Gelbviehs, Balancers & starting new herd

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hcrancher

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We are starting a small commercial cow/calf operation at our 160 acre ranch in KS, and after doing research, I decided I liked the Gelbvieh breed a lot (fertility, maternal traits, high producers, docile), and I want to raise Balancer calves (Gelbvieh/Angus cross) for their hybrid vigor.

I've talked with experienced breeders, and some say the easiest route is to start with Balancer females bred to Balancer bulls, which appeals to me, but Balancer females seem difficult to find. Others have suggested we start with red and/or black Gelbviehs, x with red Angus and create our own Balancer calves. Then someone else advised that we should create our herd so we have four options in case we want to sell registered cattle in the future: 1. sell red Gelbviehs, 2. sell black Gelbviehs, 3. sell red Balancers, 4. sell Black balancers.

I think I may begin with Gelbvieh cows bred to black Balancer bulls since black cattle sell best here. Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions? Does it sound like I'm on the right track?

Also, is there a way to search past postings? I learn so much from these boards. Thanks in advance for your responses.
 

Frankie

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hcrancher":20bkxoll said:
We are starting a small commercial cow/calf operation at our 160 acre ranch in KS, and after doing research, I decided I liked the Gelbvieh breed a lot (fertility, maternal traits, high producers, docile), and I want to raise Balancer calves (Gelbvieh/Angus cross) for their hybrid vigor.

I've talked with experienced breeders, and some say the easiest route is to start with Balancer females bred to Balancer bulls, which appeals to me, but Balancer females seem difficult to find. Others have suggested we start with red and/or black Gelbviehs, x with red Angus and create our own Balancer calves. Then someone else advised that we should create our herd so we have four options in case we want to sell registered cattle in the future: 1. sell red Gelbviehs, 2. sell black Gelbviehs, 3. sell red Balancers, 4. sell Black balancers.

I think I may begin with Gelbvieh cows bred to black Balancer bulls since black cattle sell best here. Any thoughts, ideas or suggestions? Does it sound like I'm on the right track?

Also, is there a way to search past postings? I learn so much from these boards. Thanks in advance for your responses.

I'd go with a Gelbvieh to cross with Angus and create first generation Balancers. Then if you want to sell registered Angus or Gelbviehs, you have the stock to do that. If you start with Balancers, you will have to restock.
 

Frankie

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hcrancher":1i2ykw9g said:
Hope I'm not sounding ignorant, but why would I have to restock?

If you have registered Angus (to cross with Gelbvieh), you can breed them to another Angus and sell registered Angus. If you have registered Gelbvieh and breed them to Gelbvieh, you can sell registered Gelbiveh. If you have Angus and breed them to Gelbvieh, you can sell Balancers. But if all you have are Balancers, all you can sell are Balancers. So if you then wanted to sell Angus, you'd have to buy some Angus. Perhaps I'm wrong and you can breed up to Gelbvieh registration, but you can't do that with Angus.
 

cfpinz

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If I were starting over tomorrow in your situation I'd start off with a good group of red angus cows, then breed them to the gelbvieh bull of your color choice. Red would obviously yield your red balancers (my favorite) and a homozygous black bull would give you red factor black balancers, where a hetero black bull would give you a surprise with each calf. Whatever floats your boat. We're tickled with our gelbviehs/balancers.

What part of KS are you in? We visited the Judd Ranch earlier this summer up in Pomona. Very nice folks and some of the most impressive cattle I've ever seen. Their female sale is October 14th. If you're interested in the breed I highly suggest you visit these folks.

cfpinz
 

DOC HARRIS

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hcrancher- You are absolutely on the right track! And Frankie is right about re-stocking. Look at her suggestion pretty strongly, because selling Registered is a possibility, and you would already have the foundation to begin with.

You have an interesting and exciting opportunity with your plans as they are. Just don't skrimp with buying the original quality! You will save yourself YEARS AND YEARS in time if you spend a few thousand dollars more for really high quality females in the beginning. And I hope you do understand about
the best bull(s) you can afford - and then spend a little more!

A GOOD bull is half of your herd. A POOR bull is your ENTIRE herd for years and years if you keep replacement heifers. He might even put you out of business!

DOC HARRIS
 

klintdog

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We have been in the Gelbvieh breed since the early 1980s, so it's great to see people interested in joining the breed. Personally, I'd suggest basing your herd on a good group of Gelbvieh females. Like the poster above stated, you have 4 options if you go this route. The other benefit is that you can also breed your Balancers back up to purebred Gelbvieh in the future if you decide to.

Some good resources down in your area are Dave Judd of Judd Ranch, Roger Gatz of Cattlemens Connection (Semen sales and sale consulting), Stuart Jarvis of Bar Arrow cattle, Al Knapp of Triple K Gelbvieh, and a few others. Let me know if there's anything else I can help you out with.
 
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hcrancher

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Thanks for the good advice! I have already talked to the Judd Ranch folks and Roger Gatz of Cattlemen's Connection and was wanting Roger to purchase 2 for us at their Cow Power sale in Oct. (that's all we can afford right now), so it's really great to hear they're thought of so highly! We'll probably start with two Gelbvieh's because I don't see many Red Angus females on the list. Most of the bred Gelbviehs seem to be bred to Balancers.

Several other questions -
1) can I use only AI for breeding to begin with until I can afford a good bull? One breeder told me that he always follows the AI a week later with a bull in case the AI didn't work.

