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I dunno that everyone on here thinks I am the "go to" guy, but thanks. IMO, you gain nothing with a BM x Gert cross. Either one would be a good choice for brood cows in your area. There will be little hybrid vigor with that cross..they are basically the same animal. Then again, I don't think that cross would hurt anything. If you had gert cows and a BM bull or vice versa, you would be ok. I think if I lived where you do, and having to deal with both severe heat and severe cold, I would get Hereford cows, and a Brahma bull. The steers won't bring as much as a beef-bred black one will, but those would be the ones you would eat. Your heifer calves are a different story. f1 Br x Herf are the most sought after for brood cows and replacement heifers. And if you retained some, you can breed them to a black Angus bull, and you will get calves that grow like weeds, and will top the sale. I don't believe in retaining heifers myself but that doesn't mean I am right about it.

How many acres do you have? And how many momma cows do you plan on running?

By the way, you need to go to your profile and put in your location. This will help you so much in getting answers. People who live in your area will be more likely to respond.
A Brahman bull for a small herd wanting some freezer beef. 🙄
 
Well first thing is to decide where you want your place to be in the future ( genetic and such), would also suggest you get to know your local county extension agent and the your local vet. Another thing to keep in mind is to do a soil test to find out what improvements like pH and fertilizer wise you'll need. Retaining any cows I guess would depend on the ages of your current herd but roughly 30% is a good goal to shoot for.
 
I dunno that everyone on here thinks I am the "go to" guy, but thanks. IMO, you gain nothing with a BM x Gert cross. Either one would be a good choice for brood cows in your area. There will be little hybrid vigor with that cross..they are basically the same animal. Then again, I don't think that cross would hurt anything. If you had gert cows and a BM bull or vice versa, you would be ok. I think if I lived where you do, and having to deal with both severe heat and severe cold, I would get Hereford cows, and a Brahma bull. The steers won't bring as much as a beef-bred black one will, but those would be the ones you would eat. Your heifer calves are a different story. f1 Br x Herf are the most sought after for brood cows and replacement heifers. And if you retained some, you can breed them to a black Angus bull, and you will get calves that grow like weeds, and will top the sale. I don't believe in retaining heifers myself but that doesn't mean I am right about it.

How many acres do you have? And how many momma cows do you plan on running?

By the way, you need to go to your profile and put in your location. This will help you so much in getting answers. People who live in your area will be more likely to respond.
I have heard you called several things but go to guy hasn't been one of them.
 
Formal - I have been raising PB Simmentals for about 60 years. Small herd, around 50 momma cows. I don't own ANY hay equipment except the spears on my tractor. I have it done by a neighbor. I am fortunate to have a neighbor that does his own, then mine, then any other people wanting to hire him - so it is done in a very timely manner and excellent finished product!
Rotational grazing and facilities should be your main goals right now. With your water supplies located in different locations, you shouldn't have any trouble splitting up your paddocks.
We live in two different worlds - I'm in Upstate NY - grass and clover grow like weeds. We get lots of moisture. For rotational grazing, the 1st number 1 rule is don't let your cattle graze a section/paddock for more than 7 days. So, this means you have to play with the size of their paddocks. Use temporary electric fence - polywire & push in posts.
This may be something in your future, but rotational grazing is the best for your cattle and land.
You are now a grass farmer more than a cattle farmer!!!
Hi @Jeanne - Simme Valley! I'm catching up on this thread. I've been busy with other NRCS stuff. The 7 day rule completely applies to Bermuda grass (coastal, as well as the others). It's Warm Season Bunchgrasses where it doesn't fit as well, but that isn't a concern here. We also need to include the other 3 rules that the 'grass farmer' ( You, @Formal and just about everyone else on this thread (except me ;)) is within this forum). There are a couple threads on these rules. ("The 4 Never Fail Rules of Grazing"). The other 3 rules are: NEVER allow seedheads to form on your grass (not at all applicable to WSG. Another discussion and not applicable here), NEVER graze the forage shorter than 3 inches, and NEVER return to a pasture sooner than 28 days after removing the livestock (cattle in this case).

When you operate a grazing enterprise, you are managing the grasses, not the livestock (well, the feeding portion of the operation). @Jeanne - Simme Valley is correct, you are a grass farmer, not a cattle farmer.

