Hereford question

Help Support CattleToday:

SPH

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
631
Reaction score
20
Location
Iowa
cow pollinater":12sgi45x said:
In reading this I see that some have taken my comments as bashing polled herefords. That is not my intent at all. I do strongly prefer horns but that is my personal preference and I do like good cattle of all breeds including some polled herefords. My point is that there is an insistence in this thread that polled is better and my response is that A. Not everyone thinks so. B. If polled are better then why do you feel the need to use a horned bull at all? That seems intellectually dishonest to me.

If it is of any relief to you, I didn't take your comments as bashing on polleds if I happen to be one of the responses you are referring to. I do take issue when I hear someone say "there is no such thing as a good polled bull" because that is just pure bias and narrow sighted thinking. I think there are some great bulls out there both horned and polled but depending on the breeder and their goals one or the other may not fit their program. For instance I really like what I have seen and heard of the 3027 horned bull but since we are a polled herd and do not want horns on our cattle we'll never use him directly. Maybe if we found a good homozygous polled bull where he is present in the pedigree we'd get some of that influence. One of our best cows right now is one we bought off a sale that is sired by a horned bull from Holdens and our former Rausch herd bull was actually sired by a horned bull as well so we're not afraid to dip into the horn pool some but our goal is to breed polled cattle so we're a lot more selective on what is in the pedigree of the bulls we breed with.
 

smnherf

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
452
Reaction score
0
Location
South Dakota
cow pollinater":1nut8kwv said:
In reading this I see that some have taken my comments as bashing polled herefords. That is not my intent at all. I do strongly prefer horns but that is my personal preference and I do like good cattle of all breeds including some polled herefords. My point is that there is an insistence in this thread that polled is better and my response is that A. Not everyone thinks so. B. If polled are better then why do you feel the need to use a horned bull at all? That seems intellectually dishonest to me.

The phrase intellectual honesty in this situation absolutely does not apply. There are those of us that do not see it through a horned or polled prism. I see it as a breed of cattle of which some have horns and some are polled. Just like some have red necks and some have white legs. There are herefords that are cow hocked, sway backed, straight legged, small rib eyed, low marbling, tight gutted, short sided, dark red or light red. There are fast growing and slow growing and high maternal and terminal Herefords. I believe it is my job as a seed stock supplier to blend all the traits, propagating the desirable and eliminating the undesirable to create a product that is marketable for me and creates value to those using those genetics. Hopefully that will contribute to improvement of the breed. Why would I or anyone who claims to be focused on their customers let one single trait that provides no economic value be the sole selection criteria. That my friend would be intellectually dishonest.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,401
Reaction score
732
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
cow pollinater":2bkg51yo said:
smnherf":2bkg51yo said:
To get the topic back to original question then to both of you is would either of you use a straight horned pedigree bull that was genetically polled through a genetic splicing procedure? We have to assume that there would be no other variables that would be changed through the process.
I wouldn't. For one thing I prefer them horned so I see no value in purchasing one that has been altered especially when I consider that the added cost has to get covered somewhere and it would most likely be me.
I'm also of the opinion that one of the greatest strengths of hereford is the heterosis offered over every other breed out there. The horn gene is one more little boost to that heterosis since most other breeds are now predominantly polled. I would hate to see that little bit of extra get lost.
One of my best grandma cows was a horned herf cow... however...
Is that little bit of heterosis on the polled gene going to put pounds on beef on the steers? How much?.. For arguments sake lets say it's 1%, so a 500 lb animal would gain an extra 5lbs. Where I am, there's a $10 "horn fee" for every animal, and the feedyard bidders pay less on top of it (Probably because they'll pay a $10 fee when they sell). That 5lbs of gained heterosis is in fact costing me because my market selects against it.
My option is then to dehorn everything which costs time and handling... I'll avoid it when I can.

All that said, my current homeraised bull is hetero polled, and most of my cows are hetero polled as well, which yields a 25% chance of a horned calf, 50% chance of a hetero polled calf, and 25% chance of Homo polled.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
16,401
Reaction score
732
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
smnherf":2m3oefkj said:
cow pollinater":2m3oefkj said:
In reading this I see that some have taken my comments as bashing polled herefords. That is not my intent at all. I do strongly prefer horns but that is my personal preference and I do like good cattle of all breeds including some polled herefords. My point is that there is an insistence in this thread that polled is better and my response is that A. Not everyone thinks so. B. If polled are better then why do you feel the need to use a horned bull at all? That seems intellectually dishonest to me.

