crossbreeding for longevity

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beefsbest

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Hi, I currently have unregistered polled hereford heifers that we bred to a registered angus bull (New Directive sire) last
spring. We are breeding to sell the calves at 18 mos. direct
to consumers by the 1/2 or 1/4. How many years/calves can
we reasonably expect out of these girls? Would it be advisable to keep some of the heifer calves to be replacements? It takes so long to get them up and productive we are interested in maybe crossing to a third breed for longevity. Any advise/experience out there? Thanks :D
 

Sage

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I know of several producers that run Black baldies and have cows in good production past 10ys of age. The key here is good production.
 

Frankie

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beefsbest":qncwtfrj said:
Hi, I currently have unregistered polled hereford heifers that we bred to a registered angus bull (New Directive sire) last
spring. We are breeding to sell the calves at 18 mos. direct
to consumers by the 1/2 or 1/4. How many years/calves can
we reasonably expect out of these girls? Would it be advisable to keep some of the heifer calves to be replacements? It takes so long to get them up and productive we are interested in maybe crossing to a third breed for longevity. Any advise/experience out there? Thanks :D

I would expect you'd get 8-10 calves out of these girls at least. That would make the cows 10-12 years old. But it's hard to project. Any cow can can have calving difficulties and die. Or break her leg. I'm convinced that heavy milking cows don't last as long. If they have to cover a lot of ground to find food, they may wear out sooner. When a cow's teeth go bad, she should go, and sandy soil could affect that. But unless you're wanting to expand your herd, I'd wait a few years to retain replacement heifers. Research does show that crossbred cows are more fertile and productive than straightbred cows. But too many crosses can affect consistency in the calf. If you're selling meat direct, be sure to pay attention to carcass EPDs on the bulls you're using.
 

SEC

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Longevity just doesn't happen. Everyone wants to have cows that last a long time, it needs to be selected for!

Cull a cow when her production drops, if we sold cows when their teeth wore out we would have a cow in her teens! The longer she stays the more money she has made you!

Genetics don't become new, they will never change. The drawing board is not making anymore sketches. How will you know if you cattle have longevity if you don't keep them long enough to find out if it is there or not.
 

BAGTIC

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One breed that has a reputation for longevity and fertility is Galloway. They come in all colors so you could pick a color that matched what else you were raising, Angus, hereford, etc. A lot of ranchers have reported good luck with Galloway crosses.

They are one of the breeds that have the most to offer in heterogeneity as they are more distantly related than most other european breeds.
 

Stocker Steve

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Sage":2j6nafe2 said:
I know of several producers that run Black baldies and have cows in good production past 10ys of age. The key here is good production.

How does that compare to straight breed reds or blacks in your country?
 

cjpherford3

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we have raised reg. polled herefords for almost 30 years now and if our cows through good calves then they stick around. we have 1 cow that is now 15 years old and bred again.we live in oregon .cj
 

Sage

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Stocker Steve, the crossbreds seem to hold up better, I guess you could say in geneal this is a fact. I know some reg cows in prod 15yrs but they should have gone to the sale several years ago. An old reg cow does good things for the numbers even if production is below average. We have a crossbred cow (F1) that is 11 in 2008, has a MPPA of 105, WR 107, BR 97. She has an average calving interval of 362 days weighs 1262lb and weans 53% of her body weight averaged over he lifetime. She puts many registered cows to shame. I would love to have a whold herd of cows like this but then I guess I wouldn't be selling registerd stock either.
 

Sage

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LOL you had to ask, she is 1/2BAx1/2Holstein. Basically she is a big black milk bucket. Not a good mother but I can put any calf on her and she takes it without an issues. Kinda nice to have when a set of twins shows up.
 
A

Anonymous

Sage":377i6djm said:
LOL you had to ask, she is 1/2BAx1/2Holstein. Basically she is a big black milk bucket. Not a good mother but I can put any calf on her and she takes it without an issues. Kinda nice to have when a set of twins shows up.
I have one just like her she is 12 years old.
 

badroute

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In 1996 I calved out 72 heifers. Right now in 2007 those cows are coming 12's and I still have either 57 or 58 of them left, I'm not sure. I would call these straight bred commercial angus cows. The thing about these cows is they come from the older angus genetics that tended to have quite a bit more longevity to them. I might add that these cows are in good shape and all raise good calves. To be truthful I'm not looking forward to selling them next fall or the one after.
 

Angus In Texas

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Longevity is part genetic but it is also greatly influenced by herd management. A good mineral, worming, vaccination and timely doctoring of problems helps to increase longevity. You can turn a cow that should last a long time in the herd based upon genetics into a bust with mismanagment.

Just something to think about.
 

Stocker Steve

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There was some data out of a Canadian study that showed pure bred bred beef cows averaged about 4 calves and cross breed beef cows averaged about five calves. It sounds low but we all like to remember the Grandma cow that lasted 15 years rather than the duds...

I have a neighbor that specialized in buying cheap and/or "young" broken mouth cows and covering them with black bulls. He ends up culling over 30% per year so he has to buy them right.
 

Stocker Steve

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BAGTIC":xzho77f5 said:
One breed that has a reputation for longevity and fertility is Galloway. They come in all colors so you could pick a color that matched what else you were raising, Angus, hereford, etc. A lot of ranchers have reported good luck with Galloway crosses.

I like Galloway crosses. They are not as growthy as some of the newer genetics but they are very hardy and do well on forage. I held back a Galloway cross heifer this fall. Muscular and mild! Not as big or as tall as the modern angus but I think that is a good thing.

Why don't you see more Galloway crosses used for commercial cows along with a Continental bull?
 

KJH

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I have Purebred Galloways, some of them are in their 13th year and have provided a good calf every year so far. One of my neighbors has put one of my bulls with his Herefords this year, will see what he gets next year.
 

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