Bull calves and birth weight ???

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hillsdown

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For all of you seed stock producers I have a question regarding your bull calves.

What is the largest birth weight bull calf that you have retained either for sale or for your own use ? Also do you have a cut off limit when it comes to weight either under or over. IE. nothing under 70 lbs nothing over 90lb etc.. Also will you retain bull calf that you had to pull ?

Just curious as I am reading through all of the bull sales catalogs...

Thanks :) .
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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First, I'll say that the weights in the South are a lot different than yours. Even mine will run different than yours, because of the extreme cold temps.
We pretty much use a 100# cutoff. If the calf grew out to be in the top 10% of my bull calves, I wouldn't care how small he was at birth. I kept & sold 1 bull over 100#. He was about 104# and he went to a breeder that had been using only our bulls for about 10 years. He was out of a cow that really liked to "incubate" her calves and get them half grown before spitting them out. He was extremely small for her and he was the one he wanted. His pedigree & EPD's all indicated he should be easy calving. Buyer used him on commercial Simmental heifers and never had a problem. But, I would NEVER try to talk someone into a high BW bull, because his pedigree or EPD's said he was going to be OK. Just asking for trouble.
As far as pulling. Essentially the only calves we assist are malpresentations. But, if we had a bull calf that was coming normal presentation out of a female with normal size to her and we had to pull him, I would say he was in line for steer-dom.
 

Frankie

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hillsdown":2g9bw5u2 said:
For all of you seed stock producers I have a question regarding your bull calves.

What is the largest birth weight bull calf that you have retained either for sale or for your own use ? Also do you have a cut off limit when it comes to weight either under or over. IE. nothing under 70 lbs nothing over 90lb etc.. Also will you retain bull calf that you had to pull ?

Just curious as I am reading through all of the bull sales catalogs...

Thanks :) .

By using EPDs, we're able to keep our birthweights reasonable and we try to keep our contemporary groups together. If we sell a registered Angus bull, his actual BW is available for potential buyers.
 

mnmtranching

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I'm a little guy with 4 bulls. I will use no bigger then 72 pound birth weight for heifers. The smallest I ever used was a 67 pound and I kept him for four seasons and he had a very reliable 70 pound calves. The biggest I have used is a 88 pound and in my opinion that was to big. Because a 88 birthweight might have a ten pound range.
My friends in Montana that run 60 bulls have a range of 70 - 85 pounds.

Hope that helps.
 

Aaron

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I agree with Jeanne.

I will add, I have no problem using 100+ lb birthweight bulls on our own herd. Two of the best herd sires we have used had birthweights of 104 lbs.

On the other hand, I know that I cannot sell a bull locally with a birthweight of more than 90 lbs. Apparently above that weight will kill all the Angus cows in the country or something.... :lol: Sure wouldn't mind knowing the pelvic areas on those cows... :shock:

A lot of the calving problems that are created with hard pulls and such are the result of a lack of exercise before calving. Our cows walk over half a mile for water in the dead of winter, through a majority of their last trimester. In the early 90's, we would winter the cows about 200 ft from the water source. The increase in distance was a large part of the 90% drop in our calving difficulties. :cowboy:
 

KNERSIE

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On the other hand, I know that I cannot sell a bull locally with a birthweight of more than 90 lbs. Apparently above that weight will kill all the Angus cows in the country or something.... Sure wouldn't mind knowing the pelvic areas on those cows...

Although I agree that registered herefords should be able to have much bigger calves, this kind of thinking has lost alot of our bull market to lighter BW black bulls.
 

Frankie

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By cutting those heavy birthweight bulls aren't you're skewing the performance data of your cow herd? And affecting their EPDs.
 

redcowsrule33

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As long as the calves are reported and the stats are run on them I don't see what the problem is.

Our cutoff is 90# now for both Red Angus and Simmental. Kept back one @105#, same as Jeanne, cow likes to keep 'em in the oven. But like Aaron I have more difficulty selling anything with a heavier birth weight, most of our commercial guys don't have a big enough herd to breed heifers and cows separately.
 

SRBeef

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redcowsrule33":3puoe5kn said:
...most of our commercial guys don't have a big enough herd to breed heifers and cows separately.

That is an important point. Most of us smaller guys have trouble rationalizing having ONE bull around all year, let alone two (one for heifers, one for cows).

AI is out of the question in my operation. The options are either rent-a-bull or buy ONE myself.

That one must be able to sire calves that can be had unassisted from both heifers and cows yet have good growth to weaning and yearling weights. And do it on grass.

A tall order but that's what my portion of the bull market needs.

Jim
 

Frankie

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redcowsrule33":3t3lwkuo said:
As long as the calves are reported and the stats are run on them I don't see what the problem is.

