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Bulls....How long can a good one last?

K2011

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Our last simm. bull "Rocky II" was 14.5 yrs. old when we sold him...but I think he could've actually lasted a bit longer...
 

showing71

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Longest we've ever had one was 10 yrs, but that got difficult trying to keep him from breeding daughters so now ours stay 5-6 years.
 

mnmtranching

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5 breeding seasons is the longest I've used a bull, 7 years old. In a herd bull situation it is not good practice to go beyond 5 years old. Size is a factor and when they have to cover a lot of ground and a lot of cows you need the youth factor.
 

Lucky_P

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I've got no problem with a good bull breeding his daughters - you'll be concentrating the good factors you selected him for. Sure, if he's got undesirable recessive traits, they're more likely to be expressed, but on the whole it's not a bad idea, and certainly wiser use of a good bull than shipping him after two breeding seasons. I've even kept some daughters out of daughters by a particular herd bull, but when we start getting that far out, it's probably about time to bring in some different genetics.
Our current natural service sire will probably stick around as a 'terminal' sire, following AI breeding 'til he's too big or peters out.
 

grubbie

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Lucky_P":3c92o9c7 said:
I've got no problem with a good bull breeding his daughters - .
I couldn't disagree more. I'm certainly no scientist or genetic expert, but that ain't right. I am of the opinion that this kind of thinking is what brings the genetic defects we see in the angus breed, where this kind of breeding is more prevalent. Too much inbreeding, linebreeding, whatever you want to call it.
 

RD-Sam

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grubbie":t1vodd95 said:
Lucky_P":t1vodd95 said:
I've got no problem with a good bull breeding his daughters - .
I couldn't disagree more. I'm certainly no scientist or genetic expert, but that ain't right. I am of the opinion that this kind of thinking is what brings the genetic defects we see in the angus breed, where this kind of breeding is more prevalent. Too much inbreeding, linebreeding, whatever you want to call it.

I would have to disagree with you. Take NH for an example in the black angus, it originated with 1680, he was not inbred, and his parents were not carriers, stuff happens.

If you want to know how good a bull is, breed him to a bunch of his daughters and you will know, all of his strengths and weaknesses will come out in the offspring.
 

bigbull338

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my herd bull just turned 6.an im planning on keeping him 2 more years.ive got 2 daughters out of him.an id like to have 2 or 3 more from him.
 

edrsimms

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grubbie":3sl6ojl5 said:
Lucky_P":3sl6ojl5 said:
I've got no problem with a good bull breeding his daughters - .
I couldn't disagree more. I'm certainly no scientist or genetic expert, but that ain't right. I am of the opinion that this kind of thinking is what brings the genetic defects we see in the angus breed, where this kind of breeding is more prevalent. Too much inbreeding, linebreeding, whatever you want to call it.

Yes, I have to say that inbreeding is the wrong way to go. Of course if you are determined to raise animals for the freak show have at it-- but this is a good example "Lucky_P" of someone that will be OUT of the cattle business soon.
 

redcowsrule33

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Growing up we had a black Angus named "Freddie". He bred beef heifers in the summer and Holstein heifers the rest of the year (we had a large dairy herd and had a good market for "Holgie" calves). He died of natural causes in his mid teens. We figured out he serviced over 2000 heifers in his lifetime. A lot of AI bulls can't say that. He only started slacking off his last year. We hardly kept any heifers back from him so we could keep using him, now we wish we would've. My dad has one cow from him left - she had a calf again this year and is pushing 20.
 

grubbie

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RD-Sam":2nxnynva said:
grubbie":2nxnynva said:
Lucky_P":2nxnynva said:
I've got no problem with a good bull breeding his daughters - .
I couldn't disagree more. I'm certainly no scientist or genetic expert, but that ain't right. I am of the opinion that this kind of thinking is what brings the genetic defects we see in the angus breed, where this kind of breeding is more prevalent. Too much inbreeding, linebreeding, whatever you want to call it.

I would have to disagree with you. Take NH for an example in the black angus, it originated with 1680, he was not inbred, and his parents were not carriers, stuff happens.

If you want to know how good a bull is, breed him to a bunch of his daughters and you will know, all of his strengths and weaknesses will come out in the offspring.

I understand the reasons people use for line breeding, I still just don't agree with it. If I want to see how good a bull is, I look at his offspring as well. To each his own, not putting anyone elses practices down, just wanted to offer a perspective from the old school. I do not raise registered stock, just regular money-makin' baldies, obviously there are a lot of differences in the way registered breeders and regular old ranchers run cattle. Must not be a giant risk in linebreeding, but a risk none the less, right? It's just a risk I'm not willing to take.
 

Limomike

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Oldest bull I have had is the one I have now. 7 years old black Limousin.. I hate to get rid of him because he is one h#@@ of a producer around here!
 

RD-Sam

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RD-Sam":3rk5d7xa said:
grubbie":3rk5d7xa said:
Lucky_P":3rk5d7xa said:
I've got no problem with a good bull breeding his daughters - .
I couldn't disagree more. I'm certainly no scientist or genetic expert, but that ain't right. I am of the opinion that this kind of thinking is what brings the genetic defects we see in the angus breed, where this kind of breeding is more prevalent. Too much inbreeding, linebreeding, whatever you want to call it.

