LH x LIMFLEX vs BALANCER

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Jafruech

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Edited for Clarity-

I have some 50/50 Ang/LH cows and some 75/25 ANG/LH heifers out of Hoover Dam and similar Angus bulls (see attached pics). The calf crop is consistently solid black and polled when running a homo blk angus bull on them. I am retaining the heifers and selling the bull calves to try and grow.

I have a neighbor who runs some nice limflex cattle and offered to let me use his bull this year If I wanted to(Attached pictures of his limflex). I have another neighbor who offered to let me use his Balancer bull on them. Anyone have experience with this cross and the resulting phenotype?

Yes I know there's a lot of LH haters out there, and what works for me and my goals doesn't fit the need of all producers.

Traits of the current cows I want to maintain in the crossbreed:

-Efficiency
-BW/CALVING Ease
-Disease/parasite resistance
-Maternal (These cows are incredibly good mamas and I want to keep it that way)
-Disposition (The ease of handling and working these cows and their calves amazes me)
-Ability to grow and maintain on prairie forage with little supplementation
-Milk
-Medium Frame
-Adapatability/Hardiness
-Longevity

Traits I would like to improve:

-Fleshing
-Muscle
-Marbling

I realize that I'm going to decrease some of those traits by adding muscle and fleshing. I'm not trying to go to an extreme in either... Losing some and adding some.

IF using a LIMFLEX or Balancer bull on my cows would increase those traits while not taking significantly away from the others then that would be a long term decision at that point to keep using them.

If I absolutely hated the cross I would treat that as a terminal cross and sell the heifers and bull calves.

My original plan (and still is my long term plan since this is just an idea that came up today) is to AI to PCC bulls and then buy one of their bulls for cleanup as well, and to keep buying bred cows/heifers from where I got these from.

I can always run good angus bull on them this year as well and stick to that long term plan, but with the offer of a "free trial" with the Limflex bull the neighbor has (and the balancer another neighbor has) I figured it was worth asking on here to see if anyone had any experience with them, and if so and the cross achieved those objectives, adjusting my plan accordingly. If it's something I'm going to do, it needs to be now before I grow to a point where it isn't practical to make those kinds of changes.

What my neighbor does works well for him, and he grass finishes his beef and sells direct to individuals here. While I might finish one or 2 for myself/family/friends, I plan on selling stockers/feeders at this point until I grow to where I want to be. My goal is to keep my inputs as low as possible while maintaining quality production.

I will probably stay with what I know works (using PCC bulls and AI), but I figured it was worth a shot to reach out on here to see if there was any added benefit to these crosses.

I don't (and will not) use hormones or antibiotics. I am looking at getting the "natural beef" classification since I pretty much am doing that anyway.




Neighbor's Limflex



Some of my Cows





 

Boot Jack Bulls

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I have no experience with using either composite you mentioned on LHs, but here a my observations....
1.Many of the traits you want to keep are antagonistic to those you want to add...
2. Using a Lim-flex or a Balancer, then adding PCC breeding seems like a plan to get exactly no where....
You may need to fine tune your short and long-term goals just a bit and have a more clear idea of where you intend to end up (maybe you already have, but your post doesn't really convey this).
 
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Jafruech

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Boot Jack Bulls":3et3cmqd said:
I have no experience with using either composite you mentioned on LHs, but here a my observations....
1.Many of the traits you want to keep are antagonistic to those you want to add...
2. Using a Lim-flex or a Balancer, then adding PCC breeding seems like a plan to get exactly no where....
You may need to fine tune your short and long-term goals just a bit and have a more clear idea of where you intend to end up (maybe you already have, but your post doesn't really convey this).

Reading back through what I wrote I can see where you got that (sorry it's been a long day).

I realize that I'm going to decrease some of those traits by adding muscle and fleshing. I'm not trying to go to an extreme in either... Losing some and adding some.

If using LIMFLEX or Balancer bulls on my cows would increase those traits while not taking significantly away from the others then that would be a long term decision at that point to keep using them.

If I absolutely hated the cross I would treat that as a terminal cross and sell the heifers and bull calves.

My original plan (and still is my long term plan) is to AI to PCC bulls and then buy one of their bulls for cleanup as well, and to keep buying bred cows/heifers from where I got these from.

I can always run good angus bull on them this year as well and stick to that long term plan, but with the offer of a "free trial" with the Limflex bull the neighbor has (and the balancer another neighbor has) I figured it was worth asking on here to see if anyone had any experience with them, and if so and the cross achieved those objectives, adjusting my plan accordingly. If it's something I'm going to do, it needs to be now before I grow to a point where it isn't practical to make those kinds of changes
 

Son of Butch

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I don't understand what "trying out" bulls mean.
Your neighbor has good cattle and faces same local challenges as your cattle.
My suggestion would be to narrow your focus, follow your neighbor's lead and do what he is doing.
Building a good working relationship with a neighbor is always a good idea and if he is running a successful operation;
Why wouldn't you?

I see you added info since I wrote this.....
 
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Jafruech

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Son of Butch":1hemdqow said:
I don't understand what "trying out" bulls mean.
Your neighbor has good cattle and faces same local challenges as your cattle.
My suggestion would be to narrow your focus, follow your neighbor's lead and do what he is doing.
Building a good working relationship with a neighbor is always a good idea and if he is running a successful operation;
Why wouldn't you?

I see you added info since I wrote this.....

I went back and edited my original post for clarity. Had a toddler who was trying to "help" me type when I was writing it originally and I missed some points that you have brought up. Been a long dang day.
 

Ky hills

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Just my opinion and most times that ain't worth much, but I would not use PCC bulls. I don't know what your local markets like but around here those short calves would be heavily docked. With the cows you have being longhorn I think the Limflex or Balancer idea is ok. From what I could see those LH Angus cows you have look pretty good, I would not want to go smaller with the bulls, a mainstream Angus bull would give better results than the small framed ones.
 

Bullitt

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Either the Lim-Flex or Balancer bull should give you bigger calves from your Angus X Longhorn cows. Have you thought about splitting the herd into two groups and using the Lim-Flex bull on one group of cows and the Balancer bull on the other group of cows? This will allow you to compare the calves and easily see which produces the best results.

If it were me I would keep getting the 50-50 Angus X Longhorn cows for my herd and I would breed those cows to a purebred continental bull like a Limousin or Simmental. You probably want a black bull in order to keep that black hair. This will produce a good three-way cross, which is the best for cattle growth.

But I understand that the free use of bulls is a very good option.

Lim-Flex is a Limousin-Angus hybrid. Balancer cattle are 25 to 75% Gelbvieh with the balance Angus. I think you should get some good beef calves with either option. But you will not get a three-way cross since these are hybrid bulls. I do not know what kind of momma cows these crosses would produce since both these hybrid bulls have varying percentages of breeds mixed in them. I think you would probably be best off selling all these calves.
 

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