Linebreeding Info

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farmerjan
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby farmerjan » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:36 pm

One thing about the prepotency...Look at Justin Morgan...the horse was so prepotent that he basically founded a whole new breed. I am sure there are other examples, but as a kid I remember the whole story about him and how the breed was basically all traced back to him. Unfortunately nowadays, they have changed that breed so much that there are few of the "old style" morgans around and the "new style" are bigger, flashier etc and so on. Just something to throw in there.
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby Nesikep » Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:22 pm

As has been said before, Linebreeding/inbreeding doesn't CAUSE defects, it only shows them when you have bad recessive genes.. Continual outcrossing doesn't get RID of them, it just pretty much guarantees those bad genes are ever homozygous and thus shown in the offspring... Plenty of examples of them... Here's a list of some that have tests..
http://www.absglobal.com/genetic-defect-testing1
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby cotton1 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:29 pm

I hope all have had a Merry Christmas. We did here, enjoying spring like weather was a bonus.

Linebreeding has definitely been on my mind lately, and I have been playing with the calculators again. It amazes me how the pedigrees will change in one or two generations. I have ran some hypothetical mating's based off of my current herd, you know, things that may actually take place next year. The % blood of the contributors can change in crazy ways that I wouldn't expect sometimes.

So here are a few questions: 1. Within the context of linebreeding or not, how much should expected finished weight play in to the weaning weight of the calf? I was just wondering if I was trying to produce a 1200-1300lb mama cow, should I expect that cow to weigh half of her total weight when she weans?

2. IF by selective breeding we achieve a herd of the 1200-1300lb range(finished weight) with repeatability, is there any advantage to producing a calf that weighs out 600 or more at weaning? Would a 400-500 lb calf be more reasonable?

3. In the event that a calf produced under tight line breeding was less than the 600lb invisible line of expected 205 weights, how much does individual performance play in the expectations of their offspring? Do you simply believe that because that animals performance at weaning was lower than desireable that its offspring too would likely be the same?

It just seems to me if I select for the heaviest weaning weights and compound it, eventually my finished weight will be higher. If not, why push a calf to reach half of its total size in the first 200 days of its life? I wonder if there are unseen repercussions to that scenario, like maybe reproductive problems or maybe reduced longevity of the animal.

I have a bull calf now that has the right parents, the right phenotype, the right disposition but weaned light. He was a straggler because his mama was flushed and bred later than the herd. The weather was horrible when he was born, his mother developed a health issue the week he was born that we had to treat her for, and she was forced to raise this calf with almost no grazing and no real amount of feed. On top of that I realized way too late that a 15mo heifer was stealing her milk as well. So do I discredit the calf and cull him? Maybe not as big a deal with a bull calf here as it would be with a female that might be considered to go into production. Weaning weight was around 450 at 6 mo. I'm going to do 50k testing soon just to see if it indicates low weaning weight epds.

I will have more questions later probably. Looking forward to your input, especially those who have road this trail before.

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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby WalnutCrest » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:42 pm

Unnaturally accelerated growth can show up in structural problems later in life, and possibly in other areas you note.

Regarding your bull calf, how old is he and any chance you think he catches up once he's fending for himself? Some times the stragglers on mama catch up when everyone is off.

I believe that normalizing the % growth at 4 months vs. birth weight (i.e., [(4mo wt - BW) / BW] ... normalized) can give a reasonable proxy (assuming everyone was born around the same time and there weren't any outlier health issues for a dam or calf) for mother's milk (quantity and quality).

Comparing the normalized growth rates from 4mo to 7mo is a good overall assessment of a dam's mothering ability (i.e., does she take care of the calf and teach it how to hustle for its groceries or not).

I believe that normalizing the % growth of a contemporary group at 7 month vs. yearling ... and yearling vs. 15mo ... can give a reasonable proxy for each individual animals' forage conversion efficiency.
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby Ebenezer » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:06 pm

1. Within the context of linebreeding or not, how much should expected finished weight play in to the weaning weight of the calf? I was just wondering if I was trying to produce a 1200-1300lb mama cow, should I expect that cow to weigh half of her total weight when she weans?
More environmental than genetics.

2. IF by selective breeding we achieve a herd of the 1200-1300lb range(finished weight) with repeatability, is there any advantage to producing a calf that weighs out 600 or more at weaning? Would a 400-500 lb calf be more reasonable?
Depends on grazing quality and environment. And different genetics have different growth curves. Desire for prepotency would be wanting peas in a pod.

