Opinions needed, especially form those with Brown Swiss experience

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Got a call last night from an old friend, that has a very nice Highbrow Hickory bay stallion, and has about 20 cutting bred mares. He sells the weanlings every year...most sold at birth. 2020 he didn't sell them all, and he had a nice colt that was cryptorchid, so he had to geld him. He called because he has started the colt and feels like it has potential for reined cowhorse, and wanted to know if I would come to his place (about 10 miles away) and work with him and see what I thought. He is also the breeding manager, their AI tech... for a large Charolais operation. Apparently, they had, or have, a couple of 6 figure cows they have been flushing and raising the calves off of recip cows. 16 of them, 1 is half Brown Swiss and half Braunveih, and the rest 3/4 Braunvieh and 1/4 Brown Swiss , He said the youngest is 10-11 yrs old and the oldest about 14-15. I asked why they used those cows, and he said they like the recip to raise the caves, and a pure dairy cow doesn't work out for them. Too much milk unless they also milked it, and too much udder problems.. so that is why they like the Braunvieh crosses.

Anyway, to get to the point, he said they were done flushing these 2 donor cows, and the calves were going to be weaned last of November or 1st of December, when ever each calf is 200 something days old. I think he said 205 or 210...I don't remember. He said those recip cows weigh 1500-1700, and they were going to take them to the sale after all the caves were weaned, and sell them as weigh cows. These cows are open. He said they figured about .40 cents a pound, so they' d get $600 to $680 each, figured averageing $650..or about $10k. He said " If you want them I'd take $9k." I said if I thought they could breed and have another calf, I would breed them to a Brahma and try for some nice replacement heifers, and THEN take them to the sale. I told him I was about done with cows...just gonna buy and sell, but if he would take $500 each I would think about it. I was just kidding really. I don't think I would want to risk $8k on them. We then spent about another hour talking about cutting horses and the election.

Well this morning. he called me back. He said tell ya what I will do. You work that colt and get him ready to compete, and I will sell you those cows for $6k! I will AI them with sexed polled Brahma semen for you. I am tempted, but have some questions and need some opinions. I guess he is going to pay the owners the other $3k..I didn't ask. For $3k, he could send the colt to a winning, professional cutting horse/reining trainer for 4 months, but for some reason he wants me to work the horse.

These cows calved in April and May, and weren't bred back. Reckon it has been too long for them to breed back now? Reckon a 15 year old Brown Swiss cross can even conceive and raise a calf? He says he can get them all bred and they will have heifers. Now he is like me...a horse trader and bass fishermen, and we may sometimes "embellish the narrative" a bit. :)
I figure if 75% of them take, I am looking at 12 calves. If 80% of them are heifers, I am looking at 9-10 heifers...best case scenario. Today I know I could get $1000-$1200 for a Brahma x Braunvieh/Brown Swiss heifer, but don't know what they would bring in 2024.

I called the man I found the 80 Brahma heifers for to see if he wanted them, because I really don't have a pasture for them up here, and sold most of my hay already except for a few square bales I kept for my horses. He said no, but I could bring them down there...he has plenty of pasture and hay. The cows are 100% healthy. they are vetted and vaccinated, etc., the same as their high-dollar cows are. I told him I had to let the man know this week, and he said: "Al, I am going to go ahead and send you the $5k I am going to pay you for buying that Brahma herd Monday". Damn it!! Starting after the 15th, I will be going down to quail and rabbit hunt about every weekend, and his place is about 15 minutes out of my way, on the way down. so I can carry those cows down there one weekend after he gets them ,AI'ed.


So, tie up $6k, plus my time working the horse ( which is the best part of the deal for me...this is what I LOVE to do) for 18 mos, to maybe get a $9k return? I mean, hell, might get 16 $1000 heifers, but I doubt it. And I could still sell those cows for whatever they'd bring after weaning in 2024.

