Selecting bulls for new farm

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Jafruech

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My personal opinion is that the cattle industry as a whole has chased size and WW to the detriment of the breeds as a whole, in addition to hurting profitability. Some environments compensate and hide the flaws better with higher rainfall and more forage. Out here I've seen cows that were good in other "higher rainfall areas" of Colorado fall apart within a month being here while my cows are getting fat.

I think there's others who have chased small frames too far to the detriment of marketability. I think the answer lies somewhere between and comes down to genetics and selecting the right cows and bulls that fit your environment, are efficienct, have good disposition and weaning weight, longevity, etc. Whether you're selecting a multiple breeds of bulls for a crossbreeding program or doing a single breed. You need to have a clearly defined plan and goal for what you want to do. You need to select bulls that compliment and enchance your herd and calf crop. I'd rather have 200 cows that wean 580 lb calves than 150 cows that I have to work to maintain and feed that wean larger calves.

No one has all the answers...learn as much as you can from as many people as you can who share your vision and goals and piece together what works for you and your operation.
 

Warren Allison

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ok so I ended up getting the farm and I’m going to start buying cows in the spring. So my question is what kinda bull do you recommend I’m going to shoot for mostly black and white face cows or black cows. I really love Charolais bulls and love the way they grow they take a little bit of a beating at the yards but gain it back and some in the pounds. Also like the black simmental bulls. If you guys was starting out with moderate framed black and black white face cows and was selling all your calves at the yards what would you go with. Remember these calves have to pay for the farm. I want growthy calves and bring good money. Just a young farmer looking for advice thanks
So, you are going to have 65 black and black baldy cows, and your goal is for growthy calves tp sell, not retaining heifers. Buy a couple of Brangus bulls man and you will get the growth and have very little calving issues. If you want some Continental influence, then let some ..or all....of your black cows be Chi-angus. Or, let one of the bulls be a homozygous black SimAngus, or homo black/homo polled Simental. Half your calves by Brangus and half by the SimAng or Simmental, and see which ones you like best. If you REALLY want growth, buy some Chi-Angus cows and breed some of them to the black Simmental, too.
 

gcreekrch

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So, you are going to have 65 black and black baldy cows, and your goal is for growthy calves tp sell, not retaining heifers. Buy a couple of Brangus bulls man and you will get the growth and have very little calving issues. If you want some Continental influence, then let some ..or all....of your black cows be Chi-angus. Or, let one of the bulls be a homozygous black SimAngus, or homo black/homo polled Simental. Half your calves by Brangus and half by the SimAng or Simmental, and see which ones you like best. If you REALLY want growth, buy some Chi-Angus cows and breed some of them to the black Simmental, too.
Sounds like a mismatched hodgepodge of a calf crop to sell....
 

gcreekrch

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Bless your heart. If you call 65 black, polled calves " a mismatched hodgepodge". then I reckon so.
When there are two different breed sires and several breeds in a small cow herd with no chance of matching more than 30 calves in a group at best I will. Multiply the numbers by 10 to where load lots can be achieved and I would go along with the experiment.
 

Warren Allison

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When there are two different breed sires and several breeds in a small cow herd with no chance of matching more than 30 calves in a group at best I will. Multiply the numbers by 10 to where load lots can be achieved and I would go along with the experiment.
He said he was going to buy black cows (which will be commercial/grade Angus) and black, white-faced cows (which will be commercial Angus x commercial Herfeford.... black baldies) , so really you are talking 2 breeds, not several. This, angus and black baldy, is what you will see on 90% of the farms down here. He could not go wrong with a Brangus bull. He also mentioned he had some interest in Simmental, so I suggested he could get a BB,PP SimAngus or black Simmental, and breed half of his herd to that one. Then, he could see which pairing produced the calves he most wanted to produce. Might even do that for a couple of years. Or heck, he might decide to keep both breed bulls. He is 26. He has time to experiment and make adjustments for a few years, if he wants.
 

gcreekrch

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He said he was going to buy black cows (which will be commercial/grade Angus) and black, white-faced cows (which will be commercial Angus x commercial Herfeford.... black baldies) , so really you are talking 2 breeds, not several. This, angus and black baldy, is what you will see on 90% of the farms down here. He could not go wrong with a Brangus bull. He also mentioned he had some interest in Simmental, so I suggested he could get a BB,PP SimAngus or black Simmental, and breed half of his herd to that one. Then, he could see which pairing produced the calves he most wanted to produce. Might even do that for a couple of years. Or heck, he might decide to keep both breed bulls. He is 26. He has time to experiment and make adjustments for a few years, if he wants.
I believe you were the one suggesting a few Chi Angus cows in the mix, along with baldies and blacks and then using a Brangus and a black Simmental. We now have a hodgepodge.....

