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Cross-Breeding First Calf Heifers

Running Arrow Bill

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First of all, I don't want to irritate anyone and fully realize that ALL cattle breeds have advantages and disadvantages depending on one's locale and climate and breeding program. With this in mind, I just wanted to review some of the "benefits" of using Longhorn Cattle for Cross-Breeding:

* Using a Longhorn Bull to Cross-breed to a polled breed will produce a polled calf. And, it is not unusual to view the calf and NOT know that the sire was a Longhorn.

* University research and records of Longhorn cattle people have documented that Longhorns have up to 99.7% UNASSISTED calving rates. In this respect, a LIVE Longhorn calf is worth a lot more than a DEAD other breed---if nothing else, you can eat the live one.

* Even though a Longhorn (with horns present) will often get docked at Sale Barns (especially if it is not Black or Red), selling a LIVE animal is more profitable that having or pulling a dead calf from another breed.

* Longhorns typically produce 45 th 65 lb calves: This is ESPECIALLY valid for 1st calf heifers that were bred in the 650 to 800 lb range.

* Longhorn heifers can be bred successfully at 12 to 14 months of age without any significant risk of calving problems due to their unique hip bone structure.

* Longhorn bulls can easily be very productive and possess strong Libido up until 10, 12, 14 years of age and longer.

* Longhorn cows can easily be productive with a calf every 12 months even up to 16, 18, or 20 years of age. This means fewer replacement heifers and cows needed.

* Longhorns typically grow on about 20% less forage and feed than other breeds. This more than offsets any possible losses at Sale Barns.

* Current breeders of Longhorn cattle are emphasizing Body Condition Scores in the 5 to 6 range and mature cows weighing in the 1000 to 1200 lb range. Bulls are ranging between about 1,400 and 2,000 on the average.

* Longhorns display their unique "Hooks and Pins" bone structure on their hindquarters. This trait is deceiving to some commercial cattle people -- this does NOT mean they are out of condition -- it is a trait that produces easy calving due to their pelvic action at calving.

* Longhorns have naturally lean beef. If they are finished on quality forage (as all cattle should be) along with feed supplements as needed, they have marbling (but not as fatty obviously as other slaughter breeds).

* Longhorns have excellent disease resistance, browse ability, hardy nature, and a very long productive life (among other traits).

Just wanted to review some of the "Facts" about Longhorns. Everyone has their own program and preferences. Even if you do not "buy into" the Longhorn concept, these are still things to think about....
 

monkeywerkz

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Very interesting, and persuasive. Would a simmental x longhorn be a decent cross? More specifically, breeding a black simmental cow to a longhorn bull?

What are your thoughts?

- rwhite
 
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Hey! I really can't offer an educated opinion of which breed would work best to cross with a Longhorn since we only breed pureblood Longhorns. I have read several articles that Longhorn X Hereford works well. Also, Longhorn X Corriente works. And, I'd assume that any cross-bred female would work with a LH bull. Also, any commercial breed that has excellent marbling characteristics would work well to offset some of the Longhorn "lean beef" traits for the slaughter market as it stands now.

Think the important thing is to review your genetics and balance the bull size with the heifer or cow size --

The Simmental are large bodied redish cattle, right? A medium sized Longhorn bull would probably produce a smaller calf at maturity..??

I you're X-breeding for Longhorn traits (not horn size), then I would probably recommend a Longhorn bull (or semen from one) that had smaller horns (say under 50" at his maturity); and, one with full-bodied conformation. In this respect, I'd avoid the "Butler" longhorn family lineage (especially 100% pure Butler) as much as possible since they are well-known for huge horn growth at the sacrifice of a large hindquarter.
 

magpie

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Hi,

I personally know of one longhorn bull that was used on a herd of charolais cattle when he was younger. I heard thru the grapevine that they were really pleased with that calf crop, as this particular bull was solid black with very little white coloration. And his calves on that crop of simmentals were black, not a silver gray.

But that crop of calves is unusual in itself, because of the fact that normally, longhorns are not homozygous for anything. Not color, not horn, not size.