Are the cows too old? What would YOU do? Y'all talk me out of it! LOL
 
10 to 12 years old is the sweet spot for me. After that things get less reliable. But the cross is gold, and as long as they'll breed.
I just thought I had read or heard that dairy cows don't hold up as well or as long as beef breeds. I think I am going to pull the trigger. Gonna see if I get anymore comments on here from people who have fooled with them. With the way my luck runs, and considering the last few things lately have worked out great, money wise, I am worried I am due for a crash and burn! LOL
 
I just thought I had read or heard that dairy cows don't hold up as well or as long as beef breeds. I think I am going to pull the trigger. Gonna see if I get anymore comments on here from people who have fooled with them. With the way my luck runs, and considering the last few things lately have worked out great, money wise, I am worried I am due for a crash and burn! LOL
Straight dairy have issues related to staying productive on the DAIRY industry. The huge udders have suspension problems, they get mastitis until it's chronic, and as they age they may give less milk. Age brings other issues too, like arthritis and hoof problems.

But a good beef cross pretty much fixes all these issues, and just using them as a beef cow is beneficial to their longevity. Still, older cows are older cows. As mentioned several times I specialized in replacement heifers and bought older cows to raise them from. They do much better than most people give them credit for... but you have to watch them closer than younger cows. If you are looking to raise heifers a good 10/12 year old cow has proven her worth in the real world and after getting two or three calves they bring just as much as what you paid for them.
 
Got a call last night from an old friend, that has a very nice Highbrow Hickory bay stallion, and has about 20 cutting bred mares. He sells the weanlings every year...most sold at birth. 2020 he didn't sell them all, and he had a nice colt that was cryptorchid, so he had to geld him. He called because he has started the colt and feels like it has potential for reined cowhorse, and wanted to know if I would come to his place (about 10 miles away) and work with him and see what I thought. He is also the breeding manager, their AI tech... for a large Charolais operation. Apparently, they had, or have, a couple of 6 figure cows they have been flushing and raising the calves off of recip cows. 16 of them, 1 is half Brown Swiss and half Braunveih, and the rest 3/4 Braunvieh and 1/4 Brown Swiss , He said the youngest is 10-11 yrs old and the oldest about 14-15. I asked why they used those cows, and he said they like the recip to raise the caves, and a pure dairy cow doesn't work out for them. Too much milk unless they also milked it, and too much udder problems.. so that is why they like the Braunvieh crosses.

Anyway, to get to the point, he said they were done flushing these 2 donor cows, and the calves were going to be weaned last of November or 1st of December, when ever each calf is 200 something days old. I think he said 205 or 210...I don't remember. He said those recip cows weigh 1500-1700, and they were going to take them to the sale after all the caves were weaned, and sell them as weigh cows. These cows are open. He said they figured about .40 cents a pound, so they' d get $600 to $680 each, figured averageing $650..or about $10k. He said " If you want them I'd take $9k." I said if I thought they could breed and have another calf, I would breed them to a Brahma and try for some nice replacement heifers, and THEN take them to the sale. I told him I was about done with cows...just gonna buy and sell, but if he would take $500 each I would think about it. I was just kidding really. I don't think I would want to risk $8k on them. We then spent about another hour talking about cutting horses and the election.

Well this morning. he called me back. He said tell ya what I will do. You work that colt and get him ready to compete, and I will sell you those cows for $6k! I will AI them with sexed polled Brahma semen for you. I am tempted, but have some questions and need some opinions. I guess he is going to pay the owners the other $3k..I didn't ask. For $3k, he could send the colt to a winning, professional cutting horse/reining trainer for 4 months, but for some reason he wants me to work the horse.

These cows calved in April and May, and weren't bred back. Reckon it has been too long for them to breed back now? Reckon a 15 year old Brown Swiss cross can even conceive and raise a calf? He says he can get them all bred and they will have heifers. Now he is like me...a horse trader and bass fishermen, and we may sometimes "embellish the narrative" a bit. :)
I figure if 75% of them take, I am looking at 12 calves. If 80% of them are heifers, I am looking at 9-10 heifers...best case scenario. Today I know I could get $1000-$1200 for a Brahma x Braunvieh/Brown Swiss heifer, but don't know what they would bring in 2024.

I called the man I found the 80 Brahma heifers for to see if he wanted them, because I really don't have a pasture for them up here, and sold most of my hay already except for a few square bales I kept for my horses. He said no, but I could bring them down there...he has plenty of pasture and hay. The cows are 100% healthy. they are vetted and vaccinated, etc., the same as their high-dollar cows are. I told him I had to let the man know this week, and he said: "Al, I am going to go ahead and send you the $5k I am going to pay you for buying that Brahma herd Monday". Damn it!! Starting after the 15th, I will be going down to quail and rabbit hunt about every weekend, and his place is about 15 minutes out of my way, on the way down. so I can carry those cows down there one weekend after he gets them ,AI'ed.