The only way to uniformity for top price in marketing calves is to have cows of similar type and bulls of same type and breed.
Having said that, our cows are quite different in colour but are sorted to different ranges to produce very similar calves that are packaged into large, uniform groups that bring top dollar.
We use three breeds of bulls, Angus, Charolais and Horned Hereford. The only reason for the Herefords is the baldy heifers. White bulls are on trial, this will be the second year calving them. At sale time last fall we saw little difference in weight and no difference in price for the Char x calves. If they prove to be difficult calvers ( they weren’t last spring) they will be gone.
If an operator is under 200 cows there is little sense in using different breeds of bulls at the same time. Makes much more sense to use the same breed for a few years and then switch to another until your herd is high percentage of that breed.
My meanderings for the morning.....
 

Warren Allison

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We use three breeds of bulls, Angus, Charolais and Horned Hereford.
KInda hodge-podgeous, ain't it?!! :cool:
Makes much more sense to use the same breed for a few years and then switch to another until your herd is high percentage of that breed.
My meanderings for the morning.....
Did you read his posts? He isn't looking for maternal bulls. He is not raising his own replacement heifers. He is debating what kind of black bulls to use on his Angus and black baldy cows, to get growthy, black calves. He has decided on the best cows for our area of the country. Wise choice. He was asking people about THEIR thoughts on bulls to use, and there have been 4 pages of opinions. He was thinking about Angus bulls, and to get the growthier calves he said he wanted, then Brangus would make a growthier calf than straight Angus. Unquestionably. He also said he was toying with the idea of using a Simmental.. So, I mentioned he could try both, since he will need 2 bulls for 60-65 cows. . That also makes perfect sense. Man, I feel like Nick Sabin, offering suggestions to a young kid who mentioned he was thinking about playing foot ball, and I have some dude who played jr high football one time, questioning and arguing abut every thing I say!
 

Rydero

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Not to put words in @gcreekrch's mouth but I believe he runs the numbers to have those bulls and still make up pot loads. He's also more like a pro player than a guy who played Jr high one time. There isn't much uncontested ground here lol. You both have your points and you're both entitled to your opinions. He's not wrong - it's a good move to go towards uniformity. You're not wrong - experimentation isn't a bad thing. There's enough cattle out there I'm sure he can see the crosses he's considering and not divide his efforts - maximize his returns when he sells. Maybe when it's time to replace bulls switch crosses.Anyway the kid will decide his own path it doesn't matter what any of us say.
 

gcreekrch

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KInda hodge-podgeous, ain't it?!! :cool:

Did you read his posts? He isn't looking for maternal bulls. He is not raising his own replacement heifers. He is debating what kind of black bulls to use on his Angus and black baldy cows, to get growthy, black calves. He has decided on the best cows for our area of the country. Wise choice. He was asking people about THEIR thoughts on bulls to use, and there have been 4 pages of opinions. He was thinking about Angus bulls, and to get the growthier calves he said he wanted, then Brangus would make a growthier calf than straight Angus. Unquestionably. He also said he was toying with the idea of using a Simmental.. So, I mentioned he could try both, since he will need 2 bulls for 60-65 cows. . That also makes perfect sense. Man, I feel like Nick Sabin, offering suggestions to a young kid who mentioned he was thinking about playing foot ball, and I have some dude who played jr high football one time, questioning and arguing abut every thing I say!
And I am asking you what uniformity is to gain by have one bull with floppy ears and one without?
 