You have coastal Bermuda, which is great. @Warren Allison can give you some great advice on managing it and maximizing/optimizing it's productivity. However, the coastal goes dormant and does not grow for several months each year. Give some serious consideration to seeding in some cool season annual grasses and legumes (such as annual rye, but there are many others, and a legume) that will produce forage when the coastal is dormant. The NRCS and local extension agents are a big help for this and other items of concern that you need to address. Also, before doing any seeding, get that soil test, look at the results, and address soil concerns before seeding anything. Also, address soil pH before fertilizer. Very important as fertilizer potentially won't be as effective if you ignore this.

@Jeanne - Simme Valley and I are discussing rotational grazing, which is on a sliding scale. We can discuss this more here or elsewhere if you like.
 
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I dunno that everyone on here thinks I am the "go to" guy, but thanks. IMO, you gain nothing with a BM x Gert cross. Either one would be a good choice for brood cows in your area. There will be little hybrid vigor with that cross..they are basically the same animal. Then again, I don't think that cross would hurt anything. If you had gert cows and a BM bull or vice versa, you would be ok. I think if I lived where you do, and having to deal with both severe heat and severe cold, I would get Hereford cows, and a Brahma bull. The steers won't bring as much as a beef-bred black one will, but those would be the ones you would eat. Your heifer calves are a different story. f1 Br x Herf are the most sought after for brood cows and replacement heifers. And if you retained some, you can breed them to a black Angus bull, and you will get calves that grow like weeds, and will top the sale. I don't believe in retaining heifers myself but that doesn't mean I am right about it.

How many acres do you have? And how many momma cows do you plan on running?

By the way, you need to go to your profile and put in your location. This will help you so much in getting answers. People who live in your area will be more likely to respond.
Thank you!
 
Tumbleweed......you along with other new members will soon learn that Travlr has some sort of unnecessary feud with Warren. I can think of one odd occurrence where the two of them were in agreement on a topic. It's getting quite old but I guess its part of the "charm" of Cattle Today.
Thank you for that tidbit. I don't need no drama, just seeking information and sound advice.
 
Thank you for that tidbit. I don't need no drama, just seeking information and sound advice.
Don't go buy a Brahman bull. They will require high level, experienced, cattle handling and can really get some one hurt, especially those with physical limitations. They are generally not small farm, family, animals.

Nothing wrong with a Beefmaster X Gert but don't get hung up on a breed as both of those can be very pricey to get qood quailty. Most of your main stream cattle breeds will do fine in you area and dont rule out commercial, crossbred cattle. A little ear, 3/8, 1/4, 1/8 should all work and is more than enoung ear. Buy cattle like equipment, find some one in your area with a good operation and buy from them. Those cattle are likely working there and are adapted to that area. I see a lot of red cattle there like red angus, hereford, etc. They can all go back to a Black bull to top the market.

Just remember when you go to buy, especially if you have kids, make sure you get in and try to handle the cattle. Make sure they are acclimated to kids and not aggressive towards them because they don't know what they are. Make sure you can move them. If you are going to be on foot, make sure the cattle can be moved on foot and haven't been worked horseback their whole lives.

How they act toward you and your family's operation is far more important than a breed.
 
Hi @Jeanne - Simme Valley! I'm catching up on this thread. I've been busy with other NRCS stuff. The 7 day rule completely applies to Bermuda grass (coastal, as well as the others). It's Warm Season Bunchgrasses where it doesn't fit as well, but that isn't a concern here. We also need to include the other 3 rules that the 'grass farmer' ( You, @Formal and just about everyone else on this thread (except me ;)) is within this forum). There are a couple threads on these rules. ("The 4 Never Fail Rules of Grazing"). The other 3 rules are: NEVER allow seedheads to form on your grass (not at all applicable to WSG. Another discussion and not applicable here), NEVER graze the forage shorter than 3 inches, and NEVER return to a pasture sooner than 28 days after removing the livestock (cattle in this case).

When you operate a grazing enterprise, you are managing the grasses, not the livestock (well, the feeding portion of the operation). @Jeanne - Simme Valley is correct, you are a grass farmer, not a cattle farmer.

