If you were starting a new herd from scratch..

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Cattlelow

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I cringe at the thought of starting over. If you want to get to 85-100 momma cows, your going to go through several head getting there. My experience is, for every 10 heifers you like, 5 or less end up actually in production 5-6 years down the road. Then you get to sort through the feet and udder issues. I actually would like to know, in 10 years time how many females you'd go through. I bet if you had some strict production goals in mind, you still wouldn't be where you wanted to be after 10 years.

Not said to discourage, just said as point to ponder

To answer the question:
I'd want super baldies, covered with a black sim bull............Currently have very few super baldies and using brangus bulls......Makes me wonder why I don't switch.
Baldies would be my pick too.
 

Brute 23

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That's why I won't personally set up and operation that's goal is to sell terminal calves. Between the packers and hypocrisy at the auction barn its a loser IMO and it will only get worse.

If I was getting in from scratch I'd sell breeding stock or 4H projects or even "pet cows" to individuals. Sell animals to the poor sucker trying to please the packers and go on down the road.
 

SBMF 2015

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Well, if you don't calve your heifers at 24 months of age, you set yourself up for a different calving "season" for your older heifers. I do have 2 calving seasons - Jan/Feb and Sept/Oct.
For me, I do not have a lot of $$ invested in raising my heifers to a proper size for breeding. I do NOT have a calving issue at all - and I push my heifers, expecting them to have a 75-90# calf unassisted. I have a herd of females that have all been bred and raised to be calving machines.
Sorry, but I don't get it.
I read some research that said if you calve them out at 30+ months of age - using same sires - heifers same BCS - the 30 month old heifers will have more dystocia than the 24 month old heifers. Their pelvic area has calcified and do not have the ability to "stretch" like a heifer's. Once a heifer has stretched thru calving, she will permanently be stretched out. Probably not a problem with 27 month olds.
I agree with you for the most part, but if I had to wager i'd bet your mature cow size is bigger than the avg on this forum. You are working towards something different than just selling feeder calves.
We pelvic measure, use calving easy bulls, calve hfrs at 22-23 mos. I like 65-75lb calves out of hfrs. They still can have 90 lb calves the second time no problem.
They stay home, get fed extra, calves get creep, we had 100% conception rate getting them bred back this year. Normal is 95%. Our commercial cows tend to wear out around 12. Whether they calve as hfrs at 2 or 3. So we breed them at 12-13mos and get an extra calf out of them. And if you are breeding that young you are only getting the early maturing females bred. The rest go to the feed lot.
 

Caustic Burno

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I’d like to hear how everyone would go about building a new herd if you were to start over with everything you know now. Mostly interested in breeding programs but share anything you feel is related. Location: East Texas
F-1 Jersey Brahman cows with the bull of your choice.
 

Dave

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I knew a guy who ran about 400 commercial cows. He retained all of his heifers and bred them for 60 days. He would ultra sound them to check pregnancy. He would keep the very earliest calving ones who had a bull calf. Sell the rest as bred heifers. He had a very short window in which he was calving the heifers. And those steer calves were worth more than heifers.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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@SBMF 2015 you are right LOL. I breed for heifers - they are my money makers unlike most on here. My herd average is about 1550# ?? Not very tall - 5 - 6 frame. Just very deep and wide.
People with small cows around here are wasting their land. We can easily rotate through all our paddocks every 30-35 days. NY GROWS GRASS - and lots of volunteer CLOVER. If you have any management on your farm, your cows would be butter balls if they were little. Heck, I have a few cows will easily go 1800# and they are BCS 5.5 after just weaning calves.
 

chaded

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@SBMF 2015 you are right LOL. I breed for heifers - they are my money makers unlike most on here. My herd average is about 1550# ?? Not very tall - 5 - 6 frame. Just very deep and wide.
People with small cows around here are wasting their land. We can easily rotate through all our paddocks every 30-35 days. NY GROWS GRASS - and lots of volunteer CLOVER. If you have any management on your farm, your cows would be butter balls if they were little. Heck, I have a few cows will easily go 1800# and they are BCS 5.5 after just weaning calves.