3. In the event that a calf produced under tight line breeding was less than the 600lb invisible line of expected 205 weights, how much does individual performance play in the expectations of their offspring? Do you simply believe that because that animals performance at weaning was lower than desireable that its offspring too would likely be the same?
No. %IBC, dam age, environmental issues and such can be players. When we focus on top growth and better EPDs we begin to fall back into the terminal chase.

It just seems to me if I select for the heaviest weaning weights and compound it, eventually my finished weight will be higher. If not, why push a calf to reach half of its total size in the first 200 days of its life? I wonder if there are unseen repercussions to that scenario, like maybe reproductive problems or maybe reduced longevity of the animal.
Terminal again. Terminal bull semen is cheap and dime a dozen. Without carcass data: extra weight in a fixed line can be a selection for more fat and that will be the ruination of replacement heifers.

I have a bull calf now that has the right parents, the right phenotype, the right disposition but weaned light. He was a straggler because his mama was flushed and bred later than the herd. The weather was horrible when he was born, his mother developed a health issue the week he was born that we had to treat her for, and she was forced to raise this calf with almost no grazing and no real amount of feed. On top of that I realized way too late that a 15mo heifer was stealing her milk as well. So do I discredit the calf and cull him? Maybe not as big a deal with a bull calf here as it would be with a female that might be considered to go into production. Weaning weight was around 450 at 6 mo. I'm going to do 50k testing soon just to see if it indicates low weaning weight epds.
You defined enough differences that keep him out of a contemporary group. If the cow is flush quality it would be foolish to cull the bull calf if there are real reasons for less weight.
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby cotton1 » Sun Dec 25, 2016 9:06 pm

Walnut Crest-Without looking up exacts, the bull calf was born in mid June, and I took him off within the last 2 weeks. I'm thinking he was around 180 days.I will admit that I have yet to turn in his growth data. I want to see the results of the 50k before I do so.( Thats another little hang up I have, no time to go there here)

Ebeneezer- I might be trying to figure out some on farm protocol for culling within a linebreeding program. My thoughts on this particular bull are he needs a chance. In the last couple of weeks he has been in a group where feed is available to him at least at a 2% body weight. The feed available is good-excellent quality bermuda hay, and feed that is rationed. The feed is 17% protein-3%fat-22% fiber as I recall. It is made up of wheat mids and corn gluten.

I have already noted a growth spurt, but have not measured his weight. In his case It seems that he has been thru a stage where his hind end is growing faster than his front, and has a lot of energy( lots of running, playing). The conditions of his life prior to being on feed were bad. His mama had to keep them both alive on nothing, and compete with cows that didnt have a calf at side.In the last few days his front has caught up..he is growing.

I am of the mind set right now that the EPDs are a bit of a tuff target. I am finding animals that are in the 50th percentile of the breed for all traits measured are superior to animals that are in the top 1% for all traits. Reason being is everything comes with a cost from my observations. I need to figure out the cut off line, or where 50% is when its in front of my face as compared to a graph on the interwebs. Then I am back to this...Is a 450lb, 6mo old bull calf a cull?

I often laugh at my neighbor. He tells me his calfs wean at 700-800lbs. They are in a pasture that borders my yard. I see them every day, and probably more than he does. He takes his calves off at about 10 mo of age. He says they are weanlings. They are commercial, so there is no 205 ratio etc. With the American herd racing towards higher growth, more is better year after year the average size of the American cow has to be getting large framed at best.(my opinion)

Whats an acceptable weaning weight vs. finished weight?

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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby Nesikep » Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:05 pm

About the big weaning weight and small cow.. I have a shining example of that being a failure.. 2 heifers weaned at about 700 lbs have a mature weight of about 1200.. maybe even 1100.. both totally unproductive.. Are they both freaks? I don't know.. One is linebred, one isn't, both from excellent bloodlines.. they're just "mini" cows with a frame score of about 4-5.. I have no idea what happened with those two

I kept a heifer that was born in May (instead of March) because I knew her momma was a good cow that had some bad luck... She was as big as the others by about a year old, and beats up on her mates now

Without taking weaning age into account, quoting weaning weights is pretty pointless... My goal right now is to not have my highest weights get higher, but reduce the number of dinks and have a more uniform group.. I'm also looking to have a herd of mommas where every one of them is a cow I'd consider offspring from.. At the moment only about half the mommas are considered brood cows.
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:31 pm

Ebenezer wrote:If the cow is flush quality it would be foolish to cull the bull calf if there are real reasons for less weight.


