Thinking about keeping a bull

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Ridgefarmer63

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So I've been borrowing a winter bull (nov-dec) and a summer bull (july-aug) to service my girls for the last 10 years. The brood herd has grown to 12 animals now. I would love to keep a bull from my herd. I have a nice little red/black angus cross that came from one of my best cows. I really want to turn him into my herd bull, but I am concerned about husbandry issues.

He would eventually be breeding his mother and his half sister ?(little red angus looking heifer that came from different cow but same bull). Any off spring from mother or sister would be culled for beef.

Am I worrying too much or should I just go buy another unrelated angus bull ?

Thanks
 
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Ridgefarmer63

Ridgefarmer63

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So I've been borrowing a winter bull (nov-dec) and a summer bull (july-aug) to service my girls for the last 10 years. The brood herd has grown to 12 animals now. I would love to keep a bull from my herd. I have a nice little red/black angus cross that came from one of my best cows. I really want to turn him into my herd bull, but I am concerned about husbandry issues.

He would eventually be breeding his mother and his half sister ?(little red angus looking heifer that came from different cow but same bull). Any off spring from mother or sister would be culled for beef.

Am I worrying too much or should I just go buy another unrelated angus bull ?

Thanks
From beef cattle extension.org:
You can have father-daughter matings in beef cattle, but it is not recommended. This type of breeding practice is called inbreeding or close breeding. Again, this breeding practice is rarely practiced today, although it was common in the foundation animals of most breeds. It is not practiced in most breeding systems today because close breeding greatly enhances the odds that recessive genes will appear. This may include reduction in growth rate, fertility, and general vigor. Also, lethal genes and other genetic abnormalities often appear with increased frequency. With that being said, mating half-siblings should not result in defective calves, unless major genetic defects are found in both parents. Inbreeding just brings such defects to the surface faster. Generally, inbreeding does depress fitness traits such as fertility and overall performance; however, at lower levels, it may not even have a noticeable effect. The inbreeding coefficient of half-sib matings (assuming other ancestors are not inbred) is 12.5 percent. In this small of a herd, consider changing bulls every two years. By comparison, most breeds of beef cattle in the United States are eight to 10 percent inbred. The bottom line is that the half-sib matings you are considering may very well result in a depression of performance.

I guess there's my answer.
 

Nick Wagner

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I have been using my own bulls for some years now. One cow had a huge calf I suspect was sired by her son. Calf was dead by the time we got it out, cow and bull went to town. However, most of my calves hit the ground running, grow like bad weeds, and look like peas in a pod. If you have any recessive genes hidden in your herd, such as that dreaded red color you talk about, inbreeding will allow it to express itself. This can be serious, in the last decade there have been a number of recessive traits exposed in the angus breed, curly calf and developmental duplication only two of them, and inbreeding will allow them to express themselves if they are present. If you care to study history, the story of the dwarf gene in the Hereford breed was documented. How a bull born in 1899 spread that gene across the U.S. and eventually descendants of that bull were unknowingly mated. In many cases that dwarf gene went fifty years undiscovered, similar to what curly calf syndrome did a century later in the angus breed.
 

coachg

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I rather feed a renter bull for 4 months than my own for 12 . What are you going to do with your bull the other 8 months . I have 3 and you have to have a bull pasture and then deal with the fighting or have multiple bull pastures .
 
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Ridgefarmer63

Ridgefarmer63

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Thanks for all the input fellas. I am reaching out to all my contacts now. I do have use of a Hereford bull if need be. Beggars can't be chosers.
 
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Ridgefarmer63

Ridgefarmer63

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I rather feed a renter bull for 4 months than my own for 12 . What are you going to do with your bull the other 8 months . I have 3 and you have to have a bull pasture and then deal with the fighting or have multiple bull pastures .
I hear you. Pros and cons. Twice a year picking up, dropping off. I just reached out to 5 people I know. Hopefully I'll get one lined up. Not too sure about the 8 month thing. I say put him out July 1st and isolate him with the steers for April thru June. Maybe when we get to 20 head brood, keep a bull. It's getting to the point that I am thinking of doing beef deliveries year round. With this latest butcher situation you gotta take what you can get when you can get it.
 
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