I suppose one could just run a few more head If they had smaller cows?
 

Warren Allison

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F-1 Jersey Brahman cows with the bull of your choice.
Now there's an idea, @Pineywoods230 . I was about to say, that I have found it harder to find F1 Br X Herfs than actual Brafords, so you might look at getting a herd of Brahman cows and a polled Hereford bull. Might get a Jeresy bull too, and raise some Jersey x Br heifers for @Caustic Burno . You'd take an ass-whupping on the steers from either cross, but the heifers will sell well. If you don't have a big herd, and have the facilities to do it, you could AI with sexed Hereford and Jeresy semen, and dramatically increase the amount of heifer calves.
 

TexasRancher

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TexasRancher> The song gets into the musician before the musician can get into the song.
The same with cattle. One can go through the motions and even look like a cowman with the hat and truck
but until the cow is in you it is just going through the motions. These pages are filled with people who
are at one with their stock and the life that revolves around it. While we may not agree on method or color,
horn or hump let there be no doubt about the zest for the life. Set your own goals, live your dream with honesty
and determination and you will never be sorry. LVR ps: Have you any idea of how many people in this world would like to have your handle?
My bull is in me...we communicate and acknowledge each other...I'm the coach he's the assistant coach leading the cow team. I don't know what I'm doing...but I sure am having a lot of fun. I found out relatively fast nobody else knows what their doing either and they've been cattlemen longer than me. Early retirement engineer and these last two years grounded to land and cattle have been the funnest and happiest in my life. I think I love cattle more than most people I know. You have the best nick Lee VanRoss reminds me of Lee VanCleef....The Good , the Bad and the Ugly. Smart and polished you are Lee VanRoss.
 

gcreekrch

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I agree. Heifers won't generally be wilder at 3 than they are at 2. In fact, if you handle them much at all (and do it gentle, without whooping and hollering), they should be more gentle as they get older.
We have had the same experience once with a bunch of first calvers that didn’t breed back. They were worth little during bse years so we held them over and bred them the next summer. Talk about go wild and lose most of their cares to be mothers. MR. FH is about as good an old time cow man as they come, what FH is relaying I have no doubt about.
 

Brute 23

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We have had the same experience once with a bunch of first calvers that didn’t breed back. They were worth little during bse years so we held them over and bred them the next summer. Talk about go wild and lose most of their cares to be mothers. MR. FH is about as good an old time cow man as they come, what FH is relaying I have no doubt about.
What kind of cattle were these?

Sounds like yall have some genetics that need to be erased from this world. When I see "a bunch of heifers that didn't breed back", got wilder with age, and didn't want to be mothers all I think is... hamburger. Hamburger them, their mommas, their daddy's and any other animals with any relation to them... all hamburger.

Dealing with the Brahman influence cattle the more wild they are the better mothers they tend to be. 😄

I could no comprehend a cow not wanting to be a mother until I went to work for an Angus breeder. I grew up where you didn't want to accidentally end up between a cow and her calf just walking around out in the pasture. You had to constantly keep your head on a swivel.
 

gcreekrch

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What kind of cattle were these?

Sounds like yall have some genetics that need to be erased from this world. When I see "a bunch of heifers that didn't breed back", got wilder with age, and didn't want to be mothers all I think is... hamburger. Hamburger them, their mommas, their daddy's and any other animals with any relation to them... all hamburger.

Dealing with the Brahman influence cattle the more wild they are the better mothers they tend to be. 😄

I could no comprehend a cow not wanting to be a mother until I went to work for an Angus breeder. I grew up where you didn't want to accidentally end up between a cow and her calf just walking around out in the pasture. You had to constantly keep your head on a swivel.
I agree and most of them did get erased from history. They were all Angus based cows.
Calving time here one doesn’t want to venture far from the quad.
 

Silver

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For instance building a calving barn so you can feel better about calving early will not compute
financially when compared to calving when grass is available. The weaning weight of a dead calf leaves much to be desired
and the mother will most likely move to the negative column for the remainder of the time you own her.
This string of logic is incorrect, generally speaking.
 

faster horses

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What kind of cattle were these?