So, tie up $6k, plus my time working the horse ( which is the best part of the deal for me...this is what I LOVE to do) for 18 mos, to maybe get a $9k return? I mean, hell, might get 16 $1000 heifers, but I doubt it. And I could still sell those cows for whatever they'd bring after weaning in 2024.

Are the cows too old? What would YOU do? Y'all talk me out of it! LOL
U won't get any "no don't do that!" from me.....
I love a good game!

But I want pictures when the calves start coming!
 
Considering all that you mentioned, I think they would be a good bet. Since he is going to breed them, what do you really have to lose? They are worth more than .50 / lb for beef around here... and since they are a swiss/braunvieh which is basically a beef swiss anyway. they ought to make good milk and be able to raise one more calf for you. But they shouldn't "overmilk" at this age so the calves ought to just get along fine. I agree, get them bred, check for opens, sell them, and then see how the rest do with the calves.
 
Thanks for the comments, everyone. I called him last night and told him I wanted them, and told him I was getting a check to cover them this coming week if he could wait. He said " Al, 1 have known you 40 years, and your word is good as gold with me. You tell me you are going to get them, and I will go ahead and start AI'ing them, and you can pay me after I have them all bred and you come get them". So, I am meeting him later this morning at his barn to look at that colt then we gonna ride out to the farm where those cows are. Y'all are right...just about no way to lose. 16 cows averaging 1600 pounds for $6k. Say 75% of them don't breed. Say the market gets waaay down on slaughter cows, and they bring 25 cents a pound. 12 of them at $400 each would be $4800. Say for some reason the 4 that do breed end up with bull calves. I wean them at 6 mos at 500 lbs, and they only bring $1 a pound. That's another $2k, so I am at $6800 and still have 4 cows to sell. The client with the 80 brahmas is going to feed them what his heifers eat, and worm, vaccinate, treat, etc, right along with his. Of course I will be down there anyhow when he works his cows. He has Bahia and bermuda pastures, and hundreds of bales of bermuda and peanut hay. So, no inputs unless one of them needs a vet for something. Well, the true cost will have to reflect how much time I will have to spend on the colt, too, but I still think I will come out ahead.
 
Thanks for the comments, everyone. I called him last night and told him I wanted them, and told him I was getting a check to cover them this coming week if he could wait. He said " Al, 1 have known you 40 years, and your word is good as gold with me. You tell me you are going to get them, and I will go ahead and start AI'ing them, and you can pay me after I have them all bred and you come get them". So, I am meeting him later this morning at his barn to look at that colt then we gonna ride out to the farm where those cows are. Y'all are right...just about no way to lose. 16 cows averaging 1600 pounds for $6k. Say 75% of them don't breed. Say the market gets waaay down on slaughter cows, and they bring 25 cents a pound. 12 of them at $400 each would be $4800. Say for some reason the 4 that do breed end up with bull calves. I wean them at 6 mos at 500 lbs, and they only bring $1 a pound. That's another $2k, so I am at $6800 and still have 4 cows to sell. The client with the 80 brahmas is going to feed them what his heifers eat, and worm, vaccinate, treat, etc, right along with his. Of course I will be down there anyhow when he works his cows. He has Bahia and bermuda pastures, and hundreds of bales of bermuda and peanut hay. So, no inputs unless one of them needs a vet for something. Well, the true cost will have to reflect how much time I will have to spend on the colt, too, but I still think I will come out ahead.
I knew ya wouldn't be out of cows long!
🙂
 