You have coastal Bermuda, which is great. @Warren Allison can give you some great advice on managing it and maximizing/optimizing it's productivity. However, the coastal goes dormant and does not grow for several months each year. Give some serious consideration to seeding in some cool season annual grasses and legumes (such as annual rye, but there are many others, and a legume) that will produce forage when the coastal is dormant. The NRCS and local extension agents are a big help for this and other items of concern that you need to address. Also, before doing any seeding, get that soil test, look at the results, and address soil concerns before seeding anything. Also, address soil pH before fertilizer. Very important as fertilizer potentially won't be as effective if you ignore this.

@Jeanne - Simme Valley and I are discussing rotational grazing, which is on a sliding scale. We can discuss this more here or elsewhere if you like.
Here, most pastures are bermuda/fescue mix, with clover being the legume used the most. And people here are having great success with World Feeder Bermuda and Bulldog 805 alfalfa mix. Out where @Formal lives I doubt they have fescue, but I am sure they have other cool season grasses. Like @Mark Reynolds said, get your soil test done and fertilize and lime exactly like the results call for. Any more, or any less, or any different, is just throwing away money, and could actually cause more harm than good.
 
Here, most pastures are bermuda/fescue mix, with clover being the legume used the most. And people here are having great success with World Feeder Bermuda and Bulldog 805 alfalfa mix. Out where @Formal lives I doubt they have fescue, but I am sure they have other cool season grasses. Like @Mark Reynolds said, get your soil test done and fertilize and lime exactly like the results call for. Any more, or any less, or any different, is just throwing away money, and could actually cause more harm than good.
I was thinking of the Bulldog 805 alfalfa as a possible supplemental seeding to the Bermuda. @Formal, the alfalfa is a legume that 'fixes' nitrogen from the air and makes it available to the grass plants. Nitrogen is the one fertilizer component that can be and is lost from the pastures. The other nutrients get recycled by being taken up in the plant, eaten by the cow, excreted by the cow, incorporated back into the soil, and then taken up by the plant. The nitrogen gets lost by volitization. It can be reapplied through fertilization, but 'my preference' if to let the alfalfa and/or other legumes capture the nitrogen from the air and fertilize the pasture for me, at no cost. And the legumes tend to do a better job if cared for. Add to that, the legumes are more nutritious than the grasses. A note though, most legumes will cause bloat, but only in 'crazy high' quantities. By far/leaps and bounds, you want to have legumes in your pastures, not exclude them. Just remember, there is such a thing as "Too much of a good thing".

I apologize if you were already aware of this information.
 
I was thinking of the Bulldog 805 alfalfa as a possible supplemental seeding to the Bermuda. @Formal, the alfalfa is a legume that 'fixes' nitrogen from the air and makes it available to the grass plants. Nitrogen is the one fertilizer component that can be and is lost from the pastures. The other nutrients get recycled by being taken up in the plant, eaten by the cow, excreted by the cow, incorporated back into the soil, and then taken up by the plant. The nitrogen gets lost by volitization. It can be reapplied through fertilization, but 'my preference' if to let the alfalfa and/or other legumes capture the nitrogen from the air and fertilize the pasture for me, at no cost. And the legumes tend to do a better job if cared for. Add to that, the legumes are more nutritious than the grasses. A note though, most legumes will cause bloat, but only in 'crazy high' quantities. By far/leaps and bounds, you want to have legumes in your pastures, not exclude them. Just remember, there is such a thing as "Too much of a good thing".

I apologize if you were already aware of this information.
I never have legumes or any other kind of grass in my hayfields, and cuttting them 4-5 times a year I use a LOT of Ammonia Nitrate. Now, the bermuda/fescue/clover pastures only call for a minute amount of N, sometimes. I have never had it to where legumes totally eliminated the need for Nitrogen, but it sure does dramatically reduce the need for supplemental N.
 
Don't go buy a Brahman bull. They will require high level, experienced, cattle handling and can really get some one hurt, especially those with physical limitations. They are generally not small farm, family, animals.

Nothing wrong with a Beefmaster X Gert but don't get hung up on a breed as both of those can be very pricey to get qood quailty. Most of your main stream cattle breeds will do fine in you area and dont rule out commercial, crossbred cattle. A little ear, 3/8, 1/4, 1/8 should all work and is more than enoung ear. Buy cattle like equipment, find some one in your area with a good operation and buy from them. Those cattle are likely working there and are adapted to that area. I see a lot of red cattle there like red angus, hereford, etc. They can all go back to a Black bull to top the market.

