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Simply Bovine

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Jan 18, 2005
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How much of an issue is inbreeding in the cattle world? I've read through many of the topics in the forum and it seems like it isn't a big deal. Is this true?? What's up with that?
Many commercial breeders will use a bull on the first generation of daughters if they are just selling the calves at the sale barn. If there hasn't been a lot of previous inbreeding, many times there are few bad results. Almost always with close breeding, you lose growth and mature size.

The case FOR LINEBREEDING, which I guess you could call controlled inbreeding, is to establish consistency of valuable traits, and have a consistent look to a set of calves. One must cull very hard against any bad traits in this scenario. In linebreeding, both animals will share a grandparent usually.
We've done a good bit of line breeding and have had good results so far. I bred one of my really good cows back to her son in the hopes of getting a heifer. She had a very nice heifer just before Christmas. So far so good. Of course I will out cross this heifer with a completely different blood line when she's old enough to breed.

In breeding can magnify any good traits but it can also magnify any bad ones. If you know the families of the animals that you are planning on breeding it can be very beneficial.
So does inbreeding cause an animal to lose value? Do some people really dislike an animal that has inbreeding in it's pedigree and others don't care? With horses a person might look at the pedigree of an animal before buying--is this so with cattle? I mean lots of beef cattle poeple don't even keep the breeds pure. They mix and match.

But, what about a specialty breed like a Highlander? You want to keep the breed pure. Is it better or worse to linebreed/inbreed with certain breeds?
hey SB, I was just recently at the national western stock show here in colorado bout a week ago and came across a members book of the mtn highlanders assoc. If you want, I can give you some email/website addies to ask these people.
Not only can I ask these folks about the inbreeding thing, but I have a lot of other highland questions that I could ask. Thanks so much!!
I raise registered Texas Longhorn cattle and linebreeding or inbreeding doesn't concern me at all nor does it seem to bother any other breeders that I know. When I'm purchasing an animal I always look at the pedigree but I don't care if the animal is line bred or inbred as long as it meets the general criteria and has the traits that I'm looking for. One of my herd sires goes back to the great Longhorn bull King four times in his pedigree. This just sets in the traits and will make his offspring more uniform in appearance.

If I do inbreed an animal I won't take that offspring and breed back to a parent or sibling. I will breed that animal back to someone is is not related. Inbreeding can be very bad if you continue to breed back to the relatives but can be very good if you do it a time or two, you just have to be careful.
you're welcome simply. I've asked a few questions myself bout the highlander breed because I'm looking to possibly raise a couple. The woman at the stock show here was very helpful and I wish I could remember her name. lol
Linebreeding, and inbreeding in my opinion are fine, as stated before, we often want to carry positive traits over into the next generation of cattle, BUT I recently obtained several cows from a neighbor that are the result of multiple generations of inbreeding, and the cows are showing some very poor inherited genetic conmfirmation problems, such as poor feet, and hunched backs, which does seem to happen with the Angus in some cases. it has been said here before, it seems the real difference in line breeding and inbreeding, is that we call it linebreeding when everything goes well, and inbreeding when things start going bad.
It sounds like if you keep new good blood coming in it is okay to breed back to a grandparent or greatgrandparent if your cow and bull displays no strong defects in conformation. Obviously you must keep your eye on things and be aware of defects and health issues.

Thanks for all the help with addresses and information. If any of you have anything else helpful to say keep adding to this topic.

By the way you guys have me really excited about getting my herd started. I know it will be a couple of years until my husband and I can start the ranch of our dreams, but I will keep building my knowledge so I am well prepared. I think this adventure will be a wonderful experience for my husband and I as we start our family. A ranch seems to be a healthy place for everyone. Hardwork is good for everyone.
Are you asking me about it or do you need to know for yourself?

I would say, because I'm not an expert, that I might use a bull--skip a generation or two and then use him again, but that would be it. I am thinking that a particular bull might have very good traits, but new good traits are needed too.

Look at indangered animals that almost go extinct. People try to help the animal along and breed them in captivity. But, when that happens there are so few of the animal that the gene pool is very small. I think I heard that these animals tend to have a lot of problems because of that. I would think this would be true for cattle as well.

Just a thought. But, I am still learning so please correct me if I am wrong.
What we do is bull to cow. Cow calves w/ heifer #1. Bull to cow again. Cow has heifer #2. Bull to cow and heifer #1. Cow has heifer#3, heifer#1 has 1A. Bull to cow, heifer #1, and #2. Sell bull, what we achieve is a 3 generation mate and that's as far as it goes.

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