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Longhorn Clones

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Ryan

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OKay, here it goes:

To my knowledge there have been 3 Texas Longhorns cloned. 3 females. Why? for 1 trait, Long horns. 1 of the cows lost her last calf because her calf was unable to nurse off of her enormous teats. I know that breeding for 1 trait and only the single trait is bad, terrible even.
What do you cattlemen outside the Longhorn business think of people spending their money on a trait that does not have any affect at all on the actual cow or her production?

p.s. I do raise longhorns but couldnt care less about horns. to me they serve no purpose, except looks.
 

dun

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It's all about economically relevent traits. Obviously the breeder you cited has a market for animals with exceptional horns. If someone would go through the expense of having an animal cloned, it would take a pretty crummy cattleman to loose a calf for something that could be gotten around with a little effort.

dun
 

rgv4

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Was this an actual rancher that did this or is this part of the scientific research that is going on at A&M? Like the South Texas trophy whitetail buck that they cloned.
 

Ryan

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i totally agree, that is why i have another question for you:

How long does it take to tell if a beef cow has produced a calf of high enough quality to keep her around?

From what i can tell it takes about 5+ years to see how well a longhorn female will produce, because that is when her first two offspring will be 3 and 2 years of age, and that is about the time you can see if the the cow in question will pass on her desirable traits.
 

Ryan

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each of the cows was owned independetally and individually. no research group. just 3 different ranchers with extra money
 

certherfbeef

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Dickenson(sp?) in Barnesville, OH make a lot of money on those horns. I'm not saying it is right to clone on that trait but they make a killing on them.
 

dun

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Well, we frequently keep heifers from heifers. We generally know what to expect from the mother and knowing what bull and what he can do for you will tell you if the calf is worth keeping. I'm addressing strictly keeping heifers, since we cut every bull at spring workup. If the dam doesn't do the job, it would take a real powerhouse bull to make up for her short comings, and why mess with the beter then even chance that you'll be disappointed.

dun
 

Rustler9

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Actually there were four clones from the 77" horned cow named Starlight. Her owner Zeke Dameron cloned them in 2002 I believe. One of the clones was offered for sale in Ft. Worth and sold for $19,000. Starlight does have bad teats and I also wondered if that trait would be passed on. The first time Starlight was cloned was not successful but they did get the four live ones the second time. Rex Mosser bought the Starlight clone.
Rex went on to clone Days Feisty Fannie and wound up with nine live clones. Fannie beat Starlight in the Horn Showcase last November in Ft Worth with 81" tip to tip. The clones were on display at the Showcase and it was very interesting to see them. They did not all look like Fannie who is a red brindle. The clones are red, look like they will be brindle but some have white markings either on their foreheads or sides. I talked to the representative who there from the company that did the cloning. I can't remember the name of the company right off hand. He told me that everything can be cloned except the color. There is no guarantee that the clones will be the same as the donor cow, especially in a breed such as the Texas Longhorn since they have such diverse colorations.
Feisty Fannie sold for $59,000.00 at the Red McCombs sale and then they invested $19,000 each for a live clone. The rep told me that they would guarantee a live 2-3 month clone for that amount of money. I raise Longhorns myself and would love to be able to sell some of these big horned cows for big money but this cloning thing is way too rich for my blood.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Ryan":3h8fr749 said:
OKay, here it goes:

To my knowledge there have been 3 Texas Longhorns cloned. 3 females. Why? for 1 trait, Long horns. 1 of the cows lost her last calf because her calf was unable to nurse off of her enormous teats. I know that breeding for 1 trait and only the single trait is bad, terrible even.
What do you cattlemen outside the Longhorn business think of people spending their money on a trait that does not have any affect at all on the actual cow or her production?

p.s. I do raise longhorns but couldnt care less about horns. to me they serve no purpose, except looks.

Well... "I do raise longhorns but couldnt care less about horns...." Am I missing something here??? Horns sell, beef sells. ITLA Promotes horns....TLBAA advocates beef (type longhorns, that is). Or at least the TLBAA show winners seem to be more "beef type longhorns".

So...what are we saying here? That you want the Longhorn genetics but without the horns? So the hornless longhorns can sell better to the commercial producers who also apparently don't like horns????

