Bigger Not Always Better When It Comes to Bull

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Oldtimer

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Sizing Down the Herd
Bigger Not Always Better When It Comes to Bull

Mon Feb 28, 2011 09:21 AM CST Print Email

By Boyd Kidwell
Progressive Farmer Contributing Editor




Tim Ohlde is a Kansas cattleman with a national reputation for selling cattle that can succeed in two very different worlds. They meet feedlot demands for gains, but also are capable of living in the real world, raising calves on limited nutrition.

Take a look at the cows at Ohlde Cattle Co. What you'll see are moderate-sized, deep-bodied animals with loads of capacity (guts) and the ability to flesh easily on forage.

"If you take a 1,500-pound cow and a 1,100-pound cow and compare the two, the larger cow eats one-third more feed but she won't produce a calf that weighs one-third more than the smaller cow's calf," says Ohlde, who ranches at Palmer.

With that in mind, he has worked for more than 20 years to breed cows that thrive on grass without feed supplements and produce calves that perform well in feedlots. The key points Ohlde selects for are low birthweight, high weaned value and what the Angus breed association calls Cow Energy Value. This value is a means of comparing sires for their ability to reduce cow energy requirements in future daughters.

With the pinch of high feed costs, cow energy measurements are a way to help commercial producers breed replacement females that don't eat up their profits.

Over years of selecting on this criteria, Ohlde has decreased birthweight by 2 pounds, increased yearling weight 15 pounds and reduced the average frame score of his cows. Key to this has been bull size.

"If you buy the largest bull at a sale, the steers out of him might finish in the feedlot at 1,500 pounds, but the replacement heifers out of the bull will keep growing until they reach 1,400 pounds. I want steers that grow like crazy to reach 1,200 pounds as yearlings and heifers that reach 1,100 pounds -- and then growth shuts off," says Ohlde.

As feed and fertilizer prices skyrocket, other producers are realizing bigger isn't better when it comes to cows.


Entire article:
http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtn ... ParentId=0
 

DOC HARRIS

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Oldtimer":2a4v8r32 said:
Sizing Down the Herd
Bigger Not Always Better When It Comes to Bull

Mon Feb 28, 2011 09:21 AM CST Print Email

By Boyd Kidwell
Progressive Farmer Contributing Editor




Tim Ohlde is a Kansas cattleman with a national reputation for selling cattle that can succeed in two very different worlds. They meet feedlot demands for gains, but also are capable of living in the real world, raising calves on limited nutrition.

Take a look at the cows at Ohlde Cattle Co. What you'll see are moderate-sized, deep-bodied animals with loads of capacity (guts) and the ability to flesh easily on forage.

"If you take a 1,500-pound cow and a 1,100-pound cow and compare the two, the larger cow eats one-third more feed but she won't produce a calf that weighs one-third more than the smaller cow's calf," says Ohlde, who ranches at Palmer.

With that in mind, he has worked for more than 20 years to breed cows that thrive on grass without feed supplements and produce calves that perform well in feedlots. The key points Ohlde selects for are low birthweight, high weaned value and what the Angus breed association calls Cow Energy Value. This value is a means of comparing sires for their ability to reduce cow energy requirements in future daughters.

With the pinch of high feed costs, cow energy measurements are a way to help commercial producers breed replacement females that don't eat up their profits.

Over years of selecting on this criteria, Ohlde has decreased birthweight by 2 pounds, increased yearling weight 15 pounds and reduced the average frame score of his cows. Key to this has been bull size.

"If you buy the largest bull at a sale, the steers out of him might finish in the feedlot at 1,500 pounds, but the replacement heifers out of the bull will keep growing until they reach 1,400 pounds. I want steers that grow like crazy to reach 1,200 pounds as yearlings and heifers that reach 1,100 pounds -- and then growth shuts off," says Ohlde.

As feed and fertilizer prices skyrocket, other producers are realizing bigger isn't better when it comes to cows.


Entire article:
http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtn ... ParentId=0

As the many contributors to these threads on this forum can attest, the information contained in this post is as factual and close to PROFIT reality as we all have been attempting to determine for a long time.

Tim Ohlde has cornered the common sense market by producing PROFITABLE Beef Cattle with a minimum of -details and trouble.

"Smarter Is Always Better Than Sticking One's Head In The Sand!"

DOC HARRIS
 
OP
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If anyone is looking for that type of cattle- I became aware today of a fellow that has 70 4 and 5 year old Diamond D bloodline commercial cows for sale- bred back to Diamond D bulls to start calving Apr 20th...
Wants $1600 each...
A retirement dispersion- cattle are in Buffalo Wyo area....

If anyone is interested PM me- or e-mail me and I'll give you the contact info.....
 

chukar

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I don't want to start a war of words, but I have a very serious question.

I went to look at some yearling bulls today for the part of the cows I am going to keep (see other posts if you wish); some are sired by a Pharo bull and the others are sired by an Ohlde bull.

As anybody who knows what bulls are going for this year can attest, it is not a decision that can be taken lightly either monetarily or for longer term affects in the cow herd.

We are downsizing our herd to an "under capacity" and starting a rotational grazing program this year. We will then be growing into our new capacity as the forage base comes along and we are able to plant some of our hay/grain fields into permanent pasture. (This making hay, on our small acreage is not worth the cost of machinery or custom hire) We will then be buying in what we need on a given year, which hopefully our "need" will gradually become less as our ability and knowledge of stockpiling increase.