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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby farmerjan » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:41 am

I am not near as knowledgeable as many of the others here with the very involved questions about percentages and all that you are asking. But one thing I can see: you said this bull calf has all the right things behind him, and he is younger due to the cow being flushed previously, smaller due to her having some health issues and not having decent feed to make milk on, and on top of it he was having to take what was left after a 15 mo old heifer was getting what should have been his main source of food....How in the world can you compare him to others and then find him wanting???? Now he is going through a growth spurt and seems to be catching up....If he has everything that you basically like, and did decent considering his first 6 months, and is now doing better, what are you questioning???
I think you are trying to find a reason to not like him and yet you can't.

Technically your neighbor is right. They are weanlings until they hit a year then they are yearlings, regardless of whether they are taken off at 5 mos, 7 mos. or 10 months.
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby cotton1 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:00 pm

Farmerjan-Sure any producer can take his cows off when he or she wants. There is a standard in registered cattle about weaning weights. The agreed number of days that a calf should be weaned is 205. In my breed, weights are allowed to be turned in no earlier than 140days for weaning, and no more than 270 days for weaning. Yearling weights can be turned in between 270 days of age and 430 days of age, but there must be at minimum 70 days between the two weights. Those numbers provided to the association by the producer are then made the same by ratio of 205 day standard for weaning weight.
For instance,if my straggler bull was around 450lbs at 180days he would likely get a 205 weaning weight of about 512 lbs. If my neighbor used the same standards as the bull producers he buys from(not me by the way,he likes hair color that is not white) he would brag about his 5 weight calfs he just sold. How? If he is selling 7.5 weights at 300 days old, they would ratio around 512lb 205 weights just like my straggler.

Now, for me economics are different than some. But I know that buyers dont go bid happy on sale day when the 205 on the bull in the sale ring is less than 6 weight. I may be better to cull the little guy now, than to spend time and resources to get him to "catch up" only to take a subpar sale price that does not offset the inputs used.

Anyway, that was not my point really so I will say that I gave a bad example. What I was asking is in a tight bred herd of moderate size should I expect the calfs to reach 50% of their finished weight in the first 200 days of their life without a cost somewhere? Also, what do others think would be a reasonable expectation within that context.

I might be able to sell some mid 5 weights with tight pedigrees if I can find buyers that understand prepotency. But I know a lot of commercial breeders who are pounded with "more-more-more" at every cattlemens meeting, in every sales catalog, and by their peers. So much so that they are willing to keep their calfs longer than they should just to have the "right weights" on their sale day.There ears are not filled with things like prepotency as much as outcross I dont think.

Walnut Crest-I am interested in your method of in herd comparison. The next time I get calfs in a contemporary I may give that a try for curiosity. I like to see how things like that compare to genetic testing and breed ratios in a contemporary group.

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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby WalnutCrest » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:16 pm

cotton1 wrote:<snip>
Walnut Crest-I am interested in your method of in herd comparison. The next time I get calfs in a contemporary I may give that a try for curiosity. I like to see how things like that compare to genetic testing and breed ratios in a contemporary group.

Cotton1


Note that those measurements aren't all I used to make keep / cull decisions. At weaning, I also get hip height (in addition to weight) -- and using the standard sort of frame score charts / formulas -- I determine what % of the animals' projected mature weight it is today, and then rank them based on this ratio. I do it again at yearling (along with getting scrotals on the bulls) ... and again right before breeding if any final keep / cull decisions are needing to be made. Generally, bulls aren't cut until they're in for their yearling comparison group check.

If you ever want to discuss this, drop me a note w/ your number and I'll give you a call.
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby Nesikep » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:23 pm

Don't know if it's feasible for you, but you could keep him for yourself.. you know it's not his genetics that are at fault.
Another note is that bulls keep growing for a lot longer.. may of them getting to 2000-2400 lbs, so expecting them to get much over 35% mature weight is stretching it.. perhaps if you go by mature cow weight it's more reasonable
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby Ebenezer » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:37 pm

cotton1 wrote:Anyway, that was not my point really so I will say that I gave a bad example. What I was asking is in a tight bred herd of moderate size should I expect the calfs to reach 50% of their finished weight in the first 200 days of their life without a cost somewhere? Also, what do others think would be a reasonable expectation within that context. Cotton1


SE USA, no creep, no summer annuals, decent pastures: 40 to 45%, or select for high milk EPDs and feed, or creep feed and know where that heads. You will occasionally have a first calf heifer that was lighter weight to make or break 50%

Code: Select all

I might be able to sell some mid 5 weights with tight pedigrees if I can find buyers that understand prepotency. But I know a lot of commercial breeders who are pounded with "more-more-more" at every cattlemens meeting, in every sales catalog, and by their peers. So much so that they are willing to keep their calfs longer than they should just to have the "right weights" on their sale day.There ears are not filled with things like prepotency as much as outcross I dont think.