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Cress27

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So, you are going to have 65 black and black baldy cows, and your goal is for growthy calves tp sell, not retaining heifers. Buy a couple of Brangus bulls man and you will get the growth and have very little calving issues. If you want some Continental influence, then let some ..or all....of your black cows be Chi-angus. Or, let one of the bulls be a homozygous black SimAngus, or homo black/homo polled Simental. Half your calves by Brangus and half by the SimAng or Simmental, and see which ones you like best. If you REALLY want growth, buy some Chi-Angus cows and breed some of them to the black Simmental, too.
I like the brangus bulls but I’d be scared of the knock at the sale barn. I also love beef master bulls. I love eared cattle but they won’t pay the bills. In my area. Me and a buddy have decided to sell our calves together to make a bigger pot load. He has around 65 cows as well. A friend that I can trust. We need to be on the same page to make that work. But the big pot loads sale the best
 

Warren Allison

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I like the brangus bulls but I’d be scared of the knock at the sale barn. I also love beef master bulls. I love eared cattle but they won’t pay the bills. In my area. Me and a buddy have decided to sell our calves together to make a bigger pot load. He has around 65 cows as well. A friend that I can trust. We need to be on the same page to make that work. But the big pot loads sale the best
These are ultrablacks...Brangus x Angus. Very little ear at all. 1611594096197.png
 

KAstocker

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We had a calf this year that I would guess was an ultrablack. Super thick and long. Just a tick of ear. He was a beautiful steer and grew pretty well. He sold with a group of other normal beef steers.
 

Warren Allison

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Wow nice. How old are they? I may have to take a look at some brangus bulls. I’ve been told they make great cows. Just figured they would have a lot of ear and floppy skin.
Got that pic off a sale site for an auction this week. These were weaned, so 8-9 months?
 

Warren Allison

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Wow nice. How old are they? I may have to take a look at some brangus bulls. I’ve been told they make great cows. Just figured they would have a lot of ear and floppy skin.
You put Brangus bulls on your black and black baldy cows, and the calves will look like this. Or you can do it the other way, too. Brangus cows are noted for their exceptional maternal traits. You get some Brangus cows, and breed them to a BB black SimAngus, or a PP polled/BB black Simental, and they will look like this, too. I have a client that bred about 80- or 100 of his registered Brangus cows to BB Black Hereford bulls, and they all had black baldy calves this fall. He calls them Ultra Black Baldies. He has 80-100 more ( I think it is 90) .... that will start calving next month. He bred 60 of them to the Black Hereford bulls, about 20 of them to Chi-Angus bulls ( gonna call these Mega Ultrablacks), and about 10 to a PP BB Simmental bull, just to see what they will do.
 
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Ky hills

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Warren Allison, I have noticed you mention Chi Angus bulls a few times. I have been curious about them, for a while. Years ago there were some of the old full bloods around and not many liked them much after using them. The cows didn’t look like they had enough milk to raise a calf of the ones I saw. The last few years I have seen some Chi Angus bulls advertised for sale in the area. The pictures look to be a range from very Angus like to very tall, leggy and lean. I have often wondered how those kind of bulls would do as far as calving and how daughters would do as far as milk and maternal instincts. Right now I have a group of coming second calf cows that I bought as 500 lbs heifers. Have no idea what they may be. They are not straight Angus and most times I can figure it out if they are Sim or Limousin or Gelbvieh influenced but as they have grown they aren’t very uniform and have had to cull some for not having enough milk. A few were culled for disposition problems too. I’ve wondered if I may have gotten some of those Chi Angus.
 
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Cress27

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Warren Allison, I have noticed you mention Chi Angus bulls a few times. I have been curious about them, for a while. Years ago there were some of the old full bloods around and not many liked them much after using them. The cows didn’t look like they had enough milk to raise a calf of the ones I saw. The last few years I have seen some Chi Angus bulls advertised for sale in the area. The pictures look to be a range from very Angus like to very tall, leggy and lean. I have often wondered how those kind of bulls would do as far as calving and how daughters would do as far as milk and maternal instincts. Right now I have a group of coming second calf cows that I bought as 500 lbs heifers. Have no idea what they may be. They are not straight Angus and most times I can figure it out if they are Sim or Limousin or Gelbvieh influenced but as they have grown they aren’t very uniform and have had to cull some for not having enough milk. A few were culled for disposition problems too. I’ve wondered if I may have gotten some of those Chi Angus.
There is a chi angus breeder not far from me at all I think his farm is Waco farms in junction city. I’m sure we are talking about the same guy. I’ve got a friend I work with that used them and said he loved them crossed with commercial angus cows. Clams the growth was just as good or better than Charolais cross calves.
 

