Breed of choice for cow herd

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Ky hills

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I started a post like this last night, from what I gather it was lost in the upgrading process, which is understandable I am just glad it wasn't apparently deleted for being problematic.

I have been on a journey so to speak with my cowherd, trying to build and rebuild into what I am looking for in a set of cows. I am wondering what y'alls breed or crossbreed of choice is and why, as far as a maternal breed for a cowherd. I realize that there are a lot of folks on this forum with registered herds and their answers will be quite obvious, which is quite alright. I do however have a bit of a curve to throw for those scenarios, since we all likely have a breed of choice for a reason, I think it also fitting to acknowledge possible areas where improvements could be made within any breed.

I will start by saying my cow breed of choice is almost a tie between Hereford and Angus, with Hereford being my first preference. Herefords seem to work well for our management they are mostly docile and typically calve easily, are problem free, and milk well to wean off pretty nice sized calves. An are of concern that I have within my herd is consistency, it could just be individuals and different genetics, but even though I think the calves are good there is some major differences within calves. Case in point a particular cow has had three calves 2 by the same bull and the other bull used was similar frame, yet there was a wide range of frame size between those calves.
 

Rafter S

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Most of my cows are Brangus. I don't know if they'd sell well in your area, although putting a Hereford bull on them will produce some calves that will really mash on the scales, and only have 3/16 Brahman influence.
 

WalnutCrest

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I thinkthe question is "...what do you like for a problem free cow herd so I can make market-friendly terminal calves?"

My answer ... a three-way cross with terminal overlay ... as follows:

A - Start with good straight-bred Brahman cows, and contract for the calves, AI'ing them to either Murray Grey or Aubrac cows.

B - All F1 heifers are AI'd to the other breed (MG or Aubrac) and turning out a heifer-friendly homozygous black bull for market calves. Keep doing this with these F1 females each year until you get enough F2's to sell these females (possibly as bred recips as they'd make good mama cows). All F2 heifers proceed to "C" below.

C - All F2 heifers are AI'd Brahman, and a calving ease homozygous black bull is turned out.

...etc...

Eventually, you'd have a tremendous three way cow herd that should do well putting terminal calves onthe ground.

If you'd ever want to run a Charolais bull as the terminal option, that should work well, too.
 

Nesikep

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Just going from what I've tried.. Here are a few observations
I recently had a Limo bull, and while the calves looked good, and the cows seem to milk really well, perhaps too well.. they easily turn into skinny racks and look like hell without LOTS of good feed.. This is particularly true of those with strong shorthorn influence as well.. The same cows also tend to be pretty tall and a bit lacking in meatiness.
Now if you add some Gelbvieh (at least 1/4), they seem to be more moderate in size and still have good frames but with much more meat on them.. My two last homeraised bulls were about 1/2 GV, 1/4SH and some Herf/Saler in there.. I'm really happy with the calves from similarly bred cows.. nice wide, deep meatwagons, I'll have to wait another year to see how they produce though, and that'll be to the new, similarly bred bull.. If I get more of the same, I think I've found my ticket that works in my area
 

Davemk

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Hereford cows x Limousine bull. :D

I will post some pictures in a day or two.
 

Silver

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Blonde d'Aquitaine would be my first choice. Great mothers, udders that last forever, popping big steer calves. All you need to do is be vigilant and keep frame size from creeping up, but in what breed is that not the case? Only problem (weakness) we had with them is that most order buyers aren't familiar enough with them to give a consistent price. Those that bought them laughed all the way to the bank.
Second choice is Simmental, and the best cross I've ever been around is Simmie x Blonde. I think it's all about making the best cows possible, when you do that then there is no reason for terminal crosses ( I absolutely hate that term) and such.
I don't mind a little Red Angus, but try to keep it under 1/4, although I have been breaking that rule a little more often lately.
I don't run the Blondes bulls anymore, been running Simmie, Simmie x RA, and the odd straight R/A on the herd. I like good cows where I see them, there tends to be more difference within breeds than between them.
 
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Ky hills

Ky hills

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gcreekrch":1ydasfyx said:
What do most of the successful neighbors have in their pastures?

I would say that most of the farms around are either mostly Angus based commercial black cows or mixed herds of many breeds and crosses.
 
