Cross Breeding

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Alberta farmer

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In my neck of the woods Angus are becoming sort of the standard breed, either black or red. Now not knocking Angus but I wonder why any commercial producer would want a straightbred herd?
The economics of cow/calf production is not very good right now? If crossbreeding can add 20-25% efficiency that is quite an advantage?
It is generally assumed the F1 female is quite superior to the straightbred female and a terminal bull will add more weight.
I remember several years ago my old AI instructor saying "If you aren't crossbreeding you either have an oil well, married the ranchers daughter, or don't care if you make money!"
I personally started out with a good set of horned hereford cows, bred them Red Angus and Simmental, and when the resulting offspring got established threw in big beefy Char bulls. Those were the best feeders I've ever raised. Of course the heifers were kind of duds for cows so we always bred some of the best cows Red Angus...and lately black Angus. My problem is now my cow herd is getting a little too "Angusy" for my liking so will probably cross back to a Sim or Hereford in the near future.
What are everyone elses thoughts on crossbreeding?
 

bandit80

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My opinion is if you are a commercial producer and aren't crossbreeding, then you are leaving some money out in the pasture. Why not take advantage of heterosis, and give you a higher return per cow?

Breeds such as Gelbvieh (Balancers) and Simmental (Simangus) have come up with their own version of crossbred animals that have EPD's, and documented lineage. They are Gelbvieh/Simmental and Angus cross animals. If your cowherd is already a good mix of a british and continental breed, you can buy a Balancer or Simangus bull and maintain a constant percentage of Angus and/or Gelbvieh/Simmental in your herd very easily.
 

KNERSIE

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Not referring to the above two posts...

But in my opinion too few people know the difference between crossbreeding and mongrelisation and when its reached the point where there is no more heterosis left.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Alberta farmer":24u990x9 said:
In my neck of the woods Angus are becoming sort of the standard breed, either black or red. Now not knocking Angus but I wonder why any commercial producer would want a straightbred herd?
The economics of cow/calf production is not very good right now? If crossbreeding can add 20-25% efficiency that is quite an advantage?
It is generally assumed the F1 female is quite superior to the straightbred female and a terminal bull will add more weight.
I remember several years ago my old AI instructor saying "If you aren't crossbreeding you either have an oil well, married the ranchers daughter, or don't care if you make money!"
I personally started out with a good set of horned hereford cows, bred them Red Angus and Simmental, and when the resulting offspring got established threw in big beefy Char bulls. Those were the best feeders I've ever raised. Of course the heifers were kind of duds for cows so we always bred some of the best cows Red Angus...and lately black Angus. My problem is now my cow herd is getting a little too "Angusy" for my liking so will probably cross back to a Sim or Hereford in the near future.
What are everyone elses thoughts on crossbreeding?
you'r problem might be like a lot of other commercial breeder's catering too a black market. yep commercial cattleman rely on pound's, but if it aint the right type the extra pounds wont pay either.this is where you have too hit a happy medium. a good group of solid uniform calves pays
 

Engler

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Cross breeding with a plan is one of the smartest things that a farmer/rancher can do, however crossing for the sake of crossing is an accident looking for a place to happen.

If you still have some of those good herfs I'd single cross them or herf F1's breed them back to make 3/4-1/4 heifers. Then come back with a char or other terminal sire.

Personally I don't like using F1 bulls because I think that you loose heterosis. Yes you still have a 50:50 animal, but you don't have the pop like the first time cross.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Engler":v9k21dib said:
Cross breeding with a plan is one of the smartest things that a farmer/rancher can do, however crossing for the sake of crossing is an accident looking for a place to happen.

If you still have some of those good herfs I'd single cross them or herf F1's breed them back to make 3/4-1/4 heifers. Then come back with a char or other terminal sire.

