Horned vs Polled

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justintime

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Here is a question for you to consider.....
You are a purebred breeder with a herd of 50 breeding age females. You are looking for a herd bull to use in your herd as you only A.I. a few head each year. Your cows are almost all polled and about 1/2 of them are at least 3 generations polled breeding and the rest are two generations or less. You have three horned females in the herd.
In your search for the next great herd sire, you find two bulls that you really like. Both have excellent bloodlines and both are selling in the same sale.The only problem is that the one you like the best is horned while the other bull is polled and not quite as good. You also know that the chances are that the horned bull will sell for considerably less money than the polled bull will. You also want to try to produce some bulls that can be developed to sell, so you are conscience of the discrepancy that often exists between horned and polled animals.
THE QUESTION IS>>>> WOULD YOU TRY TO BUY THE HORNED BULL AS YOU THINK HE IS THE BEST BULL.... OR WOULD YOU PASS HIM BY BECAUSE HE IS HORNED AND TRY TO PURCHASE THE POLLED BULL? Have at it.....
 

itk

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I say take the best animal no matter what. Horned and polled doesn't really matter to me. About the only time I wouldn't take the best animals is if he was stocking legged, THC and horned. People get to wrapped up in the little things like horns and hair color and forget to evaluate the whole animal. It is amazing how much genetic progress some people are willing to miss out on because they refuse to use horned or roan or any other vice they might have in their herd. I would never pay more for a subpar animal who's only advantage is being polled, horns just don't make that much of a difference in our operation.
 

OH Breeder

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Buy the best bull that fits your program. If the bull that is horned is only disqualified from selection because of horns, then go with the horn. If the polled animal is better and more to your program then go polled.

BY the way,
JIT
you said you saw Legacy Plus. What did he look like in person? Posted under Legacy Plus.
 

CPL

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Probably would go with the polled bull, especially when selling to commerical bull buyers. Although I'm not intimidated by them, I've heard alot of fuss about them- not to mention their % horned progeny being discounted at the sale barn. However, I'd say there's some pretty good genetics in some Horned Herefords (Cooper/Holden and others) but seeing the gap between Horned and Polled in the Hereford breed more people are reluctant to combine genetics to furture the breed.
 

renegade

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Polled is the dominant gene. Most of your progeny should be polled and if a cow keeps having a horned calf and you don't want that sell her and use a replacement heifer without that recessive gene.
 

pigguy

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kansas
you could alway burn the bus so they dont grow and you cant see them then when at the sale barn
 

Jill

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As a Maine breeder I would buy the horned, it only affects 3 cows in your scenerio, the others should throw polled calves regardless of the bull, there is a little added cost for the horns, we burn them off on most, but do surgical dehorn on the "great" ones, but I think the better bull wins out.
In the case of the Hereford scenerio I would stick with what I had, horned or polled, I can understand that line of thinking also.
 

aj

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cpl. I think the horned vs. the polled herford deal was coming along. When I was judging herfords in college(1981) I know the horned herford people and polled herford people would almost come to blows when disscussing the two breeds. Now they are under one association. I had the impression that the horned herfords were better butted back then than the poll's. I think the herfords are a under rated breed that work well in rough tuff enviroments.There is alot of tradition in the herford breed and alot of proud people that breed them.
 

DL

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I hate dehorning - I really hate dehorning - it can border on barbaric depending on who does it when and I hate the smell of burning

that said the polled/horned trait is only one trait that I look at for my herd - so if the horned bull is the better bull I would take him.