Just some practical thoughts perhaps.... :)
 

Ryan

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I prefer the the Longhorns with more beef, correct structure, mothering ability, longevity, disease resistance, and a good disposition. Most of the animals that are being sold for, say, more than $10,000 (that seems to be the magic number at the sales lately) are missing more than 1 of these traits, many are missing most of those traits.

I understand that horns sell. however, i dont see why you would want to give up the things that a commercial producer Might go to a longhorn for, and focus on the Main thing they dont want Seems to me you are aiming at a very tight market.
 

Ryan

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Rustler9 said: Actually there were four clones from the 77" horned cow named Starlight. Her owner Zeke Dameron cloned them in 2002 I believe. One of the clones was offered for sale in Ft. Worth and sold for $19,000. Starlight does have bad teats and I also wondered if that trait would be passed on.


From the people i have talked to Starlight lost her last calf, due to inability to nurse properly.
I would love to sell some big horned cows for big money, but i realize that there are very few people willing to pay that much, and there are not that many cows in the breed that will bring that kind of money.

Personally i think the horns are a fad, just like black was in the 90's. People would spend big dollars on animals just because they were black.
I think solid, functionally, fertile, correct animals are the best way to go.
 

Rustler9

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Ryan, Starlight may very well have lost her last calf. This I have no knowledge of and I'm certainly not denying that you don't know what you're talking about. I was merely pointing out what I know about the clones. I do know that they raised four from Starlight and nine from Fannie.
Right now the trend in Longhorn seems to be horns-that's what is selling. I do also believe that alot of other good qualities will be sacrificed to produce big horns. I see alot of small cows with huge horns, not alot to offer commercial beef producers. I have some of both on my farm. I have some Peeler and Phillips (Texas Ranger) bloodlines as well as some Butler and Butler blend cattle. Butler cattle have big horns and produce big horns more than the other bloodlines. I want to have cows with big horns as well as good, beefy conformation that milk well. I very often get beat in shows because my cow goes up against a big beefy Longhorn cow with no more horn than a Horned Hereford for example (not knocking Herefords here folks-I like them). I was in a general TLBAA meeting in February and one of the topics of discussion was the need to have more big horned cattle in the show ring. Show cattle (Longhorns) generally don't bring much in a Longhorn sale due to the lack of horn. That's just my two cents.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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I didn't mean to suggest WE were only chasing horn. Just that SOME chase horn others chase body.

OUR breeeding stock are chasing BOTH horn and body, along with excellent milking, excellent calving ease, and all the other traits that are important to both Longhorn and Commercial people. At present, our cows are full-bodied (but not size FF silicone enhanced bra) and our calves are being produced for these traits. Some traditional ranchers in our area have bought and been impressed with our bull calves & yearling bulls.

No, our Longhorns are not "tight-bodied" like they have been pumped up with air or steroids ... lol. However, they are full and healthy looking while retaining the traditional "hooks and pins" historic for the breed.

We feel the Texas Longhorn should "look" like a Longhorn as well as have a great body and all the other special traits. To have a fat cow that has minimal horn ... well...you know the rest of the story.

;-)
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Rustler9":1h6y3l6m said:
Ryan, Starlight may very well have lost her last calf. This I have no knowledge of and I'm certainly not denying that you don't know what you're talking about. I was merely pointing out what I know about the clones. I do know that they raised four from Starlight and nine from Fannie.
Right now the trend in Longhorn seems to be horns-that's what is selling. I do also believe that alot of other good qualities will be sacrificed to produce big horns. I see alot of small cows with huge horns, not alot to offer commercial beef producers. I have some of both on my farm. I have some Peeler and Phillips (Texas Ranger) bloodlines as well as some Butler and Butler blend cattle. Butler cattle have big horns and produce big horns more than the other bloodlines. I want to have cows with big horns as well as good, beefy conformation that milk well. I very often get beat in shows because my cow goes up against a big beefy Longhorn cow with no more horn than a Horned Hereford for example (not knocking Herefords here folks-I like them). I was in a general TLBAA meeting in February and one of the topics of discussion was the need to have more big horned cattle in the show ring. Show cattle (Longhorns) generally don't bring much in a Longhorn sale due to the lack of horn. That's just my two cents.

