Just starting out - Registered Angus

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Conagher

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Howdy All, Great Board!

I'm just starting out to build a registered angus herd. I thought I would list some of my preliminary goals and solicate feedback. All comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Quality vs. Quantity: I'm not looking to get very big (probably less than 100 head) and want to focus on quality as a seedstock producer. How do you define quality?

Breeding for EPD's: Related to the quality item, should I focus on a breeding program that continually strives to acheived top 25%, 10%, or 1% of the angus breed? And then cull based on common sence (disposition, body score, reproductiveness, etc.)

Alliances: As a seedstock producer, what alliance should I be involved in (local angus assoc. such as ALOT, TAA, etc.)? What about Seedstock Plus, any pro's/con's? Other seedstock ranches?

Thanks,
Conagher
 

Frankie

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Conagher":1lfg8izn said:
Howdy All, Great Board!

I'm just starting out to build a registered angus herd. I thought I would list some of my preliminary goals and solicate feedback. All comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

Quality vs. Quantity: I'm not looking to get very big (probably less than 100 head) and want to focus on quality as a seedstock producer. How do you define quality?

Focus on quality is good. In the Angus breed, there are show cattle and there are performance cattle. Sometimes they're the same, but generally they aren't. So decide first of all which you want to raise, show or performance. The Texas Angus Assn has a good sale in February, The Stars of Texas sale. They seem to do well. They used to also have a fall sale that was more performance oriented, but they discontinued that one. As a minimum, I define quality as a cow that produces a good calf every year and breeds back for the next one. But you should understand that what you like isn't necessarily what someone else is looking for.

Breeding for EPD's: Related to the quality item, should I focus on a breeding program that continually strives to acheived top 25%, 10%, or 1% of the angus breed? And then cull based on common sence (disposition, body score, reproductiveness, etc.)

In the performance world, EPDs are important. I'm not interested in buying a cow with EPDs that are less than my herd average (and they're pretty good). There's a very good market for Angus cattle in your part of the world, but "better" cattle will generally bring more money. If you're involved in the show aspect, EPDs aren't as particular of a concern.

Alliances: As a seedstock producer, what alliance should I be involved in (local angus assoc. such as ALOT, TAA, etc.)? What about Seedstock Plus, any pro's/con's? Other seedstock ranches?

Well, ALOT is not an alliance. It's an "association" of smaller Angus breeders who pool their cattle four times a year to have sales. There's also the East Texas AA group over in the same area. I'd encourage you to attend some of the ALOT and East Texas sales and to join the TAA group. TAA has a website texasangus.com (no www) that you might browse. And there's a mid-Texas group, too. Somewhere, sometime, you'll need to sell some females. ALOT and East Texas offer you that opportunity.

IMO, one of the best ways to identify good cattle is to performance test your bulls. The Beef Development Center of Texas (I think that's what they call it now) has several tests and at least one sale per year (texasbulltest.com ; again no www.). Producing bulls that do well on those tests will help establish your breeding operation. As a small seedstock breeder, your best customers are commercial cattlemen so you should learn what you can about his wants and needs. Good luck...
 
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Conagher

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Thanks Frankie, I greatly appreciate your input.

I think I want to focus on performance vs. show at this time. If there is a way to combine them later that may be an option, otherwise performance will be the priority.

A follow-up questions on EPDs: Based on your experience, do EPDs take priority over specific bloodlines (EXT for example)? In order words, if you produce a bull/heifer with great EPDs but not necessarily a "mainstream" bloodline, which would sell best? Will the answer to the question change depending on focus of show vs. performance?

Actually, I attended the last ALOT sell on the 14th. Where is the East Texas AA group located?

Thanks!
 

Frankie

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Conagher":1cy8joi8 said:
Thanks Frankie, I greatly appreciate your input.

I think I want to focus on performance vs. show at this time. If there is a way to combine them later that may be an option, otherwise performance will be the priority.

For a small breeder, you might find combining the two is difficult. But everyone is in a different situation.

A follow-up questions on EPDs: Based on your experience, do EPDs take priority over specific bloodlines (EXT for example)? In order words, if you produce a bull/heifer with great EPDs but not necessarily a "mainstream" bloodline, which would sell best? Will the answer to the question change depending on focus of show vs. performance?

Yes and no and maybe. Our experience is that you can sell a good Angus bull to commercial cattlemen no matter what the bloodlines. If you have performance information on the bull, that's even better. But the market for registered heifers/cows is other registered breeders and they tend to discount cattle sired by "unknown" or lesser known bulls. And half the calves born on my place are heifers. That's why we have a total AI program, at least at this point in time.

