Crossing Cattle

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Devman08

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I am new to the cattle world so please excuse my ignorance. I am looking to start a small small beef cattle hobby. I want cross breeds but my question is what breeds to use?? I want DOCILE, EASY CALVING, GOOD MOTHERS beef cattle BREEDS. I would like my heifer(s) to be a cross at the very least and my bull can be pure or a cross. Please help with suggestions. Thank you in advance.
 

SBMF 2015

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I am new to the cattle world so please excuse my ignorance. I am looking to start a small small beef cattle hobby. I want cross breeds but my question is what breeds to use?? I want DOCILE, EASY CALVING, GOOD MOTHERS beef cattle BREEDS. I would like my heifer(s) to be a cross at the very least and my bull can be pure or a cross. Please help with suggestions. Thank you in advance.
Welcome to CT!
Black Angus females and Hereford bulls make a great cross any where in the U.S.. If you want F1 cross females then I would suggests Angus Hereford (black white face) females and a Black Angus bull. They will be quite, easy calving, easy keeping cattle. That will work for any marketing strategy.
If you live in the South you may want to incorporate some ear in your cross to increase heat tolerance. A 1/4 Brangus or Bradford? The southern producers can make more accurate recommendations to this.
Good luck, keep us updated.
 

kentuckyguy

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I would have to suggest going with Simmental or high percentage Simmental cows. I have yet to find another breed of cattle that consistently provides you with the docility they do.
Simmentals can be had that are calving ease and most make really good mothers. Just look for good maternal lines of cattle.
 

Ky hills

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It's hard to beat an Angus/Hereford cross. Either breed for cows or bull will work. If good Hereford females can be found, I prefer them to Angus on average for ease of handling.
That being said there are docile Angus, and flighty Herefords, so just have to be careful in selection.
 

Warren Allison

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If you want cross-bred, then use Angus cows and Hereford bull. Even better, Black Hereford cows or bull, and Angus cows or bull. Then you will be guaranteed black baldies, without the eye or udder problems you can face with Herefords. Never use a cross bred or grade bull. And if you are new to the business, then get 2nd calf cows, not heifers.
 

Ky hills

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If you want cross-bred, then use Angus cows and Hereford bull. Even better, Black Hereford cows or bull, and Angus cows or bull. Then you will be guaranteed black baldies, without the eye or udder problems you can face with Herefords. Never use a cross bred or grade bull. And if you are new to the business, then get 2nd calf cows, not heifers.
Angus don’t guarantee lack of eye or udder problems. Lots of factors at play with pinkeye. Eye irritation from flies, tall grass seed heads, dust. Good mineral program and management to reduce as much of the aforementioned things as possible can help reduce pinkeye.
Sometimes some strains of it are rough. Vet told us the other day that this had been a bad year for it. Said that it was in a lot of herds that generally don’t have much problem.
I’ve treated pinkeye in registered and commercial Angus, before I ever had any Herefords on the place. Since having them I’ve treated some of them too.
Culled out both Angus and Herefords over udder issues too.
I like both breeds, on average they both have good points and some individuals of both breeds are disasters in some way or another.
I pretty well agree on using registered or at least purebred bulls and if a crossbred animal is to be used it should be on the cow side of the equation. We are using a crossbred bull, but the caveat is that I know his background for several generations and he checks quite a few boxes so to speak on the list of what I’m looking for in a bull.
 
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SBMF 2015

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Angus don’t guarantee lack of eye or udder problems. Lots of factors at play with pinkeye. Eye irritation from flies, tall grass seed heads, dust. Good mineral program and management to reduce as much of the aforementioned things as possible can help reduce pinkeye.
Sometimes some strains of it are rough. Vet told us the other day that this had been a bad year for it. Said that it was in a lot of herds that generally don’t have much problem.
I’ve treated pinkeye in registered and commercial Angus, before I ever had any Herefords on the place. Since having them I’ve treated some of them too.
Culled out both Angus and Herefords over udder issues too.
I like both breeds, on average they both have good points and some individuals of both breeds are disasters in some way or another.
I pretty well agree on using registered or at least purebred bulls and if a crossbred animal is to be used it should be on the cow side of the equation. We are using a crossbred bull, but the caveat is that I know his background for several generations and he checks quite a few boxes so to speak on the list of what I’m looking for in a bull.
Every breed gets pinkeye. Herefords used to be more susceptible to cancer eye. I try to buy Hereford bulls that have pigment around their eyes. That solves the cancer eye problem.
98% of Herefords are the quietest cows you'll find. The other 2% will kill you. I've never found any inbetween.

I'm okay with a composite bull in a terminal cross program.
 

TCRanch

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If you want cross-bred, then use Angus cows and Hereford bull. Even better, Black Hereford cows or bull, and Angus cows or bull. Then you will be guaranteed black baldies, without the eye or udder problems you can face with Herefords. Never use a cross bred or grade bull. And if you are new to the business, then get 2nd calf cows, not heifers.
Bears repeating!!!!