I take it back, they are homozygous for one thing. And that is for having one of the leanest cattle meat available. That has not changed. "They are the masters at producing lean meat". And the effect of their lean meat as well as easy calving is felt thru crossbreeding up into the 1/4 bred longhorns. As long as you don't have less than 1/4 blood of the longhorn in your crosses their influence on the meat and easy calving is there. The only other way to get that lean meat influence is to go with a beefalo, that I know of. (correct me if I am wrong on that.)

Within the longhorn breed as a whole, there are a few longhorn breeders shaping their particular herds to add a beefier body, size, as well as more solid colors. And yes, there will always be the rest of the main longhorn group that will stick to the splashy colors and more horn. But not everybody is following that beaten path. grins

There are a few of us that recognize that we as longhorn breeders, can offer the commerial cattlemen certain benefits by breeding our longhorns to be beefier, taller, with minimal white, and still not lose the natural leaness or easy calving. (That is why we do not wish to bred for bulls that weigh more than 2070 lbs.)

If your animals are naturally polled, you will have polled calves from the longhorn bull. If there are any throwbacks for horn in your herd, you will see horned calves. The longhorn horn is a recessive gene.

I have a neighbor that has a brangus herd. She bought a young beefy style 14 month old longhorn bull from me. Her reasoning for getting the longhorn bull was that he would "lean" down her meat with that additional cross. And she is getting about 1/2 and 1/2 polled and horned calves with the addition of the longhorn blood. And the calves are stocky built. She is really pleased with crossing her brangus with the longhorn.

I have also read this past year, (I think it might have even been on one of the cattle today boards) , where someone had been doing pelvic measurements on their heifers, and the last two they had measured were a longhorn cross. And the longhorn crosses measured out larger in their pelvic area then the breed of straight, angus? heifers that they had. (I believe it was angus, but don't know if i remember that one correctly.) But I do remember that the longhorn crosses pelvic area was larger. Hence the easy calving the longhorn, and longhorn crosses have.

So, getting back to your question of simmental crossing with longhorns, I do believe it will work for you. You will have to decide and experiment if the 1/2 blend is what you want, or if 3/4 simmental and 1/4 longhorn will work better for you. Some of the other breeds, herefords, and angus that have tried the 3/4 cross swear by it. And others are happy with the 1/2 cross. Either way, the longhorns will lean your meat out.

Just don't expect a ex-roper bull to do the job for you. You will be money ahead to get a bull out of registered stock. The ex-roper was a roper for a reason, either he was bred just for that, or he didn't meet the breeders plan. So please, start with a good longhorn bull, and he will more than pay for himself as he will bred into his middle teens.

I have a plan for my own herd, for growing the beefy style longhorn, as well as going for the minimum white. But as I cannot put all my eggs in that one plan, I do have to grow some splashy colors, as well as horn. But I want the good conformation of a beefy body to go with my horn and colors.

""That is what is so cool about cattle, you can target what you need, and select for that, no matter what the breed.""

This is the challenge that I have set before myself. Because I wish to give other breeders another option that will also benefit them. By breeding solid colors, so they don't get hit at the sale barn with the crossbred calves, keeping the ceiling on bulls weight at 2070 lbs. I have the naturally lean meat that the consumer at the meat counter says they want.

And I can share with others the genetic gold mine that the longhorn and longhorn crosses can offer. (That is why the longhorns were almost bred out, cause of their crossing ability with other breeds, as well as the fact that they didn't have the valuable "tallow" back at the turn of the century that was needed then. So the longhorns have come full circle, and can still offer what is needed, "naturally lean meat".

oops...i've run on way too long here, :)

magpie
 

D.R. Cattle

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An aquaintance of mine whom I've known for several years is into longhorn cows and decided to crossbreed them. He leased a bull from someone else in town. I personally fancy the bull as he is father to one of mine. Nevertheless, the bull is a very stout angus-probably goes about 2000#. Quite hefty for an angus. The first thing I thought was, those scrawny little longhorns can't even stand for a bull that size. I was proven wrong. My next thought was that those longhorns could never handle sizable calves from that bull. Again I was proven wrong. My last thought was, how could they be happy with the calves? Again I was proven wrong. Seems like the longhorn man had a thing or two to teach me. The calves from the longhorns were very nice and weaned out at a very good weight (so I was told). Moral- I could always stand to learn something new and longhorn cattle have more to offer than most think.
 

