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Raising your own bulls

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Hoser

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Good day folks of Cattle Today.
The majority of my herd is F1 Angus/Herefords with 15 black angus cows that I started with from my dad's registered herd. I artificially inseminated the purebreds to my favourite hereford bulls and I was wondering what y'all thought about keeping my own crossbred bulls to use over my f1's if they make the cut.

I've read peoples concerns about buying hybrid bulls because the bull breeder is getting the benefit of hybrid vigour and the calf crop being not as uniform. But in my case, I'd like to keep it a simple 50/50.

I also don't know about adding a third breed if I still want to keep lots of replacements. Has anyone had good luck with 3 way cross cattle having uniform calf crops and has anyone had good luck keeping their own bulls?
 

Davemk

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AI your best Angus cows to Angus bulls. Look for a bull from one of those calves. I would not use a crossbred bull on your cows.

My family had a closed Hereford herd for 55 years, bulls were never brought into that herd.
 

OzssieDave19

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Good day folks of Cattle Today.
The majority of my herd is F1 Angus/Herefords with 15 black angus cows that I started with from my dad's registered herd. I artificially inseminated the purebreds to my favourite hereford bulls and I was wondering what y'all thought about keeping my own crossbred bulls to use over my f1's if they make the cut.

I've read peoples concerns about buying hybrid bulls because the bull breeder is getting the benefit of hybrid vigour and the calf crop being not as uniform. But in my case, I'd like to keep it a simple 50/50.

I also don't know about adding a third breed if I still want to keep lots of replacements. Has anyone had good luck with 3 way cross cattle having uniform calf crops and has anyone had good luck keeping their own bulls?
I have always wanted to try a cross bred bull that I have bred myself. What's the big deal? If you have the numbers try a few cows cut the head of them all if it's a flop. Back your self mate, give it ago!
 

OzssieDave19

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AI your best Angus cows to Angus bulls. Look for a bull from one of those calves. I would not use a crossbred bull on your cows.

My family had a closed Hereford herd for 55 years, bulls were never brought into that herd.
Re closed herd. We always kept our own heifers but bought in bulls. Always the best we could afford with the traits we like. How do you run a fully closed herd? Sounds interesting. How do you get the diversity? I take it you are starting with very good stock.
 

Davemk

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Re closed herd. We always kept our own heifers but bought in bulls. Always the best we could afford with the traits we like. How do you run a fully closed herd? Sounds interesting. How do you get the diversity? I take it you are starting with very good stock.
I guess closed is not the proper term then. My grandpa and Dad never bought bulls but they did buy the occasional Hereford heifer. From 1940 to 1996 bulls were never brought into the herd. Prior to 1940 my grandpa ran a bunch of mixed up “sh-t” as he used to say.
 

Ky hills

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We have used several home raised bulls over years most have been purebred as Davemk suggested. This year we had some calves by a home raised Braford bull, and currently have a 3/4 Angus 1/4 Hereford bull running with the cows. I like to retain a couple bulls from some of our better cows every year just in case, and usually will have a purchased bull or two as well.
 

MurraysMutts

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We have used several home raised bulls over years most have been purebred as Davemk suggested. This year we had some calves by a home raised Braford bull, and currently have a 3/4 Angus 1/4 Hereford bull running with the cows. I like to retain a couple bulls from some of our better cows every year just in case, and usually will have a purchased bull or two as well.
Got any pics of that braford bull and some calves? A friend just bought a couple bulls. I'm curious what they throw for calves on black cows. Or hereford cows for that matter. Did U get lots of odd patterns?
 

FungusProudKY31

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A lot of crossed bulls used and promoted so it is not a current stigma: Brangus, Braford, Gerts, Sim Angus, Balancers, ... No harm to use your own BWF bulls if you select them for what you want and they breed true. But that's the same chance you take on buying a bull. If you see a droop in performance, you are not stuck on %s. AI to an outside An, PH, HH, or Black Hereford, make a bull and reinvigorate the genepool. It worked well for folks for hundreds of years before companies began to sell semen.
 

