Shorthorns

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J+

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I have recently bought some shorthorns and would love some information from everyone out there. If you are going to start bashing the bred, save your time. I am interested in whst to cross them with, and the pros and cons of the breed. Thanks!

J+
 

dun

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They'll work with just about anything you would cross Herefords or Angus.
For our purposes they tend to be too large so you may want to watch that. Their also generally excellent milkers, fertile as dirt and easy going. I would like to find a good proven AI solid red bull without any crossing in the background.
I know of one herd that didn't have the show type Shorthorns, i.e. short hair, straighbred, moderate frame, but he jumped on the club calf bandwagon.
Not bashing, just commenting.

dun

J+":2jwbe51f said:
I have recently bought some shorthorns and would love some information from everyone out there. If you are going to start bashing the bred, save your time. I am interested in whst to cross them with, and the pros and cons of the breed. Thanks!

J+
 
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J+

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I am not into the show calve business so we are all right there! I bought some that are big but to me they look more like milking shorthorns. The rest of them really compare to some Angus cattle as far as size in my area. Dad said that they have tried to get them to be more comparalbe to other beef cattle. I am wondering about the immune system and things like that also. Thanks Dun for your comments!

J+
 

dun

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It seems that even though the association does market them as a good beef breed, all of their rhetoric seems to be overshadowed by the club calf/show types.
Even 20 years ago I had to look long and hard to find some decent straighbred cows. Ended up buying some 4-H kids project cows. Seems like the showring has gotten even more invasive since then.
If you would want an all British cow herd, a 3 way cross of Shorthorn, Angus and Hereford would be mighty hard to beat. Pretty close to the maximum possible heterosis, good quality carcass, and all of the other traits that those three breeds bring to the table. Through in a terminal sire, limo, Simmenthal, Charolais, Gelbvieh and you should get some really top calves that will yield and grade.
Of course that's just one persons opinion, and we all know what opinions are like.

dun

J+":1su5oy99 said:
I am not into the show calve business so we are all right there! I bought some that are big but to me they look more like milking shorthorns. The rest of them really compare to some Angus cattle as far as size in my area. Dad said that they have tried to get them to be more comparalbe to other beef cattle. I am wondering about the immune system and things like that also. Thanks Dun for your comments!

J+
 
A

Anonymous

I know I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but I believe that there is a greater proportion of shorts with double star for tenderness--thus potentially they have more tender meat than other breeds. I know they are not the smartest cattle I've ever worked with (Simmies take that prize) but are generally amenable to handling. There are two herdbooks--appendix (aka domestic purebred) and non-appendix (aka fullblood) so sometimes you have to watch for that. Some of them have very straight hocks and shoulders, thus some are not good on their wheels. Some have really bad suspension on their udders.

What would I crossbreed them with? Maybe Simmies! Of course, I'm not even considering bos indicus to be honest.
 

ollie

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Some of the mane influenced shorthorns tend to have too small of a foot also. The old shorthorns were great cows however probably not many of them left. I heard in the 20's most were white.
 

clifflem

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I have raised Shorthorns since 1976. I see the breed as a maternal breed with above average milk. Because of this some of them will really pull down when nursing big calves. It is not uncommon to wean 700 lb. calves though. They have good growth and have a good ability to grade choice when fed. We have fed several and they feed as well as most other English breeds.
As far as crossing them, we have used a black Maine bull on several with no problem at all. Most of the calves were solid black, with a few with a little white on them. It kind of depends on the color of the cow. I have seen a lot of Shorthorx Hereford cross cows and they are really good cows for our part of the world. Keeps some of the range cow ability of the Herefords, but increased growth and milk.
The showring is a big part of the breed, for better or worse. There are some breeders that don't breed for the showring that breed for real world cattle production. If you want to make cows, these are the ones you need to hunt. We run our cows on grass and handle them like most commercial cows in our country. They calve outside without being watch every few hours and we have very little calving problems. Usually if we do it is a mispresentation. Shorthorns can do about anything as well or better than any other breed if you find the right ones. The biggest problem we have is what they cost you at the salebarn because of color. If they were black, they would be worth more. Our solid colored calves (red or white) will sell on the top of the market. Our roan or spotted calves always lack some bringing top market. Kind of hard to figure out why as they are all bred alike.
You will meet some of the nicest and best cattle people in the business that breed shorthorns. I have always enjoyed the fellowship that Shorthorn people have and their love of the breed.
 