The phrase intellectual honesty in this situation absolutely does not apply. There are those of us that do not see it through a horned or polled prism. I see it as a breed of cattle of which some have horns and some are polled. Just like some have red necks and some have white legs. There are herefords that are cow hocked, sway backed, straight legged, small rib eyed, low marbling, tight gutted, short sided, dark red or light red. There are fast growing and slow growing and high maternal and terminal Herefords. I believe it is my job as a seed stock supplier to blend all the traits, propagating the desirable and eliminating the undesirable to create a product that is marketable for me and creates value to those using those genetics. Hopefully that will contribute to improvement of the breed. Why would I or anyone who claims to be focused on their customers let one single trait that provides no economic value be the sole selection criteria. That my friend would be intellectually dishonest.
For the sake of argument... You are raising seedstock bulls intended to be terminal sires.. Pounds of calf, Marbling, etc are the EPD's everyone is going to look at on this sire... So you aren't concerned with maternal traits.. prolapse, bad bags, hooves.
So you sell this bull as a terminal bull, but the #$^% moron keeps heifers off him too, which turn out to be train wrecks. (You know this is going to happen, right?)
You provided a product that is in demand, but is the breed better off for it?
 

cow pollinater

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
5,749
Reaction score
0
Location
Eastern OK
smnherf":qvxq9liq said:
Why would I or anyone who claims to be focused on their customers let one single trait that provides no economic value be the sole selection criteria. That my friend would be intellectually dishonest.
That made me chuckle. I swear I'm not trying to poke at you but you are the one insisting that knocking the horns off is breed improvement.
 
OP
F

farmguy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
374
Reaction score
4
Location
Minnesota
" I swear I'm not trying to poke at you but you are the one insisting that knocking the horns off is breed improvement."

I am a little confused here, I understand you may like horned Herefords. But why do people dehorn calves? Why do buyers discount horned feeders? Why do so many horned breeders dehorn their feeder calves and in many cases their cows. If I were a horned Hereford breeder who felt horned Herefords were better why wouldn't I like to keep all the same genetics but eliminate the discounts and issues with horns? As to the horned animals being tougher I don't know but here in Minnesota we have more wolves than all the other lower 48 states combined. Also we have just received the distinction of having the nastiest weather in the USA in an on line article. Here there is little demand for a horned bull

I started this thread with a question. I happen to like Churchill Red Bull 200Z but he is heterozygous polled so I just let my mind wonder if I could use this bull and have all homo polled calves, just a thought on my part. farmguy
 

cow pollinater

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
5,749
Reaction score
0
Location
Eastern OK
farmguy":2wqg8lqr said:
" I swear I'm not trying to poke at you but you are the one insisting that knocking the horns off is breed improvement."

I am a little confused here, I understand you may like horned Herefords. But why do people dehorn calves? Why do buyers discount horned feeders? Why do so many horned breeders dehorn their feeder calves and in many cases their cows. If I were a horned Hereford breeder who felt horned Herefords were better why wouldn't I like to keep all the same genetics but eliminate the discounts and issues with horns? As to the horned animals being tougher I don't know but here in Minnesota we have more wolves than all the other lower 48 states combined. Also we have just received the distinction of having the nastiest weather in the USA in an on line article. Here there is little demand for a horned bull