Working a good colt is its own reward. I almost felt guilty charging to do something I loved.
Just got back from evaluating the colt. Had to come back here to the house and get my trailer. I am bringing him here to work with!!! Lot of things we are gonna have to undoo and start over right. On the way over, Dan said that Lindsey, this girl that helps him with his horses some, was the one that started riding him and was already over there. Oh boy! This colt is like most...or maybe I should say a lot...of women's horses. ( No offense intended to any ladies who might actually know horses and horsemanship) This colt has no respect for her at all. The little idiot thinks the colt pushing on her and trying to nibble her is a sign he "loves Her". It ran AHEAD of her when she was leading it to the barn. Wouldn't stand still as she was trying to brush it...and she kept stopping and trying to pet his nose, telling him he was a good boy, etc. ...laughing when he would reach around and try to "love" on her. I asked her what she had been riding him in , and she said a snaffel. I asked D-ring, O-ring, Eggbutt..what kind. She said let me go get it and show you. Comes back with a hinged bit curb with 4" shanks and some kind of circular contraption. For "leverage"! She said " This is called a "Wonder Bit".... it can increase severity as you pull harder on the reins.... sometimes Pooky Poo is hard to stop" Lord help me! I said, well wanna saddle him up and let me watch you ride him? So, she went in got a barrel saddle and TWO pads. It was semi-quarter bars, maybe even Arabian bars, and this colt will need a full quarter bars. She said he can be a little cold backed at times when you first get on ( Hell yeah, that saddle was killing his back...already starting to get some white hairs on the withers.) Then there was the God-awfullest fight I have seen in a while when she tried to bridle him. AND.. she went back in and got a damned TIE DOWN to put on him. I asked why and she said sometimes when she asks him to hard stop from a gallop. he tries to throw his head and rear up! I had to hold the horse for her to get on, and he took off crow-hopping some with her at first. ( No wonder..that saddle was KILLING his back!) Soon as he quit bucking she spurred him, screamed "Yah Yah"!!!,, and took off at a gallop...spurring the hell out of him! I was sure the colt was neck reining by now, but hell no, she was direct reining..or trying to..plowlining some call it, this horse in a shanked curb!!! All of a sudden she hollered woah and got in his mouth so hard, the little feller went nuts. The pain in his mouth and jaws was so excruciating that yes he freaked out and was trying to rear, anything he could to get relief. Dan said " Boy that lil old cow-gal can really RIDE, can't she?!! I told him to get her the hell off him NOW!

I had a rope halter in my truck, and went and got it while she was trying to get Pooky Poo to the barn. Got that damned contraption of a bridle and tie down off him, and had her unsaddle. They had a round pen..little too big for what you need, but I took him out to it, turned him loose and moved him around the pen, turning him and stopping him some. This colt is SMART, and has a lot of athleticism in him. I left him in the round pen, told Dan to tell that girl to leave him alone til we got back. and I left and came over here to get my trailer. I told an it was gonna be a lot more work for a longer time, and I need him over here so I can get to him every day. ( and to get him away from the little Parellie Princess ). I'll be back with him in a little bit, and gonna work with him some til it gets dark (5:30 now..*&^%$#@). We were going to go over to where those cows are...but not now.
 
Being female, I take absolutely NO OFFENSE at what you said. She should not be allowed to ride anything.
Sounds like the old school thoughts of topping off a green broke bronc in the wild west...:mad:o_O

I bought a 17 month old filly from my 4-h leader as a 15 yr old kid... and I was not real experienced.. by the time I got her willing and able to take weight, and old enough to not ruin her back, I could ride her with just a rope halter, bareback, without any problems... I was not real up on things, but getting her to trust me, and what little I knew about riding from just having some friends average saddle horses.....I "broke her" to a mechanical hackamore because I did not want to use a bit on her and was not real experienced in different types of bits. Didn't know anyone at the time who could show me the proper way to use a real bosal hackamore... I was in "english riding territory"... and no one in my 4-H group rode western, and most never even got on bareback.

Rode all over the country side up there, trail riding...
I wound up with using her in gymkhana games, barrel racing and pole bending and stuff at the county fairs in Conn... and we won alot... because she listened to me as well as trusted me. My dad had had a few horses as a teen, so helped me some also.

My mare knew her manners.... sure, there were times she would be playful... but on the lead she walked where/how I wanted her to. No pulling, charging nothing. She picked up all 4 feet and STOOD when I wanted her to stand. Loved the brushing/combing and would maybe lean into the brush a little. Nipping was stopped right at the start. I could mount her from anywhere.... and she stood when I said stand... she was smart, and learned fast. We did many circles until she got that I expected things done the way I wanted them done... without making her hurt or fear me...