Our cutoff is 90# now for both Red Angus and Simmental. Kept back one @105#, same as Jeanne, cow likes to keep 'em in the oven. But like Aaron I have more difficulty selling anything with a heavier birth weight, most of our commercial guys don't have a big enough herd to breed heifers and cows separately.

So do you? Buy AI certs, register bull calves, cut them if they're over 90#, keep them until they're yearlings and report the performance data to your breed association?
 

Aaron

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KNERSIE":2ousnqmx said:
On the other hand, I know that I cannot sell a bull locally with a birthweight of more than 90 lbs. Apparently above that weight will kill all the Angus cows in the country or something.... Sure wouldn't mind knowing the pelvic areas on those cows...

Although I agree that registered herefords should be able to have much bigger calves, this kind of thinking has lost alot of our bull market to lighter BW black bulls.

True. Most people don't want a Hereford bull period. Black is what sells. My problem with the Angus breed is the quality of the calves and replacement heifers off of generations of cattle that calve out 60-70 lb calves. Haven't seen too many that I would want. My type of Angus cattle always seem to have a minimum BW of 85 lbs. Keep breeding low birthweight cattle, and, if keeping replacements, it will catch up to you. :cowboy:
 

Tod Dague

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Frankie":10zdupvk said:
redcowsrule33":10zdupvk said:
As long as the calves are reported and the stats are run on them I don't see what the problem is.

Our cutoff is 90# now for both Red Angus and Simmental. Kept back one @105#, same as Jeanne, cow likes to keep 'em in the oven. But like Aaron I have more difficulty selling anything with a heavier birth weight, most of our commercial guys don't have a big enough herd to breed heifers and cows separately.

So do you? Buy AI certs, register bull calves, cut them if they're over 90#, keep them until they're yearlings and report the performance data to your breed association?
It depends on when you cut them. If you cut them at weaning you can keep them in the same contemporary group they started in to weaning. If your cutting them you don't have to buy certs or register the calf just report the data. There won't be any yearling data unless you retain the calves and you can group them with the other steers from the same cont. group. If you cut them early then you will only have the birth data unless there are other steers cut at the same time with in the same cont. group. At least that is how it is with Red Angus.
 

cowman30

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hillsdown":3gaazwx0 said:
For all of you seed stock producers I have a question regarding your bull calves.

What is the largest birth weight bull calf that you have retained either for sale or for your own use ? Never kept one for my own use so I couldn't tell ya on that. Also do you have a cut off limit when it comes to weight either under or over. IE. nothing under 70 lbs nothing over 90lb etc..NO, although we set a cut off limit of 85 pounds for leaving them bulls to sale as breeders but nothing for ourselves. Thus far we have not had anything over 83 pounds be born on the place. Also will you retain bull calf that you had to pull ? Absolutely not
Just curious as I am reading through all of the bull sales catalogs...

Thanks :) .
 

redcowsrule33

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Tod Dague":w0bhpykn said:
Frankie":w0bhpykn said:
redcowsrule33":w0bhpykn said:
As long as the calves are reported and the stats are run on them I don't see what the problem is.

Our cutoff is 90# now for both Red Angus and Simmental. Kept back one @105#, same as Jeanne, cow likes to keep 'em in the oven. But like Aaron I have more difficulty selling anything with a heavier birth weight, most of our commercial guys don't have a big enough herd to breed heifers and cows separately.

So do you? Buy AI certs, register bull calves, cut them if they're over 90#, keep them until they're yearlings and report the performance data to your breed association?
It depends on when you cut them. If you cut them at weaning you can keep them in the same contemporary group they started in to weaning. If your cutting them you don't have to buy certs or register the calf just report the data. There won't be any yearling data unless you retain the calves and you can group them with the other steers from the same cont. group. If you cut them early then you will only have the birth data unless there are other steers cut at the same time with in the same cont. group. At least that is how it is with Red Angus.

Yes, and with Simmental, you get EPDs back on all calves as long as you register them, and you aren't slapped with a semen certificate cost on each calf. We do have a selective registry option where you do not have to register all calves, but that is only cost effeicient if you register only a few per year and have a large number of cows enrolled in the Total Herd Enrollment (THE). I don't cut until after weaning so a least my birthweight data isn't skewed.
 

KNERSIE

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What is the largest birth weight bull calf that you have retained either for sale or for your own use ? Never kept one for my own use so I couldn't tell ya on that. Also do you have a cut off limit when it comes to weight either under or over. IE. nothing under 70 lbs nothing over 90lb etc..NO, although we set a cut off limit of 85 pounds for leaving them bulls to sale as breeders but nothing for ourselves.

I find it interesting that so many "breeders" are very happy to sell bulls as breeding bulls, but that they don't have enough believe in their own bulls to use one in their own herds.
 

redcowsrule33

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KNERSIE":1swdoiyt said:
What is the largest birth weight bull calf that you have retained either for sale or for your own use ? Never kept one for my own use so I couldn't tell ya on that. Also do you have a cut off limit when it comes to weight either under or over. IE. nothing under 70 lbs nothing over 90lb etc..NO, although we set a cut off limit of 85 pounds for leaving them bulls to sale as breeders but nothing for ourselves.