Just remember when you go to buy, especially if you have kids, make sure you get in and try to handle the cattle. Make sure they are acclimated to kids and not aggressive towards them because they don't know what they are. Make sure you can move them. If you are going to be on foot, make sure the cattle can be moved on foot and haven't been worked horseback their whole lives.

How they act toward you and your family's operation is far more important than a breed.
Thank you so much for the advice. I've been leaning this way, buy cows, maybe already bred, and start from there. I've worked both horses and cattle on foot--when needed, but I prefer horseback! Thank you again!
 
Thank you so much for the advice. I've been leaning this way, buy cows, maybe already bred, and start from there. I've worked both horses and cattle on foot--when needed, but I prefer horseback! Thank you again!
I am the same way. So much easier to move them slow and quiet on horseback than on foot, and I NEVER allow a 4-wheeler, side by side, or damned dogs in a pasture with my cattle. Especially with Brahmas. I bought 8 Brahma heifers, coming 2 yr old, a couple of weeks ago. I have them in a 15 acre pasture with a Jersey nurse cow and 5 more beef cows. 2nd evening I had them, I saddled up and rode out to them...just sat my horse and watched them, and talked to them for a while. Then I would ride in and out of them at a slow walk, watching to see if they got nervous. All this week, every evening I can ride up to each one, and spray it with fly spray from my hand-help pump sprayer, and they don't move away. The gentlest bulls I have ever known were all Brahmas. Most broke to lead, and 3 or 4 of them over the years, you could sit on, ride, etc.

I noticed the horse in your avatar. How many do you have? What do you do with them? I like the palominos, buckskins, anmd sorrels with all the chrome, but my favorite color of all, is bay with no white markings. I guess I am dull! LOL

You can not go wrong with buying a couple of Hereford, Braford or f1 Br x Herf cows. Let someone else fool with bringing a heifer's first calf into the world. If you can find these cows bred to a pb Angus bull, that would be ideal. If not, breed these cows to one. Reg. or at least pb so you know it is homozygous for black. The black baldy or super black baldy calves will sell near the top...heifers or steers...and they will finish well for your freezer. Herefords are known for being the best momma cows, and they have a reputation for being the most docile of the beef breeds.
 
Hi @Jeanne - Simme Valley! I'm catching up on this thread. I've been busy with other NRCS stuff. The 7 day rule completely applies to Bermuda grass (coastal, as well as the others). It's Warm Season Bunchgrasses where it doesn't fit as well, but that isn't a concern here. We also need to include the other 3 rules that the 'grass farmer' ( You, @Formal and just about everyone else on this thread (except me ;)) is within this forum). There are a couple threads on these rules. ("The 4 Never Fail Rules of Grazing"). The other 3 rules are: NEVER allow seedheads to form on your grass (not at all applicable to WSG. Another discussion and not applicable here), NEVER graze the forage shorter than 3 inches, and NEVER return to a pasture sooner than 28 days after removing the livestock (cattle in this case).

When you operate a grazing enterprise, you are managing the grasses, not the livestock (well, the feeding portion of the operation). @Jeanne - Simme Valley is correct, you are a grass farmer, not a cattle farmer.

You have coastal Bermuda, which is great. @Warren Allison can give you some great advice on managing it and maximizing/optimizing it's productivity. However, the coastal goes dormant and does not grow for several months each year. Give some serious consideration to seeding in some cool season annual grasses and legumes (such as annual rye, but there are many others, and a legume) that will produce forage when the coastal is dormant. The NRCS and local extension agents are a big help for this and other items of concern that you need to address. Also, before doing any seeding, get that soil test, look at the results, and address soil concerns before seeding anything. Also, address soil pH before fertilizer. Very important as fertilizer potentially won't be as effective if you ignore this.

@Jeanne - Simme Valley and I are discussing rotational grazing, which is on a sliding scale. We can discuss this more here or elsewhere if you like.
Not sure where you're getting these rules such as "NEVER graze the forage shorter than 3 inches, and NEVER return to a pasture sooner than 28 days after removing the livestock" because grazing height and when to return are contextually dependant. Grazing height rules differ from species to species, and in a truly diverse ecosystem would never be grazed to the same height. Same holds true for returning to the pasture. In arid climates the rule of thumb thrown around is a minimum of year before returning. But there are grasses such as tabosa and sacaton grasses which need to be grazed twice, if not three times to remain healthy. If you're really being vigilant, there are times you may need to go back to a pasture to spot graze thistle, cockleburrs, ragweed or other weeds as they come into the proper time to be grazed.
 
