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A little bit of Hereford history in Uruguay

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Lorenzo

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All this thing about weak toplines got me thinking....After the comments I read here I start looking for more straight toplines and i didn't find much. Obviously we are not doing any hair cutting....if not I can post whatever topline you want to see :)

We live of exporting meat and tourism, it's our main industry. We have a total (aprox) number of 10 million cattle heads and 7 of those ten are herefords.

A little bit of history

1864-- The are references that Hereford was introduced here around 1841 but it's "officaily" introduced in1864 with the importation of pedigree bulls from England.

1884-- First pedigree femals bought from Grovebelle farm England

1887--The "best" bull ate the moment in the world was "Lord Wilton 4740" and was very well used in Uruguay and in England. I think that bull was finally sold to the United States...

Lord Wilton 4740


1888--First pedigree animals born in Uruguay

1905--Were imported to Uruguay the famous bulls "Gold Smith", "Iron Prince" and "Brigadier".

1908..A famous show bull named "Lancaster" was imported by the price of "3,000 gold pesos"

1913..Mr. William Tudge from England wright a note about the very good uruguayan genetics. ( Mr Tudge was lord Wilton owner)

1915..It was imported the England Reserved Champion "Scout"

1917..The 45 % of the bulls exported by England went to Uruguay


And so on, I don't want to bother you with so many info.

After that we continue importing the best blood available from the States and today we have the biggest pure Hereford herd in the world. I have look and look during these days a differnt topline in our bulls and I find mostly the same everywhere..

What we are doing wrong...???? :(
L
 

KNERSIE

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What we are doing wrong...????

Just something that wasn't paid enough attention in the selection process through the years. Not an impossible trait to correct.
 

bigbull338

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i enjoyed the history lesson thanks for telling us something about your herefords.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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With the Herford history you have in your country and the numbers you have some other folks should be looking at what you are doing. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
 

KNERSIE

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Red Bull Breeder":3g3vysjb said:
With the Herford history you have in your country and the numbers you have some other folks should be looking at what you are doing. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

I agree with the first part of your post, but the latter part I can't agree with. Something is broke and needs to be addressed. If not some other breed will come and take the gap just like it happened with herefords in the USA.

If the Limousin breeders paid attention to scrotal circumference, disposition and hock angle from the word go, the breed as a whole would have been better off today, don't you think?
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Well Knersie You being where you are you may be in a better position to give advice than herford breeders from the states, as they have let there breed go to the dogs. I am well aware of all the Limi problems and there is very few of us that are really trying to correct them,
 

3waycross

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KNERSIE":7tr7endy said:
What we are doing wrong...????

Just something that wasn't paid enough attention in the selection process through the years. Not an impossible trait to correct.

While I am not discounting the need for a GOOD topline what is the end result of letting it decline too much. I can see some chance of them breaking down eventually but on the other hand looking at Lorenzo's RA bull the thing that really strikes me is there is a lot of bull between his shoulders and his hips. How much of that is actually just gravity and what would he look like if he had a lot less capacity and gut?

There was thread a while back on here about the age of a buck, and one of the things that came up was how they get big gutted and somewhat swaybacked with age. If it happens in nature with survival of the fittest why is it such a terrible thing with cattle especially bulls whose actual working life if in reality very short on average. I am not saying ignore it but it seems to come up here a lot and to me at least it is just not that important.

I have a RA bull with a great topline but very few of the other attributes of Lorenzo's RA bull. I'd trade that topline any day for that BUTT. Not picking a fight Knersie just asking to be educated.
 

3waycross

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One other thought to Knersie. I grew up with Herefords and honestly i think you have the best lookin Herefords I have ever seen. Having said that . I took one look at Lorenzo's RA bull and fell straight in love. To me at least that is the bull I have been lookin for for a long time.
 

KNERSIE

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and one of the things that came up was how they get big gutted and somewhat swaybacked with age. If it happens in nature with survival of the fittest why is it such a terrible thing with cattle especially bulls whose actual working life if in reality very short on average.

You've basically answered your own question. Yes a swayback do get more pronounced with age, that is even more reaon to really be critical on young bulls with sway backs. The loin area in cattle is structurally its weakest point and often the first place to break down. While bulls nowadays have a relatively short productive life and if he was strictly used as a terminal sire a little swayback wouldn't hurt much.

As soon as you even consider keeping replacements the topline becomes critical, especially now that we calf first calvers at 2 years instead of three like it was done in yesteryear. The added strain that is put on the loin with a pregnancy in a first calver often starts the breakdown, the loin area will gradually get worse with every pregnancy untill the cow reaches 7 or 8 and then it happens fast.

Look at men with a beer gut, often their pelvis tilt slightly forward because of the strain from the weight pulling on it and the weak abdominal muscles failing to keep it in place. The result is back pain, in the worst cases it interferes with the working life of the man and usually end up in surgery. The same happens in cows.