I find it interesting that so many "breeders" are very happy to sell bulls as breeding bulls, but that they don't have enough believe in their own bulls to use one in their own herds.

Ouch. Glad you said that.

Our herd bull we raised, but it might be hard for a smaller herd to avoid inbreeding unless they use a lot of AI. Just trying to see it from both sides of the fence.

We have some reg. breeders here that use no AI. I won't comment on the quality (if you can't say something nice ...). Just seems to me genetic progress would be a lot slower.
 

KNERSIE

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You can look at it from every angle you like, even for the small producer, it would be more cost efficient to AI a few select cows and at the very least raise your own clean up sire. For me it would be cost prohibitive to try and buy a bull of equal or better quality than I can raise myself.

My point being if you don't have the cowherd to raise a bull good enough for own use with the availability and affordability of top genetics via AI, you have no business selling bulls.
 

Frankie

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KNERSIE":3nv0btxi said:
You can look at it from every angle you like, even for the small producer, it would be more cost efficient to AI a few select cows and at the very least raise your own clean up sire. For me it would be cost prohibitive to try and buy a bull of equal or better quality than I can raise myself.

My point being if you don't have the cowherd to raise a bull good enough for own use with the availability and affordability of top genetics via AI, you have no business selling bulls.

Since you're in another country, I'll take a bit of time and try, politely, to explain some truths from a small Angus producer in the US.

A solid AI program is a must for the small Angus producer in the US.

Over half the calves registered with the Angus Assn were AI sired calves. I can use the best, proven Angus bulls in the breed probably cheaper than I can buy and maintain a bull on my cow herd, even one of my own, especially when I consider the loss of income from keeping instead of selling a bull. It's certainly labor intensive and this year we bought our first clean up bull. But we've also learned a hard lesson: we will have a gomer bull before breeding season next year. :oops:

We're raising as good a bull as anyone in the Angus breed. Why wouldn't we? We're using the same genetics as any of the "big" guys. But with a small herd, most of the cows are related. Any bull born here will have a mother, a sister, probably an aunt or two in the herd. It's not practical to use one of our own bulls as a herd sire.

I don't think we would have any problem selling bulls sired by our own bulls. But half the calves born on the place are probably heifers. A heifer sired by a clean up bull will bring $200-$500 less than one sired by a proven AI bull when both are run through the sale ring. That's a discount I can't deal with.

By using bulls AI with generations of proven performance, I'm lowering the chances of getting a "duds."

So while you and some others are thumping your chest, being so judgmental, and telling anyone
you have no business selling bulls
you might want to consider that you don't know what you're talking about. ;-)
 

KNERSIE

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So while you and some others are thumping your chest, being so judgmental, and telling

anyone you have no business selling bulls

you might want to consider that you don't know what you're talking about.
Frankie

You might want to read the full sentence before being so judgemental yourself. For your convenience I'll quote it again.

My point being if you don't have the cowherd to raise a bull good enough for own use with the availability and affordability of top genetics via AI, you have no business selling bulls.

The argument isn't about AI or not, its about whether you have the quality cows to raise a bull good enough for a seedstock producer like yourself, to either use as a herdsire or cleanup sire. If you don't have the cowherd to produce bulls of good enough quality to use yourself, you have no business selling them to anyone else.

Going 100% AI is a management decision and if you can make it work, good for you, I have done that in the past with success as well. The fact of the matter is very few herds can get by with 100% AI.

Whether I know what I am talking about or not, is for everyone to decide for themselves and based on that they can decide how much they value my input or disregard it completely. Either way no skin of my nose.
 

cowman30

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redcowsrule33":1wh7xlks said:
KNERSIE":1wh7xlks said:
What is the largest birth weight bull calf that you have retained either for sale or for your own use ? Never kept one for my own use so I couldn't tell ya on that. Also do you have a cut off limit when it comes to weight either under or over. IE. nothing under 70 lbs nothing over 90lb etc..NO, although we set a cut off limit of 85 pounds for leaving them bulls to sale as breeders but nothing for ourselves.

I find it interesting that so many "breeders" are very happy to sell bulls as breeding bulls, but that they don't have enough believe in their own bulls to use one in their own herds.

Ouch. Glad you said that.

Our herd bull we raised, but it might be hard for a smaller herd to avoid inbreeding unless they use a lot of AI. Just trying to see it from both sides of the fence.

We have some reg. breeders here that use no AI. I won't comment on the quality (if you can't say something nice ...). Just seems to me genetic progress would be a lot slower.


Never said I didnt have enough belief in my own bulls to use them in my own herd. Now your putting words in my mouth. I have never kept one because it would be related to the animals I already have DUH!
 

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