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Raising your own bulls

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simme

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If every breed association were to be split up based on color, there would sure be a lot of "breeds". Several from the Shorthorns for sure.

I believe Red Angus breeders can use black angus for an infusion of new bloodlines. First calf is black. Next generation bred to red bull will give some reds that will be recognized as purebred red angus. RA does not have a closed herdbook like the AAA.
 

Warren Allison

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I can understand wanting to breed one color of cattle as well for uniformity. The registry could have been very easily set up to accommodate both. Take for instance the Hereford breed after the Horned and Polled Associations merged. The registration numbers begin with the horn code distinguishing them. The Simmental breed is another example, if one wants to insure black calves, using homozygous black cattle it can be accomplished.
Yes, but with one registry, calling them all the same breed, then how would you prevent breeding red angus with black angus? I think the goal of the Angus association was to prevent any Angus cattle from being red gene carriers. And, the goal of the Red Angus association, is to preserve and promote the red angus. This is different than the Hereford situation. Both of those smaller associations, benefitted by merging into a large association. Dunno what it would benefit the largest and most sucessfull association, to register cattle with a trait that they are trying to breed out?
 

Ky hills

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Yes, but with one registry, calling them all the same breed, then how would you prevent breeding red angus with black angus? I think the goal of the Angus association was to prevent any Angus cattle from being red gene carriers. And, the goal of the Red Angus association, is to preserve and promote the red angus. This is different than the Hereford situation. Both of those smaller associations, benefitted by merging into a large association. Dunno what it would benefit the largest and most sucessfull association, to register cattle with a trait that they are trying to breed out?
You are correct in that it probably doesn’t benefit the AAA to incorporate red angus animals into the association at this point. Unless there is an unlikely move in the future to verify Angus genetics for CAB. I do however think it was idiotic to originally have disqualified reds. The red ones are likely closer to Angus type and characteristics at present than the average mainstream black ones.
The Hereford situation was different, in that though they did merge for practical reasons, the breed purity issue is ever present as many consider polled ones to be a product of outside genetics unlike the naturally occurring recessive red in Angus.
 

Ky hills

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I agree with you, in that incorporating Black Angus into other breeds, to make them eligible for the CAB designation, has hurt other breeds. The fact that other breeds did, and are doing this, just reinforces the ideal of keeping red angus out of the Angus registry, and having a separate registry for the Red Angus. But,. how do you think this turning-other-breeds-black, has made Black Angus not a reliable breed? In what way are Angus " victims of their success"?
I believe Angus are victims of their own success in at least a couple ways. First other breeds used the CAB details to their advantage. It doesn’t have to be Angus to qualify for CAB. Secondly when the Angus started their meteoric rise, it was black hides that were being bred for first and quality isn’t always culled for. Now there are Angus breeders everywhere lots of good ones and lots of mediocre multipliers. As I mentioned before lost of good herds with decades of selection were lost. I also think the advent of AI breeding and EPD selection has perpetuated the spread of mediocre animals that are vastly different than the local Angus herds from decades ago. As the breeders have tried to be curve benders and do it all cattle, I feel that some good traits have been diminished.
 

Nesikep

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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.
the thing is, when you're keeping from your own herd, assuming you've gotten rid of intolerable defects, whatever those are, you aren't going to re-introduce them... I'll take Hereford cattle as an example for me because there's no shortage of defects in the breed that I won't put up with, bad feet, udders and prolapses being the top complaints... If I've spent 20 years weeding out the problems from my momma cows, in the management system I have, I sure don't want to bring in any of those bad traits again... Sure, the outside bull I bring in may be a great bull IN HIS MANAGEMENT system, maybe if they walk 10 miles a day the bad feet will never show up, maybe if they're eating bunchgrass they'll never have bad udders because they don't have the nutrition to make a lot of milk, but in MY system those traits are put to the test!
The question then is what are you willing to give up to gain somewhere else? are you willing to trade off 3 years of productive life from the momma cow for 30 lbs weaning weight? Maybe you're trading docility for something else.