With the cost of raising a replacement and the low canner prices world wide longevity is a trait that all of us should place more emphasis on and look at everything affecting longevity from structural problems to udders toplines and even the "fancy points" like eyeset.

I took one look at Lorenzo's RA bull and fell straight in love. To me at least that is the bull I have been lookin for for a long time.

That is the decision every breeder should make, because a bull may have a fault doesn't mean he hasn't got a role to play. The RA bull looks to be an older bull, while his topline isn't ideal its not that bad for an older bull. From what I have seen posted on the boards he can bring alot to the table to most herds, it just needs to be managed correctly. The weak toplines in the young herefordbulls are a much bigger concern.

On another note a strong loin equates to muscle over the top (the expensive cuts) and usually (not always) means the animal has a larger REA, so by visually selecting for a strong loin and a level topline you also select for muscle and carcass qualities.
 

greenwillowhereford II

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Great post, Knersie.

The best and quickest way to breed out the swayback is breeding to a linebred Day Herefords Hazlett/Turner Ranch bull IMO. I speak from personal experience, as I have NEVER known one to throw a bad topline, even when the cow was weak in the area.

Another breeder mentioned to me of a linebred bull of another bloodline that he had corrected the faults of certain cows in one generation. You need prepotency to accomplish a task like that, hence the linebred bull.
 

3waycross

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Thanks for the info Knersie, I appreciate your perspective a lot. What I am guilty of is not seeing past the bull to his daughters. I have a thing about muscle on cattle and have to temper that sometimes with taking a second look at other factors. Having said that I would still use the RA bull, a lot, but maybe take a closer look at the topline of each cow I bred him to, and at the very least not magnify the problem,
 

KNERSIE

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3waycross":6de53h6f said:
Thanks for the info Knersie, I appreciate your perspective a lot. What I am guilty of is not seeing past the bull to his daughters. I have a thing about muscle on cattle and have to temper that sometimes with taking a second look at other factors. Having said that I would still use the RA bull, a lot, but maybe take a closer look at the topline of each cow I bred him to, and at the very least not magnify the problem,

That would be good practice with every planned mating.
 

HerefordSire

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Lorenzo":25i8y47g said:
What we are doing wrong...???? :( L

Nothing! If I were you, I would take the sway back comments here with a grain of salt. Most of the information I read here appears to be biased and lacks external scientific evidence that can be referred to. I think the question should be, "what are the non-Uruguan countries doing wrong", and not "what Uruagua is doing wrong". In my opinion, in order to understand something questionable at best, would be to try to breed a sway back over say 50-100 head, and then do the same thing for about 10 generations, and measure the results of longevity. You may find out the cattle live longer.
 

KNERSIE

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HerefordSire":2pq7tw1u said:
Lorenzo":2pq7tw1u said:
What we are doing wrong...???? :( L

Nothing! If I were you, I would take the sway back comments here with a grain of salt. Most of the information I read here appears to be biased and lacks external scientific evidence that can be referred to. I think the question should be, "what are the non-Uruguan countries doing wrong", and not "what Uruagua is doing wrong". In my opinion, in order to understand something questionable at best, would be to try to breed a sway back over say 50-100 head, and then do the same thing for about 10 generations, and measure the results of longevity. You may find out the cattle live longer.

:shock: :drink: :???: :help:
 

alexfarms

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KNERSIE":28ms3t9s said:
Red Bull Breeder":28ms3t9s said:
With the Herford history you have in your country and the numbers you have some other folks should be looking at what you are doing. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

I agree with the first part of your post, but the latter part I can't agree with. Something is broke and needs to be addressed. If not some other breed will come and take the gap just like it happened with herefords in the USA.

If the Limousin breeders paid attention to scrotal circumference, disposition and hock angle from the word go, the breed as a whole would have been better off today, don't you think?
Knersie,
Maybe Lorenzo (and all of us) can learn from a better understanding of what we have done wrong with Herefords in the states. What do you think we have done wrong and what can we do to help us catch up again?
John
 

RD-Sam

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HerefordSire":ylzoi8pg said:
Lorenzo":ylzoi8pg said:
What we are doing wrong...???? :( L

Nothing! If I were you, I would take the sway back comments here with a grain of salt. Most of the information I read here appears to be biased and lacks external scientific evidence that can be referred to. I think the question should be, "what are the non-Uruguan countries doing wrong", and not "what Uruagua is doing wrong". In my opinion, in order to understand something questionable at best, would be to try to breed a sway back over say 50-100 head, and then do the same thing for about 10 generations, and measure the results of longevity. You may find out the cattle live longer.

Sway backs have a couple of problems, first is the back breaks down from the weight, this the big dip in the back. A sway backed animal also requires more energy to travel, they roll in the mid section when they move, thus expending more energy and using up calories. Watch two bulls of equal size move, you will notice the bull with the very straight topline move in a very straight line and moves with little or no effort, while the sway backed bull will roll side to side, using up energy and tiring easily. Where this would have a drastic affect would be where an animal has to travel to find food, the animal that uses the least amount of energy to find food will be the most healthy and strongest, thus a greater chance of surviving.
 

