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just a steer

KNERSIE

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With his dam, born 2 July, straightbred hereford, sired by one of my own bulls. His dam is topping the cull list, not a bad commercial cow, but she's a fence jumper.

very good outer thighs and top

enough width to indicate potential to further fill out

business end

Unfortunately I sold his sire a bit prematurely, he is the bull who has most consistantly added width and muscle I have ever used.
 

alacattleman

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he does have it,, looks like he would'a made good commercial bull for someone, might even work for a longhorn herd
 

I luv herfrds

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Nice looking steer there Knersie, just send him my way and we will get him in the fair for next year, looks to have the makings of Grand Champion. :D :D :D ;-) Know a young lady who would go completely nuts for him, she sure loves Herefords.
 

townfarmer

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Sensational looking calf!!

How early can you tell if a bull calf is going to be a sire prospect? Or to put it another way can a brilliant looking calf grow out into an ordinary bull? And vice versa a poor calf grow into an outstanding bull? So I guess the crux of what I'm asking is at what age do you make the irreversible decision of who keeps their testes and who doesn't?

Andrew
 

KNERSIE

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townfarmer":sw6ligfn said:
Sensational looking calf!!

How early can you tell if a bull calf is going to be a sire prospect?

I usually have a fairly good idea by the time they are 2 months old.

Or to put it another way can a brilliant looking calf grow out into an ordinary bull?

Yes, but the ordinary looking calf is much more likely to grow into an ordinary bull.

And vice versa a poor calf grow into an outstanding bull?

Why give him the chance? There was a reason he was a poor calf, either his dam didn't do him well, or he was proned to get infected by parasites or other illness, which ever way its an indication that his immune system wasn't as strong as some of his mates or he was compromised by the lack of quality of his dam. Bull prospects need to come out of outstanding cows who produce outstanding calves EVERY year. There is no point in keeping a bull intact out of an ordinary cow.

So I guess the crux of what I'm asking is at what age do you make the irreversible decision of who keeps their testes and who doesn't?

Some get castrated at birth, usually those with no eye pigment, high BW, or if the dam has poor mothering ability. The vast majority stay intact till weaning, then only the very best get to stay the rest goes with the commercial calves to the feedlot. Anyone who falls behind the rest after weaning or don't meet the minimum standards I set also gets culled.

Andrew

Breeding bulls isn't all that hard, use good cows, the best bulls in the breed and never make an excuse for any calf.
 

SRBeef

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I had a situation this past spring where there was one bull calf that looked to be much better than the others, so at the spring vet run thru (all calves about 4-5 weeks old) all others were cut, this one left whole.

Well as it turns out, a couple of the others now look much better than this one left whole. My best looking bull prospect is now a steer! I don't know if his gains were related to being cut, probably not. He was just a little slower getting started growing which is not all that bad a thing.

So the whole one will be cut at the fall run thru and it's "wait-till-next-year" on finding a good bull prospect to keep my bull's good things going.

Maybe also not such a bad thing since I have learned a lot from this year's experience and you folks here too. The problem is just managing the keeper heifers from this year, a couple of whom look outstanding.

The more I learn the more I am finding it worthwhile to not jump to early conclusions on who is a keeper and who goes to the processor.

Next year I may not cut any bull calves from my target cows in the spring but wait until fall and I can see what I have. I will cut the bull calves from my larger cows in the spring no matter what since I do not want any bull from a 1600 lb cow no matter how good he looks as I try to move to a 1200 lb herd. jmho.

Jim
 

KNERSIE

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The more I learn the more I am finding it worthwhile to not jump to early conclusions on who is a keeper and who goes to the processor.

As long as you don't try to feed an ordinary weanling into a good LOOKING bull, because you might even manage it, but you won't change the genetics.

Apart from taking the obvious culls out according to your breeding standards I see no point in castrating potential bull prospects before weaning, the same way I see no point in keeping ordinary weanlings in tact in hope that feed might change them into superstars.
 

SRBeef

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KNERSIE":2umwmj0e said:
The more I learn the more I am finding it worthwhile to not jump to early conclusions on who is a keeper and who goes to the processor.

As long as you don't try to feed an ordinary weanling into a good LOOKING bull, because you might even manage it, but you won't change the genetics.

Apart from taking the obvious culls out according to your breeding standards I see no point in castrating potential bull prospects before weaning, the same way I see no point in keeping ordinary weanlings in tact in hope that feed might change them into superstars.

Knersie,

I don't try to feed any of them into anything! They are all on the same grass they are going to see through their entire lives. They will go to grazing corn over the winter but I will to judge them prior to going to corn - when I have some intact ones to select from!

It is interesting to see how the different animals develop. When I am not looking for a bull prospect I would just as soon cut them earlier at 4-5 weeks old rather than later at weaning time. I like what I have seen so far leaving a bull calf with his mama to look after him as he heals in late spring. The spring cut steers are fully healed and growing great now.

As you suggested, I am going to keep the calves on the cows as long as possible this fall as long as the cow condition holds up. This means weaning and late cutting may not be until the middle of November. I have been told that it may be better to cut them in cooler weather....we'll see.

I am wrestling with how to keep my one bull, T21, effective for as long as possible yet keep some of his outstanding daughters as I expand beef production. So I am looking for one good bull calf from T21 and one of my target 1200 lb cows to use for the future in a modified line breeding system. In the future I'll give them as bit longer before deciding which of the candidates get cut and which stay intact. Thanks for your help. Jim
 

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