CattleAnnie

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For what it's worth, I've got some shorthorn x angus & horned hereford cows that are really topnotch mothers. Mind you this is a commercial herd, but those little brockle faced roans can really raise a good 'soggy' calf by fall. I also appreciate the disposition of them, as they are very docile. God only knows what their actual percentage of shorthorn is, as they've come from various herd dispersals, but I'd love to have a few dozen more of them. Not very large framed (shorter legged yet still thick bodied), but when crossed with a Simmental or Char bull, you get an awesome terminal animal. The only downside of these animals is that due to the shorter leg and abundance of milk, they have a tendancy for dirty udders in the spring when the frost is coming out and the gumbo is thick.

Take care.
 

A. delaGarza

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J+":38jrd4fp said:
I have recently bought some shorthorns and would love some information from everyone out there. If you are going to start bashing the bred, save your time. I am interested in whst to cross them with, and the pros and cons of the breed. Thanks!

J+

I will suggest Simmental, will be almost the same as a Simmangus or if you need bos Indicus influence go with Simbrah
 
A

Anonymous

J+":1ctjmc1v said:
I have recently bought some shorthorns and would love some information from everyone out there. If you are going to start bashing the bred, save your time. I am interested in whst to cross them with, and the pros and cons of the breed. Thanks!

J+


The pro's; Super Mellow dispositions, easy keepers, Super Mellow dispositions, good milkers & will mother each others calves. Oh and did I say Super Mellow dispositions? :D

The con’s; Easy keepers, Can get to Prime tooooooo easily.

The only crosses we have are of angus & charolais they produce good calves but they act like the other parent even tho they were born on our property. I guess I’m saying we have Shorthorns for their dispositions.
 

Jake

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I had a shorthorn cow when I was younger that I'd bought from my grandpa. She would have been a great cow but she was in a pasture with bull problems and lost a calf when it got trampled to death. She ended up getting mastitus so her and her little blue roan calf and her hit the road.
 
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J+

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Thank you all for you comments and I have a few more questions.

1> How do I keep the cows from letting everything suck. I don't mind an old cow that has enough milk for every calf on the place but I think that it hurt some of the calves on my heifers because they weren't getting enough milk.

2> As far as easy keepers go, what do you mean by that. I had a terrible time of keeping my fall calves in shape. This is the first time I have ever had a fall herd and I am wondering whether or not to continue with a fall herd because I had 55 fall cows and was unrolling 2 bales of prairie hay and 8 lbs of grain a day and did not have the best bred back % in the world. On some of my other cows if I fed that much I would be taking them to the sale because they wouldn't bred back because they would have been to fat!

3> What do you mean by to prime to easy?

4> What is bos indicus?

5> Why would simmental be a good cross?

I am not doubting anyone I am just one of those people who can drive another person nuts because I ask so many questions. You gotta learn somehow! I know these questions come from a lot of different posts and appreciate any answers yall can give me!

Thanks

J+
 

jcarkie

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an easy keeper is a cow that doesn't take very much to stay in good shape. raises a good calf rebreeds quick and winters easy.
depending on your area fall calving takes more feed than spring, if hay is cheap or you can stock pile fescue it can be profitable. in the south our winters are mild and alot of people calve in the fall, because summers can be hot and dry and pasture gets short. i like to calve in feb. & mar. rebreed in may and june when the grass is thick and then cows are dry through the winter.
i don't have any idea how to keep a cow from letting everything suck, my grandpa had one that he had to seperate from the others, she gave a lot of milk but i have seen four calves at a time nursing.
bos indicus is brahman influence.
 