Dyann

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I sell about 15 Longhorn bulls every year to non-Longhorn breeders. This year I had a repeat customer, who brought two friends with him.. they each bought a bull too. I do strive to produce solid black Longhorns, and have up to 4 generations of black... that does not mean 100% black, as Longhorns will be longhorns, but for the most part they produce black. I sell to mostly Angus breeders and Brangus breeders. They use the Longhorn bulls on their first year heifers, then sell the calves, and reuse the bull on the next generation of heifers. There are some real advantages to it. Generally, if you breed a longhorn to a polled breed, you will not get any horns either.

As to breeding a non-longhorn bull to a longhorn cow.. probably not many probelms. There was a study done in the 90's where they did an embryo transfer of a full blood gelbeivh into a longhorn cow. She gave unassisted birth to a healthy 115 pound calf... The longhorn cow is built to have calves. The hip bones slope off at the rear, making gravity work for them at calving time. This means less stress on both mama and the calf, more live calves and a quicker breed back time. A longhorn will also pass some of the disease resistance to their offspring as well. There is a natural resistance to foot rot, pink eye, tick borne diseases and other commons ailments.

What is comes down to is choice.. all breeds have their characteritics.. but I am not sure how many people realize that longhorns are not the scrawny, crazy animals of over 100 years ago. I am not sure how many good business decisions are made with 100 + year old information. :)
 

dun

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A lot depends on the area. Around here they are nearly all scrawny and cow hooked to the point I'm surprised they can walk. I saw several LH Red Angus heifers at hte local 4H-FFA fair. The heifers all where aolid red and polled, and looked just like all the other LH in the area. You have to realize too, that the majority of the folks around here think that Angusx Holsteins are just marvelous animals and can't understand why they don't have more muscle.
All of the calving ease, maternal etc., traits that are caimed for LH exist in nearly every breed. With the proper heifer selection and using properly selected bulls from whatever breed you realize the same benefits. We haven't pulled a calf in our herd/s for somewhere around 30 years. I though we would have to last year because the cow only showed one put for almost an hour. She finally popped the other hoof and had the calf within 5 minutes, even with that termoil the calf was up and nursing , actaully looking to nurse, before the cow got to her feet. Straight bred Red Angus. Her calf as a heifer got us a bonus from the feedlot. Hard to beat those kinds of results. She had her 2nd calf 7 days less then a year from the first and if she calves on time this year it will be around 3 days erlier then last. No hormones, natural heats.

dun
 

Frankie

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What a good idea, Bill, to offer the pluses of your favorite breed. Allow me to list some good points of the Angus breed.

*Using an Angus bull to crossbreed to either polled or HORNED cattle will produce a polled calf. If the bull is registered with the American Angus Association, it will be very, very likely be black and many people will know it’s an Angus calf. We don’t try to hide the parentage of our cattle.

*As a breed, Angus cattle are easy calvers. Angus EPDs are the most reliable in the industry, IMO, and by selecting bulls with reasonable birth weight EPDs you can use them with confidence on heifers. If you should have or want to eat an Angus calf, you would have a good chance of getting tender, marbled beef

*Angus cattle are welcomed at the sale barns. Feedlots are willing to pay premiums for quality Angus calves because they feed efficiently and hang a quality carcass. If you’ve ever marketed cattle on a grid, you know there are a lot more discounts than premiums. You may not always receive a premium for your Angus sired calves, but you will be less likely to be discounted.

*According to the AAA, the average BW of Angus calves born in 2001 was 82 lbs. Average heifer weight was 77. We use lower birthweight bulls on our registered Angus heifers and keep our birth weights in the 70-80 lb. range. But a well grown out heifer shouldn’t have a problem calving out an 82 lb calf. If she does, I’d be careful about keeping any daughters as replacements. According to AAA, average YEARLING weights for the same year were 1,129 lbs. for bulls and 843 lbs. for heifers. They grow pretty good. These are registered animals. Add a bit of heterosis and you can have your steers ready to slaughter at a young age.

