Where are we headed....really

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OH Breeder

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I have been reading other boards and noticed one common thread about the "new" bulls. The high birthweights. Statements like...." he looks great only 137#'s on a mature cow" think leave him a bull. ...etc." This might be a little dramatic, but my point being. Don't we want bulls that throw lively small calves, that grow like weeds and with lots of vigor. Passes on desireable traits and so on. What is wrong with this picture? All those females born with BW of 125# are going to contirbute to the future birthweights of calves.
off the soap box.......... ;D
 

red

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OH B- I have to aggree w/ you on this one too! As a breeder who has big BW cows, it seems no matter what I use, I get calves at least over 80 pounds. If I'm not careful, "then katie bar the door", I get 120 pound whoopers!
This year, all easy calving BW bulls. Not 120 easy calving but true easy calving.
I think too many are willing to loose a couple in search for that great one. If I used a bull that produced 130 pound calves, I'd never use him again.

Red
 

Show Heifer

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I agree!, but have a different spin. I have a herd bull that thows larger calves (anywhere from 85-120) but have not pulled a single calf (except for an AI baby out of Lut). So....shouldn't calving ease be also considered? Meaning, I would rather have a 100 unassisted calf than pull a 80.
If I pull a calf, I won't use the bull again because I spend HOURS contemplating matings and when I end up with a pull the bull won't work for me, my cows, or my management style (which I tend to feed things!)
But how are you suppose to select a bull when very few breeders HONESTLY and ACCURATELY report BW? Heatwaves BW isn't even CLOSE to his actual weight. :eek: This is also the reason I skip the bulls "premier" year....I hate using the unknown, and don't want to use a "one hit wonder".  Give me accuracy from calving reports from all over the country, and give me percentages of winners, good ones, etc. !!! (clapping)
 

red

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Yes, Show Hef- calving assistance is a big factor in the cow. That 120 pound baby we had this was unassisted. We do help some along by pulling. Maybe it's our former show heifers or the Maines in general but they can be a little laid back calving.
 

DL

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This is a great topic and will allow me to stall doing something I don't want to do!

We all try to do the best we can with the information we have, some of it is crap (ie some EPDs, ask ELBEE!!) and then we roll in our own experiences and come up with a prejudicial plan!

Heifers - must be calving ease - expect to pull some, don't like to. Used Northern Improvement this year, first time, on a Payoff x Patent heifer who weighed almost 1500 in Jan (calved early April) - calf weighed 85 - she had him unassisted - up bouncing lots of bone. Went to breed a smaller framed Pollstar x Impact heifer who was 300 pounds less in the fall than the Payoff heifer at the same time at the same age  - decided I didn't want to use NI on her - is it rational - maybe, maybe not.

Cows - like my calves less that 100 lbs on even my biggest cows - have had a couple of cows spit out 140 pound calves - nice that they did that but unacceptable birth weight - off with the golden nuggets - if a calf outweights me at birth it is too big (yeah, I tip the scale at 245!!)...even if she has it on her own
 

sjcattleco

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Show Heifer said:
I agree!, but have a different spin. I have a herd bull that thows larger calves (anywhere from 85-120) but have not pulled a single calf (except for an AI baby out of Lut). So....shouldn't calving ease be also considered? Meaning, I would rather have a 100 unassisted calf than pull a 80.
If I pull a calf, I won't use the bull again because I spend HOURS contemplating matings and when I end up with a pull the bull won't work for me, my cows, or my management style (which I tend to feed things!)
But how are you suppose to select a bull when very few breeders HONESTLY and ACCURATELY report BW? Heatwaves BW isn't even CLOSE to his actual weight. :eek: This is also the reason I skip the bulls "premier" year....I hate using the unknown, and don't want to use a "one hit wonder".  Give me accuracy from calving reports from all over the country, and give me percentages of winners, good ones, etc. !!! (clapping)
My first question is what are your cows frame score?  and if you don't actually know don't guess!  high frame 6's and 7's should be able to give birth to a geo metro but that does not make it right.. big bw's are as much the cow's fault as the bull.  and as much human created problem as anything else as well.  Then these so called calving ease bulls create small fine boned frail cattle are not not much good for anything. If you are averaging 90+ bws  IMO the smart thing to do is decrease your cow frame score 1 point, feed less supplemental feed in the winter and use more moderate framed heavy muscled bulls that are not extreme in their bone especially. Heavy bone is a genetic indicator for poor meat quality anyway so why breed for it.. If you do this 3 things will happen. 1. you will not loose any weaning wt at the end of the year and your quality will go up or 2 you will end up feeding less to what you have already which will let you keep more cows on the same amount of inputs therefore making more money! or 3.  BOTH 
 

cattlechick

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This is  a great topic! I look at choosing bulls for your herd as a business decision. A decision that turns good or bad in 9 months. I cannot say that I am totally excluded from this, but- I think that people get too greedy and anxious to use the newest most talked about bull the first year. I think its important to keep in mind the bottom line, however there is NO bottom line at the end of the day when your best cows are dead from poor management decisions. I know that the cattle business is full of risks, thats one of the things that makes it so interesting. Theres alot gained for people who listen and learn before they act on impulse.
 

knabe

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Hi SJCattleCo,

could you elaborate on the following comment please?

"Heavy bone is a genetic indicator for poor meat quality anyway so why breed for it?"  Do you mean coarseness in general, ie steery headed coarse bone, or heavy footed, substantial long bones?
 

