Shorthorn News !!

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shortdawg

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The Appendix Shorthorn Program has been renamed " Shorthorn Plus (+) ". Check it out on www.shorthorn.org. I guess it is OK but will have to grow on me. What do you all think ?
 

cowz

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Jan 10, 2007
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I guess I'm a victim of my own "western" mentality.  Regionally, as a state association, we are trying to get back to our Purebred roots.  You can dress up the name, but an appendix is what it is.    I would rather see the National Association promote the Durham Red Program.  In my mind this program will enable Shorthorn producers open up seedstock markets to the commercial sector, which has lots of potential.  The appendix, "Shorty +", will still only appeal to a portion of the show cattle market.  Just my thoughts! :D
 

garybob

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I've got an idea! How about breeding Shorthorns with enough positive, balanced traits that are good enough to "sell themselves"? Seems to me, we have "Balancer Envy".

Any thoughts?
 

shorthorns r us

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when i told my wife, she said, " that's stupid, it should be shorthorn minus; it's less than a whole shorthorn."
 

red

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so they're saying that by breeding a Shorhorn to another breed your giving it a plus or bonus? Humm....

Red
 

DL

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Jan 29, 2007
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garybob said:
I've got an idea! How about breeding Shorthorns with enough positive, balanced traits that are good enough to "sell themselves"? Seems to me, we have "Balancer Envy".

Any thoughts?

"BALANCER ENVY" - now that is one for the archives -I like it (lol)

SRU you are a lucky man to have such a nice and smanrt wife!

Shorthorn plus
do you get more pluses the closer you are to a fullblood?
Sort of like EPD stars -
50% Shorthorn +
75% Shorthorn ++
80% Shorthorn +++/-
90% Shorthorn ++++
95% Shorthorn ++++/-
100% Bingo (everybody sing it now)
B
I
N
G
O (Repeat 2 times)
And bingo was his name O!
 

shorthorns r us

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DL - i am wonderfully blessed with family. how i was ever fortunate enough to get her to marry me, i will never know. we celebrated our 12th anniversary last week; 24 times longer than my entire family expected. after being all but bed ridden for the last 10 months, i should never take her for granted again. she has been remarkable.
 

itk

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Do me and Lee need to give another lecture on the role of heterosis in the purebred cattle industry. Cattlemen and women should be purchasing purebred cattle with plans for selling heterosis in the future they don't need to be buying it. As a breed we can't sell commercial cattle so this is just another way for the breed to generate money. Currently 5% of the total shorthorn registrations are for appendix cattle. I don't have a problem with an increase in the number of appendix cattle registered as long as the total number of registrations increases proportionally. However, if we get to a point where like the Maines where half of our registrations are from the appendix program we need to step back and take a hard look at what our breeds role is in the cattle industry. We all know there is a cycle to the cattle industry so maybe all this crossbreeding is a way to increase purebred sales in ten years. Once we have bred the heterosis out of all the cows there should be a strong demand for purebred bulls to put some back in.
 

shortyjock89

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Why don't we focus on producing good cattle, whether they be purebred or appendix?  Appendix is fine with me, I don't really know that adding a "snappy" name to it will change anything...I don't think that Shorthorn Plus is  a very good name to market the shorthorn breed...but then again, I don't understand alot of what the ASA does..
 

Jill

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itk said:
However, if we get to a point where like the Maines where half of our registrations are from the appendix program we need to step back and take a hard look at what our breeds role is in the cattle industry.
I love Maines and don't misunderstand me the direction they have chosen works for them,  but when you get to that point, you are too late to take a step back and evaluate, at that point the breed direction has been established and it will take years to reverse.  JMO
 

jnm

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Apr 17, 2007
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Look at the registration of  the champions from around the country. Most of them have less that 15/16 shorthorn in them and nobody cares because they started high. If you have a a 7/8 and breed to a 100%( lik e gizmo), you get a 15/16 but the good old ASA charges you extra to get rid of the Appendix registration. They always seem to do their darnest to reward the cross breeding. Are they ashamed of shorthorns?
 