*We breed our Angus heifers at 15 months old and haven’t pulled a calf in years. Their hip structure seems to be fine and they have a lot of meat on it.

*We AI our all cattle, so don’t know how long an Angus bull will last. But here at our operation, we’re improving genetics with every generation. We’ve got some 10-year-old cows that are still doing a good job for us, but when a heifer out performs them, they’ll have to go. Most ranchers in my area turn bulls over every five years or so to keep inbreeding from being a problem. I don’t know a single rancher using a ten year old bull.

*How long a cow is productive is more than genes or breed. Management plays an important role in how long her teeth old out, etc.

*Angus are good eaters. We treat ours much as the commercial operators around us treat their cattle, standing dry grass and breeder cubes while the grass lasts. Then bermuda hay w/cubes. I don’t starve them, but they aren’t pets.

*Most Angus breeders that I know are emphasizing fertility and feed efficiency, in addition to muscle and marbling. Hundreds of Angus bulls are performance tested every year to identify bulls that will produce cattle that will finish quickly in the feedlot. Mature size and BCS should be considered for your specific area and your specific preferences. I like 1200 lb. cows. Some of ours are bigger, but everyone that comes here to buy a bull wants a BIG bull. So our cows may be bigger than a commercial cattleman would want.

*The current price spread between Choice (marbled) beef and Select (not marbled), is about $10 cwt more for Choice than Select. Figure that on an 800 lb carcass. And if your cattle fall into the Standard category, the discount is about $20 compared to Choice. On the other hand, Certified Angus Beef offers a premium ABOVE Choice for higher marbling. The spread between Choice and Select was much higher before BSE. Angus cattle are known for their quality carcass. If you have cattle that don’t marble, use an Angus bull with a high marbling EPD. But don’t select only for marbling. Pay attention to other traits, too.

*A good herd health manage program is a must, no matter what breed you’re raising. Our cattle spend most of the year on pasture. They forage quite well.

* As a breed, Angus cattle have strong maternal traits. We watch most of our calves being born and they’re up nursing within 20-30 minutes. We had a 5175 bull calf born Sunday morning. In spite of the very cold weather (10 degrees here this morning and that’s cold for us), he was trying to run by Sunday evening and bucking and jumping by Monday afternoon. Today we turned them out into the pasture with the rest of the cows. Hopefully next week he’ll have several “playmates” to run around with. His full brother (born February 5th last year) lost part of his ear from frostbite last year. But he had an ADJ WW of 779 lbs. So the weather didn’t bother him much. While the cows are protective (I’ve seen heifers run coyotes out of the pasture), we have no problem weighing calves.

There are many reasons over half the cattle herds in the US are using Angus bulls on both heifers and cows. I’ve listed a few of them above. Please feel free to add anything that I’ve missed.
 

Dyann

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Frankie,
Nice of you to post your Angus characteritics.. although I note a little defensiveness or something. Bill's post about Longhorns and mine and anyone else are not trying to take anything away from the Angus breed or any other breed. The fact that I sell to Angus breeders, must mean they also appreciate what the Longhorns I sell them do for them and their programs. As to polled or not, no one, including me is trying to hide the parentage of anything. I have several Longhorns that are not sold to commercial breeders and the bigger the horns and the wilder the colors are the better. However, I dont raise them just to look at... I like to make a buck too. I dont even want to hear that they are gonna tip or cut the horns off the bulls I sell.. I know they will and that is it. I also know that many commercial producers (commercial as opposed to show stock producers) prefer solid black or solid red. Fine... so I try to produce them. ALthough, I am not sure what the difference is, I have never in my life gone to a super market, looked at two steaks and said.. gosh this one came from a spotted animal. I also cant tell from looking or even tasting what was Angus and what was not. I know that the marketing of Black Angus labeling has been successful.. but quite frankly I am no more impressed with that meat, than I am the no-Angus label. If it is good, I like it.. if not .. I dont. simple as that.

