Opinions on Hereford/Simmental Cross

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dustinsinger

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I would like any and all opinions regarding this cross. My thinking (and current plan) is to put together a herd of about 40 commercial hereford cows and run 2 black simmental (or BWF) bulls with them. I am wanting the temperment and carcass quality of the hereford and the frame size and growth characteristics of the simmi. Primarily would be terminal cross. You get killed around here for purebred hereford but BWF calves will bring as much or a few cents more than black at the sale barn. I am a young guy really just getting started so I would appreciate any thoughts. I've done a lot of homework but you can come up with a hundred different ideas, wanting some real world advice.

Also, would you keep replacement heifers out of this cross or would it make more sense to rotate a hereford bull into the mix every couple of years to try to keep purebred herefords on the cow side?

Thanks
 

BIZIN

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Dustin... That is a real good cross. Where abouts are you from? Cause black means nothing to alot of feedlot producers we deal with. Good quality cattle is what our customers want, whether they are hereford, tan, black, red, or multi colored. Good black simmi bulls on hereford cows would make good replacements as well.
 

Brandonm22

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Be careful selecting the parent animals for that cross. Some Simmies (and some Herefords for that matter) can be a little too framie for some realworld operations. That is certainly a good cross and the females would definitely be keepers. A three way of SimAngus x Hereford might also be worth considering.
 

Sage

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Two years ago we started doing the same thing with Red Angus and Simmentals with very good luck as a terminal cross. Consider AI for the cows you would want replacements from. AI your best cows to a Hereford for replacements and run a Simm bull for clean up and you lower quality cows as a terminal breeding. Just a thought for you to consider.
 

BIZIN

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you gotta point there Aaron. But there are moderate framed Simmies and Herefords that would work. R Plus Simmentals is a place to take a look at if your in Saskatchewan. They are down at Estevan, along the North Dakota border. Good Simmies, moderate framed for the most part, and meat factories!
 

dun

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We do a lot of F1 crosses and it seems that the F1 is alwasy larger framed then either of the parents. Maybe that's part of the heterosis negative aspects.
 
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dustinsinger

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I appreciate all of the input so far. I do have a couple of questions for you. I have heard from several people that herefords are 'generally' easier keeping cattle with lower feed requirements. Is this statement true at all? If it is, is this due to differences in frame size/mature weight differences because if this is the case, it wouldn't have anything to do with the breed and everything to do with size.

Another question is, are two bulls recommended or required for this number of cows? How many cows can one bull service at different bull ages.....ie, how many can a 2 year old service vs. a 3 or 4 y.o. or does it matter?
 

BIZIN

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We find herefords are easier keeping and easier fleshing than most breeds, but it does have to do with frame size. A hereford cow that is a horse is going to eat more feed than a moderate to small framed hereford cow. I find size matters, and moderate framed to small framed cows are easier keepers, but the herefords are hardier cattle and even the large framed hereford cows tend to eat less than a large framed cow of another breed, especially Exotic cows. But that is from personal experience, and maybe there are producers out there who have larger cows or larger exotic cows that dont eat so much. Bull wise its personal preference. I know guys who religously run 20 cows to a bull and dont see any problem with it. We have started moving towards that too, trying to get calving into a tighter time frame. But I have seen bulls cover 60 cows or more in 60 days.
 

dun

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dustinsinger":2wpdejdt said:
I appreciate all of the input so far. I do have a couple of questions for you. I have heard from several people that herefords are 'generally' easier keeping cattle with lower feed requirements. Is this statement true at all? If it is, is this due to differences in frame size/mature weight differences because if this is the case, it wouldn't have anything to do with the breed and everything to do with size.

Another question is, are two bulls recommended or required for this number of cows? How many cows can one bull service at different bull ages.....ie, how many can a 2 year old service vs. a 3 or 4 y.o. or does it matter?
I think it's in the genes and doesn;t really have anything to do with frame. Our cows that are 3/4 or more Hereford are the same frame as the Red Angus cows. The Red Angus are pretty fat from just grass, we've selected for easy keeping for the bad years. The 3/4 Herefords are amsolute slugs. Wean the same size calves, but are much fatter then the others. The F1s sem to be more like the Red Angus.
 
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dustinsinger

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Sorry, didn't answer the question before about where I am from. I am in northeast Kentucky. Not many hereford cattle to be found here, most people wouldn't own one because of the drastic price hit you take at the sale barn. What I do find is primarily registered and I cannot see the benefit of buying registered cows if doing a terminal cross.
 

SRBeef

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dustinsinger":3apegcth said:
I have heard from several people that herefords are 'generally' easier keeping cattle with lower feed requirements. Is this statement true at all? If it is, is this due to differences in frame size/mature weight differences because if this is the case, it wouldn't have anything to do with the breed and everything to do with size.

There are animals within every breed that have different feed conversion efficiencies. This is a trait some bull breeders are starting to try to measure and publish. There is also the matter of size - a larger framed cow for example, usually requires more energy to maintain her weight than a smaller, lighter cow.

However, aside from the size question, Herefords can be thought of as easy fleshing or easy keepers because, as was related to me by an experienced western cattleman, they as a breed tend to be very good grazers. They tend to be out grubbing around for something to eat when maybe some other breeds are waiting along the windbreak for someone to come feed them.

In some cases this aggressive grazing is an advantage, in other cases such as a feedlot, it won't matter.

Jim
 

LazyARanch

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I find myself thinking that I must be 3/4 hereford!!! hehehehe :lol2: :banana:

I'd like to give my metabolism to anyone who wants it for their cattle!!! :roll:
 
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dustinsinger

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To answer the question of why I am not looking at the popular angus cross right now, I am looking at the simmental for the additional growth characteristics that I think I can get from this side. On the cow side, I guess it is just personal preference. We are almost completely black in this area There are plenty of good black cattle to be found around here too.
I guess I am just tired of seeing every black cow in this part of the country kept and called angus, no matter how crappy of an animal it is. I see everything from holstein/black 'angus' crosses to charlois smoke crosses, all market as "angus" because thats the magic word in this part.

Let me be clear.....I think angus is a great breed......but I just get the feeling that at some point down the road, people in this part of the country are going to get very skeptical of anything called an angus cross because of all the garbage that people are keeping and marketing as angus cross breeding stock. IF that begins to happen, I want to be the guy that has a reputation for having great cattle without the angus buzzword.
 

Aaron

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dustinsinger":3c1kr10f said:
To answer the question of why I am not looking at the popular angus cross right now, I am looking at the simmental for the additional growth characteristics that I think I can get from this side. On the cow side, I guess it is just personal preference. We are almost completely black in this area There are plenty of good black cattle to be found around here too.
I guess I am just tired of seeing every black cow in this part of the country kept and called angus, no matter how crappy of an animal it is. I see everything from holstein/black 'angus' crosses to charlois smoke crosses, all market as "angus" because thats the magic word in this part.

Let me be clear.....I think angus is a great breed......but I just get the feeling that at some point down the road, people in this part of the country are going to get very skeptical of anything called an angus cross because of all the garbage that people are keeping and marketing as angus cross breeding stock. IF that begins to happen, I want to be the guy that has a reputation for having great cattle without the angus buzzword.

Good idea. The Angus fad won't last forever. Just ask a Hereford breeder from the 80's. In Canada, the number of Hereford purebred breeding stock registered in one year hit its high in 1989 at over 50,000 head. Last year it was barely 17,000 head. :cowboy:
 

KMacGinley

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But you don't get additional growth from simmies anymore compared to angus... check some of the bull test station results. Angus now out continental the continentals for growth.
 

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