Ky hills

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Got any pics of that braford bull and some calves? A friend just bought a couple bulls. I'm curious what they throw for calves on black cows. Or hereford cows for that matter. Did U get lots of odd patterns?
I did have some pictures of him but must be on a previous phone. He was probably only 1/4 Brahman at most. He was dark red with a white face very little other white, although his Hereford sire had a lot of white. The excess white did come out in his calves from Hereford cows but nothing outside of Hereford markings. I got a quick picture of two calves from black cows this morning.8D1FD983-E930-465C-BBDE-61273D29B871.jpeg
 

MurraysMutts

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Those look like good uns!
I'm concerned these fellas are going to throw weird stuff. Especially bred to cows of all kinds. I've been kind of on a consistency thing here lately. Been thinking of selling my charolais bull because of it. I want good consistent calves. I think the silver colored will screw up my calf crop.
Here's a pic of a braford bull.
Screenshot_20201103-074705_Messages.jpg
Wonder what he'll throw...
 

Caustic Burno

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Good day folks of Cattle Today.
The majority of my herd is F1 Angus/Herefords with 15 black angus cows that I started with from my dad's registered herd. I artificially inseminated the purebreds to my favourite hereford bulls and I was wondering what y'all thought about keeping my own crossbred bulls to use over my f1's if they make the cut.

I've read peoples concerns about buying hybrid bulls because the bull breeder is getting the benefit of hybrid vigour and the calf crop being not as uniform. But in my case, I'd like to keep it a simple 50/50.

I also don't know about adding a third breed if I still want to keep lots of replacements. Has anyone had good luck with 3 way cross cattle having uniform calf crops and has anyone had good luck keeping their own bulls?
You’re pulling a lot of crayons out of the box so consistency is going down. Hybrid vigor is maximized at the third cross and starts diminishing after that.
Lots of Ag university work on the subject.
Not all breed crosses are equal as well with Angus x SH having the least and Hereford x Brahman the most.
Again lots of Ag info out there.
I have never seen shortcuts on the bull work out well.
Bad cow retained hurts bad bull is a disaster.
With today’s returns I don’t know if you survive a disaster with out totally welfare cattle.
 

Nick Wagner

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I’ve used quite a few of my own bulls, and been very happy with the results. You gain uniformity in the calf crop, but choose your bull very carefully as you concentrate any bad characteristics he or his parents have. My rule of thumb is he will throw daughters that look like his mother, make sure you want more of her. I got tired of importing problems with boughten bulls, and slept easy when various recessive genes were discovered in the last few years.
 

andybob

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Beside my stud herd, we closed the commercial herd consisting of locally bought cattle of similar genotype, as we were totally grass based from the outset, we selected for this specific type, basing selection on the criteria established by my neighbour Johann Zietsman, a qualified geneticist and hands on cattle rancher. Here is a link to an article, just replace the heat tolerant breeds with British for northern climates - though some Sanga does not go amiss in the right cross when you consider how well the Bonsmara has adapted to the Alberta climate -https://sangacattle.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/7654551-veldmaster-breeding.. Johann's three day workshop is also still on youtube,
 
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Warren Allison

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Good day folks of Cattle Today.
The majority of my herd is F1 Angus/Herefords with 15 black angus cows that I started with from my dad's registered herd. I artificially inseminated the purebreds to my favourite hereford bulls and I was wondering what y'all thought about keeping my own crossbred bulls to use over my f1's if they make the cut.

I've read peoples concerns about buying hybrid bulls because the bull breeder is getting the benefit of hybrid vigour and the calf crop being not as uniform. But in my case, I'd like to keep it a simple 50/50.

I also don't know about adding a third breed if I still want to keep lots of replacements. Has anyone had good luck with 3 way cross cattle having uniform calf crops and has anyone had good luck keeping their own bulls?
These f1s you have, that you are talking about breeding to a bull from an angus cow bred to a Hereford (which is also an f1 Ang x Her)? You breed 2 black baldies..2 half Angus/Half Herefords, then you will get 50% of the calves black badly, 25% red herefords, and 25% solid blacks. You'd be better off to buy a registered Black Hereford bull, or buy Black Hereford semen and AI. Them al;l of the calves would be black baldies.
 

elkwc

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There has always been those that feel a commercial breeder should never retain a bull they raise and some say the same thing about retaining heifers. We buy use a few bulls we've bought every year. But the bulls we retain have out performed many of the top bred bulls we've bought. I have sold a few bulls as weaning calves to friends and they have been pleased. One was a baldie. I would put him up against any Black Hereford I've seen in this area. Good red baldies sell on the groups and are never docked here. Sim Angus, Balancers, Lim Flex are all crossbred. And so is the black version of non traditional black cattle. I would try it and aee how it works for you. It has worked well for us.
 