2) How much does it cost to have someone to come to the ranch to do the AI?

3) When is the best time to have them calve? Should I buy Fall bred, Fall open, Spring open, etc. A lot of the cows for sale in the Oct. sale will calve in late January or February, and I'm concerned it could be 10 below zero for a few days in Kansas then, although I realize the cow and calf would have grass for 6 months after that (beginning in April). We have a shed for the cattle, but it doesn't have a door. I plan to put the cows on wheat pasture to begin with.
 
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hcrancher

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Also, to answer one of the questions, we are located about 45 min. Southeast of Salina.
 

JMichal

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It would be advisable for you to start with bred cows, or pairs.Possibly a three for.
If you have shed Feb calving is fine. Even without a shed you should be allright. I live just South of Joplin and like to calve end of Feb. beginning of March, done by April 15. For fall I like to start Sept. 15 done by Nov. 1

You could allways AI twice instead of buying a Bull. This will also let you use top Genetics to improve your herd.

I have a Bull out of their Extra Exposure Bull I use for Clean up. He is nice. I will try and post a Pic of him Later.

I am working hard on improving the Carcass Quality on our herd and have found Carolina Fortune to be an asset. I also like Bennett G196 for a Red Bull but do not know if you can get any Semen on him.

PM me if I could help in any way. Also where are you located in KS.
 

dun

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hcrancher":1mhdc5zu said:
Thanks for the good advice! I have already talked to the Judd Ranch folks and Roger Gatz of Cattlemen's Connection and was wanting Roger to purchase 2 for us at their Cow Power sale in Oct. (that's all we can afford right now), so it's really great to hear they're thought of so highly! We'll probably start with two Gelbvieh's because I don't see many Red Angus females on the list. Most of the bred Gelbviehs seem to be bred to Balancers.

Several other questions -
1) can I use only AI for breeding to begin with until I can afford a good bull? One breeder told me that he always follows the AI a week later with a bull in case the AI didn't work.

2) How much does it cost to have someone to come to the ranch to do the AI?

3) When is the best time to have them calve? Should I buy Fall bred, Fall open, Spring open, etc. A lot of the cows for sale in the Oct. sale will calve in late January or February, and I'm concerned it could be 10 below zero for a few days in Kansas then, although I realize the cow and calf would have grass for 6 months after that (beginning in April). We have a shed for the cattle, but it doesn't have a door. I plan to put the cows on wheat pasture to begin with.

Cost for AI vary a lot by location. You don;t need a bull but you might have to repeat breed occasioanlly.
Calving time frame depends on forage, what you plan on doing with the calves, your time availability and your local market if that's how you plan on selling them.
 

smuff76

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So going back to Doc's post, then would you ideally buy a flush or embryos from a donor cow of your desired breed (gelbvieh, red angus or angus)?
 

Frankie

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You say black cattle sell best in your area. If that's true, I'd be careful about selling a black bull carrying the red gene to commercial cattlemen. If they breed him to red cattle, they'll get some red calves. They may not like that and hold it against you. Good luck....
 

mtnman

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Stay away from Gelbvieh with "Freedom" in the pedigree.

They will sap the marbling right out of them! He's purty to look at, but he will prove to be the bull that was the death knell for the breed unless the breeders do a quick about-face.

mtnman
 

UG

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hcrancher,

Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle work real well in your part of the country and fortunately for you there are a whole lot of good cattle producers with good Gelbvieh and Balancers within 100 miles of where you live. Another one to add to the Kansas list is Grund Gelbvieh.

A few words of advice:

-Be cautious of smooth talking sales consultants. They can make a cow that only calves every two years and only weans a 300 pound calf sound like a cow you could build a herd around. Many of these characters will act as if they are looking out for your best interests, but remember they make their living off of commissions from the seller.
-Just because a breeder has fancy ads in the breed magazine, has a fancy sign by the road, and has a Grand Champion banner hanging from the sale podium doesn't mean that he is a good cattlemen or that his cattle are any good. Too many of these cattle have been fed to look that good rather than bred to look that good.
-Don't be swayed by producers who brag that their bull calves averaged 800 lbs at weaning...shoot, mine would too if I had creep feeders in every pasture filled with sweet feed, and the fat cows were being supplemented all summer with cubes or hay. I'd rather buy cattle from a producer who didn't creep feed and the cows were forced to raise a calf and rebreed (on time) with whatever forage was available.

mtnman, I am also not a Freedom fan. He has been used waaaaayyy too much in the breed over the past 6 or 7 years. Not only does he have a horrible marbling score, he's closer to an 8 frame than a 7 as he is generally promoted. Many producers have also commented that his daughters are not the easiest to breed back after their first calf. It really concerns me when I read through a Gelbvieh consignment sale; it is not unusual for 50%+ of the cattle to have Freedom in their pedigree (and generally the next 40% have either Extra or Echo in their pedigree).
 

JMichal

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100_0038_edited.jpg


Here is picture of our clean up Bull out of Extra Exposure. 1st time I tried a Pic. Did it work?
 

JMichal

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Of course not. It looks just like all the other ones when they try for 1st time. Why can't someone put the correct procedure on the board.

Okay. Got it to post on edit. had to put http in front. now how do I get it larger? And why can't I find my pictures on the photo Gallery?
 
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