Environment Cattle

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your favorite breed.
jehosofat
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Environment Cattle

Post by jehosofat » Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:56 pm

We've all been reading the threads about such-n-such bulls, and size of cows. Who puts great importance on environment that your bulls are working in, and size of mama's based on their environment?

Reason I ask is, a local guy has gotten carried away with bringing in angus, and red angus bulls from Kansas, Montana, and Wyoming. He has sold ALL of his replacement type heifers, and brought in replacement heifers from same places. He has all of a sudden found himself in a cluster **** as far as broken down young bulls, and late or non breeding heifers. He is really scrambling now.

Circumstances are, fall calving, central Alabama, 300 head cow calf operation, has refused to buy local bulls, use his own heifers, or buy local replacements.

On the outside looking in, I see it as bringing stuff here that don't work here. Guy has been very succesful in the past till he got to reading to much. Thoughts?

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Silver » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:04 pm

The few cows I have bought over the years candled out quickly by and large. Local cattle too. Some from just across the fence. I don't think it's just the environment, I think when cattle get thrown into a new pecking order they just have a way of falling to the wayside.
The lesson I have learned is that raising my own replacements saves a lot of grief and expense.

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Muddy » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:21 pm

Can be a big change in their diet? I know it does affect the bacteria in their guts.

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Lazy M » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:23 pm

Fescue can be a bi+ch for western cattle..

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by sim.-ang.king » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:36 pm

Yea, fescue can be the biggest problem for non-fescue cattle. Throw in some heat, and you got one hot mess.
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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Redgully » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:45 pm

I bought two anorexic cows from a drought stricken area, i live in a very fertile area. They calved a month later and became very big and beefy but they cannot stomach green grass, their crap squirts out like a garden hose. No matter what i try. But on dry feed they are perfect. They are due to calve in two months and then will be on the truck out of here, don't need that sight in my paddock.

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Ebenezer » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:14 am

jehosofat wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:56 pm
We've all been reading the threads about such-n-such bulls, and size of cows. Who puts great importance on environment that your bulls are working in, and size of mama's based on their environment?

Reason I ask is, a local guy has gotten carried away with bringing in angus, and red angus bulls from Kansas, Montana, and Wyoming. He has sold ALL of his replacement type heifers, and brought in replacement heifers from same places. He has all of a sudden found himself in a cluster **** as far as broken down young bulls, and late or non breeding heifers. He is really scrambling now.

Circumstances are, fall calving, central Alabama, 300 head cow calf operation, has refused to buy local bulls, use his own heifers, or buy local replacements.

On the outside looking in, I see it as bringing stuff here that don't work here. Guy has been very succesful in the past till he got to reading to much. Thoughts?
There was a study some years back that it takes a cow 3 years to adjust to a new environment. Some never will. There seems to be (opinion) something about the flora in the rumen. Environment is a big deal to me. Unfortunately or fortunately I have learned some of the limits in an average year and know that those limits are junk in drought years. A bottom limit on animal size for me is a marketing limit. An upper limit on animal size is an environmental limit with an economic factor in that. Some folks say to only move bulls to new environments on a discussion of culling % and fit. Some try AI and hope that the gestational programming helps the calves fit better. But some just cannot fit into fescue, heat and humidity.

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Stocker Steve » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:00 am

Silver wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:04 pm
The few cows I have bought over the years candled out quickly by and large. Local cattle too. Some from just across the fence. I don't think it's just the environment, I think when cattle get thrown into a new pecking order they just have a way of falling to the wayside. The lesson I have learned is that raising my own replacements saves a lot of grief and expense.
Agreed. There is a lot of stress moving to a new operation and learning a new system even w/o an enviromental change. The fallout can be very costly.

At one time I kept track of year one profit from buying in bred cows vs. bred heifers vs. pairs. The pairs were the most expensive up front but also the most profitable - - 100% calf crop, bigger calves, and good breed back.
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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by pdfangus » Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:20 am

I am solidly in the camp of raise your own replacements. ideally these would be heifers who did well in the environment you provided and who were mothered by cow who survived and did well in your environment..