Every animal is different... But it sounds like you have your work cut out for you to UNDO the mess they started with this colt... Going to take some time with the lunge line to just get him to listen and trust you.
Best of luck and work with him.
 
Being female, I take absolutely NO OFFENSE at what you said. She should not be allowed to ride anything.
Sounds like the old school thoughts of topping off a green broke bronc in the wild west...:mad:o_O

I bought a 17 month old filly from my 4-h leader as a 15 yr old kid... and I was not real experienced.. by the time I got her willing and able to take weight, and old enough to not ruin her back, I could ride her with just a rope halter, bareback, without any problems... I was not real up on things, but getting her to trust me, and what little I knew about riding from just having some friends average saddle horses.....I "broke her" to a mechanical hackamore because I did not want to use a bit on her and was not real experienced in different types of bits. Didn't know anyone at the time who could show me the proper way to use a real bosal hackamore... I was in "english riding territory"... and no one in my 4-H group rode western, and most never even got on bareback.

Rode all over the country side up there, trail riding...
I wound up with using her in gymkhana games, barrel racing and pole bending and stuff at the county fairs in Conn... and we won alot... because she listened to me as well as trusted me. My dad had had a few horses as a teen, so helped me some also.

My mare knew her manners.... sure, there were times she would be playful... but on the lead she walked where/how I wanted her to. No pulling, charging nothing. She picked up all 4 feet and STOOD when I wanted her to stand. Loved the brushing/combing and would maybe lean into the brush a little. Nipping was stopped right at the start. I could mount her from anywhere.... and she stood when I said stand... she was smart, and learned fast. We did many circles until she got that I expected things done the way I wanted them done... without making her hurt or fear me...

Every animal is different... But it sounds like you have your work cut out for you to UNDO the mess they started with this colt... Going to take some time with the lunge line to just get him to listen and trust you.
Best of luck and work with him.
Yeah, you are right, at 3 yrs old, I would be just now riding him, if he were mine. Start him in a bosal, snaffle as a 4 yr old, then move to full bridle (curb) at 5. Today when I got him home, we worked on who was alpha for a bit and got that worked out. God, this boy is smart! It is almost as if he is trying to understand what you want from him....like he is thinking about it, and wants to please. The boy loaded good and rode quite in the trailer. Dan had done a good job with that. After I got him home, I put him the round pen and we got the who is alpha and who is beta worked out in what seemed like 15 minutes. Did I mention the boy is smart? :0 Took him to the barn and tied him up to an inner tube mounted to the wall, but he stood with a slack line while I cleaned his feet. Never moved a muscle and never tried to take a foot from me. Dan had done a great job with this, too. I wasn't gonna ride him today, but I tried some of my roping saddles til I found one that fit like it was made for him. Took him back to the round pen and free lunged him a bit. Not a sign of a buck. He wasn't cold backed at all.. the gal just didn't understand you fit the saddle to the HORSE, not the rider. I guess Dan didn't know, either.

So I went back and got a bosal and eased up on him. We walked some while I saw how his balance was with a rider, then we jogged, then loped a little. Boy always picked up the right lead. He responded to leg cues very well, stopped like he was supposed to, and man can he back! I haven't had more than 3 in my life that learned as fast as this boy does. I called Dan when I came to the house, and told him he was right...this young man has potential. I told him I wasn't gonna promise him a finished horse in 90 days, ot 120 or 180. I told him we had to be patient, and I wasn't worried about how much time i had to spend. I want this boy to be finished right. A horse like this will let you know if you are moving to fast, or if he is getting bored and you need to move a little faster in the progression.

I forgot to go look at those cows. :oops::rolleyes:😎
 
Yeah, you are right, at 3 yrs old, I would be just now riding him, if he were mine. Start him in a bosal, snaffle as a 4 yr old, then move to full bridle (curb) at 5. Today when I got him home, we worked on who was alpha for a bit and got that worked out. God, this boy is smart! It is almost as if he is trying to understand what you want from him....like he is thinking about it, and wants to please. The boy loaded good and rode quite in the trailer. Dan had done a good job with that. After I got him home, I put him the round pen and we got the who is alpha and who is beta worked out in what seemed like 15 minutes. Did I mention the boy is smart? :0 Took him to the barn and tied him up to an inner tube mounted to the wall, but he stood with a slack line while I cleaned his feet. Never moved a muscle and never tried to take a foot from me. Dan had done a great job with this, too. I wasn't gonna ride him today, but I tried some of my roping saddles til I found one that fit like it was made for him. Took him back to the round pen and free lunged him a bit. Not a sign of a buck. He wasn't cold backed at all.. the gal just didn't understand you fit the saddle to the HORSE, not the rider. I guess Dan didn't know, either.