Agree Rustler! If breeders seek homoginization of traits and appearance, then we will move toward "all cattle looking the same." You can have a big fat Longhorn with marginal horns, or, you can have a big fat Longhorn with fantastic horns. This is what makes the World go around and gives something for everyone!
 

Ryan

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I know I said that I dont care much for horns, However at the ranch i work for we have a young cow, she was second in her class as a junior at the TLBAA World Show, 1st in class her senior year, and in the July just before she turned three in september i believe she had 58" tip to tip and 65"+ total horn, both of which would have won her class at the Horn Showcase that fall. We also have a cow that was in the Hall of Fame this past season that won numerous shows that has right at 50" at 3yrs...So i do think that there are and can be more high quality animals with terrific horns. I just think that you have to be careful when you try select for the one trait, and not sacrifice too much of the other traits.
 

TheBullLady

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I'm sure this will stir up a hornets net.. but I've always thought a lot of the Longhorn buyers at the big sales are those wonderful "city folk" that I've been selling ranches to for years. They both have "city" jobs, make a lot of $$, and buy them primarily to have them on their "ranch" so they can be the envy of their neighbors.

Obviously there are posters on this board that are not in this group, but they are also the ones that probably wouldn't spend that kind of $$$ on a cow simply because of the lenght of her horns.
 

greenwillowherefords

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TheBullLady":1wru7qxq said:
I'm sure this will stir up a hornets net.. but I've always thought a lot of the Longhorn buyers at the big sales are those wonderful "city folk" that I've been selling ranches to for years. They both have "city" jobs, make a lot of $$, and buy them primarily to have them on their "ranch" so they can be the envy of their neighbors.

Obviously there are posters on this board that are not in this group, but they are also the ones that probably wouldn't spend that kind of $$$ on a cow simply because of the lenght of her horns.

The nicest looking longhorns I know of belong to the owners of a pipeyard, right next door to the plant, and boy is it a fancy spread! These cattle are thick and beefy, too!
 

Rustler9

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Just thought I would throw this in regarding those nine clones born last July. Inside the cover of The Texas Longhorn Trails September issue is a whole page taken out by the Mossers who own Feisty Fannie and her nine clones. There is a data sheet with the birth dates of each clone ranging from 7/9/03 to 7/26/03. There was a set of twins born on 7/15/03. All the others were single births. It is broken down by birth weight for each calf, one year weight, horn length on 12/1/03 for each calf, then horn length at 6 months, 9 months and one year.
The birth weight for the first and last calves born was the highest at 92.4 lbs for calf # 1 and 83.6 lbs for the last calf. I thought that this was interesting as the average birth weight for a Longhorn calf is around 60 lbs. I wonder if this heavy weight was due to the recipient cow who carried the calf? I think they use pretty much any breed of cow to carry the embryo. I believe the rep for Cyagra (yep, I finally remembered the name of the company who cloned them) told me that they use alot of Holstein cows etc.
The horn length for the calves at one year old varied from 29.125" to 35.25" with the longest horned heifer being the first one born. I just thought that this was interesting even though I personally don't ever plan to do any cloning even if and when I hit the Lotto. I do agree with the Bull Lady that the money people are the ones who throw their cash around to buy the biggest horned genetics instead of raising their own. I hope to breed my own and enjoy the process along the way. Anyway, probably enough said on the clones but I just thought that you guys who have been following these posts might find this interesting.
 

ollie

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How can anyone whose goal is to improve upon a particular animals traits find any answers in cloning? It would be boreing indeed if all you could achieve is own the best like someone else did before you.
 

dun

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ollie":1fwr93br said:
How can anyone whose goal is to improve upon a particular animals traits find any answers in cloning? It would be boreing indeed if all you could achieve is own the best like someone else did before you.

I've pndered the same question. I actaully asked it once. Don't think I got many answers that seemed valid to me.
About the only way to me that would be beneficial is if you hade a steer that was really exceptional you could clone it and get more exceptional steers, or cows or bulls. Or clone a cow and get a whole bunch of cows that could be mated to a specific bull to generate really "super" offspring.
Still doesn't make a lick of sense to me, but the longer I'm around the less I understand why somethings are done.

dun
 
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