piedmontese wrote:Saler would be my suggestion.i have them and have nothing but praise.i have never had to pull a calf and they get up and nurse right away.hardy and will do well in your cold and they take the heat well too.fast growing and easy fleshing.
Really? We found Salers hard to finish. The calves we raised from the Saler bull were not much for docility either. That being said, They are good cows, and I do want to have a Saler bull at some point again.
A few people on the boards here have a GV/Shorthorn/Angus crosses. Personally I would replace the Angus with Saler, and make sure you have a solid-coloured Shorthorn. Here's my reasoning for this cross.
The Salers give you nice frames to work with, but I found them to be hard keepers. They have good milk from typically very good but small udders, and are good mothers, though they can be high strung (watch where you get them from). Salers are known as "One man cattle", meaning they don't like strangers (dogs, wolves, cats, etc included)
The Shorthorns again give you good frames and milk, depending on the line, they can be hard keepers. Good milk, typically good pelvic size (SH calves seem to be a bit bigger), but they area lot more docile and easier to work with.
The Gelbvieh are really there for the meat. They are easier to flesh out than Salers and SH, and have tons of meat on the back and hindquarters. I've found them pretty docile too. They come in Black, Red or Gold flavours.
If I could start all over again, I'd start with some good quality Shorthorn cows, breed them to a Saler bull, and keep the female offspring for my F1 cows. I'd breed the F1 cows to the GV for really nice steers, and I probably wouldn't have anything against the females either.
Most of my cows are 1/2 and 3/4 shorthorn, 1/8th to 1/4 Saler, and except for a couple, less than 1/8th of the original Hereford we started out with.
A bunch of pictures are here http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v153/Rx7man/Moo/
Others who have similar breeding to mine are Hoss and 3waycross.. there are more I just can't think of the names right now
Hope this helps a bit
PS. I don't know how people have 1000-1400 lb cows if they have RA, GV, Saler, SH or most other commercial breeds in them, I think my average cow mature weight is somewhere around 1500 lbs, and my target weight for a yearling heifer is 1000 lbs, 12-1300 by first calf, and it's not entirely true that "Big cows eat more", An efficient big cow can do with less than an inefficient small cow... I had 2 cows in the corral for the last week waiting for them to calf... One is 1900 lbs, the other is 1200, and they both ate the same amount... Less than 20 lbs of oat hay a day each and weren't complaining about the diet.
When a cow performs as I expect her to (not all do), they can raise a 600 lb calf the first time around, and 700 thereafter.
Also, I can recommend staying with SOLID COLOURS. If it's all brown/red, people will think Red Angus, regardless of what breed it is, if it's black, it's Black Angus.. but when you start throwing cream, roan, grey, etc, you will take a hit at the sale barn. For years now, we take top price for the week and size range at our sale barn, uniformity is a large part of this, and showing a great looking animal that reminds the buyer of what he knows he already likes