I've bought 2 purebred bulls in the past that I have culled off EVERY daughter from, and paid good money for them too! The last Limo I bought is down to 2 daughters in the herd, the rest of them looked like a can of smashed arseholes by fall, and a good number of them had prolapse issues

My own bulls aren't perfect, I'd like to see a bit lower BWs and deeper chests on the calves, but they ain't doing bad either, they also know my "rules", they don't break fences, etc... I'll continue to keep the best of them intact from known good cows, but I'll also buy a good bull here and there
 

elkwc

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Well, I actually should’ve said that in the Angus breed MOST defects require a test free of the defect for at least bulls to be registered, even if the bull is just a potential carrier. Some of this has changed back and forth so I’m not sure without looking it up just exactly which defects are handled which way.
In some areas of the country it may be different, but out here nobody sells Angus bulls that are carriers or even potential carriers for known genetic defects.
I have seen carrier bulls sold here and the defect is announced. I bought my cow as a bred heifer. She was registered and had a number. The breeder said he was going to hold the papers. As a commercial breeder I don't care. I use her to raise replacement females and bulls we can use but not to sale
 

Nick Wagner

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I guess they do, but it seems to me the “marketing program” caused a lot of long running good quality herds of other breeds to be sold out or bred out. Because of the nonsense, an inferior black hided calf will out sell a good quality calf simply because of hide color. Angus have historically been a reliable breed, again to me it seems like they are becoming victims of their own success. Other breeds that incorporated black hides into their standards can capitalize on the CAB marketing too. The Angus breed has also enjoyed the success of the marketing to the point that they have the lions share of it, and are trying to be all things as opposed to sticking with the traits that made them desirable in the first place. In saying all of this I’m not anti Angus. I used Angus bulls almost exclusively for 20 years, and even tried to put together a small herd of registered females as well. I gave up on that as the one I found were disappointing and not what I expected.
When the CAB program was started, and a very humble start it was, they had a simple goal, to increase demand for angus cattle. They picked a pretty good time to start, some of you will remember the ridiculously tall giraffes winning the cattle shows in the 80’s. Legs and hair never got my digestive juices flowing, to me it seemed as an industry we lost our way. The CAB program has a simple base, quality and consistency, a pleasurable eating experience every time. We’ve all noticed how the beef at home is much better than what comes from the store, no wonder beef demand has eroded. Growing up, my family had both Herefords and Angus. I can vouch that under the hide they look and taste the same when fed side by side. But I also know it cost the same to raise them and today that black hide brings more money at market, thanks to the CAB program. I would note there was no law stopping any of the other breed associations or anyone else from starting a similar program and today there are imitators, why didn’t they start earlier?

As to your experience starting an angus herd, it is my observation that many folks who consider themselves purebred breeders and spend the time and money to register their stock then think every calf born is a breeding animal. Which takes us back to where this thread started.
 

Nick Wagner

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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.
Over half my herd traces back to one cow, you have a productive and trouble free cow, why wouldn’t you keep daughters from her?
 

Nick Wagner

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I have seen carrier bulls sold here and the defect is announced. I bought my cow as a bred heifer. She was registered and had a number. The breeder said he was going to hold the papers. As a commercial breeder I don't care. I use her to raise replacement females and bulls we can use but not to sale
If you keep your own replacements, both heifers and bulls, that defect will eventually express itself.
 

cbcr

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It would be difficult to say how many "carrier" cows are in commercial herds. Some registered breeders also have a commercial herd so if a cow is tested as a carrier and if she raises a good calf, many will move that cow into the commercial herd. Or if a carrier cow is taken to the sale barn and is open and she would happen to fit into someone else's program she goes to someone else's farm and they don't know they purchased a carrier.

Another way that a commercial producer can end up with cows that are carriers is if they bought a bull that was used a few generations back and a new defect is discovered and that bull used has a good possibility of being a carrier.

How many cows that have an unknown status have been used in breeding up programs with other breeds?