Not sure where you're getting these rules... there are times you may need to go back to a pasture to spot graze thistle, cockleburrs, ragweed or other weeds as they come into the proper time to be grazed.

"Graze" thistle or cockleburs???

Maybe we use those terms differently or something, but I've never seen thistle or cockleburs be grazed... ever. I suppose it might happen if a desperate cow is enclosed on dirt for two or three weeks with some of those weeds in the enclosure, but as long as there is any suggestion of grass they will ignore those particular weeds.
 
I am the same way. So much easier to move them slow and quiet on horseback than on foot, and I NEVER allow a 4-wheeler, side by side, or damned dogs in a pasture with my cattle. Especially with Brahmas. I bought 8 Brahma heifers, coming 2 yr old, a couple of weeks ago. I have them in a 15 acre pasture with a Jersey nurse cow and 5 more beef cows. 2nd evening I had them, I saddled up and rode out to them...just sat my horse and watched them, and talked to them for a while. Then I would ride in and out of them at a slow walk, watching to see if they got nervous. All this week, every evening I can ride up to each one, and spray it with fly spray from my hand-help pump sprayer, and they don't move away. The gentlest bulls I have ever known were all Brahmas. Most broke to lead, and 3 or 4 of them over the years, you could sit on, ride, etc.

I noticed the horse in your avatar. How many do you have? What do you do with them? I like the palominos, buckskins, anmd sorrels with all the chrome, but my favorite color of all, is bay with no white markings. I guess I am dull! LOL

You can not go wrong with buying a couple of Hereford, Braford or f1 Br x Herf cows. Let someone else fool with bringing a heifer's first calf into the world. If you can find these cows bred to a pb Angus bull, that would be ideal. If not, breed these cows to one. Reg. or at least pb so you know it is homozygous for black. The black baldy or super black baldy calves will sell near the top...heifers or steers...and they will finish well for your freezer. Herefords are known for being the best momma cows, and they have a reputation for being the most docile of the beef breeds.
I'm glad you learned some thing from me but we still need to work on the rest of that. 🤣
 
Not sure where you're getting these rules such as "NEVER graze the forage shorter than 3 inches, and NEVER return to a pasture sooner than 28 days after removing the livestock" because grazing height and when to return are contextually dependant. Grazing height rules differ from species to species, and in a truly diverse ecosystem would never be grazed to the same height. Same holds true for returning to the pasture. In arid climates the rule of thumb thrown around is a minimum of year before returning. But there are grasses such as tabosa and sacaton grasses which need to be grazed twice, if not three times to remain healthy. If you're really being vigilant, there are times you may need to go back to a pasture to spot graze thistle, cockleburrs, ragweed or other weeds as they come into the proper time to be grazed.
All in context @Bob Kinford. The rules are designed as a 'starting point' for someone that is just getting into rotational grazing. If you start throwing everything you are suggesting at the new producer or producer just starting to rotational graze, their eyes will glaze over and they won't comprehend a thing you have said. The rules are designed for the 'tame' sod forming (relatively, as tall fescue is arguably debatable, but it's included here). Specifically, the rules were initially designed for the Cool Season Grasses typically found in the Ohio Valley, with tall fescue, timothy, orchardgrass, Kentucky bluegrass and bromes in mind. The rules have been 'tested' against the Warm Season Grasses (tame sod formers) throughout the Southeast through Texas. The grasses in mind here are Bahia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine. Arguably there are others. To your point, no two species, or varieties for that matter, of grasses have the same growth and response patterns. The "Never Fail Rules of Grazing" are designed to be applied at a pasture level, not a species or variety level. Why don't you try telling a user on this forum that they have to graze all 5 of the different species of grass that grow together in their pastures and see what kind of a response you get from them? @Formal stated that they have Bermuda as a primary grass species, they BELIEVE its coastal. The 4 rules apply here. That said, the rules are not meant for all pastures. In other words, don't try to apply them, as written, to bluebunch wheatgrass in Wyoming. Please? They aren't meant and never were intended for that.

There are exceptions to the 4 rules. You need to find the original article and review it.
 

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