Personally I don't like using F1 bulls because I think that you loose heterosis. Yes you still have a 50:50 animal, but you don't have the pop like the first time cross.
yep he's got it but it only benfits him.he can't put it too good use, like the f1 moma. unless you have a certain goal with one
 

Frankie

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Straightbreds should get you more consistency. There's a lot of research supporting the value of a crossbred cow. But, as Knersie says, sometimes people get carried away and wind up with mongrels instead of crossbreds. Here in the US there are more and more cattle being sold on some sort of grid. If your herd is made up of various breeds, you're not likely to get a consistent calf and will have trouble hitting a specific grid. And I think grid marketing is going to get more common as times get tougher.
 

Brandonm22

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Alberta farmer":2qzoyjyq said:
In my neck of the woods Angus are becoming sort of the standard breed, either black or red. Now not knocking Angus but I wonder why any commercial producer would want a straightbred herd?........It is generally assumed the F1 female is quite superior to the straightbred female and a terminal bull will add more weight.
I remember several years ago my old AI instructor saying "If you aren't crossbreeding you either have an oil well, married the ranchers daughter, or don't care if you make money!"

I think a lot of it had to do with cheap grain. I can't speak for the whole industry, but for a while there the price per pound was so high for light calves that pounds didn't really pay all that well through the sale. People were sending 450 lb calves straight to the feedlot because it was cheaper to grow them out on grain than it was to stocker them on grass and they were bidding up the price of lite feeders in the process. We have sold lots of loads where the 600++ pound steers were passed in total $$$s by their 475 pound younger brother. Generally that sweet spot between pounds and $$$s per pound (around here) was normally ~550 pounds. Less than that and you were giving up too much weight. More than that and it got hard to really get paid for those extra pounds. IF you weren't going to get paid for pounds: then it paid to focus on quality. Get rid of the eared calves, the horned calves, the dairy influence, the off colored calves, etc. A trailer load of all black, all polled 550 lb unifrom steers brought a pretty good pay check often more than a trailer load of 600 lb mixed colored, mix bred, mixed horns, mixed phenotype, calves would. You don't need a crossbred cow to wean off a 550 pound calf consistently. A 1300 lb straightbred Angus cow does that easily (even if it is not so efficient doing it). Now that the high corn prices have shifted the balance sheets toward a heavier calf and a more efficient cow maybe more people will look at crossbreeding. I would still take pains to try to deliver uniform loads though.
 

dun

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The one problem with crossbreeding is you start to run out of options unless you have an availability of good F1 heifers/cows that you can buy. We have registered cows that we breed to make an F1 and some registered cows we breed back to Red Angus so that we have one half the the F1 replacements covered. A 3 way cross or a roto-terminal is an option, but you lose the ability to create your own F1s that way.
 

dyates

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KNERSIE":2v97ys3p said:
Not referring to the above two posts...

But in my opinion too few people know the difference between crossbreeding and mongrelisation and when its reached the point where there is no more heterosis left.

You hurt my cows' feelings. :cry2: I'm sure the imbalancers are crying, too.
 

KNERSIE

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dyates":2rfsaafu said:
KNERSIE":2rfsaafu said:
Not referring to the above two posts...

But in my opinion too few people know the difference between crossbreeding and mongrelisation and when its reached the point where there is no more heterosis left.

You hurt my cows' feelings. :cry2: I'm sure the imbalancers are crying, too.

The imbalancers will soon be a recognised as a purebreed because the genepool will be stabilised with aggressive inbreeding. The genepool will be kept big by not culling any calves. No breed up scheme will be allowed so in effect it will only be fullbloods after a short 2 generations. The variety they MIGHT have is purely intentional because that adds value to the hides.
 

dyates

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KNERSIE":1qduoeqc said:
dyates":1qduoeqc said:
KNERSIE":1qduoeqc said:
Not referring to the above two posts...

But in my opinion too few people know the difference between crossbreeding and mongrelisation and when its reached the point where there is no more heterosis left.

You hurt my cows' feelings. :cry2: I'm sure the imbalancers are crying, too.

The imbalancers will soon be a recognised as a purebreed because the genepool will be stabilised with aggressive inbreeding. The genepool will be kept big by not culling any calves. No breed up scheme will be allowed so in effect it will only be fullbloods after a short 2 generations. The variety they MIGHT have is purely intentional because that adds value to the hides.

