Hereford question

Help Support CattleToday:

farmguy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Messages
386
Reaction score
10
Location
Minnesota
This question is not to cause bad feelings. But I would really like to know. I raise Herefords in Central Minnesota we have many coyotes and the largest wolf population in the continental US. Plus as everyone knows lots of snow and cold. We raise our cattle pretty much like everyone else, my cows never see grain and hardly ever see a building. I have never seen a horned Hereford outside of a showring. In fact a horned bull of any breed is unheard of and I don’t think anyone would buy it. I of course speak of the area here and places I have visited. Also I do realize that decades ago there was a limited selection of polled stock. Today the AI service I use has one token horned bull and another I checked for semen has no horned bulls. I do not have a long history with the Hereford breed, ten years. So my question is in that we are talking Herefords here why is there such animosity by some against the polled animals? Thank you and I want to really understand.
 

Herefords.US

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2006
Messages
2,066
Reaction score
4
Location
North Central Texas
farmguy":hj43hb6n said:
This question is not to cause bad feelings. But I would really like to know. I raise Herefords in Central Minnesota we have many coyotes and the largest wolf population in the continental US. Plus as everyone knows lots of snow and cold. We raise our cattle pretty much like everyone else, my cows never see grain and hardly ever see a building. I have never seen a horned Hereford outside of a showring. In fact a horned bull of any breed is unheard of and I don’t think anyone would buy it. I of course speak of the area here and places I have visited. Also I do realize that decades ago there was a limited selection of polled stock. Today the AI service I use has one token horned bull and another I checked for semen has no horned bulls. I do not have a long history with the Hereford breed, ten years. So my question is in that we are talking Herefords here why is there such animosity by some against the polled animals? Thank you and I want to really understand.

Been animosity by some in both camps against the other for as long as I can remember (50+ years). Heck, here in Texas, we still can't even get the horned and polled state associations together, even though the national associations merged several years ago.

George
 

iowa hawkeyes

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
238
Reaction score
0
Location
NW Iowa
we have seperate polled and horned shows in Iowa too. not really sure why. It would be a lot easier to put them all together I would think.
 

angie1

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Messages
4,179
Reaction score
0
Location
minnesota
I think anytime you change what is precieved to be, or is, a classic trait of an animal, regardless of the reason, you will see animosity from the camp that wants to animal to stay true to the breed characteristics. Like traditional red breeds turning black ~ same thing. You see this in dogs also ~ hunting breed show dogs have different characteristics than the same breed working. Makes the people who have the working dogs upset. I am not saying it is wrong or right, cause I don't care ~ it is all about money though. Dogs, cows, anything. Follow the money and you will see what inspires the changes.
 

jerry27150

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2005
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
30
Location
northern missouri
a lot of ranchers feel the polled hereford doesn't spread out & cover the herd as well as the horned hereford. also they say the polled herefords have a tendency to allow their penis & sheath lining to protrude exposing them to more injuries. others claim horned herefords have more vigor at birth
 

giftedcowboy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
The simple answer is that they are truly not the same. Sure they are the same color, but once you look at them you see that they are of very different phenotype. Genetically they are random very distant cousins. Some breeders are crossing them back and forth with mixed results. I personally don't admire the results 90% of the time.
 

alexfarms

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
785
Reaction score
0
Location
Gypsum, KS
They really are two different breeds and it is probably a shame that they merged. Although, it seems to me that rather than a merger it was more of an aquisition of the APHA by the AHA. I think each side has individuals who feel threatened by the other and that is why there is so much animosity. I like both breeds and I use both breeds. I get questions from some polled breeders as to why I think I need to use horned cattle and I get questions from horned guys like 'if the polleds were any good you wouldn't be using the horneds". It is frustrating to hear, but I get over it...so far.
 

Aaron

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
Messages
5,221
Reaction score
16
Location
Stratton, ON, Canada
farmguy":9vkttdvv said:
This question is not to cause bad feelings. But I would really like to know. I raise Herefords in Central Minnesota we have many coyotes and the largest wolf population in the continental US. Plus as everyone knows lots of snow and cold. We raise our cattle pretty much like everyone else, my cows never see grain and hardly ever see a building. I have never seen a horned Hereford outside of a showring. In fact a horned bull of any breed is unheard of and I don’t think anyone would buy it. I of course speak of the area here and places I have visited. Also I do realize that decades ago there was a limited selection of polled stock. Today the AI service I use has one token horned bull and another I checked for semen has no horned bulls. I do not have a long history with the Hereford breed, ten years. So my question is in that we are talking Herefords here why is there such animosity by some against the polled animals? Thank you and I want to really understand.