Ky hills

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There has always been those that feel a commercial breeder should never retain a bull they raise and some say the same thing about retaining heifers. We buy use a few bulls we've bought every year. But the bulls we retain have out performed many of the top bred bulls we've bought. I have sold a few bulls as weaning calves to friends and they have been pleased. One was a baldie. I would put him up against any Black Hereford I've seen in this area. Good red baldies sell on the groups and are never docked here. Sim Angus, Balancers, Lim Flex are all crossbred. And so is the black version of non traditional black cattle. I would try it and aee how it works for you. It has worked well for us.
I’ve heard the arguments against keeping your own heifers and it has been my experience that heifers from our cows are usually more predictable and productive than purchased ones. We typically try to hold back heifers from our cows that have good udders and are regular calvers. After a few years of this we have 2-3 heifers from those cows. I like keeping back bulls too even if some are commercial crossbreds, they have something to add in the same way as the females do it’s another way to make use of and continue the type of cattle that are working. I do bring in some new blood some too, just recently brought in a Simmental bull to hopefully add some more genetic growth potential from our calves.
 

Idaho

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As is so often the case, it really depends what your goals are. By now, there are a ton of hoops that a typical registered bull has to jump through that a home raised bull won’t. That doesn’t mean the home raised bull is inferior or wouldn’t have been able to jump through those same hoops, just means that there’sa lot of information on the registered one. And of course some of that information is of dubious value, depending on your situation. But for one example, most of the genetic defects out there are monitored by the breed registries, and most of them require a test free to register.
 

Dave

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I have never raised my own bulls. But for years I bought bulls from a 400 cow commercial guy who raised a few bulls as a side line. They had been retaining ownership for years. They shot for a 3/4 Angus, 1/4 Simm going to the feedlot. It is a lot of work to maintain that mix. As a result they had a herd of straight Angus which they bred to full blood Simm. That is where their replacements came from. They then bred those half bloods to a pure Angus bull to get their desired mix.
Every year they retained 12 purebred Angus bulls and 12 Simm/Angus bulls (1/4, 3/4) for sale. A good percent of the Angus bulls were AI bred calves. I primarily bought the cross bred bulls. I used them on my box of crayons sale yard cows. I was always very pleased with the results. I know there was one stretch of 4 years where my steers averaged over 700 pounds coming off the cows. That was February calves coming off the cows in early October. No creep, just grass and milk.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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All breeders could keep their bull calves as breeding bulls. But, what is the quality. Just because your 15 Angus are from registered stock, what is their quality? If you have good cows and they represent what you want to raise, there is no reason why you shouldn't raise your own bull. But, is he going to be turned out with the whole herd? Will he be breeding his mother & sisters? That works "some" of the time. How big is the rest of your herd?
In-breeding and line-breeding are somewhat the same. You call it line-breeding when it works ----- you call it in-breeding when it's a flop.
I always recommend buying the best bull you can afford. He is the quickest way to improve a herd. Raising your own is the cheapest which might fit your need if your herd is at the level you are striving for.
 

Ky hills

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There are good registered cattle and plenty of plum sorry ones, just like commercial ones. Sometimes those hot pedigrees and big number EPD’s don’t produce the results that they are promoted to. I got tired of paying for that piece of paper and numbers only to find out it doesn’t work the way it says in the pasture. I can raise them cheaper and I know more of what to expect from them based on their dams and sires. I will still buy bulls from time to time but have changed my philosophy on it. I no longer believe that more expensive is always better. I look at the individual bulls and then decide if one is really worth twice as much as another similar bull from another farm. Sometimes there is a big difference sometimes not much at all.
 

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