Ned Jr.

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KNERSIE":1u9k95cp said:
HerefordSire":1u9k95cp said:
Lorenzo":1u9k95cp said:
What we are doing wrong...???? :( L

Nothing! If I were you, I would take the sway back comments here with a grain of salt. Most of the information I read here appears to be biased and lacks external scientific evidence that can be referred to. I think the question should be, "what are the non-Uruguan countries doing wrong", and not "what Uruagua is doing wrong". In my opinion, in order to understand something questionable at best, would be to try to breed a sway back over say 50-100 head, and then do the same thing for about 10 generations, and measure the results of longevity. You may find out the cattle live longer.

:shock: :drink: :???: :help:

:lol2: :nod: :roll: :???: :?

Most old buildings that are still standing have a strong, well built roof and a good sound foundation. Without those two things they break down over time. It's the same with cattle.
 

KNERSIE

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Knersie,
Maybe Lorenzo (and all of us) can learn from a better understanding of what we have done wrong with Herefords in the states. What do you think we have done wrong and what can we do to help us catch up again?
John

John, we have made exactly the same mistakes you have made in the USA, but being a little behind time here in Africa the effect probably wasn't as drastic and was easier to correct. Saying that there are still breeders trying to breed elephants.

The ongoing mistake made worldwide was to place too much emphasis on showring success following every whim the judges had with productive traits playing a secondary role. Nurse cows and cooked oats rations, etc was normal management procedure for the showstring, no wonder the breed didn't milk 50 years ago. Overemphasis on fancy points led to the real issues in the breed not being addressed like the eye issues that caused as much lost marketshare as anything else. Even today the eye issues haven't been addressed in the USA with the exception of a handfull of herds.

If I have to identify the single major cause of the decline is the powers that be (and also the breeders since the drive for the belt buckle cattle till the present) not understanding the strengths of the breed and what made herefords popular in the first place. The doing ability, fertility, converting grass or range to beef and "cheap to finish" traits has always been the strong points of the breed. Herefords would have done well to focus on that and refine what they already had instead of chasing the frame and growth of the Continentals of the early '70s. Lately they are chasing carcass traits, but without understanding the full impact of what they are selecting for. We all want muscle and a large REA with lots of marbling, but as soon as we breed the hatefull backfat away what will we be left with? Cattle that can't produce anymore without a constant feed bunk in front of them. Herefords need that extra backfat and a slightly heavy brisket if they are going to retain the traditional easy doing ability and be king of the range like they once were.

So in short study the history of the breed, ask yourself why they succeeded and failed in the various eras and breed cattle for the commercial market. Sell your bulls cheaper than most and give good after sales service. Stop this expensive certificate and not selling registered heifers in order to keep your genetics close to your heart nonsense and help everyone interested in the breed to make a start. Get your bulls out there and stand behind them, soon the return customers will draw new customers to your gate. No better advertisement than your cattle working out there for your customers and allow word of mouth to do its bit for you and the type you breed.

In Lorenzo's case I don't think they've done much wrong, actually I like the type they breed, judged from the 2 photos I've seen. AI companies and breeders alike must just pay attention to the total package and not neglect phenotypical traits in favour of EPDs.
 

HerefordSire

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RD-Sam":al4ifaa0 said:
Sway backs have a couple of problems, first is the back breaks down from the weight, this the big dip in the back. A sway backed animal also requires more energy to travel, they roll in the mid section when they move, thus expending more energy and using up calories. Watch two bulls of equal size move, you will notice the bull with the very straight topline move in a very straight line and moves with little or no effort, while the sway backed bull will roll side to side, using up energy and tiring easily. Where this would have a drastic affect would be where an animal has to travel to find food, the animal that uses the least amount of energy to find food will be the most healthy and strongest, thus a greater chance of surviving.

Question then:

Why does mother nature allow such a trait to occur? To keep populations under control? The strongest particpants of a species are the ones that are left to breed after all the deaths. I am thinking there is a more naturalistic and positive reason why sway backed bovines are dominant, if they are, and the weaker bovines could be the non-swayed back bovine. For example, Einstein did not have the masculine mating attractiveness and appearance of an average looking male. However, the probability of him and his ancestors surviving in our world is far greater than mine enven though I am ugly. Maybe a sway backed bovine has less pressure on their joints when bending down to eat forage or when reaching up to grab forage during the off season grass growing session. There are countless ways in which a sway backed animal may survive longer than an average bovine just because mother nature is smarter than all of us combined.
 

KNERSIE

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I am thinking there is a more naturalistic and positive reason why sway backed bovines are dominant

Who, besides you, have decided sway backs are dominant?
 
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