@Devman08, welcome to CT! And please, do not start with heifers, which are the equivalent of 14 year old girls.

Mine are primarily Angus with a few Angus/Hereford and Angus/Simm. Bulls are all registered Angus. Docility is not breed specific; it's primarily their environment and genetics, but there will always be a couple of crazies. Do not buy them &/or cull a.s.a.p. Also, it's great to have a mentor. Maybe a neighbor? And a good relationship with your large animal vet!!
 

Ky hills

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Every breed gets pinkeye. Herefords used to be more susceptible to cancer eye. I try to buy Hereford bulls that have pigment around their eyes. That solves the cancer eye problem.
98% of Herefords are the quietest cows you'll find. The other 2% will kill you. I've never found any inbetween.

I'm okay with a composite bull in a terminal cross program.
Yes, I have found most Herefords to be calmer on average. My saying is when I work cattle especially calves I want them to be Herefords, when I sell cattle , I want them to be Angus.
A couple of the most problematic cows we have had lately have been Herefords. They weren’t the kind that would come at you, they just throw their heads up and run, messing up the others. Had a BWF cow that would absolutely come after you when pushed. Said for a few years each calf would be her last and would cull her. Kept putting it off as I dreaded trying to load her. She kept getting more aggressive. When she came at me uphill from a longways off and didn’t even have a calf on her at the time, that was the motivation for getting her gone.
 

SBMF 2015

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Yes, I have found most Herefords to be calmer on average. My saying is when I work cattle especially calves I want them to be Herefords, when I sell cattle , I want them to be Angus.
A couple of the most problematic cows we have had lately have been Herefords. They weren’t the kind that would come at you, they just throw their heads up and run, messing up the others. Had a BWF cow that would absolutely come after you when pushed. Said for a few years each calf would be her last and would cull her. Kept putting it off as I dreaded trying to load her. She kept getting more aggressive. When she came at me uphill from a longways off and didn’t even have a calf on her at the time, that was the motivation for getting her gone.
Only time in ten years of sorting at the sale barn did I see us sell strs and hfrs together. They were Herefords and when one came after you they all came together as a group. Head to hip, tails up ready to kill. You just couldn't split them.
I say a lot of wild cattle, but those were in the tops.

I don't care how nice a calf a cow raises. If she comes after me it will be the last calf she raises.
 

Ky hills

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I don't care how nice a calf a cow raises. If she comes after me it will be the last calf she raises.
That is my feeling exactly. That particular cow put me up a gate as a young oops calver when I tried to tag her calf. I marked it up to being protective but it didn’t get better, and I’m not much on dealing with that kind so kicked the can down the road as long as I could. Finally had to do something about her and it was a dangerous time getting her on the trailer.
Had about as bad a time with a yearling Simmental bull last winter. He was rank. Got hurt during an ice storm and my wife said that was the best thing that could have happened as we got him gone before he hurt somebody.
 

Son of Butch

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I am new to the cattle.... I am looking to start a small beef cattle hobby.
I want DOCILE, EASY CALVING, GOOD MOTHERS
Disposition is 44% inherited 56% environment.

Do not start with heifers. That will eliminate most calving problems.
Buy a cow that has raised a calf before, so that at least one of you know what you are doing. Buy bred cows to help eliminate buying a problem breeder.

Buy locally and go to the farm to select your cows. It will cost you more, but you will be happier with your cows. TC frequently walks among her cows and makes pets out of a lot of hers. To start a hobby herd, I would buy cows from someone like TC and then breed them back to which ever breed you like. IF you can have your cows bred A.I. I'd use some Wagyu semen to produce some high quality 'table' beef for your freezer.

When selecting your cows eliminate any 'high headed' cow.
That would be any cow that appears to be too alert, flighty or afraid of you.
 
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Rafter S

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It's hard to beat an Angus/Hereford cross. Either breed for cows or bull will work. If good Hereford females can be found, I prefer them to Angus on average for ease of handling.
That being said there are docile Angus, and flighty Herefords, so just have to be careful in selection.

Unless you're in the southern part of the US, when Brangus/Hereford works better.
 
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Devman08

Devman08

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THANK YOU FOR ALL THE INFORMATION IT HAS BEEN VERY INFORMATIVE. I AM IN MISSOURI AND WILL HAVE ALL 4 SEASON WITH UP AND DOWN TEMPS 0s-100s.
 

Rafter S

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Yes, I honesty think Brangus would work great here too, but not many of them around here these days.

They'd work just about anywhere, if you can get the local buyers past their hang-ups with eared cattle. That cross will result in calves with just 3/16 Brahman influence. That's not enough to make them have trouble in cold weather, but it is enough for them to really mash on the scales (and get more hybrid vigor than you will crossing two English breeds).
 

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