Without getting into the specifics between the two, to get the quality of Polled Hereford that I want, I can no longer afford them (I am very picky). I can get the same and greater quality in a Horned bull for 1/2 the price. I can dehorn a lot of cattle for the thousands extra it would cost me to go get a Polled bull.

Come north. I will show you around a bunch of Horned Hereford herds in my area. All have done the Polled deal, went Horned and never looked back. :cowboy:
 

SRBeef

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
2,931
Reaction score
1
Location
SW Wisconsin
Aaron":3gbivtzo said:
farmguy":3gbivtzo said:
This question is not to cause bad feelings. But I would really like to know. I raise Herefords in Central Minnesota we have many coyotes and the largest wolf population in the continental US. Plus as everyone knows lots of snow and cold. We raise our cattle pretty much like everyone else, my cows never see grain and hardly ever see a building. I have never seen a horned Hereford outside of a showring. In fact a horned bull of any breed is unheard of and I don’t think anyone would buy it. I of course speak of the area here and places I have visited. Also I do realize that decades ago there was a limited selection of polled stock. Today the AI service I use has one token horned bull and another I checked for semen has no horned bulls. I do not have a long history with the Hereford breed, ten years. So my question is in that we are talking Herefords here why is there such animosity by some against the polled animals? Thank you and I want to really understand.

Without getting into the specifics between the two, to get the quality of Polled Hereford that I want, I can no longer afford them (I am very picky). I can get the same and greater quality in a Horned bull for 1/2 the price. I can dehorn a lot of cattle for the thousands extra it would cost me to go get a Polled bull.

Come north. I will show you around a bunch of Horned Hereford herds in my area. All have done the Polled deal, went Horned and never looked back. :cowboy:

Aaron, as a novice Hereford guy, I don't want to get into the horned vs polled quality discussion.

My novice question is what is it about a horned animal that makes you want to dehorn them? Potential injury to people? Potential injury to each other? Shipping injury?

I did hear where packers felt there was more waste due to shipping injuries withhorned vs polled cattle.

Complete dehorning, I am told, can be a very severe procedure. I have seen horned Herefords with just the tips of the horns cut off. And I see a lot of photos, maybe mostly out west, with the horns left completely intact. Why do folks do any/all of the above?

Thanks for any information/opinions. Jim
 

KNERSIE

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
7,058
Reaction score
2
Location
3rd World
If dehorning is done correctly the calf don't miss a beat. The reason for dehorning here is shipping injuries and feedlot injuries more than anything else. The margins for feedlots is so low that they simply can't afford bruises and cuts to the hides.

The reason i breed poll herefords is because my market demands them, i would struggle to give a horned bull away. Quality differences is something of the past, i can find outstanding bulls in either segment of the breed and equally as much crap.
 

alexfarms

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
785
Reaction score
0
Location
Gypsum, KS
KNERSIE":2jtoe4dc said:
If dehorning is done correctly the calf don't miss a beat. The reason for dehorning here is shipping injuries and feedlot injuries more than anything else. The margins for feedlots is so low that they simply can't afford bruises and cuts to the hides.

The reason i breed poll herefords is because my market demands them, i would struggle to give a horned bull away. Quality differences is something of the past, i can find outstanding bulls in either segment of the breed and equally as much crap.

Dehorning is just another chore, like any other chore. If it is done timely and right it is no problem. The problem is our competition doesn't have that chore. Every cattleman knows that he can buy a polled bull and not have to do the chore and expense of dehorning or he can buy a horned bull and have the extra chore. I have never seen or read any objective science that proves that possessing the horned gene makes the animal superior in any way, if there is I would like to see it. It is a tired argument between hard headed people. I think the "merger" of the polled and horned assn's in the US has hurt both breeds and it continues to hurt both breeds. I got no problem with someone wanting to breed strictly horned cattle, go ahead. I don't think people have any business stating horned cattle are superior, simply because they carry the horned gene, when they have absolutely no proof to back it up. Look at our industry, we go to some sale barns and we are told, from the auction stand, that black is superior -- just make sure you have 'em black to get the best price and we have people in positions of leadership telling others that possessing the horned gene makes an animal superior. There is no proof to support either claim and still, in some circles, it is accepted as fact. The facts are: black colored cattle don't tolerate extreme heat as well as lighter colored cattle and cattle possessing the horned gene create extra chores and expenses for their owners. Maybe some day common sense will win out or maybe we'll all just destroy each other first.
 

KNERSIE

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
7,058
Reaction score
2
Location
3rd World
alexfarms":18x3ecak said:
KNERSIE":18x3ecak said:
If dehorning is done correctly the calf don't miss a beat. The reason for dehorning here is shipping injuries and feedlot injuries more than anything else. The margins for feedlots is so low that they simply can't afford bruises and cuts to the hides.