Mindset - competing with the big boy and terminal traits. Fine if you plan to lose at linebreeding. Want to win that game without linebreeding, hob-knob with the greats, breed for terminal traits and be one of many. The purpose of linebreeding has to focus on the betterment of the cow and the future results of prepotent bulls in commercial herds or you are wasting your time. You need a new and better slogan that, "As big as yours". Like a long-term linbreeder told me, "Commercial producers sell pounds. I sell breeding stock." You are not taking the broad and easy way to even consider linebreeding. You will not sell them by the same techniques and slogans or to the same people (at first) as average registered cattle.
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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby cotton1 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:55 pm

Nesi-I did think about using him a little bit next year. The deal though is I'm still using his dad, Injector. I also meant to tell you that the calf is an Injector son and out of my Vannar G123 cow. Earlier in this thread I posted pictures of both Injector and Vannar.For my preferred market my bulls need to be calved in Jan-March. I might just use him on some of his half sisters next go around, but likely he needs a new home before he is mature. Plans are to use Injector for a long time, if he will be able and have no mishaps etc.

I think you make a great point with the average size of bull calf's versus the heifer calf's. But shouldn't the bulls be kinda sorta following the cow herd size? You know what I'm saying here, if the cows are selected for 12-1400lbs instead of 17-1800lbs, shouldn't the bulls be going from 2000-2400 to say 17-1800lbs? For the record I have not weighed Injector since the spring, but guess him at 1900-2000lbs. I need to worm in the next little bit, so I will have the scales on then and will know more.

Walnut Crest- I am interested in your developed methods of culling/criteria. I also would like to understand frame scores to projected finished weights. I too measure hip height at weaning. In fact the bull calf we have used in this thread was 43inches at the highest point of his tail head.I will try to get in touch soon.

I will see if the better half can get a picture of the bull calf on here since we have talked about him some..

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Re: Linebreeding Info

Postby cotton1 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:28 pm

Ebeneezer- I appreciate your insight quite a bit. I know you understand the questions I am asking now, I will assume due to your own experience. I do realize I am going to have to do things differently than I was taught as a kid. We were in the commercial cattle here for a long time before I was born. In fact, I remember my great grandaddy running cows on the same pastures Im grazing now. I remember when we started buying registered bulls and thought that was the way to go. When I switched over in to the registered sector I learned quite a bit about the cattle business. I learned about the talk that trys to sell the"best" which means the richest guys lots, the ghost bidder pumping sales prices for the ones that dont get no-sale status quietly during the sale and end up burger meat,and much more.

I do hope you and the other contributors to this thread will continue to be understanding. Some of my questions are kinda wierd, I know. For the record its a strange place I am in during this transition of my herd(as you probably already know). What I used as culling criteria during my youth with commercial cows are not the same as within my registered herd. Now I am forcing myself to learn a new to me set of rules. I really hope to learn all I can thru this forum and in conversation with others that I know who are setting great examples for me with their line bred herds.

When I was in school I would save up money by working off the farm somewhere doing various things like yard work for folks,bagging groceries, washing cars etc. I would buy myself some sleeve cows, or pairs etc. I didnt listen to the old guard too well as I already knew it all. Questions were not needed then, or so I thought. Now I have more grey hair than black, and I have learned a few things. Since i have been grown and the old guard gone, many times have I longed to ask them what to do.

So now I have to question everything, maybe more than I should. But it sure saves me some trouble at times. Changing my mindset, down to the language I need to use with my customers are going to be a big part of this for me. And by the way, I do want to try to make cattle that survive in my area with very little input requirements. Efficeincy is another part of this thing I want to tackle. I do understand the importance of selection and culling correctly in my base herd and beyond,just not 100% about how to "get it done".

In my studies with my cows and the linebreeding calculators I have only identified a couple of cows that will meet the criteria on paper to have offspring I might be willing to keep as the next generation. Lots to learn...

Right now I have a distraction to take care of. My dear bride bought me a new Glock for Jesus's birthday, and I gladly accepted. Got to burn some powder, then I can ponder my cows again.

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