RETNUH

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librarian

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Hi guys, does anyone remember the RETNUH program or MAR VEL? I'm looking at dual purpose pedigrees.
https://shorthorn.digitalbeef.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=_animal&file=_animal&search_value=&animal_registration=3634755&member_id=
 

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oakview

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Both were Milking Shorthorn herds of some repute.  A Mar-Vel bred cow produced Deer Trail Dynamite 80, in my opinion one of the better Deerpark Leader 13th sons.  Obviously some Haumont breeding in the background. 
 

idalee

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My parents used three Retnuh bulls in the late 50's and early 60's.  At the time,  they had good milk production and type.  The last bull was Retnuh National purchased at the Milking Shorthorn National Sale in 1960.    The attached picture is of his dam,  Retnuh Valeria 3rd and the bull calf.  The calf was sired by Retnuh Choice who appears in the pedigrees you attached.  As an interesting side-note,  Joe Hunter,  owner of Retnuh Farm is the great-uncle of Duncan Hunter,  US  Representative from California who was convicted in 2020 of misuse of campaign dollars and sentenced to prison.
 

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idalee

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Well,  I'll try again to post the picture!
 

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librarian

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Wow, thanks for posting the Milking Shorthorn Journal  pictures. Those 1960 Milking Shorthorns were truly beautiful cows. I get more inquiries from people looking for old style Milking Shorthorns than old style beef Shorthorns. Now I understand why. Was 1960 about the time these disappeared or did they make it beyond the 60’s?
 

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oakview

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There were lots of excellent dual purpose type Shorthorns around in the 70's and 80's.  Seemed like they were concentrated in, but not limited to, the midwest states and Canada.  Most of those breeders are either gone or their cattle were snapped up and incorporated into other genetics.  There are still some around, but you have to look hard to find them. 
 

mark tenenbaum

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Deertrail Goliath (sired by guiness)Deertrail Wallstreet ( Goliaths full brother) and I think Deertrail Powerhouse (sired by Dividend) were all out of marvel cows There is semen around and they could still be usefull today O0
 

idalee

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There was a huge exodus from the breed in the 50's and 60's and most of those cattle were never heard from again.  This was because the breed couldn't or wouldn't change to meet the needs of the evolving beef and dairy industries.  However,  a second factor in the loss of those great early cattle actually started in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Those early cattle had a marked tendency to put on weight,  get fat and become patchy.  This was the result of selection in the breed for hundreds of years to lay on lots of fat.  Early slaughter records always recorded the yields of tallow which was used in candle making and was a primary industry in England.  At the end of the 19th century,  fat and patchy cattle fell out of favor as being unfashionable.  Many cattle were culled just because they didn't look good to the judges of those days.  Unrecognized by breeders of the time was the fact that most of the genetic traits that made Shorthorns so great were linked with the ability to lay on lots of fat and in culling those old fat cows,  much of the really unique and outstanding genetic merits of the original breed were lost forever.
 

librarian

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idalee said:
There was a huge exodus from the breed in the 50's and 60's and most of those cattle were never heard from again.  This was because the breed couldn't or wouldn't change to meet the needs of the evolving beef and dairy industries.  However,  a second factor in the loss of those great early cattle actually started in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Those early cattle had a marked tendency to put on weight,  get fat and become patchy.  This was the result of selection in the breed for hundreds of years to lay on lots of fat.  Early slaughter records always recorded the yields of tallow which was used in candle making and was a primary industry in England.  At the end of the 19th century,  fat and patchy cattle fell out of favor as being unfashionable.  Many cattle were culled just because they didn't look good to the judges of those days.  Unrecognized by breeders of the time was the fact that most of the genetic traits that made Shorthorns so great were linked with the ability to lay on lots of fat and in culling those old fat cows,  much of the really unique and outstanding genetic merits of the original breed were lost forever.
Thank you for your insight. Was this mostly hard back fat, or soft fat like in brisket?
 

oakview

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In the 60's, Shorthorns were criticized for being too fat in the brisket, patchy around the tail head, small ribeye, and too much back fat.  Attributes were gainabiilty, gradeability, milking ability, and temperament.  That's according to the voc ag class book I had in high school.  Angus were described as having the best carcass quality, but there were too many "pony Angus".  Those would be the knee level cattle, significantly smaller than the belt buckle cattle.  Believe me, we fed out some blacks that finished at 750 pounds.  Herefords were the hardiest range type cattle, but had the traditional hole in the middle of their back, didn't milk, had pinkeye and udder problems, and didn't grade choice as well as the other two.  I think all breeds have made progress in addressing these issues over the years, unfortunately at the cost of lessening some of the benefits they had. 
 
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