My Genetic plan.

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southernultrablack
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My Genetic plan.

Post by southernultrablack » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:54 am

I’m a small time producer,all registered, and raise a couple bulls a year and sell culls to a feeder. I’ve started my herd by buying small lots of heifers and a few older cows along the way. I’m at the point where I really want to get my cows ultra consistent phenotypically, and genetically. I really don’t mind starting over, as I only have a small herd anyway, and am thinking of buying a donor female and trying to flush her to get a large sample of embryos to put in to try and get that consistency I want. What problems would y’all expect with not having genetic diversity in the herd? I expect that there will still be differences in the cattle produced this way, but I’m thinking this is the most efficient way to go at it.



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Re: My Genetic plan.

Post by Ebenezer » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:29 am

"What problems would y’all expect with not having genetic diversity in the herd?"

Politics in the breed organization, buyer acceptance, quality of the tight based cattle, ....

Why buy a donor when you could just buy X embryos? The donor deal is tricky. Folks select some donors too early based on expectations. Others wait until the cow is old and might produce less embryos. The one that I find most absurd is the cow that does not breed is sold as a donor open and ready to flush. I know a couple of guys who bought a recip and embryo to get the cow. And the cow was a recip because she did not breed back on time. And now they flush her and do all of their buyers great favors in the potential calves from a lesser fertile dam. So buy embryos from decent folks who have assurances of their cattle quality.

You either float downstream with the rest of the purebred breeders or you choose your pool and stay the course. Part of it depends on your ego, your determination, your circumstances and your desire to sell big or stay local and useful. Do whatever suits you, be honest and sleep good at night.

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Re: My Genetic plan.

Post by southernultrablack » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:48 am

Ebenezer wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:29 am
"What problems would y’all expect with not having genetic diversity in the herd?"

Politics in the breed organization, buyer acceptance, quality of the tight based cattle, ....

Why buy a donor when you could just buy X embryos? The donor deal is tricky. Folks select some donors too early based on expectations. Others wait until the cow is old and might produce less embryos. The one that I find most absurd is the cow that does not breed is sold as a donor open and ready to flush. I know a couple of guys who bought a recip and embryo to get the cow. And the cow was a recip because she did not breed back on time. And now they flush her and do all of their buyers great favors in the potential calves from a lesser fertile dam. So buy embryos from decent folks who have assurances of their cattle quality.

You either float downstream with the rest of the purebred breeders or you choose your pool and stay the course. Part of it depends on your ego, your determination, your circumstances and your desire to sell big or stay local and useful. Do whatever suits you, be honest and sleep good at night.
If you cull hard among the progeny produced this way, the quality should be there, right?
It concerns me that I cannot get the quantity of embryos from one mating if I just buy the embryos. I would need to buy at least 10 of the same embryos and don’t see them offered in those quantities much.

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Re: My Genetic plan.

Post by Bright Raven » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:34 pm

southernultrablack wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:54 am

The two issues in your post:

1. I’m at the point where I really want to get my cows ultra consistent phenotypically, and genetically.

2. What problems would y’all expect with not having genetic diversity in the herd?
Uniformity is a great money maker for the feeder producer. Groups of uniform calves sell well. However, you are a small seedstock producer. The markets for seedstock are diversified so you don't need "cookie cutter" results. Buyers are often looking for something and it is not the same thing as the other guy. I focus on "traits"; not phenotype (although important), - growth, good bone and muscle, conformation, good feet, good udders, etc. Phenotype does not always correlate with function.

Personally, I have thought about this same issue (our operations are similar), I concluded that diversity is not a disadvantage (it can be an advantage). IMO, you don't need to start over.
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Re: My Genetic plan.

Post by Ebenezer » Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:01 pm

southernultrablack wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:48 am
Ebenezer wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:29 am
"What problems would y’all expect with not having genetic diversity in the herd?"

Politics in the breed organization, buyer acceptance, quality of the tight based cattle, ....

Why buy a donor when you could just buy X embryos? The donor deal is tricky. Folks select some donors too early based on expectations. Others wait until the cow is old and might produce less embryos. The one that I find most absurd is the cow that does not breed is sold as a donor open and ready to flush. I know a couple of guys who bought a recip and embryo to get the cow. And the cow was a recip because she did not breed back on time. And now they flush her and do all of their buyers great favors in the potential calves from a lesser fertile dam. So buy embryos from decent folks who have assurances of their cattle quality.

You either float downstream with the rest of the purebred breeders or you choose your pool and stay the course. Part of it depends on your ego, your determination, your circumstances and your desire to sell big or stay local and useful. Do whatever suits you, be honest and sleep good at night.
If you cull hard among the progeny produced this way, the quality should be there, right?
It concerns me that I cannot get the quantity of embryos from one mating if I just buy the embryos. I would need to buy at least 10 of the same embryos and don’t see them offered in those quantities much.
I do not see why you need or want 10 of the same embryos to start. You might want ten similarly bred embryos to spread your risk. Later if Bull A X Cow B are the ones you want more of you could see about getting more of them but you would then have your own base of them on your farm.

IF you make the right choice on embryos, IF they attach and are born, IF they fit the environment as you hope, IF they are quality cattle then you still have a high $ investment in each one. Then to consider culling the high dollar investment to get better from what, unproven high dollar animals? You just increased your cost per animal again. And if you want another "what IF", are they going to be sexed embryos or mixed? Then you end up with bulls to sell that you can only say you raised them and such.

Uniformity is good with traits and functions but not ever animal has to look like the other as bookends. You might have multiple lines and if all have good fertility, great mothering instincts, correct feet, legs, udders, temperament, milk production to fit the management and such each line can have a look, size or whatever but you have a herd of cattle with soundness that is really needed by registered and commercial breeders.

The income question that will make or break you: who are your customers and what do they want?

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Re: My Genetic plan.

Post by southernultrablack » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:35 am

Some good points made here, thanks to both of you!

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Re: My Genetic plan.

Post by Franke » Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:18 pm

Unless all of your customers want the same type and kind diversity will help you sell all your calves. If you do go with a donor make sure it from a program that you respect and know. I think that way is a good idea if you want uniformity. You can flush the cow to the same bull over and over again to get as many eggs as you want to some extent. Just don’t expect every flush to knock it out of the park.

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