I would have to disagree with you. Take NH for an example in the black angus, it originated with 1680, he was not inbred, and his parents were not carriers, stuff happens.

If you want to know how good a bull is, breed him to a bunch of his daughters and you will know, all of his strengths and weaknesses will come out in the offspring.

I understand the reasons people use for line breeding, I still just don't agree with it. If I want to see how good a bull is, I look at his offspring as well. To each his own, not putting anyone elses practices down, just wanted to offer a perspective from the old school. I do not raise registered stock, just regular money-makin' baldies, obviously there are a lot of differences in the way registered breeders and regular old ranchers run cattle. Must not be a giant risk in linebreeding, but a risk none the less, right? It's just a risk I'm not willing to take.[/quote]

Yes, it's a risk, mostly because you don't know what is lurking back there. You could end up with a disaster, or you could end up with some of the best cattle in the world.
 

Lucky_P

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You're free to disagree.
I've been in the beef cattle business for over 40 years. I won't be 'OUT of the business soon' just because I bred a bull back to his daughters, and I'm not breeding for the 'freak show'. If and when I get out, it'll be because I'm too old & decrepit to fool with 'em anymore.
Some folks attach too many human societal taboos to animal breeding, and it's pretty evident that most people - and I don't mean just on this board - don't really have any realistic understanding of inbreeding or linebreeding. It would be worth your while to read Jim Lents' book, 'The Basis of Linebreeding', or to hunt up some of Larry Leonhardt's writings, such as those on the Shoshone Angus website - http://shoshoneangus.homestead.com/home.html

I'm not a purebred seedstock producer, just a commercial cow-calf man, though I've had a few old registered Simmental cows through the years(just sent the last old 19-yr old Generation III cow off to the locker plant a couple of weeks back -she was a good one, but I kept her one year too many, trying for 'one more' good calf. She's feeding folks at the Salvation Army soup kitchen now).

I'm a food-animal veterinarian/veterinary pathologist. I know more than a little bit about genetics, genetic defects, inbreeding suppression, etc., - so I'm aware that if an undesirable gene is present, breeding closely-related individuals will increase the likelihood that it will be expressed - but at the same time, inbreeding/linebreeding can be used to concentrate the genes that code for desirable traits. It's how ALL of the breeds we now know were originally developed.

In the vast majority of instances, whether you're a commercial or purebred operation, there's little downside to breeding a bull back to his daughters - if you like the bull and the traits you selected him for, and he's passed them on to his daughters, you're just maximizing those desirables by practicing some in-herd inbreeding. Really, outside of the possibility of recessive defects, the only significant downside is from narrow-minded people who might look at the pedigree and get their panties in a wad about (gasp!) 'inbreeding', and shy away from what you've produced.
If you look at pedigrees for many bulls in many breed associations, you'll see specific animals or family lines appearing time after time. How many Angus bulls have EXT, 6807, Scotch Cap, etc. multiple times in their ancestry? How about 600U, Black Mick, Black Irish Kansas, Siegfried, Doubletime and now, Dream On, etc., in the Simmental breed?

I think it's CRAZY for a small commercial beef producer with just a few cows who may only need one bull at a time, to be buying a new bull every two years - you're not 'getting your money's worth' out of that bull purchase, and you don't really know for sure what you have(or had) before you get rid of him. If he's good, he's worth breeding back to his daughters; if he's not, then put some wheels under him and bring in something different.
Just my $.02
Flame on, y'all.


RD-Sam brought up GAR Precision 1680 in the Angus breed. As we understand it now, the NH mutation seems to have occurred in 1680 - he didn't inherit it from any ancestor. But, he did inherit the AM (curly calf) gene from his maternal grandsire Rito 9J9 - who appears to be the 'point source' for that undesirable recessive gene mutation. So...1680 carried two separate recessive defects, and yes, repeated matings of 1680 descendents(but even that wasn't really linebreeding, and coefficients of inbreeding were pretty low) increased the impact of these genetic defects in that breed - and the problem was worsened by 'hushing up' of reports of defective calves for several years, while these defects were increasingly spread throughout the breed by folks chasing those 'carcass' numbers 1680 and his offspring were touted for.
I'm currently breeding my SimAngus cows to Angus bulls, but I'm staying away from lines with AM, NH, or the spectre of FCS in them for the time being - even 1680 descendents that are AM-free(the NH and FCS tests are still not validated) don't hold much appeal for me - those extreme growth/negative $EN bulls are not what I'm looking for to swing my herd back toward more efficient cows that don't require tons of extra feed.
 

SRBeef

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Lucky, I appreciate your taking the time to write a detailed response because that is exactly the position I will be in next summer. I have a bull I just don't want to part with. I was thinking of keeping one of his sons to replace him next summer but who knows if he will be as good (although he looks great right now).

I am leaning toward trying one more year which would mean breeding mostly non related but about 4 of his daughters. I guess I will wait until fall or maybe even spring to make a final decision but as good as my bull is I can't see replacing him with an unkown rookie until absolutely necessary.

Thank you. I'll read up some of your references.

Jim
 

Carnivore

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Yes, thank-you LuckyP for setting my mind a little more at ease. I have a 4 year old bull, and I have two of his daughters which I think are really good looking heifers, and have been agonizing whether or not to move the heifers or breed them back to their daddy. One is ready to breed in a few months, the other in a year.
 
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