Anyway, thanks for your input..enjoy your Angus and I will admire my Longhorns and I bet neither one of us loses any sleep over it :D
 
A

Anonymous

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Longhorn nearly became extinct, saved by a small herd from Ok. ( I would bet they had a little mixed blood in them) not so many years ago. There gene pool is a little smaller than I want, or there is to many other breeds to use for hybrid vigor. Sell you horns, sell you small birth weight , sell you beautiful animals, just now to me as a beef producer...I have thought of have a few Longhorn steers in the front yard, they are beautiful,( also thought of Buffalo) but decide to put beef cows there and not was the grass.. I agree the taste of beef , well good beef is close to the same.. I do not think the Lean Beef animals i.e. Beefelo,L.H., fall into the Good beef area. As for your opinions, we all have them, and I like at lest ten Beef breeds enought to contemplate in raising them and Long Horns are not one of them..nor their crosses.. Just My Opinion..ALF...
 
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I haven't posted in a while as I've been really busy with a new job but I read with interest the posts regarding Longhorn crosses. I raise registered Texas Longhorns and just as anyone else who favors a particular breed I love my Longhorns. I do however, have a few Beefalo and Beefmaster cows that Ibreed to Longhorn bulls. I usually sell the heifers to local farmers who have come to know what a Longhorn cross heifer can do in their beef herd. I sell a few purebred bulls from time to time to beef producers who have finally realized that they had rather have a live Longhorn cross calf than to have dead beef calves.
I have found that Longhorns cross very well with most any beef breed. I got some excellent calves from my former Charolais heifers-I did wind up selling the heifers to a fellow who wanted them because I found that the Charolais were a little too high strung for my liking.
I appreciate Running Arrow Bill"s and Dyann's remarks re Longhorns and I agree with them. I also noticed that other beef breeders are still very defensive about their own breeds and show some animosity toward Longhorns. If the breed that you have is working for you then great-if not maybe you need to consider a change. It doesn't have to be Longhorn-it can be another small birth weight breed. Generally, Angus are known for small birth weights but I believe that alot of them have been bred up to be larger animals so therefore they are presenting calving problems now. That is just my speculation-not concrete so I don't want to offend any Angus breeders.
I had some Longhorn heifers in to my vet's office last weekend to have all their calfhood vaccinations and my vet was very complimentary toward their behavior as they are very easy to handle. He also made reference to two well known Angus breeders in our community that had lost several calves from first calf heifers recently due to large sized calves. He said tht he needed to refer them to my place to get a bull for those heifers. I guess these folks had rather have a pure bred calf to sell at the market even though they may not have as many to sell as they normally would. I was also talking to a Charolais breeder and asked what she bred her first calf heifers to-her reply was that she bred them to a Charolais bull even though she usually loses an average of five calves per year. I guess this person is happy with her breeding program too because she says she always gets top price for her market calves. I just wonder if that is enough to offset the price that the five dead calves would have brought at the market?
I know all breeds have their pros and cons and don't want to offend anyone. I'm not knocking anyone else's breed of choice just making some comments that were of interest to me.
By the way, Running Arrow Bill I saw your truck at the Horn Showcase in Ft. Worth in November and I wanted to say Hello but couldn't find you. I live in Tennessee and took one of my bulls down to show, also bought a cow at the sale on Saturday night. I just thought it was neat that I had read alot of your postings and that you were there at the show.
Roger :)
 

KBarG

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I live in North Texas, outside of Dallas, and would be interested in seeing what "beefy" longhorns look like. I grew up by the Wichita Mountains where they saved the Longhorn breed. I have often wondered how they would cross. Are there any "beefy" breeders in my area? I would love to see some of your cattle and possibly purchase a few heifers whether straight LH or 50/50.
 

A. delaGarza

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Even that we own Lomghorns, around 200, and have use them in first calf heifers I prefer the use of Gir or Nelore Bulls, any bos indicus will do the job as well. I don't meant that Longhorns aren't any good but using bos Indicus you will have more advantages and won't have color problems, remember I've had use Longhorns and still own them.


Running Arrow Bill":29oo0hwh said:
First of all, I don't want to irritate anyone and fully realize that ALL cattle breeds have advantages and disadvantages depending on one's locale and climate and breeding program. With this in mind, I just wanted to review some of the "benefits" of using Longhorn Cattle for Cross-Breeding:

* Using a Longhorn Bull to Cross-breed to a polled breed will produce a polled calf. And, it is not unusual to view the calf and NOT know that the sire was a Longhorn.

