Tips for Starting a Seedstock Herd

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YoungAngusCattle

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I'm wanting to someday get into the world of selling seedstock, I know it's easier said than done, but first I have soooo many questions on how to approach this.

Disclaimer: A lot of these might be stupid questions to the experienced cattle breeders, but just bare with me I am trying too learn as much as I can. :hide:

In your mind what separates the good seedstock breeds from the not so good ones?

Does anyone have any thing the wished they were told when they were trying to get into the seedstock buisness?

I am very interesting in line breeding, I am looking for more available reading on this subject in cattle.

It seems to me that seedstock producers want to use line breeding to establish a genetic line of cattle and let his buyers use the hybrid vigor, is this correct thinking?

In your mind what is the optimal amount of inbreeding coefficient for a seedstock herd?

When would you start sprinkling in new genetics?

Would you go out and try to find a handful of your ideal females to start as your foundation females or would you improve your current females through aggressive culling?

How often are the top seedstock operations utilizing line breeding?

How does it work for the seedstock operations that are utilizing the hot bulls of the month, like what is their breeding plan?
 

CreekAngus

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Got a pile of cash? Now a days most folks buy their way into the top of the industry and many who attempt to do so, are never heard of. Line breeding in the Angus industry was in vogue at one time, not so much any more. Herefords are a different deal popular as ever, I cant speak for Sims or other breeds. I would say, don’t chase the end of a rainbow, but chase the kind of cattle you want and want to sell. The cattle industry has trends and you can try to chase them, but unless you have the money to create the trends, you will forever be chasing. Don’t chase, don’t worry about the hot bulls or the trends, do what you do, raise your kind of cattle.
 

Caustic Burno

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YoungAngusCattle said:
I'm wanting to someday get into the world of selling seedstock, I know it's easier said than done, but first I have soooo many questions on how to approach this.

Disclaimer: A lot of these might be stupid questions to the experienced cattle breeders, but just bare with me I am trying too learn as much as I can. :hide:

In your mind what separates the good seedstock breeds from the not so good ones?

Does anyone have any thing the wished they were told when they were trying to get into the seedstock buisness?

I am very interesting in line breeding, I am looking for more available reading on this subject in cattle.

It seems to me that seedstock producers want to use line breeding to establish a genetic line of cattle and let his buyers use the hybrid vigor, is this correct thinking?

In your mind what is the optimal amount of inbreeding coefficient for a seedstock herd?

When would you start sprinkling in new genetics?

Would you go out and try to find a handful of your ideal females to start as your foundation females or would you improve your current females through aggressive culling?

How often are the top seedstock operations utilizing line breeding?

How does it work for the seedstock operations that are utilizing the hot bulls of the month, like what is their breeding plan?


I can’t remember if it was Beef magazine or a TAMU workshop on seedstock operations. The average folds up in ten years or less.
Your selling your name as well as cattle. Angus breeders are a dime a dozen, why would I spend my money with an unknown breeder. Your trying to buy a ticket on a train that’s full.
I played that game for decades different breed. The commercial cattlemen makes or breaks you, the guy with cattle on the magazine cover isn’t wearing out a trail to your door.
Biggest mistake I see is pasture blindness thinking because it has papers makes it better hamburger. They are all hamburger your fooling yourself if you think not.
If I was starting out again today Angus is the last breed I would try to compete in unless it was Red. Gotta to remember your going to still be hauling calves to the salebarn.
Just recently 100 head Angus operation folded up here, just can’t compete. I talked with the guy last week at my cowpen about profit per cow. Each area of the country is different. Here I would be marketing a Hereford ,Brahman or Brangus lot less competition, you don’t have to be big to play just offer a better cow. If I really wanted to ring the bell I would learn AI. Buy the best grey Brahman heifers I could and AI with sexed semen for heifers. That would be the niche money maker in this area. My :2cents:
 

wbvs58

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Don't be discouraged by negative comments. You seem to have good judgement as shown with your recent bull purchase, you weren't afraid to go to the top and ask questions there and you got a good hearing and advice and a good bull. You also seem to be educating yourself well, from what I have read you have a good knowledge of EPD's, you are off to a good start.