I started this thread with a question. I happen to like Churchill Red Bull 200Z but he is heterozygous polled so I just let my mind wonder if I could use this bull and have all homo polled calves, just a thought on my part. farmguy
I'll share my experience with horned/polled so you can see where I'm coming from and then I'll be done with the thread as I really am not trying to stir the pot. I really don't blame you for selecting polled if that is what sells and I don't blame you at all for wanting that bull in your herd as he's a good one.
My first experience with herefords was on an operation that ran around five hundred cows on a ranch in central CA. They had reduced from a three way cross with fleck bulls down to just polled hereford and red angus. Most of the pastures had about five hundred feet of elevation range between the high and low spots and ran about twelve acres to the cow. we spent all winter moving bulls back up to the cows in the sets that were hereford bred and they came out looking like drowned rats. Those bulls would drop back down and lay at the bottom of the hill and they bought from all over the state trying to get that cross to work. The majority of the open cows came from the pastures running hereford bulls and by the time I left we were seeing daughters that would not go push.
Fast forward a couple of years and I bought a ranch ten miles up the road from where I used to work in much rougher country. I had over a thousand feet of elevation on twelve hundred acres. I had to drive through a neighbor to get to my cows and he ran horned bulls and angus. He especially relied on the hereford bulls in the rougher parts of the ranch and swore they were the only way to go there. He told me the horns were the difference and that every polled bull he had tried had failed. I followed his advice and never looked back. I even bought a horned bull from one of the places that my old employer had bought a few polled bulls from and he worked fine. They got out and worked and held condition doing it and so did the daughters.
Do what works for you and I wish you all the best in doing it. ;-)
 

elkwc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Messages
1,492
Reaction score
54
cow pollinater":1kwg0a1i said:
farmguy":1kwg0a1i said:
" I swear I'm not trying to poke at you but you are the one insisting that knocking the horns off is breed improvement."
CP I was raised on ranches early in my life in semi arid NM that were rough. My Uncle managed a ranch for over 30 years that was 54,000 acres and ran 1,000 mother cows. So a bull and a cow had to be able to travel to survive. The Horned bulls as many ranchers had learned performed better in those conditions and still do than anything else that most have tried.



I am a little confused here, I understand you may like horned Herefords. But why do people dehorn calves? Why do buyers discount horned feeders? Why do so many horned breeders dehorn their feeder calves and in many cases their cows. If I were a horned Hereford breeder who felt horned Herefords were better why wouldn't I like to keep all the same genetics but eliminate the discounts and issues with horns? As to the horned animals being tougher I don't know but here in Minnesota we have more wolves than all the other lower 48 states combined. Also we have just received the distinction of having the nastiest weather in the USA in an on line article. Here there is little demand for a horned bull

I started this thread with a question. I happen to like Churchill Red Bull 200Z but he is heterozygous polled so I just let my mind wonder if I could use this bull and have all homo polled calves, just a thought on my part. farmguy
I'll share my experience with horned/polled so you can see where I'm coming from and then I'll be done with the thread as I really am not trying to stir the pot. I really don't blame you for selecting polled if that is what sells and I don't blame you at all for wanting that bull in your herd as he's a good one.
My first experience with herefords was on an operation that ran around five hundred cows on a ranch in central CA. They had reduced from a three way cross with fleck bulls down to just polled hereford and red angus. Most of the pastures had about five hundred feet of elevation range between the high and low spots and ran about twelve acres to the cow. we spent all winter moving bulls back up to the cows in the sets that were hereford bred and they came out looking like drowned rats. Those bulls would drop back down and lay at the bottom of the hill and they bought from all over the state trying to get that cross to work. The majority of the open cows came from the pastures running hereford bulls and by the time I left we were seeing daughters that would not go push.
Fast forward a couple of years and I bought a ranch ten miles up the road from where I used to work in much rougher country. I had over a thousand feet of elevation on twelve hundred acres. I had to drive through a neighbor to get to my cows and he ran horned bulls and angus. He especially relied on the hereford bulls in the rougher parts of the ranch and swore they were the only way to go there. He told me the horns were the difference and that every polled bull he had tried had failed. I followed his advice and never looked back. I even bought a horned bull from one of the places that my old employer had bought a few polled bulls from and he worked fine. They got out and worked and held condition doing it and so did the daughters.
Do what works for you and I wish you all the best in doing it. ;-)

CP I was raised on ranches early in my life in semi arid NM that were rough. My Uncle managed a ranch for over 30 years that was 54,000 acres and ran 1,000 mother cows. So a bull and a cow had to be able to travel to survive. The Horned bulls as many ranchers had learned performed better in those conditions and still do than anything else that most have tried. Again a person needs to do what works best for them in their conditons.

I also know of a feedlot chain here that owns several large lots. They run a large commercial cow herd also. They run an Angus based cowherd and used Horned Hereford bulls on them. They buy these bulls from a breeder I know. I understand they have tried other breeds including Polleds. Again it is what works.
 

Latest posts

Top