Do you have a sidejob as a politician or a CEO? If not, you should consider one. I think you'd be a natural.
 

KNERSIE

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Do you have a sidejob as a politician or a CEO? If not, you should consider one. I think you'd be a natural.

No, politics don't interest me at all and I hate meetings so a CEO won't do either, but I do enjoy friendly BS.
 
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We started using Red Angus bulls on heifers for easy calving. Bred a lot of heifers over the years to the old BootJack bull from American Breeders. Those red baldy calves sure made some good cows.
The Sim bulls added some milk and a lot of leg and size...as well as a lot of hybrid vigor...a lot of "vigor "as they tended to be kind of wild and snaky!
When the times changed and the feedlots didn't want to see anything Simmental we went almost exclusively to Red Angus and later black. Only thing I don't like about Angus is some are a little light boned and they all have to have a kick at you if you walk past! A few new mommas are a little bit snuffy?
Well the Simmental breed has surely changed in the last several years? No more of those big horses around anymore? They look like a pretty functioal breed now and most are a solid color?
I would like to try a hereford bull again for replacements. Never was too keen on the polled bulls as I was raised on a purebred horned hereford outfit. In the late 80's-early nineties used a lot of "Challenger", "Vigilante", and "Titan 777" semen all from American breeders. Somehow even to this day
I can really appreciate a good horned hereford bull.
 

KNERSIE

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In the late 80's-early nineties used a lot of "Challenger", "Vigilante", and "Titan 777" semen all from American breeders. Somehow even to this day
I can really appreciate a good horned hereford bull.

Luckily the breed has changed alot since then.
 

BRG

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Alot of our customers breed Angus to Angus for a couple reasons. First a nice uniform set of red hided or black hided calves ussually do sell better here. They will problably loose in the weight area, but they do sell a bit better. But then again, most of our customers sell loads of 6 weight calves in October and calve in March/April. Not to shabby.

The main reason our customers breed red to red is for the marketability is their replacement heifers. If they look straight Red Angus they seem to get a big premium, from steer price up to $25/cwt. That really adds up, and that is ussually their second hand heifers as they keep a group for themselves. It is hard to turn down an extra $100 a head on their heifers.

I think Crossbreeding if done right is an awesome deal, but if it isn't, their can be big wrecks both in the pasture, and for marketing. Both crossbreeding and straight breeding needs to be carefully planned out to work like it should.
 

KNERSIE

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Both crossbreeding and straight breeding needs to be carefully planned out to work like it should.

I agree completely, I'll just add if you breed the right type of cattle straightbreeding can also work very well for the commercial cattle farmer. Straightbred heifers just have more demand here and once a feedlot get to know what you can give them they usually offer a premium for consistant quality that performs in the feedlot.
 
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Knersie:
At the time I was using those American breeders AI bulls that was the type of cattle the market wanted. The hereford breed was trying to put some leg under them so they could compete with the exotics?
At that time I was only flirting with crossbreeding and trying to still compete with a straightbred hereford herd. Those days are long gone.
In Alberta, Canada the hereford breed has fallen by the wayside. Hardly ever see a straightbred hereford herd anymore. Not too hard to figure out when you see straight hereford calves selling back 10 to 15 cents/lb. from the reds and blacks and usually weighing a lot less.
Black cattle seem to have the market right now with good char cross calves doing just about as well price wise but usually weighing more.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Alberta farmer":1elh9qle said:
Knersie:
At the time I was using those American breeders AI bulls that was the type of cattle the market wanted. The hereford breed was trying to put some leg under them so they could compete with the exotics?
At that time I was only flirting with crossbreeding and trying to still compete with a straightbred hereford herd. Those days are long gone.
In Alberta, Canada the hereford breed has fallen by the wayside. Hardly ever see a straightbred hereford herd anymore. Not too hard to figure out when you see straight hereford calves selling back 10 to 15 cents/lb. from the reds and blacks and usually weighing a lot less.Black cattle seem to have the market right now with good char cross calves doing just about as well price wise but usually weighing more.
simple fix throw a black bull in with em.........and change the hole scenario
 

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