Actually, I attended the last ALOT sell on the 14th. Where is the East Texas AA group located?

Thanks!

I was there, too. It's about a four hour drive for us, so we got there just before the sale and left pretty quickly afterwards.

I think they have the female sales at Marshall, TX (?), but don't hold me to that. Next time you log in, check your inbox here at cattletoday. I'm sending you the names and phone numbers of some people who have been involved with the East Texes group. Even if they're no longer involved, they can probably point you to someone who is.
 
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Conagher

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Thanks Frankie - for the PM as well.

You mention you have a total AI program; I see that as the most effective way for me to start out as well. In your experience, which AI protocol works best? Because I also have a full-time job, I'm looking at the CO-Synch + CIDR TAI: any experience with this method?

Bull Choice: I'm looking at using a simple EPD averaging technique of Sire and Dam to drive offspring EPD's to the top of the breed. A preliminary review indicates GAR Cimarron 7AN250 on my current cows could produce offspring with all Production and Maternal EPD's at the top 10%. Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Any comments on Cimarron? His acc. are not real high yet - Sire was Rito 616 4B20 6807 and Dam was GAR New Design 2340?

Thanks!
 

Farminlund

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I tried to get some from my Selct man the last time he was at the farm(last month), but due to his newness with Select & lack of demand, he did not have any. He has little/low accuracy so risk is high (some change tremendously - at least in the past), but given his sire is 6I6, I feel that the birthweight portion is likely not to come back & bite (that's why I was looking to get some, as another heifer sire). I assume that is why you are interested in him - to use on heifers.
 

Frankie

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Conagher":3dr3xaol said:
Thanks Frankie - for the PM as well.

You mention you have a total AI program; I see that as the most effective way for me to start out as well. In your experience, which AI protocol works best? Because I also have a full-time job, I'm looking at the CO-Synch + CIDR TAI: any experience with this method?

We have used CIDRS, but generally just do a lot of heat checking during breeding season. Sorry, I can't help you there.

Bull Choice: I'm looking at using a simple EPD averaging technique of Sire and Dam to drive offspring EPD's to the top of the breed. A preliminary review indicates GAR Cimarron 7AN250 on my current cows could produce offspring with all Production and Maternal EPD's at the top 10%. Does this sound like a reasonable approach? Any comments on Cimarron? His acc. are not real high yet - Sire was Rito 616 4B20 6807 and Dam was GAR New Design 2340?

Thanks!

I looked up GAR Cimarron's AAA # -14222595. Maybe someone else has experience with him because we haven't used him or seen any cattle by him.
Are you planning to use him on heifers? Looking at his pedigree, I wouldn't expect him to bring a lot of muscle to the table, but calving ease, carcass, and feed efficiency should be good. Without looking at your cows, it's hard to make any kind of recommendation. Pay attention to the mature height and weight EPDs on both your cows and the bulls you use and decide how big do you want your cows to be? Ask your Select rep if he knows of any Cimarron calves on the ground that you can see or talk to the owner about. We use mostly ABS bulls because my AI tech went to school with them and they come fill the tank, so I'm not very familiar with Select's bulls. We started using some Genex bulls, too, because it's fairly easy to get semen on them the last couple of years. Sorry I can't be more help....
 
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Conagher

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Good point Farminlund. I was making an assumption if it was in their catalog that it was available, maybe a bad assumption. They do have him listed as new.

I was looking to use him on heifers for the calving ease, but also on some cows to bring down the BW and lift the WW and YW on their offspring - does this sound reasonable?

Thanks!
 

Farminlund

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Conagher":b3buoh5b said:
Good point Farminlund. I was making an assumption if it was in their catalog that it was available, maybe a bad assumption. They do have him listed as new.

I was looking to use him on heifers for the calving ease, but also on some cows to bring down the BW and lift the WW and YW on their offspring - does this sound reasonable?

Thanks!

Yes, but to do that, I would use sires with more accurate EPD's. My plan was to try him on a few heifers & see how he did. If you wanted to bring down some birthweight but not specifically targeting heifers, I'd look at WAR Alliance 9126 6006 or B/R Bew Frontier 095, or SAF Directive, all have low birthweights with fairly high accuracies - or even Rito 1/2 of 2536 Rito 6I6 & my favorite, although a bit old, TC Dividend 963 (best bull I've bred to in ~20 yrs, as far as cows are considered - only stopped because I had too many in the herd).
 