Warren Allison

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Warren Allison, I have noticed you mention Chi Angus bulls a few times. I have been curious about them, for a while. Years ago there were some of the old full bloods around and not many liked them much after using them. The cows didn’t look like they had enough milk to raise a calf of the ones I saw. The last few years I have seen some Chi Angus bulls advertised for sale in the area. The pictures look to be a range from very Angus like to very tall, leggy and lean. I have often wondered how those kind of bulls would do as far as calving and how daughters would do as far as milk and maternal instincts. Right now I have a group of coming second calf cows that I bought as 500 lbs heifers. Have no idea what they may be. They are not straight Angus and most times I can figure it out if they are Sim or Limousin or Gelbvieh influenced but as they have grown they aren’t very uniform and have had to cull some for not having enough milk. A few were culled for disposition problems too. I’ve wondered if I may have gotten some of those Chi Angus.
The Chi-Angus books are kept by the Chianina registry, and basically the Chi-Angus parentage has to be registered Angus and registered Chianina only. Looking at various semen sites, you will see the bulls listed anywhere from 75% Chianina to as low as 20% Chianina. Pure Chianina are noted for their insect and disease tolerance, like Brahman and Longhorn, as well as both heat and cold tolerance. They are also noted for maternal instincts and milk production. In Italy, there were a triple=purpose breed, used for meat and milk as well as draft animals. They just didn't bag up like a Holstein. Docility is important for a milk cow, as well as working oxen., so this trait was selected for over thousands of years of breeding. Chianina bulls have freakishly small heads, and Chianina calves tend to be long and slender, and these add up to calving ease.

I remember in 1974, when I saw the first Chianinas.. first time I had heard of them actually. I was attending the Univ of Georgia, and I went to a sale at the beef building on campus. I sat way up high in the stands, and already in the ring were 4 cows, that I thought were Angus. Then, when the 2 ring men came out and started moving the cows, i thought they were either kids or midgets! Then the auctioneer got on the PA, and told us what they were...and all about Chianina cattle. Prior to then, you could not import Chianina into the US, but in the early 70's, you could import Chianina semen from Canada. So, the first we saw of them, were crossbreds.... almost all Angus crosses. Back then Angus were still little, dumpy ., short-legged cattle, and those angus cows weighing less than 1000 lbs, had no problem birthing those Chianina calves.

I don't have a ton of experience with Chianina or Chi-Angus, but what little I have had has been positive. As I mentioned on another thread, I bought a client's half-Chianina and half-Holstein heifers for about 10 years, starting about 2000. He had about 6 Holsteins he AI-ed to a Chianina bull, and 6 registered Chiania cows he AI-ed to a Holstein bull, to get steers to make draft oxen. I bred those heifers to Brangus bulls, and never had 1 calving problem Some of them on their 2nd or subsequent calves, I tried a Chi-Angus bull, and had no problems. Admittedly these cows are a cross of the biggest 2 breeds there are, and as you'd expect, they had plenty of milk. This man also used Chianina when he took a notion to raise bucking bulls. He eventually developed a 3-way Longhorn, Brahma, and Chianina cross. Neither his Longhorn nor his Brahma cows had any problems calving these Chianina calves. I bought some of his Chianina x Brahma cows, when he had enough of the 3-way crosses and started selling off his 2-ways. I bred these cows to polled Charolais bulls, and never had a calving problem with them either. These cows raised some awesome calves....never a milk issue at all. These were some of the best non-Angus influenced cows I ever owned. They'd stand out in the middle of the summer,. at noon, eating like they were starving to death, while other cows were laying in the ponds! I hardly ever had to take one of those 1/2 Char, 1/4 Brahma. 1/4 Chi heifers to the sale, either. There was a neighbor in the next county that bought nearly every one I weaned. He'd breed them to Charolais and Simmental bulls ( back when Simmentals were red and white like a Hereford), and never had a problem calving. That smaller head from the Chianina ( and Brahma) was still showing up 2 and 3 generations away.

Personally, if I wanted a Continental influence, I would feel more comfortable breeding my angus or hereford cows to a chi-angus bull, than to a SimAngus or black Simmental. I think you'd have less calving problems, and you will wean off a bigger black calf.
 
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