not eat the creep's soy hulls?  What about our fleshy roan bull calf that creep grazes (his idea, not ours) when most others do not?  Let Matt at ASA figure that out.  Beyond this cowboy's pay grade....

A good neighbor gave me some LC Diamond Cutter semen and I put a straw in a cow a few months ago.  It was thought to be a Venture straw until I read it after it was thawed, so I did not let it go to waste.  Some of the better ones have been produced more by accident more than by design.  If we could predict the result from planned matings, we'd all raise a great one every time, right?
 

oakview

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We used the Leader line 50 years ago and generally found them to be less than average milkers.  I have again used some Leader 9th genetics over the past 6 or 7 years and found them to be adequate in milk production, most likely due to the Muridale dam of the Leader 9th son I used.  Judging by the performance of the calves sired by the same bull, the Diamond Zulu daughters I have must milk a little better than the Leader 9th granddaughters, though.  I have had good luck with Deerpark Leader 18th genetics and some dual purpose breeding.  Probably as good a breeding bull that I've used from a standpoint of milking ability/calf performance was a son of MGRR Boris (Rodeo Drive) out of Bonnie Ruberta (Deerpark Leader 18th X Dual purpose).  I found the mention of Austin City Limit interesting due to his combination of Rodeo Drive and dual purpose genetics.  I have several members of the Ann family in the herd today and they all descend from the Boris son I used.  They have quality udders and consistently raise above average performing calves of good type.  Another top producer of females over the years for us was a 7/8 bull combining Lefty 83rd and believe it or not, Black Power Play.  I still have some of this line, although they seemed to unfortunately produce more bulls than females.  I just sold the last grand daughter of this bull two or three years ago at 17 years of age.  I think some of the Canadian breeders that have stayed away from strictly show type cattle would be a good source of female genetics and you should be able to find some that are pleasing to look at, too.   
 

carl

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I am wondering why Shorthorn breeders are wanting to increase milk production in their herds?
I have seen very few Shorthorn cows in my lifetime that don't milk well enough to wean a live, healthy calf. I've seen a whole bunch of them that milk themselves into a bag of bones, or blow out their udders from too much milk.
Be careful what you wish for.
 

oakview

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You are correct, most Shorthorn cows are good milkers, docile, and generally good mother cows.  Some do milk themselves into a bag of bones compared to the old Hereford cows that starved their calves, but stayed in good shape themselves.  I think where some Shorthorn breeders ran into trouble was through the use of some of the more club calf genetics.  I won't name names, but generally the TH and PHA carrier's offspring did a number on milking ability, at least the ones I used years ago. 
 

Weezie

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carl said:
I am wondering why Shorthorn breeders are wanting to increase milk production in their herds?
I have seen very few Shorthorn cows in my lifetime that don't milk well enough to wean a live, healthy calf. I've seen a whole bunch of them that milk themselves into a bag of bones, or blow out their udders from too much milk.
Be careful what you wish for.

I have a cow that's bred really well phenotypically and produces great quality calves but she is getting older and it's time I start thinking about how to breed her to replace her. The one area that I would like to improve the most is milk. Ideally would like to keep phenotype as much as possible. Milk is like any other trait you have to be careful but not all animals within a breed are the same.
 

Doc

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Weezie said:
carl said:
I am wondering why Shorthorn breeders are wanting to increase milk production in their herds?
I have seen very few Shorthorn cows in my lifetime that don't milk well enough to wean a live, healthy calf. I've seen a whole bunch of them that milk themselves into a bag of bones, or blow out their udders from too much milk.
Be careful what you wish for.

I have a cow that's bred really well phenotypically and produces great quality calves but she is getting older and it's time I start thinking about how to breed her to replace her. The one area that I would like to improve the most is milk. Ideally would like to keep phenotype as much as possible. Milk is like any other trait you have to be careful but not all animals within a breed are the same.

So how is she bred? She may bred so that anything will be an improvement or she may just might be an outlier for those genetics that for some reason doesn't milk well.
 

Weezie

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Sep 7, 2016
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She is out of a Solution son. Id say she's in the 14's weight wise. I'm know there is a lot of knowledge from experience so I thought it would be interesting to see what people have experienced first hand.
 
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