Many ways to get going but certainly the easiest is with good cows. I would pick out a couple of top operations and try to source some of their older cows, even some of their old donor cows, don't be afraid if they are well into their teens as long as they are quality. While at these operations I would try and source some embryos as well to put into some of your existing cows. It is a long slow haul trying to breed up mediocre cows.

Just remember your experience with Kelly Schaff, that is how you develop your clientele, I am sure you will be back at SAV.

I was going to say good luck but luck doesn't come into it, it is the work you put into it and your attitude.

Ken
 

Ebenezer

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YoungAngusCattle said:
In your mind what separates the good seedstock breeds from the not so good ones?
Do they build from their herd including from their own bulls most of the time.

Does anyone have any thing the wished they were told when they were trying to get into the seedstock buisness?
Buy the best BS filter that is on the market.

I am very interesting in line breeding, I am looking for more available reading on this subject in cattle.
Bakewell, Leonhardt, Emulous ... just do some searching.

It seems to me that seedstock producers want to use line breeding to establish a genetic line of cattle and let his buyers use the hybrid vigor, is this correct thinking?
Just the contrary. Most known seedstock producers use constant line crosses.

In your mind what is the optimal amount of inbreeding coefficient for a seedstock herd?
You're not doing much unless you get above 15%IBC.

When would you start sprinkling in new genetics?
When an individual is proven to fit your environment or has potential to help a line. The most useful animals from that effort will be the second generation raised in your conditions as 25% influence of the outcross.

Would you go out and try to find a handful of your ideal females to start as your foundation females or would you improve your current females through aggressive culling?
There is a difference in culling and selecting. Let the animals cull themselves and you select the functional.

How often are the top seedstock operations utilizing line breeding?
Seldom if sales are the #1 priority.

How does it work for the seedstock operations that are utilizing the hot bulls of the month, like what is their breeding plan?
Sell the non-performers to others prior to telling others that they do not work so well. Then find another great unproven bull to try to use.
 

76 Bar

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My :2cents: Manage and market your cattle commercially for at least 5 and preferably longer. I guarantee the experience will be enlightening.
 

Till-Hill

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Feed your steers out for few years so you know what your end product is.

Angus will be a tough go. Calving ease bulls are only ones that bring a premium around here. Can buy an Angus bulls to put on cows for a dime a dozen.

The good from the bad is honesty is customer service. Back your cattle up 100%. We have had to buy a heifer back from a guy and give 2 sale credits on cows that either aborted or they died from a freak accident after the sale. All 3 incidents they have told other people about it. Good word of mouth sure helps.
 

CattleMan1920

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The best advice is from Creek.

CASH, and lots of it.

Unless you are a physician, or you are partnering with country music stars and NASCAR drivers who own a silent interest in your operation, and other situations like that, you had better have resources or a clear grasp of how to obtain massive leverage to make things happen until YOU can make things happen.

I’ve seen operations in my state where it APPEARS, no accusations, but appears that the business plan was this, buy expensive Rita and Lucy embryos cross them with the absolute hottest sires and then spend tons of money on marketing.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it does seem like the business plan.

Growing it organically from scratch is brutal, and very time consuming.

Growing it like Ebenezer would have you looking like your name actually IS Ebenezer or Rip Van Winkle. In 50-75 years you might scratch out a decent bull that is in demand. Talking about a long game, that’s it.

I for one have made it a point that I will not have a sale until I can bring nothing but direct AI sons to the sale. It will be about 40-50 deep with the very best sires in the industry. all Angus GS tested, all genetic bundle tested. Even then I’m uncertain about demand. People have an affinity in my state for sub $1k bulls. They like the deals.

At the end of the day you are entering a business with extremely high barriers to entry, you are competing against operators that are probably better funded than you. The only thing I can say is give it a try, and make sure you are breeding the absolute best animal you can, or buy your way to the top.