Some breeds have strict guidelines when it comes to defects and others could care less. Dairy breeds seem not not care about trying to eliminate defects. We have seen many times in the process of registering animals where for 3 generations that defect sires were used. For many breeders knowing what animals are carriers and what their defects are for some is not easily found.

One thing that we do is if we find out that an animal is a carrier of a defect we put an * at the end of their name. This helps breeders know that their is a carrier animal in the pedigree. It is surprising though as to how many breeders don't seem to care, that is until they happen to have issues in their herd, and then even if they knew the defect status they still want to blame someone else!
 

Ky hills

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When the CAB program was started, and a very humble start it was, they had a simple goal, to increase demand for angus cattle. They picked a pretty good time to start, some of you will remember the ridiculously tall giraffes winning the cattle shows in the 80’s. Legs and hair never got my digestive juices flowing, to me it seemed as an industry we lost our way. The CAB program has a simple base, quality and consistency, a pleasurable eating experience every time. We’ve all noticed how the beef at home is much better than what comes from the store, no wonder beef demand has eroded. Growing up, my family had both Herefords and Angus. I can vouch that under the hide they look and taste the same when fed side by side. But I also know it cost the same to raise them and today that black hide brings more money at market, thanks to the CAB program. I would note there was no law stopping any of the other breed associations or anyone else from starting a similar program and today there are imitators, why didn’t they start earlier?

As to your experience starting an angus herd, it is my observation that many folks who consider themselves purebred breeders and spend the time and money to register their stock then think every calf born is a breeding animal. Which takes us back to where this thread started.
I agree that the tall lanky cattle of the 80’s were a problem. They came about because people wanted more frame and performance in their calves. Every breed including Angus and Herefords somehow entered the frame race too, how I believe they did that is another conversation. Every breed has followed every trend to some degree.
I agree that CAB is a good product, and I recommend it often to folks as far as store bought. I will say however it is NOT always a consistent product, as far as steaks and roasts. The CAB ground beef is the best quality ground beef of store bought that I have had and that has been consistent.
To your question why other breeds didn’t start a program like CAB, I don’t have an answer except that I don’t have much confidence in any breed Association to accomplish much.
I also agree with you that many purebred breeders don’t cull as heavily as needed. The reality is that there are Angus breeders everywhere and the usual breeding philosophy is to AI breed to the latest and greatest young bull of the month from a handful of xyz prefix breeders. It’s my belief that this along with too much reliance on EPDs in unproven animals and breeding for traits that are antagonistic to maternal traits has hindered the breed in a significant way, and other breeds to an extent as well.
I cull very hard, and my breeding program is commercial but managed like I used to when I had registered cattle when it comes to selection. Bulls that don’t hold up due to feet or other issues, cows that don’t breed/calve regular, don’t milk or stay in shape get culled. I pick replacements from those that do what is required. I purchased registered Angus cattle from several different farms and have 2 out of around 20. No doubt other people have great results with Angus, and I am happy for them, the breed has not been impressive to me at all. I am only basing these statements on my experiences and not meaning to bash anyone as I have a lot of respect for some of the Angus breeders in my area and some of the posters on here that have them have some fine looking cattle and no doubt top quality herds.
In closing I believe that the aforementioned AI breeding to unproven bulls, heavy reliance on unproven EPD’s and some types of selective breeding are ultimately going to be detrimental to the breed and the industry as a whole as other breeds have been reduced in numbers. There will soon be a need for the traits that other breeds possess and my hope is that they will still be enough available to o maintain a good selection pool if or when that point comes.
 

elkwc

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If you keep your own replacements, both heifers and bulls, that defect will eventually express itself.
I'm told both have to be carriers. I'm careful about how I mate them. It might bite me sometime but I did some research and felt the potential reward out weighed any potential issues.
 
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moses388

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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?
It's okay to keep your own bulls to use for breeding. I do that. I use AI to obtain my own replacement heifers and bulls. The bull you keep should meet your breeding criteria and come from one of your better cows. Your better cows are the ones that calve unassisted, re-breed on time, have ample milk, take good care of their calf, have problem-free feet, and zero health issues. Like cbcr suggests, I use Igenity Beef Profiles from Neogen.

