Rehash on Crossbreeding

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Well-known member
Dec 20, 2003
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North Central Kansas
Interesting topic going on over on Thought it might be worth stirring it up again here as haven't had a good knock down drag out for a while.

below was my response, let's hear some others

We've had about everything under the sun on our place at one point or another. Grandpa started the beef herd in the 70's with F1 Hereford/Holstein cows. Bred those back hereford and built a herd with them. Used a few angus bulls, quite a few fleckvieh bulls and eventually got to having about half and half charolais and angus bulls around. The char cross cows were big nice cows and were profitable, but they required more management and feed than the simangus cross cows. Over the past 20 years we've gone to almost entirely angus bulls outside of a few amerifax. Has seemed that we've made far greater improvements to the herd and bottom line by focusing on the right angus genetics and concentrating on them. There's no such thing as a free lunch and I believe that's true with cross breeding as well. I'm going to give up something to gain the heterosis, quantifying that can be hard and it's incredibly hard to convince a die hard crossbreeder that there are other profitable ways to operate.
Successful crossbreeding like any other plan should have a goal and a plan to achieve that goal. To me a good example of this is the people I get my bulls from. For a lot of years they have retained ownership (30+). In doing this they found that a 3/4 angus 1/4 simmi works best for them in their environment and through the feedlot. To maintain this requires a lot of careful planning and record keeping. To their advantage they do own three separate farms which are about 10 miles apart. I know that on one farm they have a herd of straight angus cows which get bred AI to a simmi bull. That is where their replacements heifers come from. Some of those cows are AI'ed to angus bulls to raise replacements for the angus herd. Without excellent records all of this would turn into a train wreck.

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