So I went back and got a bosal and eased up on him. We walked some while I saw how his balance was with a rider, then we jogged, then loped a little. Boy always picked up the right lead. He responded to leg cues very well, stopped like he was supposed to, and man can he back! I haven't had more than 3 in my life that learned as fast as this boy does. I called Dan when I came to the house, and told him he was right...this young man has potential. I told him I wasn't gonna promise him a finished horse in 90 days, ot 120 or 180. I told him we had to be patient, and I wasn't worried about how much time i had to spend. I want this boy to be finished right. A horse like this will let you know if you are moving to fast, or if he is getting bored and you need to move a little faster in the progression.

I forgot to go look at those cows. :oops::rolleyes:😎
Sounds like a good Horse!
The cow's sound like a good deal! I'd buy them if I were you!
 
Yeah, you are right, at 3 yrs old, I would be just now riding him, if he were mine. Start him in a bosal, snaffle as a 4 yr old, then move to full bridle (curb) at 5. Today when I got him home, we worked on who was alpha for a bit and got that worked out. God, this boy is smart! It is almost as if he is trying to understand what you want from him....like he is thinking about it, and wants to please. The boy loaded good and rode quite in the trailer. Dan had done a good job with that. After I got him home, I put him the round pen and we got the who is alpha and who is beta worked out in what seemed like 15 minutes. Did I mention the boy is smart? :0 Took him to the barn and tied him up to an inner tube mounted to the wall, but he stood with a slack line while I cleaned his feet. Never moved a muscle and never tried to take a foot from me. Dan had done a great job with this, too. I wasn't gonna ride him today, but I tried some of my roping saddles til I found one that fit like it was made for him. Took him back to the round pen and free lunged him a bit. Not a sign of a buck. He wasn't cold backed at all.. the gal just didn't understand you fit the saddle to the HORSE, not the rider. I guess Dan didn't know, either.

So I went back and got a bosal and eased up on him. We walked some while I saw how his balance was with a rider, then we jogged, then loped a little. Boy always picked up the right lead. He responded to leg cues very well, stopped like he was supposed to, and man can he back! I haven't had more than 3 in my life that learned as fast as this boy does. I called Dan when I came to the house, and told him he was right...this young man has potential. I told him I wasn't gonna promise him a finished horse in 90 days, ot 120 or 180. I told him we had to be patient, and I wasn't worried about how much time i had to spend. I want this boy to be finished right. A horse like this will let you know if you are moving to fast, or if he is getting bored and you need to move a little faster in the progression.

I forgot to go look at those cows. :oops::rolleyes:😎
What are you going to tell Dan before you deliver the colt back to him... about the girl that might want to ride him again? It would be a shame to see her on his back with her bit in his mouth again after all your work.

If the guy has money maybe you could advise him to get the girl some professional instruction? You probably know someone...
 
Sounds like a good Horse!
The cow's sound like a good deal! I'd buy them if I were you!
I did. He is going to synch them and breed them all AI for me . 2 of their calves will be weaned this week and the last one is Dec 2nd. He said it is 205 days that they wean them at, but I forgot to ask him why they do it at that exact time. Probably someone on here that raises seed stock, or show cattle, etc., knows why that is.
 
I did. He is going to synch them and breed them all AI for me . 2 of their calves will be weaned this week and the last one is Dec 2nd. He said it is 205 days that they wean them at, but I forgot to ask him why they do it at that exact time. Probably someone on here that raises seed stock, or show cattle, etc., knows why that is.
205 days is the standard for figuring weaning weights. If they are weaned any other time the weaning weight would still be figured on a 205 day average... so an "adjusted" weaning weight. Weaning at exactly 205 days is more precise and leaves no room for doubt.
 

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