Sounds like yall have some genetics that need to be erased from this world. When I see "a bunch of heifers that didn't breed back", got wilder with age, and didn't want to be mothers all I think is... hamburger. Hamburger them, their mommas, their daddy's and any other animals with any relation to them... all hamburger.

Dealing with the Brahman influence cattle the more wild they are the better mothers they tend to be. 😄

I could no comprehend a cow not wanting to be a mother until I went to work for an Angus breeder. I grew up where you didn't want to accidentally end up between a cow and her calf just walking around out in the pasture. You had to constantly keep your head on a swivel.
I can tell you this, let a heifer get hungry and then watch how bad they want to be mothers.
We never had the problem of them being hungry, so it was never an issue with us, but a big ranch did and they paid for it.
The ranch manager moved the hay from that ranch over to another ranch he managed and the heifers where the hay was moved from, didn't have enough during the winter. At calving time, they were hungry and left their calves to find some groceries. They did not care about their calves. We were friends with the cowboys who took care of them and got the story several times.

I'm not sure how big of country you run in, but this was a big ranch in Montana.
 

Brute 23

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I can tell you this, let a heifer get hungry and then watch how bad they want to be mothers.
We never had the problem of them being hungry, so it was never an issue with us, but a big ranch did and they paid for it.
The ranch manager moved the hay from that ranch over to another ranch he managed and the heifers where the hay was moved from, didn't have enough during the winter. At calving time, they were hungry and left their calves to find some groceries. They did not care about their calves. We were friends with the cowboys who took care of them and got the story several times.

I'm not sure how big of country you run in, but this was a big ranch in

You have been talking about animals that were basically abused this whole time?

Lead with that next time so people have some context on what you are saying.

... and I would still chop their heads off for leaving their calves. A cow has one job... and it better do it right up until the second it dies. No excuses.

You never said what kind of cows they were.
 

gcreekrch

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I have a few smaller cows. With small cows, do you use calving-ease bulls? How do you determine how much calving-ease is enough? Visual appearance? EPDs?
An 1100 lb cow should be able to have a 110 lb calf unassisted if it is built right. Most of ours are born 85 to 100 lbs. We do use ligh be bulls on heifers and the next year.
 

gcreekrch

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No matter what color or breed of cattle chosen you can expect to be competing with the cattle genome to herd phenotyping element
as applied by The Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Once this is established and in place it may be hard to sell to the major market unless your cattle have the proper genetic marker.

The above aside and realizing the possibility of heifers washing out of my program I would start with a 100 solid color red or black
1/2 blood Corriente heifers. I would AI them to the best 4-5 frame red angus bulls I could afford and turn them out with a red
angus bull of equal quality. Breed at 15 months for 60 days and figure anything above a 95 % calf crop as a bonus.
In any case one can figure on half being bulls with around 45 being heifers. Retain all heifers born in the first 30 days of the
calving period and market the rest including any of the original herd calving after 60 days in the calving period. Also sell any
cow that does not wean a live calf for any reason.

I would have them bred to calve when the ground temperature was just under 50 degrees. (mid to late April this latitude)
I would screen the bulls to insure they had low milk epd's as the calves will be born when grass is available and I consider
a high milking cow as a liability. Also I aim to have bred cows in around a 5 - 6 body condition at the time of calving.

As to feed I use rotational grazing and hay once a year. I will buy feed in a drought for the 1st 30 day cows and will, if forced,
market anything calving beyond that point. Admittedly it can take a lot of notches it the belt to accomplish this but in
the end when you succeed you will have cattle tougher than Mike Fink on a river boat and you can sleep like a baby during
the calving season. I would caution anyone: If what you are doing now is not working how can doubling down or doing
anything close result in anything but a disaster? Also realize that iron and oil are not required nutrients for grass so limit
the amount you allow to come between the sun and the ground. Finally in all cases, pray!
You would be tits up in five years here my friend.
 

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