aj

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I'm not real big on the appendix deal. However I am told alot of angus have chi or holstein in them. I think about the only two breeds that don't have appendix programs are the angus and herfords.Almost every other breed is trying to look like angus at the present time. Black is the fad. I do respect people like elbee or who ever that has stuck to a fairly straight breeding program for 10 years or more. If we can stay away from extremes and not jump on every fad that comes along is good I think.. :p
 

justintime

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Let's not get all tied up in knots over a name. Who cares whether they are called appendix or Shorthorn Plus ( or Minus... depending on your point of view). The name should take second place to documented records of what the ancestory is. I doubt if we would all even agree on what is a purebred.... in Shorthorns or any other breed.I really doubt if there is really such a thing as a "purebred" in any breed ( if one uses the strictest definition) For example, is a Shorthorn with Irish Shorthorn genetics in its makeup a purebred?  Most of you would most likely say yes to that question. I would have to disagree with you as I have never considered the Irish cattle as being purebred breeding stock, simply because there was no records kept by most of the Irish breeders for many years, even decades.
I believe we were the second breeders in North America to import cattle from Ireland. We brought in a bull and two females shortly after Beef Genetics Research in Kansas imported the first ones.We purchased cattle in Ireland on three occasions, and were in the process of negotiating the purchase of a plane load of Irish cattle, when Brucellosis broke out in Ireland. I had many visits with the Irish breeders and it was almost impossible to get the same pedigree from a breeder twice. I will always remember visiting with a leading Irish breeder at a US show, and he gave me a completely different pedigree on one heifer, three different times in one conversation. To my knowledge, there were three females imported into North America that had the exact same name, but had completely different pedigrees. I also remember a discussion with a group of breeders from Ireland, in which we were discussing the Deerpark herd owned by the Quane Brothers. I asked where the Quanes had found Deerpark Improver, as they had kept their herd closed for decades and Improver had a completely different pedigree on his sire's side,( and there was only two generations at that!). They told me that Deerpark Improver's sire, Clare Man,  was a red bull calf that had been purchased at a local auction market. My theory is that Clare Man was a  red horned bull of mixed breeding that most likely consisted of Galloway along with Shorthorn and possibly other breeding as well. The Galloway breed wrestled with TH, 20 to 30 years ago. Doesn't it seem strange that two breeds would have the identical genetic defect appear? Yes, it is possible, but it is also very highly unlikely.
Did this knowledge that the Irish cattle were less than pure, stop me from purchasing them or using them in my herd?  Absolutely NOT! Did I trash Deerpark Improver or his offspring, or not use them in my herd? Absolutely NOT! At the time I did feel that the Irish cattle should have remained in the Appenidx book but once the breed associations allowed them into the closed book, I was perfectly fine with this decision. Anyone who has been a pedigree student for any length of time, knows that there has been other genetics allowed into the breed ( and ALL other breeds I might add), and some of it came in through the back door.

I saw in these cattle, some traits that the Shorthorn breed desperately needed. The Irish cattle were far from perfect but they had some attributes that could correct a lot of issues that were problems. The Irish cattle were a very important tool in the Shorthorn breed in that they helped clean up udders, they helped eliminate some waste especially in the lower their of the animals, they improved the rump structure on Shorthorns as they had excellent thickness from hooks to pins, and they were an important tool in increasing the muscle in the Shorthorn breed. We were also running a feedlot at the time were were importing cattle from Ireland and we got carcass data on many Irish cross steers. Most of the cattle that had Irish blood consistently had at least 2  square inches more ribeye than those cattle from traditional Shorthorn sires at the time. The Irish cattle were a tool.. nothing more.
My point is, let's not get hung up on names. Let's spend more time breeding good breeding cattle. Let's call a good animal Good, regardless of whether it is a so called purebred or an Appendix. I know we could argue about what good breeding cattle look like, but that is a decision for another time.I do think that the definition of a good cattle beast will vary with the enviroment in which it is going to live. In other words, an ideal animal in the midwest states ( Illinois, Indiana et al) will probably lok a lot different than an ideal animal in parts of Wyoming, Montana and Utah.

I am seeing a trend presently in which breeders are going back and using sires from past decades. There have been several threads on this site about some of these sires. Personally, I have sold more semen from sires from the 60s and 70s in the past 3 months than I have on these same sires in the past 20 years. I do believe that these sires do offer some things that could be beneficial to today's breeding programs. I am using some of these sires myself. I would caution that we not get too carried away in using these bloodlines and also say that they should be used on select females that compliment these sires. They are a tool to use for selective trait improvement, but they will not solve all wrongs. If that was the case, we would have been using them all again, long before now.
 

red

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JIT- I'm not a Shorthorn breeder but I loved your post! Thank you for such a well written, full of information post!