The reason i breed poll herefords is because my market demands them, i would struggle to give a horned bull away. Quality differences is something of the past, i can find outstanding bulls in either segment of the breed and equally as much crap.

Dehorning is just another chore, like any other chore. If it is done timely and right it is no problem. The problem is our competition doesn't have that chore. Every cattleman knows that he can buy a polled bull and not have to do the chore and expense of dehorning or he can buy a horned bull and have the extra chore. I have never seen or read any objective science that proves that possessing the horned gene makes the animal superior in any way, if there is I would like to see it. It is a tired argument between hard headed people. I think the "merger" of the polled and horned assn's in the US has hurt both breeds and it continues to hurt both breeds. I got no problem with someone wanting to breed strictly horned cattle, go ahead. I don't think people have any business stating horned cattle are superior, simply because they carry the horned gene, when they have absolutely no proof to back it up. Look at our industry, we go to some sale barns and we are told, from the auction stand, that black is superior -- just make sure you have 'em black to get the best price and we have people in positions of leadership telling others that possessing the horned gene makes an animal superior. There is no proof to support either claim and still, in some circles, it is accepted as fact. The facts are: black colored cattle don't tolerate extreme heat as well as lighter colored cattle and cattle possessing the horned gene create extra chores and expenses for their owners. Maybe some day common sense will win out or maybe we'll all just destroy each other first.

I've always been saying that as long as the prospective buyer buys a hereford and not an angus I couldn't care less if the bull was horned, scurred or poll.

Its high time the two segments of the breed start pulling together for the breed instead of giving other breeds an easy run because we're too busy infighting.
 

novatech

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
4,830
Reaction score
2
Location
Brenham, Texas
People rationalize as to what they have is better. They will defend what they own. They give advice to others based on their rationalization. Depending on their skill or salesmanship others buy in to the rationalization. They, buyers, end up rationalizing what they have purchased. The circle starts over. Seems we are in short supply of rational people.
The polled cattle people have obviously done a good job over the years bettering the genetics and selling it. There are certainly many more polls now than when I was a kid. Percentage wise the quality of polls may even be better. (That is something else to fight about.) Common sense tells you that when you are small you have to be better if you want to grow. (Or maybe better salesmanship)
If you had no cattle and you took the 10 best polls and put them along side the 10 best horned, which would you choose. ( marketability not being a factor)
 

KNERSIE

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
7,058
Reaction score
2
Location
3rd World
If you had no cattle and you took the 10 best polls and put them along side the 10 best horned, which would you choose. ( marketability not being a factor)

Its quite simple... the one that sells in your area.
 

novatech

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
4,830
Reaction score
2
Location
Brenham, Texas
KNERSIE":2hr5zlu6 said:
If you had no cattle and you took the 10 best polls and put them along side the 10 best horned, which would you choose. ( marketability not being a factor)

Its quite simple... the one that sells in your area.
That is a given. That is why I added ( marketability not being a factor) Maybe I said it wrong.
 

VanC

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
5,174
Reaction score
0
Location
East Central Illinois
novatech":212mnzhm said:
People rationalize as to what they have is better. They will defend what they own. They give advice to others based on their rationalization. Depending on their skill or salesmanship others buy in to the rationalization. They, buyers, end up rationalizing what they have purchased. The circle starts over. Seems we are in short supply of rational people.

This is one of the most insightful paragraphs I've read on here in a long, long time. Right on the money. I see it everywhere I look, not just in agriculture.
 

Aaron

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
Messages
5,221
Reaction score
16
Location
Stratton, ON, Canada
SRBeef":rcv3q58f said:
Aaron":rcv3q58f said:
farmguy":rcv3q58f said:
This question is not to cause bad feelings. But I would really like to know. I raise Herefords in Central Minnesota we have many coyotes and the largest wolf population in the continental US. Plus as everyone knows lots of snow and cold. We raise our cattle pretty much like everyone else, my cows never see grain and hardly ever see a building. I have never seen a horned Hereford outside of a showring. In fact a horned bull of any breed is unheard of and I don’t think anyone would buy it. I of course speak of the area here and places I have visited. Also I do realize that decades ago there was a limited selection of polled stock. Today the AI service I use has one token horned bull and another I checked for semen has no horned bulls. I do not have a long history with the Hereford breed, ten years. So my question is in that we are talking Herefords here why is there such animosity by some against the polled animals? Thank you and I want to really understand.

