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Best breeds for a cold climate?

OwnedByTheCow

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I was offered the opportunity to co-own the beginning of what we are hoping to turn into a larger scale beef operation. I have been looking at the pros and cons of different breeds and am looking for opinions. I am located in a region where in the winter it can reach -20f to 80+ degrees in summer. They will be mostly on pasture and grass fed. I'm hoping for a breed with a good bone to meat ratio and something that's not to difficult to handle. In my area the small family farms raise Herefords, Pinizis, and Galloways. I would also like to do my research into other breeds and see what's best. Any ideas are welcome.
 

WalnutCrest

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Animals that can hustle for food and grow some hair are probably a good idea.

The more densely made your cattle, the easier they should do in the extreme cold.

One of the longest-time breeders of Aubracs lives about 6hrs north of the Canadian border; they used to live even further north. Their cattle do well in their winters up there. Feel free to drop me a PM if you'd like.
 

Dave

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Montana and the Dakotas get hotter in the summer and colder in the winter than the temperatures you are talking about. There are more Angus there than any other breed. It is probably less about the breed and more about how well you feed and possible shelter you provide.
 

elkwc

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Personally I would use Angus and Herefords and cross them. Both would tolerate the temps well. I have found Herefords to be hardier in harsh conditions which include predator issues than any other breed. Leave the horns on and they will protect their babies.
 

Son of Butch

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OwnedByTheCow":1qxtc1in said:
I was offered the opportunity to co-own the beginning of what we are hoping to turn into a larger scale beef operation. I have been looking at the pros and cons of different breeds and am looking for opinions. I am located in a region where in the winter it can reach -20f to 80+ degrees in summer. They will be mostly on pasture and grass fed. I'm hoping for a breed with a good bone to meat ratio and something that's not to difficult to handle. In my area the small family farms raise Herefords, Pinizis, and Galloways. I would also like to do my research into other breeds and see what's best. Any ideas are welcome.
HI - I realize you are still very young and enthusiastic... (oh to be that again)
But no need to reinvent the wheel, as Dave pointed out Angus is clearly the proven winner for a variety of reasons.
Select within the breed for the traits you want, good bone to meat ratio, docility ect.

Crossbred cows outperform straight bred cows, so depending on your goals one of the breeds you'll want is Black Angus.
I like Angus x Hereford cows.
If your goal is straight bred cattle, farms with Herefords and other breeds will be an opportunity for you to easily
market Angus breeding bulls... even the haters have to concede Angus are always in demand.
 

SIMMGAL

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Hard to beat Highlands and Galloways for hair and cold climates. Not sure if Highlands would exactly fit in with the rest of what you're looking for but I bet Galloways would! My Herefords are pretty darn hardy and efficient. I bet a cross would work best for you since you can benefit from the heterosis!
 

farmguy

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Minnesota here, -40F to +100F for extremes. I have Herefords and I have neighbor with Highlands. From my observation Herefords and Highlands both seem to handle the weather about the same but hard to get anyone to buy Highlands. Longhorns and breeds that were originally dual purpose seem to hustle less and stay humped up more in the bitter cold. We winter graze. Angus seem to do well in bitter cold also. We have lots of coyotes and wolves at times and I see no advantage with the horns but to each his own. I in my limited experience have seen more injuries to other cattle with horns and feeders and handling systems are not a good fit with horns. If you do prefer horns be sure to dehorn well before selling or expect a big discount. Just my observations and bias for what it's worth. farmguy
 

Son of Butch

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Yes that's why there are Sooo many Tarentaise around almost can't throw a stone without hitting one. :)
A fad that has come and gone, but fashion is cyclical and they may come back around only to fade away again.
Someday I'll be the coolest kid on the block again with my bell bottoms.
 

boondocks

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Most of the beefers in upstate NY (where the temps fall right in line with your estimates) are Angus. Ours do fine in winter. Get your starters from an area where it gets good and cold and from a herd where they haven't been babied for generations (and the wimps died out). That's what we did and have some real hardy mamas. Bought our starters from a guy whose family has raised Angus for eons and who has not cossetted them.
 

Nesikep

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as long as you stay away from dairy and brahma influence, most breeds will grow a pretty good coat of hair.. Shorthorns do that especially well, even without going to clubby stuff.. 80 isn't hot, so anything should handle that. Lots to choose from.. Angus, Gelbvieh, Limousin, Saler, Hereford
 

cfpinz

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Where are you from and what is most prevalent in your area?

Doesn't make much sense to buy into a breed if the nearest seedstock operation is 6 or 8 hours away.
 

morancher

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You can have any breed you like, just keep in mind the feed and the effort to modify the environment that may be necessary to keep that breed alive and functioning to the level designed... how much time and money to own that breed in you location, are you willing to invest?
 

dun

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The european breeds are originally came from similar climates. As long as you stay away from Brahman influence, any breed should work.
 

Canadianfarmer

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Angus and angus char cross cows do great for me up here . Shelters and good quality feed go along way to help any breed in the cold
 

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