Red (clapping)
 

Doc

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Apr 13, 2007
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JIT, I agree with you a lot on your post about the Irish cattle . I really agree with you on the Galloway part thru Improver, look at Shannon Margie 027(Improver dtr.) also known as Black nosed Margie it wasn't anything to see a calf with a black spot on it. The big thing I don't like about the app. program is when you it costs you more to upgrade from app. status to purebred status. If you want to encourage people to do it you shouldn't charge them more.
 

justintime

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SRU,  I have no accurate data on the frame size and weights of the Irish cattle but my estimation would be that the average Irish animal was about a frame 7 with some probably reaching frame 8. There were some that were only frame 6 but some of that may have been due to enviromental conditions. These cattle were truely "grass cattle" as they virtually never got any other supplemental feed in the Irish herds. As for weights, there again was considerable variation but on average I would estimate bulls at 2250 to 2350 lb ( in good shape) and females 1600 to 1750 lb. There were some huge cattle in this branch of the breed. Deerpark Dividend 's mother probably weighed over a ton. There were some others that did as well.
Another thing that the Irish cattle did, that I did not mention in my previous post, was that they helped correct the testicles in many Shorthorn males. Many Shorthorns at the time of the Irish importations had twisted tesicles, ie: testicles that did not hang straight and were also possibly tipped. The Irish males had very good testicles that hung straight. I see the twisted testicles reappearing again in some Shorthorns. It may be mostly cosmetic but it certainly does bother commercial bull buyers.
I have attached a picture of a full Irish bull we are using presently. He is a son of Highfield Irish Mist, who was imported in 1971 . This bull is HC Mist's Return 13R and he has the shortest gestation length of any bull we have used in many years. Because of this, he is extremely easy calving and he is being used on most of our heifers. He is pictured here at two years of age and he has been running with 45 heifers for two months.
 

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itk

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Besides heterosis an appendix program also takes away breed identity. Walk through the alleys at any show and the limmys, maines, guppies, simmys, angus all look the same. I feel that so much of the pride and heritage that the shorthorn breed has comes from the red, white and roan. I know that the assoc. has checks in place but I never want to see the day when black purebreds are allowed to be registered. What a sticky wicket that would be. Would it be better to have a black shorthorn that was registered purebred or a roan animal that was only 3/4 blood? The purest in me says the breed will never want to change it's red, white and roan roots. However, with an increased interest in crossbreeding programs and the change in policy on what is and isn't asterisk free cattle a few years ago the idea of black shorthorns might not be that far fetched. If it was only about raising "good" cattle there would be no need for breed associations. When I look at the operations that have been around for almost a century and sometimes more in this breed I see the pride that they have in their cattle and the history behind them. This makes me positive that there is more to this breed then just "good" cattle.
 

shorthorns r us

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i have an unregistered 3/4 shorthorn black brockle cow (looks like a muscular meyer) that has black brockle babies out of double vision.  by my math that is 13/16 and black, they're usually pretty good.  black purebreds could be created pretty easily without the current (black = 1/2 blood) rule.



itk said:
Besides heterosis an appendix program also takes away breed identity. Walk through the alleys at any show and the limmys, maines, guppies, simmys, angus all look the same. I feel that so much of the pride and heritage that the shorthorn breed has comes from the red, white and roan. I know that the assoc. has checks in place but I never want to see the day when black purebreds are allowed to be registered. What a sticky wicket that would be. Would it be better to have a black shorthorn that was registered purebred or a roan animal that was only 3/4 blood? The purest in me says the breed will never want to change it's red, white and roan roots. However, with an increased interest in crossbreeding programs and the change in policy on what is and isn't asterisk free cattle a few years ago the idea of black shorthorns might not be that far fetched. If it was only about raising "good" cattle there would be no need for breed associations. When I look at the operations that have been around for almost a century and sometimes more in this breed I see the pride that they have in their cattle and the history behind them. This makes me positive that there is more to this breed then just "good" cattle.
 

Doc

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JIT, What kind of cow is your Mist son out of? Do you have semen in the US with anyone? My Leader x Scarlet cow crossed really well with Mist himself but I'm out of that semen. I'm looking at different bulls to flush her to this fall.
 
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