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Conagher

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Another great point Farminlund. Thanks for the advice, I will look at the bulls you recommended.

Thanks!
 

bwranch

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If you're looking at Select Sires, why not just use 6I6? It's a personal thing, but I was not impressed with the conformation of Cimarron. Looks a little short bodied to me. Just starting out, why would you go with a low accuracy bull? YW and WW are a little higher, but 6I6 does some things pretty well and there is not, in my opinion, enough difference in the epd's to warrant using the low accuracy son. I like the energy # of 6I6 (+14) vs the son (-2?). Besides, you're going to have to sell on average at least half of the progeny. If you want to be seedstock, most of your market is going to be bulls (again, my opinion). Better to try to sell a bull with a name sire.

Lee
 

preston39

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Conager,

In addition to Farminlund's excellent advice..you may wish to look at a new objective bull .... 3j15. He looks good. We just missed buying him at the Quaker Hill sale in your neck of the woods...he sold for $13,000. and has a lot of promise. Charles Ross is doing some nice work there. We were out bid a little by Sequoyah Farms in Arkansas. He is currently being collected and is/will be available soon.
 
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Conagher

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Thanks bwranch and preston39. Good input and I greatly appreciated it. As mentioned, I'm just starting out so I've got a lot to learn. This looks like a great place to ask those beginner questions and get seasoned feedback.

Another beginner's question: If breeders shy away because of low accuracy, how do new bull's like Cimarron and others gain accuracy?

Maybe I'm thinking of it wrong, but it seems a little like the chicken-and-the-egg.

Thanks!
 

bwranch

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It's a size thing, I think. If you've got 400 mamas, you can afford to experiment some. If you've got 25, you're less likely to take risks. Also get a lot of help from those good ole commercial herds and AHIR data. By the way, we're using TC Advantage, 878, and Power Design on our heifers this year. In our niche, we sell most of our bulls private treaty to small, commercial guys with 10 - 50 head. We on farm test our bulls, track feed and gain, ultrasound, etc. All the data is availiable but when the buyers show up, no matter what they say they want beforehand, they walk right to the biggest, most muscled up son-of-a-bull in the pen and say "I want that one."

Lee
 

dun

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Conagher":24uxs9ty said:
If breeders shy away because of low accuracy, how do new bull's like Cimarron and others gain accuracy?

The bull studs have ranches/farms that use a lot of young sire semen and get it very cheap. They collect the data and provide it on the young bulls and that starts getting their accuracys up. Plus the owner will use him and frequently sell a large amount at a discount to get more data.
You will also frequently see a young bull in the catalog that disappears after a short time. He didn't work out so they get rid of them.

dun
 

Daybreak

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Howdy,

I have used many different sych methods. The one which I am sticking with is called the CIDR Co-Synch

I modify that by breeding on standing heat after the CIDR's are pulled. And process the rest at a timed A.I. of 66 hours. It has worked well with cows and heifers.

Sires= You can sit down and consult with your semen rep. (ABS Global, Genex, Select Sires, Accelrated Genetics, etc...) To start out as a seedstock producer... the commercial guys buying your bulls do not look heavy at the numbers. Just like what BWRanch said. They come in and pick the biggest one there.

The old school method of tried and true will work better for you. It's a risk to use such a untested sire. You will want higher accuracy sires. Also, each sire has different advantages. It will depend a lot with the cow you are putting it to.
 
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Conagher

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Thanks everyone for your great inputs. And by looking at the number of views, I suspect you're helping more than just me with your comments.

bwranch & Daybreak, I understand what your saying about the commercial bull buyers wanting the big, muscled-up bulls. However, assuming half of the offspring will be heifers that I would want to sell to other seedstock producers (at least the ones I don't keep), I would assume they would pay much more attention to EPD numbers. I guess it's just a balancing game.

Daybreak, thanks for the input on the synch methods. The CIDR Co-Synch methods likes like it will work well for me. However, based on various articles I've read, timed A.I. varies from 24 to 84 hrs. I guess I'll just have to experiment to see what works best in my herd.

Thanks again everone!
 

bwranch

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Just a couple of final comments about what works for us (sometimes). When we sell that big, muscled up bull, we know that our name is going with him. Therefore we strive to sell quality in all aspects, even though a big % of the guys buying the bull may be only looking at frame score and birth weight. We accomplish this by strict selection and using the best genetics we can find. Don't worry about the 50% heifer crop, good genetics is good genetics, no matter the sex of the calf.

Lee
 
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