* University research and records of Longhorn cattle people have documented that Longhorns have up to 99.7% UNASSISTED calving rates. In this respect, a LIVE Longhorn calf is worth a lot more than a DEAD other breed---if nothing else, you can eat the live one.

* Even though a Longhorn (with horns present) will often get docked at Sale Barns (especially if it is not Black or Red), selling a LIVE animal is more profitable that having or pulling a dead calf from another breed.

* Longhorns typically produce 45 th 65 lb calves: This is ESPECIALLY valid for 1st calf heifers that were bred in the 650 to 800 lb range.

* Longhorn heifers can be bred successfully at 12 to 14 months of age without any significant risk of calving problems due to their unique hip bone structure.

* Longhorn bulls can easily be very productive and possess strong Libido up until 10, 12, 14 years of age and longer.

* Longhorn cows can easily be productive with a calf every 12 months even up to 16, 18, or 20 years of age. This means fewer replacement heifers and cows needed.

* Longhorns typically grow on about 20% less forage and feed than other breeds. This more than offsets any possible losses at Sale Barns.

* Current breeders of Longhorn cattle are emphasizing Body Condition Scores in the 5 to 6 range and mature cows weighing in the 1000 to 1200 lb range. Bulls are ranging between about 1,400 and 2,000 on the average.

* Longhorns display their unique "Hooks and Pins" bone structure on their hindquarters. This trait is deceiving to some commercial cattle people -- this does NOT mean they are out of condition -- it is a trait that produces easy calving due to their pelvic action at calving.

* Longhorns have naturally lean beef. If they are finished on quality forage (as all cattle should be) along with feed supplements as needed, they have marbling (but not as fatty obviously as other slaughter breeds).

* Longhorns have excellent disease resistance, browse ability, hardy nature, and a very long productive life (among other traits).

Just wanted to review some of the "Facts" about Longhorns. Everyone has their own program and preferences. Even if you do not "buy into" the Longhorn concept, these are still things to think about....
 

Oldtimer

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The only fault I see with using a Longhorn bull is -where are you going to sell the calves? They are definitely easy calving and they do have vigor, but so do many angus calves- Several of my neighbors and friends decided a few years ago to have a easy calving year and AI'ed all their heifers to Longhorn. Then come fall and shipping time, the buyers cut back all the longhorn calves. Calves were all lighter in weight, but still docked about $.20 lb.

A couple years ago I wintered about 300 head- 50 of which were longhorns- The longhorns were the best rustlers, out grazing when the others were waiting for a hay bale, but they were also the ones that used their horns to rip out the fences around the haystack, when they couldn't jump it- and visiting all the neighbors pastures. They also were the ones you had to dog to get out of the brush when gathering them.

One thing I will say is that they were easy calvers, good mothers and no coyote ( or person ) was going to get past those horns to get to their calf.
 

Dyann

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You need to look at the whole picture as to cross breeding. Longhorn's average 99.8% unassisted births, heifers bred earlier, they have healthy calves even in their 20's.. If you cross breed a Longhorn to some other breed and that first year heifer has 0 problems giving birth, she will bred back faster. You will also have more healthy calves from those heifers. Case in point, (i have several but will share this one). My neighbor had a Charlois bull and that bull did a nice job, nice calves, etc. However, on the first year heifers, his losses due to birthing problems averaged about 12 calves and 8 mamas. (he told me this). The third year, he used one of my bulls for his first year heifers... no losses.. not one. He has used a LH bull ever since. How much $$$ did he lose, cuz his LH crosses were docked at the sale barn? none... How much money is lost when one loses 12 calves... how much money did he lose when he lost 8 mamas, how much did he lose in calves those animals may have produced had they lived? If you had 20 LH crosses at 500#, for example, and they sold at with a .20 dock, that would be $2000.00 less than if they had not been crossed with a LH .. this rancher lost 20 animals .. are the animals he lost, had they lived, worth more than $100.00 each? I think so.. his losses were greater in lost critters than the dock at the sale barn.