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Ky hills

Ky hills

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I appreciate all of the replies. My purpose is that over time we gain knowledge as to what works well for us and if there happens to be an area of weakness with that particular breed. I used to have Charolais and they worked ok until some calving issues and lazy calves started occurring as well as some heifers were not protecting calves from coyotes. Our Herefords are doing pretty good all around I think a little ear in some more of them wouldn't hurt a thing.
 

kentuckyguy

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Ky hills what part of Ky are you from?

I’m in he northeast part and have been highly debating adding some Brahman influence to my herd. I just always wondered if I was to far north to see any real benefits.

Right now the best cows on the farm are out a Hereford Tarentaise female bred to an angus bull.

Every female we have can be traced back to 2 cows. They breed back very fast, give lots of milk without losing condition, never have any trouble calving, and stay productive up into their teens.
 
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Ky hills

Ky hills

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kentuckyguy":1tszpn9n said:
Ky hills what part of Ky are you from?

I’m in he northeast part and have been highly debating adding some Brahman influence to my herd. I just always wondered if I was to far north to see any real benefits.

Right now the best cows on the farm are out a Hereford Tarentaise female bred to an angus bull.

Every female we have can be traced back to 2 cows. They breed back very fast, give lots of milk without losing condition, never have any trouble calving, and stay productive up into their teens.

We are east of Lexington. I have a few percentage Brahman that I really like they are good milkers and raise some nice calves. One of them is especially good at putting coyotes out of the field. We are far enough north that we probably don't have to have Brahman influence but I think it does bring some positives to the table I wouldn't mind a bit to have a herd of them or a Beefmaster, Brangus, or Santa Gertrudis bull on our Hereford and Angus cows to get replacements.
 

True Grit Farms

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We started with Angus cows and a Simmental bull, then went to Angus bulls and bought some Simmental cows. Then I decided to make some baldies and went with a Hereford bull and now we've been back to Angus bulls. The Simmental cows have been weaning their way out of our herd once I quit supplemental feeding. I'm planning on using Brahman cross bulls this fall. There's no doubt in my mind that the 5 Beefmaster cows I bought 4 years ago as an experiment excell in our environment and management system. I also buy a few trader cows through out the year and every year I end up keeping a couple of those. A smokie cow works really good here, but I'll never have another Charolais bull so I'm not going in that direction. At one time I had all black cows, then I kept a couple of Hereford baldie heifers when I started culling on quality instead of color.
Angus, Hereford and Brahman is where I think I want to be?
 
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Ky hills

Ky hills

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True Grit Farms":1qzmminz said:
We started with Angus cows and a Simmental bull, then went to Angus bulls and bought some Simmental cows. Then I decided to make some baldies and went with a Hereford bull and now we've been back to Angus bulls. The Simmental cows have been weaning their way out of our herd once I quit supplemental feeding. I'm planning on using Brahman cross bulls this fall. There's no doubt in my mind that the 5 Beefmaster cows I bought 4 years ago as an experiment excell in our environment and management system. I also buy a few trader cows through out the year and every year I end up keeping a couple of those. A smokie cow works really good here, but I'll never have another Charolais bull so I'm not going in that direction. At one time I had all black cows, then I kept a couple of Hereford baldie heifers when I started culling on quality instead of color.
Angus, Hereford and Brahman is where I think I want to be?

Angus, Hereford and Brahman looks like good place to be to me too.
 

True Grit Farms

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Ky hills":1iyn69mx said:
True Grit Farms":1iyn69mx said:
We started with Angus cows and a Simmental bull, then went to Angus bulls and bought some Simmental cows. Then I decided to make some baldies and went with a Hereford bull and now we've been back to Angus bulls. The Simmental cows have been weaning their way out of our herd once I quit supplemental feeding. I'm planning on using Brahman cross bulls this fall. There's no doubt in my mind that the 5 Beefmaster cows I bought 4 years ago as an experiment excell in our environment and management system. I also buy a few trader cows through out the year and every year I end up keeping a couple of those. A smokie cow works really good here, but I'll never have another Charolais bull so I'm not going in that direction. At one time I had all black cows, then I kept a couple of Hereford baldie heifers when I started culling on quality instead of color.
Angus, Hereford and Brahman is where I think I want to be?

Angus, Hereford and Brahman looks like good place to be to me too.

I would think Simmental would work alright in KY. Our problem is we have very little clover, no fescue and 100+ degree days are normal during the summer around here. We've been over a 100 twice already and summer isn't even here yet. Around here a pasture with 10% protein and a TDN better than 55 - 60% is unheard of unless you have irrigation.
 

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