Without getting into the specifics between the two, to get the quality of Polled Hereford that I want, I can no longer afford them (I am very picky). I can get the same and greater quality in a Horned bull for 1/2 the price. I can dehorn a lot of cattle for the thousands extra it would cost me to go get a Polled bull.

Come north. I will show you around a bunch of Horned Hereford herds in my area. All have done the Polled deal, went Horned and never looked back. :cowboy:

Aaron, as a novice Hereford guy, I don't want to get into the horned vs polled quality discussion.

My novice question is what is it about a horned animal that makes you want to dehorn them? Potential injury to people? Potential injury to each other? Shipping injury?

I did hear where packers felt there was more waste due to shipping injuries withhorned vs polled cattle.

Complete dehorning, I am told, can be a very severe procedure. I have seen horned Herefords with just the tips of the horns cut off. And I see a lot of photos, maybe mostly out west, with the horns left completely intact. Why do folks do any/all of the above?

Thanks for any information/opinions. Jim

It's the buyers of my young stock that want dehorned. I don't blame them. Horns result in a lot of bruising in the lots. That is the biggest reason. Depends on the tyoe of market too. I have shipped steers with 5 inch horns on them and netted a premium over most other cattle. But that is in a good market. Nowadays, you will get a discount.

There are many ways to dehorn, some are more severe than others.

People cut the tips to train the horns and to blunt the ends. Some don't cut, but put weights on to tip the horns down. It all goes back to basic safety working in close quarters with horned cattle. Although I worry little about Horned Herefords. It's the old Horned Simmentals or Charolais that would send me running.

One thing I know the cull buyers don't like is a mature cow or bull with untrained horns. That will be the sale's 5 cent cow. No matter what they look like, they risk the rest of their load with that one animal. :cowboy:
 

alftn

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
645
Reaction score
0
Location
Tn.
I would say 50 to 60 years ago the Horned hereford was quite abit better than the polled, The polled were a collection of mutants of horn herefords that were collected and breed on the Single trait of POLLED...Thus the Horned herefords gene pool was vast and the polled herefords were small....

Thus many favored the Horn or Real Herefords....AS FOR ME I do not want any horned cattle, ( and have a polled hereford bull on my black angus cows right now)

Thus bring this argument up...Why Red Angus?? The Scots breeders that made the breed, wanted them Black, but still today Reds are here...

Still , in my area Black , non-horned, whiteface , bring the best $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

If I listed cattle in order of what I like--- Shorthorns,angus(red or black),herefords(horn or polled),Gelb,Brav., roma,limm, simms, chars, ect...

If I list what I would own---, Black Angus, angus x herefords various %s ,
 

smnherf

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
452
Reaction score
0
Location
South Dakota
VanC":v64ffdid said:
novatech":v64ffdid said:
People rationalize as to what they have is better. They will defend what they own. They give advice to others based on their rationalization. Depending on their skill or salesmanship others buy in to the rationalization. They, buyers, end up rationalizing what they have purchased. The circle starts over. Seems we are in short supply of rational people.

This is one of the most insightful paragraphs I've read on here in a long, long time. Right on the money. I see it everywhere I look, not just in agriculture.

I agree 100%.

Tradition plays a role and defending your territory plays a role too. Horned herefords have a pretty strong hold on the western bull market but that is changing. I have a customer that runs about 800 black cows. Buys several bulls every year and also buys bull from his neighbor and his high school friend who raises horned bulls. He hauls a lot of these cows out to western SD and runs them in 1300 acre pastures and gets along fine. 7 opens on 500 head group. Herd manager told me that last fall, the brand inspector told him that those were the biggest and tamest set of calves he inspected all fall. No creep either.

The hired help say that they prefer my polled bulls. Easier to handle, better disposition, and no dehorning calves. Last year he froze up several bulls testicles in a December storm and none of the bulls he got from me froze up. Coincidence, could be but I don't think it is necessarily a polled/horned issue just like most issues mentioned in this thread and other similar threads aren't related to the horned or polled gene either. I have seen horned calves with poor vigor, I have seen horned bulls be lazy SOBs in the breeding pasture too, and if your worried about sheaths, don't buy loose sheathed bulls, just like you do in the Angus breed. Bottom line is to select bulls that have been acclimated to your environment and raised in a setting that can match the needs of your operation. Don't go buy a polled bull that has a pedigree full of show winners and expect him to go out in big country and service your cows. He may do fine, but they may not.


Brian
 

giftedcowboy

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
Where the issue shows up the greatest is in the cowherd. I have watched several destroy their cowherd by using the wrong bull. Once one has bred to the wrong bull and have lost those replacement years you are just screwed. It is usually time to go on the road looking to buy replacements if you can find them.
 
Top