How would you build a herd from scratch?

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Ojp6

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jedstivers":1l2op4qt said:
I still like my idea, I've got five more on the trailer now. 5,280 for all five and one is in 2nd stage. They will turn into 7,500-10,000 in 5-6 months.

Yeah that's a pretty good plan. Bought 22 head Saturday and Monday bred 4-8 months from 2-10 years old for about 1300. Hopefully there's a little money in them. Even got one weighed 1450 full mouth bred 8 months for 1350. She has a little attitude problem but I think we will calm her down.
 

Big Cheese

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Ojp6":1ixki1sl said:
jedstivers":1ixki1sl said:
I still like my idea, I've got five more on the trailer now. 5,280 for all five and one is in 2nd stage. They will turn into 7,500-10,000 in 5-6 months.

Yeah that's a pretty good plan. Bought 22 head Saturday and Monday bred 4-8 months from 2-10 years old for about 1300. Hopefully there's a little money in them. Even got one weighed 1450 full mouth bred 8 months for 1350. She has a little attitude problem but I think we will calm her down.

This is also the plan that I would do as well. You turn your money faster. Them skinny cows you can get at the barn cheap can make you some money fast.
 

AllForage

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sim.-ang.king":35gl4ua7 said:
Go buy every cheap cow with at least 3 good legs, 1 good eye, and 2 good teats. Then invest your money saved in a high dollar bull.

I call it the meat loaf plan, cause if it flops, at least you'll have plenty of hamburger, and a pretty bull to look at. ;-)


Better yet get some Longhorns :hide:
 

Big Cheese

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AllForage":2n8syw8n said:
sim.-ang.king":2n8syw8n said:
Go buy every cheap cow with at least 3 good legs, 1 good eye, and 2 good teats. Then invest your money saved in a high dollar bull.

I call it the meat loaf plan, cause if it flops, at least you'll have plenty of hamburger, and a pretty bull to look at. ;-)


Better yet get some Longhorns :hide:

Hey you can get them cheap use them a few years then start replacing if you don't like them. Working good for us.
 

AllForage

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Walnut,

Inherently I dislike flushing unless terminal traits are your main focus. My sheep flock is highly linebred by sheep standards and I manage it differently. I breed traditional Shropshires and while we have the most maternal/long lived gene pool of the black faced breeds, I still emphasize terminal traits. Therefore I utilize ebvs, loin scan, and turn generations. I would NEVER do that with a cowherd. I am tired of posts that treat a complex living organism as some plug and play gadget that Betty Crocker made a recipe for. This AI sire will do this and then I add this and that. Genes do not combine the same always along with environmental interactions. It gets tiring. Breeding is an art that uses science. Not just numbers and stories from whoever. So building a maternal forage based cowherd it would be silly to consider flushing until she is in her teens imo.

Now selecting sires can get interesting. Assuming the related female equation, why fix what's not broke? Creating pretty pedigrees to attract straw chasing types loses prepotency. Also trying to combine two line bred herds can flop or take a lifetime. They don't always nick. I have experienced that. Bringing in some other bull to get something one is missing always results in the loss of something. Might take 5 years to see it but it happens.

So to answer your question, I would find a herd that has 90% of what you want and continue to breed up with the same herds Bulls. Going back to the "well" Allows you to pick Bulls that have the traits you want emphasize. Try a mild outcross here or there but be aware that heterosis is to credit for some of the gains you might see. Tighten it back and see if there is real improvement.

That's all I got for now
 
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WalnutCrest

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In addition to cattle, I (rarely) breed dogs. For our last two litters, we had puppy requests from the US, Canada and several foreign countries (UK, Germany, Belgium, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia). I'd like to think we have good dogs and we make sensible decisions when breeding.

Some of the people in that endeavor who have reputations I value have routinely practice the habit of tightly breeding for two generations ... then an outcross ... then back to your original stuff for two more generations ... then out again ... then back in for two ... etc ... They stress the importance of maintaining a keen eye for problems and issues, without sacrificing phenotype, and be uber selective when it comes time to decide those who get to perpetuate the gene pool.

*******************

On to the topic of flushing females for embryos ... I agree with you (generally) that you don't want to flush a cow unless she's into her teens. There are exceptions, but they're ... well ... exceptions and not the rule. I don't know that I understand why go through the cost and expense of a flush if you're only wanting terminal traits; unless I am misunderstanding you, I'm not sure how that pencils. To me, it seems to make the most sense to use the best "cow maker" bull(s) and make as many cows as you can ... a series of full and half sisters.

The intent of laying out the original scenario was to get others to give their thoughts on "if you were going to build a seedstock operation from scratch" ... basically, if you had a clean slate, what would you do in terms of selecting your initial animals and growing their numbers from there. I intentionally didn't say that the objective was to have 200 head of mama cows and that, to start, you go out and buy 200 head of mama cows from someone you knew and respected.

Presume someone wants to start somewhere and grow, what do they do?

...well, they go somewhere, and buy some cattle they like and they start...

Personally, if I'm starting a seedstock operation from scratch, I'd rather have 5-10 awesome cows (i.e., proven animals from proven herds) that come from systems and environments that are as close to mine as I can find and breed them to the best bulls I can find (AI or otherwise) who are also developed in an environment as close to mine as possible ... than to ... try to build an elite herd by purchasing 40-50 question marks at the sale barn and then spending a decade trying to get them where I want them.

And, when I say "best bulls", I mean that to be a general statement ... most of us here aren't dummies and yet we have different opinions on what "best bull" means. Best bull for you and what you're trying to do.
 
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