As to getting out of the fence, etc. "Most" LH breeders consider dispostiion in their breeding programs.. note I said "most". I have over 100 head.. had 2 bulls (young) in the 14 years I have been doing this that would not stay home.. they are long gone.. tasted real good too. While it is true they are protective, I have never been attacked by a mom with a new calf. Quite the contrary, I usually go see them the day they are born, weigh them and check the sex. Mom is right next to me.. no problem. I have no problem with coyotes or predators, and in the time I have raised Longhorns I have had $0 in vet costs for sick animals.. I have not had any sick animals.

I just thought I would try to add some perspective .....
 

BLACKPOWER

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KBarG":7dcqy2as said:
I live in North Texas, outside of Dallas, and would be interested in seeing what "beefy" longhorns look like. I grew up by the Wichita Mountains where they saved the Longhorn breed. I have often wondered how they would cross. Are there any "beefy" breeders in my area? I would love to see some of your cattle and possibly purchase a few heifers whether straight LH or 50/50.

No such thing as a "beefy" longhorn, this is why their carcass is already discounted on the rail. Longhorn and Dairy breeds have a much higher bone to muscle ratio than beef breeds do.
 
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With proper management there is no need to risk the possibility of getting docked at sale time. Use a bull that will work with heifers and provide the type of calf you are looking for. I have bulls that throw great calves with cows but I would never dream of using him on heifers. We are not talking some top secret science just common sense.
 

dun

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the unfortunate thing about common sense is that it's so uncommon.
When crossbreeding heifers, you also need to remember that the heterosis that contributes to faster growing calves, doesn;t start at birth. A marginal calving ease bull of any breed, may cause a too heavy calf when bred to a heifer of another breed. The difference isn't much, a coule of pounds maybe, but if you're riding the line, those couple of pounds can bring problems.

dun



JPO":ro4yjxxv said:
With proper management there is no need to risk the possibility of getting docked at sale time. Use a bull that will work with heifers and provide the type of calf you are looking for. I have bulls that throw great calves with cows but I would never dream of using him on heifers. We are not talking some top secret science just common sense.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Very good points, Dyann! Yes, responsible Longhorn breeders do not pass on any potential "problem/attitude" cattle to others--they remove them from the breeding loop. They interact very well with people and seem to have an uncanny sixth sense that you are not trying to harm them or their newborn calves. Couple of years ago one of my young foundation cows with about 45" of horn at the time managed to wrap a horse loungeline around her horns, face, and neck. She stood perfectly still as I slowly removed the rope from her...then she walked off calmly. Another time we had a new calf born during a freezing rain--the calf was very cold and wasn't moving. My wife picked up the calf (which was within 3 or 4 feet of mama and two other females) and carried the calf into house to warm up. Abvolutely no interferance from any of the females or mama. The lessons we've learned is that "know your animals" and they have an uncanny ability to UNDERSTAND and accept your help when they are in need of it.

Our new calves range between 45 and 63 lbs. All "slip out" easily without any problems.

The more you mingle and interact with your longhorns and get them used to having you around them, the more tame and accepting and respectful of your space and presence they are. Your behavior translates to their behavior--what goes around comes around. GRANTED, theyre are exceptions to ANY Longhorn or to ANY other breed. If you get a problem animal or one that you don't want to pass on to other cattle people, well--enjoy your next Sunday Dinner!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
{Blackpower said} "No such thing as a "beefy" longhorn, this is why their carcass is already discounted on the rail. Longhorn and Dairy breeds have a much higher bone to muscle ratio than beef breeds do."

Guess the person who asked about viewing "beefy longhorns" had a different definition than you do BP.

Very few longhorns will be in the 1500 to 2000 lb range (as are some LH bulls). Most of the breeders shoot for the 900 to 1200 lb range on cows: BCS of 5 to 6. What I "think" the other poster meant was a "full-bodied" (not scrawny or rangy) Longhorn.

Go to some of the major Longhorn producers' websites and see some of their stock! We don't try to grow a bovine that has only 6" of ground clearance...and, we don't have to trim away a lot of excess body fat at the butchers...lol.
 
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