In the Maine breed there are a fair number of polled bulls but very few homozygous polled - in fact Pollstar is the only one that I am aware of and his semen is no longer availabe (I am sure there are others but they probably are PHAC  :mad: )so I end up doing a fair amount of dehorning every year - I paste at less than a week - I sedate the calves and give them flunixin and it doesn't seem to bother most scratch at their heads a couple of times and go about their business - I pasted myself (no contrary to previous reports I was not born with horns :( ) to see how painful it is and actually my little event with the stuck bull and the gate and the sledge hammer last night was more painful - I think it would qualify as 90 lb weakling saves stuck bull and straightens out previously crooked nose!
;D
 

CPL

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aj said:
cpl. I think the horned vs. the polled herford deal was coming along. When I was judging herfords in college(1981) I know the horned herford people and polled herford people would almost come to blows when disscussing the two breeds. Now they are under one association. I had the impression that the horned herfords were better butted back then than the poll's. I think the herfords are a under rated breed that work well in rough tuff enviroments.There is alot of tradition in the herford breed and alot of proud people that breed them.

Many of the State Associations still have different associations for horned and polled. They also have different sales and shows. But its coming along.

Also, not everyone's commerical herd is going to be 100% polled. I know quite a few herds that have cows in the herd that were dehorned or horns sawed off, etc. The cows with horns generally run cheaper at the sale barn, so they buy those and then buy an angus bull (to take horns off and change color). The job of a bull breeder (any breed) is to produce a product that will do as good as or better than an angus bull. A horned bull is just one strike.

Just while were on the subject, most commerical farmers have very busy lives. They have bills that need payed and sometimes work 2 jobs. From a few I've spoken with and know they barely spend any time with their families, let alone have time cull bad females, monitor progeny, doctor up cows/calves that come down with something, etc. They want something that's not going to take a lot of input from themself (dehorning horned calves for example), but still return a profit. Again not every beef producer is this way, but there are quite a few in my area, and it makes since to get a product that appeals to them.
 

CAB

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  Most everyone tags calves @ birth. Why don't people just take a quick feel @ that time & paste any horns Off? We've done it for many years, works very well. Brent
 

knabe

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does anyone clip the hair first?  the problem i had with pasting them in the pasture, is that momma would come lickety split and lick it off, so you needed to keep them separate for a few minutes.  amazing how fast that stuff burns through to the muscle if you ignore it.
 

DL

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knabe said:
does anyone clip the hair first?  the problem i had with pasting them in the pasture, is that momma would come lickety split and lick it off, so you needed to keep them separate for a few minutes.  amazing how fast that stuff burns through to the muscle if you ignore it.

I clip 'em and paste 'em - I lock the babies in a pen for a couple of hours and then just wipe the paste off - don't want to burn the tongue or udder of the unsuspecting mother!

CPL while I do agree with much of what you said and we are all busy, if cattlemen don't have time to "cull bad females, monitor progeny, doctor up cows/calves that come down with something, etc" then maybe they should consider getting out of the business - shouldn't the first priority of a good stockperson be taking care of the stock??.
 

garybob

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dragon lady said:
knabe said:
does anyone clip the hair first?  the problem i had with pasting them in the pasture, is that momma would come lickety split and lick it off, so you needed to keep them separate for a few minutes.  amazing how fast that stuff burns through to the muscle if you ignore it.

I clip 'em and paste 'em - I lock the babies in a pen for a couple of hours and then just wipe the paste off - don't want to burn the tongue or udder of the unsuspecting mother!

CPL while I do agree with much of what you said and we are all busy, if cattlemen don't have time to "cull bad females, monitor progeny, doctor up cows/calves that come down with something, etc" then maybe they should consider getting out of the business - shouldn't the first priority of a good stockperson be taking care of the stock??.
Good points from the both of you!
 