CAB

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  This may be a little off the subject, but is relative. I'm amased that there are as many Heatwave sons out there. Has anyone ever stopped to think about where in his pedagree all the milk disappears. Taz has one of the highest milk EPD's in the Ma summary. He calves hard, no milk, and keeping a heifer out of him is risky on so many levels, but people will use the crap out of him. I'll admit that it is hard to leave him out of the mix, if your into club calf production. We talk about him @ least weekly here. I think that so many of us are so competitive that we get caught up chasing that new bull thinking that we may get left standing in the dust. I use bulls that I think should click well, and am disappointed many times, so I move on to the next mistake instead of stepping back and using a bull that will @ least leave good maternal value. Need to be more disaplined. Patience is definately a virtue when breeding cattle.
  The true calving ease bulls seem to usually disappoint me also. They just can't seem to compete with the stouter bulls. I like calves BW's to be 85lbs if I could pick one wt. Calving ease bulls don't seem to leave me with a great female either. Cab
 

knabe

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CAB, so, what you are saying, perhaps, is that milk is incompatible with thickness, and the added bonus of calves hard is difficult to get rid of (ancient Maine genetics)

CAB,  pick any Maine bull/s, historical too, that you just described (BW bull, PB or FB) that you would breed to a breed leading BW cow, to make a BW female making bull for heifers as an alternative to a low BW angus.  doesn't have to be black.

Perhaps he just needs to be made incrementally by stacking, rather than just by sheer luck, which may be just making a mongrel anyway and won't breed true, whatever "true" means and why we are always disappointed in the long run.
 

CAB

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  I don't know the answers to even what I think. It's a sad state in many ways what is happening is that we have & are mongrelizing the club calf business. I don't have a large amount of cows, but we have fed out all of our calves the last several years, and without a doubt, the best feeding cattle are sired by purebred bulls. It's hard to get a pure bull to put it all together in one purebred hit, so we make sacrifies to get the great one, but as a cattle breeder's, we can't do justice to the beef industry. The fact of the matter is, as long as most of the traits that the judges pick for aren't nessecarily important to the industry, we will chase it, but let's face it, we all have this image in our minds too of what is pretty, not so important are traits like pretty fronted and will he burn hair. I have a hard time looking @ the slick sheer calves. Rate of gain, marbling, and wt/day of age don't get much press in the ring. It is amasing that we breed the TH & PHA genes when it is a dead end. For the commercial man like myself, every carrier you keep is pretty much dead in the water for you @ your place. When we get a calf out f a carrier sired calf, we are always hoping, steer. What do you do with that good looking Heatwave heifer that has a calf running beside her starving? Breedc her back, and sell her? Not without telling someone what may happen. So your stuck with her, or you pound her, or hope she tests clean.
 

sjcattleco

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knabe said:
Hi SJCattleCo,

could you elaborate on the following comment please?

"Heavy bone is a genetic indicator for poor meat quality anyway so why breed for it?"  Do you mean coarseness in general, ie steery headed coarse bone, or heavy footed, substantial long bones?

Jan Bonsma and Gearld Fry teach that coarse heavy round bones as opposed to flater bones is an indicator of poorer meat quality... Substance of bone is not a good quality to select for but frailness is a good reason to cull.
 

DL

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CAB said:
  This may be a little off the subject, but is relative. I'm amased that there are as many Heatwave sons out there. Has anyone ever stopped to think about where in his pedagree all the milk disappears. Taz has one of the highest milk EPD's in the Ma summary. He calves hard, no milk, and keeping a heifer out of him is risky on so many levels, but people will use the crap out of him. I'll admit that it is hard to leave him out of the mix, if your into club calf production. We talk about him @ least weekly here. I think that so many of us are so competitive that we get caught up chasing that new bull thinking that we may get left standing in the dust. I use bulls that I think should click well, and am disappointed many times, so I move on to the next mistake instead of stepping back and using a bull that will @ least leave good maternal value. Need to be more disaplined. Patience is definately a virtue when breeding cattle.
  The true calving ease bulls seem to usually disappoint me also. They just can't seem to compete with the stouter bulls. I like calves BW's to be 85lbs if I could pick one wt. Calving ease bulls don't seem to leave me with a great female either. Cab

CAB - When you say "He calves hard, no milk, and keeping a heife..." you are talking about Heatwave eh? (not Taz?)  I think people are chasing the great one and some are willing to risk almost all of it for the illusion that they will get the great one someday. I for one would rather have a lot of really good females than one great steer and a bunch of hags in the field......what is interesting to me about the new great bulls annually puffed and fluffed for professional photos and greater spin than GW is how many of them disappear into the woodwork.....
 

knabe

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so has anyone eaten a heatwave or similar steer?


i do something similar to the two parter below for steaks.  i don't "finish" them in the hot pan in the broiler, as i find them a little less homogeneously cooked from edge to edge.  i let them sweat in a pre-warmed covered pan with room for steam to get out.  not only do you get the juices, them seem to me to be a little more evenly cooked, but still have that pink, yet not rare bulging muscle fiber texture.  I LOVE evenly medium rare steaks.  I find the porterhouse the harderst to cook, but it doesn't matter, they aren't as good as ribeye's anyway.  i'd rather have a kobe filet, and soon to be, maine tendergene concentrated grass fattened, one can dream, somewhat elky, yet still fat beef steak.

by the way red, try that corn maux cheoux recipe.  goes great with above steak.

three videos about cooking a steak

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZF7xPd7mdk

and a two parter, with lot of laymen goofiness in the beginning.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwNbYK_VQtM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGyKf21I6Dk&mode=related&search=


second link may not come up, so just look for the second part in the menu
 
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