So back to the bull. I personally liked both of the bulls' offspring, but I am no expert either. I have read some negative comments (I have no biases at all so don't beat me up over the deal) about Pharo bullls, but they could be completely baseless.

Anybody have suggestions on which bloodline to consider more? A tough question, so maybe pros and/or, dare I say it, cons of either program?

We are on non-irrigated spring pasture for about 6 weeks in the spring, and then we move into irrigated, soon to be MIG, pasture.

Thanks
 

angusdave63

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i think the occ cattle are a step in the right direction from what i have been able to learn about them they are good cattle i have a marathon bull by the occ kirby bull and really like him what ever happened to the kirby bull anyway David
 
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Chukar-- both have a wide variety of easy keeping- efficient cattle...Pharo uses quite a bit of Ohlde breeding---and sometimes takes it to the extreme on low frame/low WW....Altho some of the Ohldes are smaller framed too...Some of his bulls will drop frame immensely-- while others will do little but add muscle and ability to convert forage.... You just have to see what fits into your program....

Diamond D Angus uses Ohlde breeding along with Wye and Shoshone to raise very efficient moderate cattle....Thats closer to my program-- but besides Wye and Shoshone- I also am adding in some of the old Juanada, N-Bar, and Rito bloodlines...
All the old lines that prevailed for so many years--- and now show up in the multitudes of the pedigrees of most the angus cattle that are thought of as maternal...(but for years did everything we wanted them to)...

I could name several others in Montana- that raise truly efficient range cattle--many of which I've bought cattle from---- Whitney Creek Ranch, Cole Creek Ranch, Gary Funk, Jack McNamee, Diamond D, Indreland, Eayrs Angus Ranch, etc. etc.

Heres a list of folks that think much alike- and either use some Ohlde breeding or have cattle/bloodlines that work well with Ohlde breeding in moderate framed forage based- efficient programs that don't have a cornfield to raise them on...

http://5barx.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f ... hilit=Glen
 

traderaaron

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chukar":226t3hmo said:
We are on non-irrigated spring pasture for about 6 weeks in the spring, and then we move into irrigated, soon to be MIG, pasture.

I don't think you can go wrong with buying a bull from PCC or OCC or someone similar to their programs.

However, I think you'd actually realize more benefit from higher weaning weight/larger frame bulls if you are running on irrigated MIG pasture. I am looking at PCC/OCC or similar bulls because of our environment in S.E. Colorado, especially if you are looking to make cows. So if selecting from one of these programs you could go for one of the more traditional higher ww bulls I think. Now if you are over-wintering calves to turn out onto irrigated MIG pasture, or to sell on spring grass yearling market then a light calf would be great and ww doesn't really matter, they would explode on such great pasture or at the sale barn to grass folks.
 

DOC HARRIS

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traderaaron":3e3zac76 said:
chukar":3e3zac76 said:
We are on non-irrigated spring pasture for about 6 weeks in the spring, and then we move into irrigated, soon to be MIG, pasture.

I don't think you can go wrong with buying a bull from PCC or OCC or someone similar to their programs.

However, I think you'd actually realize more benefit from higher weaning weight/larger frame bulls if you are running on irrigated MIG pasture. I am looking at PCC/OCC or similar bulls because of our environment in S.E. Colorado, especially if you are looking to make cows. So if selecting from one of these programs you could go for one of the more traditional higher ww bulls I think. Now if you are over-wintering calves to turn out onto irrigated MIG pasture, or to sell on spring grass yearling market then a light calf would be great and ww doesn't really matter, they would explode on such great pasture or at the sale barn to grass folks.

traderaaron-

YES!! Now this is a good example of the kind of 'common sense protocols" that is necessary for producers to be able to make a PROFIT from their operations. One can avoid "Single Trait Selection" choices in analyzing and selecting seedstock traits and characteristics, but here is another method of thinking and planning that embraces more than just one phase of "planning your work and working your plan!"

Many times, with just a bit of pre-planning your actions in your business, being 'lucky' is replaced with 'good thinking!'

DOC HARRIS
 

chukar

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Now if you are over-wintering calves to turn out onto irrigated MIG pasture, or to sell on spring grass yearling market then a light calf would be great and ww doesn't really matter, they would explode on such great pasture or at the sale barn to grass folks.

This my friend is the direction that seems to be the most promising to me. We also sell locker beef, and this year "over-kept" some steers vs the amount of orders we have filled in the past couple of years... Then I got a wild hair last week and ended up peddling a couple of them for a really good price and now the phone is ringing off the hook for some of those calves like their neighbors got.

My largest fear with retaining calves through the winter and trying to hit the spring market, or finish for the locker market, is the uncertainty of feed costs. I just talked to a guy today that sold some hay to the central valley (california) that they are paying over $300/ton. That $250 at the barn!

In this situation the smaller ww with growth potential makes the most sense. I am struggling trying to place any long term "planning" with today's market. it could crash tomorrow, it could last a couple more years...the one thing I am certain of is that it will come down when it makes sense to start growing the cow herd again.

Enough rambling though. Thanks for your thoughts on these two programs bulls. I don't know anyone that uses them, other than the seller of the ones I am looking at, and thought I would get some ideas.
 

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