I also raised my own cleanup bulls with the same logic. When we put good sons of our better cows on other of our better cows the progeny competed very well with the AI sired calves...

as others have said...almost every time I have seen someone bring in new stock there not only was an adjustment period for the new stock but often an unexpected reaction in the existing herd as new bugs come in with new stock....and it takes a couple of years to work thru...have seen a few folks bring in anaplasmosis with their new miracle cattle....that will educate you pretty quick. Anaplasmosis is not a sudden onset and it can be difficult to pin on the new cattle because as time passes all the cattle test positive and the argument can be made that you already had it at a subclinical level and gave it to the new cattle.... I far prefer a closed herd....
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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Rydero » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:12 am

I bought virtually all the cows on my farm (about 100 cows). I generally don't buy animals from outside my local area because it's difficult to do any due diligence on them and I believe it'd be hard for some animals to adapt to local conditions they weren't raised under, so as far as the situation first described with animals imported to an area falling apart, that doesn't surprise me at all. That said, I don't see major issues with animals adapting to a new pecking order. I buy young healthy animals for the most part and they have to sort it out. Some groups blend in seamlessly, some stay off on their own for a bit but after a few weeks, it's one big herd. My opinion on immunity is that when a healthy animal encounters a new illness the majority of the time they don't get sick, they have an immune response to fight that illness and never show noticeable clinical signs themselves. They pass that immunity to their calves through colostrum and the calves have immunity too. Illness travels, so whatever bugs are present in the area, can end up on your farm too. I'd rather have a cow herd that has a big database of white blood cells and a robust immune system than one that hasn't seen much action. I don't worry about rumen flora, the cows are in charge of that. Poor doer non performing cows are culled and replaced. I don't really care why they can't hack it at my place, my production methods are dictated by economics not the odd cow that doesn't perform well. There's lots of good cattle around, tons of good producers that invest in good genetics and have excellent vaccination and culling protocols. That's who I try to buy from. There's also the economics that like it or not say raising replacements is slow and expensive but almost nobody is going to agree with that, I'm sure..

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Dirt Farmer » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:35 am

I don’t think you’d last too long or make any money if your cattle didn’t fit your environment. Some people don’t seem to get it though.

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by ALACOWMAN » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:11 am

jehosofat wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:56 pm
We've all been reading the threads about such-n-such bulls, and size of cows. Who puts great importance on environment that your bulls are working in, and size of mama's based on their environment?

Reason I ask is, a local guy has gotten carried away with bringing in angus, and red angus bulls from Kansas, Montana, and Wyoming. He has sold ALL of his replacement type heifers, and brought in replacement heifers from same places. He has all of a sudden found himself in a cluster **** as far as broken down young bulls, and late or non breeding heifers. He is really scrambling now.

Circumstances are, fall calving, central Alabama, 300 head cow calf operation, has refused to buy local bulls, use his own heifers, or buy local replacements.

On the outside looking in, I see it as bringing stuff here that don't work here. Guy has been very succesful in the past till he got to reading to much. Thoughts?
using a Occ bull now Kansas based,he does great ..But we are in the fescue belt..handles heat as well or better, then ones that are raised here.. Can't get my Hereford out of the shade in the summer...
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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by MO-Ruminants » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:47 am

Jehosofat,
What do you expect might be the results on a reverse scenario? Heat and fescue adapted cattle from your geographical area transplanted to Kansas, Montana & Wyoming?

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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by ALACOWMAN » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:59 am

I'd say if the cattle are cold tolerant .. The grass issue Would be very little adaption...make a different animal out of em..
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Re: Environment Cattle

Post by Red Bull Breeder » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:00 am

Some will work and some won't. The time of the year they make the move seems to make a difference. I like to bring them in the fall.

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