My understanding is that true cross-breeding requires 3 or more breeds. However, in my opinion Angus & Hereford are a breed of their own called Black Hereford. - https://blackhereford.org/
I like the sires from Triple T Farm. I have not used them [yet], because the birthweight EPDs scare me. https://www.tripletblackcattle.com/semen

I guess I have had good luck keeping bulls. I don't think there is one right method, you have to find what works for you. Bulls seem to be their own individuals. They are all different just like people. When I raise a bull I see him everyday, twice a day for feeding. Being around him, I learn to understand him. What I can and cannot do around him and how to keep myself safe. And I earn the bull's trust because I respect him. Sometimes I hand feed grass, weeds, or ear corn depending on the season. I raise a young bull in solitary, in his own pen. He might see other cattle, but he can not commingle until he is old enough and it is time.
 

moses388

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Hoser - Dad's herd is registered Black Angus. You have 15 cows from your dad so they would also be registered Black Angus. Sounds like you could be raising seedstock. Instead you're spoiling the registered genetics with Hereford. In my own herd, the cattle are commercial; but if I had the chance to raise seedstock I think I would.

If you want some Black Hereford then go buy the genetics. I would guess your F1 Angus/Herefords will not look as good as those from a place like Triple T Farm. Don't waste your resources creating something that all ready exists.
 

Warren Allison

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Hoser- Your Black Baldies, or F1 Hereford-Angus as you call them, are not Black Herefords. Black Herefords are a breed of cattle, whose genetic make-up is 5./8th Hereford and 3/8ths Angus. Much like a 1/2 Brahman and 1/;2 Shorthorn is not a Santa Gertrudis. SGs are a 100 year old breed, whose genetic make up is 5/8ths Shorthorn and 3/8ths Brahman. Crossing your black baldie cows with a black baldy bull, will yield 25% of the calves being red Hereford, 25% being black Angus, and 50% of them being black baldies. Breeding a Black Hereford to a Black hereford, will yield a Black Hereford. Breeding a Black Hereford to a Black Angus, will yield a homozygous for black,. Black Baldie 100% of the time..
 

RockinRB

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Hoser- Your Black Baldies, or F1 Hereford-Angus as you call them, are not Black Herefords. Black Herefords are a breed of cattle, whose genetic make-up is 5./8th Hereford and 3/8ths Angus. Much like a 1/2 Brahman and 1/;2 Shorthorn is not a Santa Gertrudis. SGs are a 100 year old breed, whose genetic make up is 5/8ths Shorthorn and 3/8ths Brahman. Crossing your black baldie cows with a black baldy bull, will yield 25% of the calves being red Hereford, 25% being black Angus, and 50% of them being black baldies. Breeding a Black Hereford to a Black hereford, will yield a Black Hereford. Breeding a Black Hereford to a Black Angus, will yield a homozygous for black,. Black Baldie 100% of the time..
Not every registered black hereford is homozygous black. So if you bred a hetero BH to an angus cow, every calf would be black, but 25% would be red carriers.

There is also quite a number of them that won't produce a 100% white faced calf crop.
 

Warren Allison

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Well that's your opinion and you are welcome to it. However, I will maintain that it is done elsewhere and the Angus cattle are at least as good in other countries.
Dunno what the goal of angus associations are in other countries. Here, the goal of the American Angus Association is to breed out the red gene, thus they do not register red cattle. It would be foolish to do so, and counter-productive to their goal. And the goal of the Red Angus Association is to preserve the Red Angus. I don't reckon anyone ever said heterozygous black angus were not as "good" as the heterozygous black Angus of the cattle registered in other county's registries. I suppose of there were enough people here, who wanted black Angus that carried the red gene, and felt strongly enough about it, they could start their own registry and call it the Heritage Angus Association.. or something like that.
 
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