A

Anonymous

I am shorthorn enthusiast who is greatly involved with the lot-feeding steers for carcase competitions. I understand you are not into the show aspect but our feedlot has been using predominantly shorthorn steers for the entire 20 years of our existance. Over the years we have won many championships with both purebred and crosdbred shorties.
In my experience, shorthorns have excellent temperements, making them easy to handle and halter-break, and ideal for someone who is not particularly large, strong or extremely experienced. Shorties tend to grow out at an excellent rate and be ready for slaughter at a relatively early age. In my enterprise I hav recorded up an average daily weight gain of up to 3.5kg and have consistently slaughtered steers at 12 months of age. Shorthorn steers have the capacity for excellent muscling, some of my own ending up with an amazing B plus or even A minus muscle score. A steer I recently entered in a competition had an enormous eye muscle area of 100 square centimetres with a live weight of only 420 kg :D almost unheard of for a shorty steer. As far as I'm concerned, as a breed shorties have very little structural faults however in the taller, leggier animals you have to watch out for a weak topline (spine) and dodgy back legs.
As far as crossbreeding goes, shorthorns are an incredibly diverse breed, being compatible with almost everything. However I would not suggest a bos indicus (tropical) breed as they seem to have a negative impact on the pros of shorthorns. In particular, angus-shorthorn and poll hereford-shorthorn crosses seem to provide top-notch carcases. An angus-shorthorn steer I took to a show last year gained an unbelievable 98 carcase points out of 100 and sold for $4.85 per kilo. A friend of mine entered a simmental-angus-shorthorn cross in a carcase comp and gained a never-before-seen 99.9 points out of 100.
Good luck with your shorthorn project and I hope this has helped.
 
A

Anonymous

My family has had horns since 1896, so i feel fairly qualified to voice an opinion. First of all, the shorthorns in the US today are nothing like they were 30 years ago. The Irish and Milker cattle have made them big, course and generally hard doing. It is tough to get first calf heifers to rebreed without supplemental feed. When I was a kid, we used to have problems with scours from too much milk and the ligaments on the udders would give out causing us to cull cows early. Now I see shorthorns that don't milk worth a darn. The club calf concoction sure is pretty but they leave alot to be desired as beef cattle.

I can't blame anyone who raises horns to go that route, though. You can't sell a red polled performance bull and you get docked at the yards for shorties. If you want to make any money with shorts, you better be selling clubbies. If it weren't for the popularity in the show ring, I don't know if horns would have survived as anything more than a novelty breed like a friggin longhorn or a dexter.

If someone held a gun to my head and wanted me to put together a herd of horns with the traits that made them good cattle, I would buy Canadian. There are some great old school type horns north of the border. Not so much around here.
 
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J+

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If they are such a bad bred than why has your family raised them for so long? :?: :?: I respect your opinion because you probably know more than I do but some of the old timers told me that shorthorn used to be a very popular bred but everyone crossed up cattle to be red and everyone thought that anything red was shorthorn (sound familar) and it hurt the shorthorn. I like my cows and they are gentle, are pretty good mama's and have some good traits that I am learnig about. And I will put my cattle up against alot around. They may not be the best but they are the best I GOT. They will be all right. You just have to be a little bit more creative if they are not Black!


J+
 
A

Anonymous

I guess i did come across as negative, didn't I?Sorry I should have said "So Many of the horns around today are..." I love some of my old shorthorn cows. i still swear up and down that the most pounds you will ever get at weaning is a good old ugly horn cow with a simmi bull. I think the main problem with the shorthorns is that the breed was forced to chase what was hot just to stay in existence. They really fell off the mapfor a while and it was virtually impossible to sell to commercial guys. I hear a lot of people say"I would use shorthorns if they were like they were when.." BS. nobody bought them then and nobody buys them now. The new ASA director thinks he can lead the breed into the commercial segment of the industry and i think it is pointless. Horns need to take the money while it is there and their regained popularity is due entirely to 4h kids wanting to show pretty roan heifers and steer jocks loving to sculpt on shorthorn hair. Might as well run with it because it won't last. It never does. Some one will decide that the key to the cattle business is dewclaw length and we will sepeople chasing all over for Belted Galloways with huge dewclaws. Or something stupid like that. I lived and raised cattle from belt buckle beef to having to stand on a hay bale to clip the top line of a Chi bull and the only constant is change. If you stay in the middle you will get along. the Shorthorn breed as a whole has always chased what was hot and in the end they are always lacking.
 
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