garybob

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justintime said:
Here is a question for you to consider.....
You are a purebred breeder with a herd of 50 breeding age females. You are looking for a herd bull to use in your herd as you only A.I. a few head each year. Your cows are almost all polled and about 1/2 of them are at least 3 generations polled breeding and the rest are two generations or less. You have three horned females in the herd.
In your search for the next great herd sire, you find two bulls that you really like. Both have excellent bloodlines and both are selling in the same sale.The only problem is that the one you like the best is horned while the other bull is polled and not quite as good. You also know that the chances are that the horned bull will sell for considerably less money than the polled bull will. You also want to try to produce some bulls that can be developed to sell, so you are conscience of the discrepancy that often exists between horned and polled animals.
THE QUESTION IS>>>> WOULD YOU TRY TO BUY THE HORNED BULL AS YOU THINK HE IS THE BEST BULL.... OR WOULD YOU PASS HIM BY BECAUSE HE IS HORNED AND TRY TO PURCHASE THE POLLED BULL? Have at it.....
what gets me, is all the good, scurred bulls that get horned price at these sales. It's amazing how many life-timer  ol-timers, don't know that a scurred bull is homozygous polled. Got that bit of info from a Canadian website.
 

knabe

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garybob, what gets me, is many oldtimers don't know what dominant or recessive is and think it's a joke about their relationship.  then when you try and explain it, they don't want to know and say that's why I just buy polled.  they want the breeder to do it for them if horns are a concern.  my old beef instructor (horned hereford breeder) believed the polled gene was linked to relaxed prepuce's and to cull against it, particularly with sheathy bulls.  nothing like dragging an infection magnet around thorn high.  we have russian thistle, and it's about that high.  now, with TJ's cattle, that would be a real scraper. ;D  any observations about that in the lowlines TJ?
 

shorthorns r us

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dragon lady said:
knabe said:
does anyone clip the hair first?  the problem i had with pasting them in the pasture, is that momma would come lickety split and lick it off, so you needed to keep them separate for a few minutes.  amazing how fast that stuff burns through to the muscle if you ignore it.

I clip 'em and paste 'em - I lock the babies in a pen for a couple of hours and then just wipe the paste off - don't want to burn the tongue or udder of the unsuspecting mother!

CPL while I do agree with much of what you said and we are all busy, if cattlemen don't have time to "cull bad females, monitor progeny, doctor up cows/calves that come down with something, etc" then maybe they should consider getting out of the business - shouldn't the first priority of a good stockperson be taking care of the stock??.


you need  to come spend some time in cow-calf country.  i would be very interested in your observations after a week of local stocker auctions.
 

knabe

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i agree SRU, i'm not in the real world, it's just a hobby, meat for me, with a little genetics on the side.  as for reality, check this out.

http://www.lippardauctions.com/archived_auction_detail.php?ID=358894

this place was repossessed by the bank.  it was financed for 430,000 by a son of a family friend.  it was our current leasee's home place when he was a kid and his mom sold it years ago.  supposedly there was some shenanigans about "stolen" cattle, 250 of them, but supposedly he stole them himself, there is some lawyering going on, he may or may not be in jail.  i'm having a hard time figuring out why the bank would finance this operation, unless the collatoral was good, as it was probably the kids dad who put something up.  that is a heck of a lot of investment in a short amount of time to feed cattle and pay it off with little margin for error.  this is just right near our family's home place (2 miles).  i'm not sure i would have located a feed yard there with such a nice home.  it kinda "overcapitalized" the income generation of the land.  most guys around there don't have a fancy home like that even on the property, usually just decent outbuildings.  the land around this area is owned by people in their 70s-90's, and there's trouble for sure coming on home front in upstate OK.  seems like the guy wanted all the fixin's before he started.  we are currently negotiating with a young farmer with similar aspirations, but a little more restrained.  my uncle worked for about 40 years for a guy whose smallest part of the operation was a feedlot that size. it was there i saw my first diagonal bar feedbunks and hyrdralic squeeze chute.  that same guy is basically retired and has about 200 head of horses for "fun" which are draining him, but i guess he doesn't care.  him and his wife have no kids, and their nephews aren't interested in farming.  he's whittled down his property considerably to pay for medical bills.  he's the guy who had the sludge pond facility and sold it for a little over a million.  one of the best operators i ever knew.  we earn 0-5k per 1/4 section around those parts on wheat ground, less on pasture, less on gas/oil leases.  we still have buffalo wallows on our pasture.  i live in dream land in CA and have no connection to reality.
 
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