Technology is also an option, be faster than the old guys in the game. Uber drove taxis out of business in NYC and online brokers made stockbrokers into dinosaurs in no time.. and the list goes on.
 

Ebenezer

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Growing it like Ebenezer would have you looking like your name actually IS Ebenezer or Rip Van Winkle. In 50-75 years you might scratch out a decent bull that is in demand. Talking about a long game, that’s it.
Whatever you say Oh Great Guru on top of the mountain of Ego waiting to have great heifers in a few years, a great bull sale with stingy neighbors bidding in the future and such malarkey every day.

Livestock breeding is for a lifetime. Get over it. Either pay the big bucks and make a big splash quick or run the herd like a commercial herd, enjoy the cattle, see progress, make friends and do it with your time and way. Plenty of decent bulls. Just not the fictitious number and connection bull that would stroke your endless ego.
 

ALACOWMAN

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One thing I would definitely do is keep the lowly commercial man in mind , he's going too be your meal ticket..don't feel pressured to compete with other Angus breeders that are only in competition with each other...
 

limftw

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Don't chase the big numbered new hotness bulls in your AI program. Start with proven cow-makers, cull aggressively, and always keep the end game in mind.
 

CattleMan1920

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Ebenezer said:
Growing it like Ebenezer would have you looking like your name actually IS Ebenezer or Rip Van Winkle. In 50-75 years you might scratch out a decent bull that is in demand. Talking about a long game, that’s it.
Whatever you say Oh Great Guru on top of the mountain of Ego waiting to have great heifers in a few years, a great bull sale with stingy neighbors bidding in the future and such malarkey every day.

Livestock breeding is for a lifetime. Get over it. Either pay the big bucks and make a big splash quick or run the herd like a commercial herd, enjoy the cattle, see progress, make friends and do it with your time and way. Plenty of decent bulls. Just not the fictitious number and connection bull that would stroke your endless ego.

That’s fine if you are retired, but the guy who started this forum doesn’t sound retired.

Raising cattle takes money, unless they are out surviving like the deer around them.

Taking a lifetime to create something isn’t a luxury most people have.

By the way, I didn’t step into a turn key operation with years of production sales behind me thanks to prior generations. It definitely would have been far easier that way.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Man told me once to find what worked for me because it would work for my neighbors and neighbors will buy your bulls. Once you find what works for you ride it till you have to get off.
 
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YoungAngusCattle

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ALACOWMAN said:
One thing I would definitely do is keep the lowly commercial man in mind , he's going too be your meal ticket..don't feel pressured to compete with other Angus breeders that are only in competition with each other...

Isn't the goal to sell seedstock to commercial cattlemen? I read somewhere that only 2% of seed stock cattle go to other seed stock operations, so it would be like trying to run for president just worrying about what the people in Wyoming think about your campaign.
 

CattleMan1920

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ALACOWMAN said:
One thing I would definitely do is keep the lowly commercial man in mind , he's going too be your meal ticket..don't feel pressured to compete with other Angus breeders that are only in competition with each other...

Why do you refer to commercial as “lowly”?

He should feel extremely pressured to create a top notch product lest he be eaten alive in the business.

Being average is not acceptable, it will assure that he will be one of the seed stock failure statistics.

As for “lowly” commercial folks, I know one near me that is so lowly that he has several R series Deere tractors, along with a sh.tload of big boy toys to connect to them. Commercial has been very good to him. He took it seriously and reaped the rewards, while others all around him screwed around and have empty pockets. It’s about where your head is at, and having a plan.

I doubt he ever considered himself lowly.

However, I figured you were joking when you said that.
 
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YoungAngusCattle

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I have been managing my her as a commercial herd for the last 6 years and from what I can tell uniform pens is what sells feeders, correct me if I am wrong. I have been feeding my own steers for the last 3 years, but just a few for custom beef I would like to try retaining ownership on my feeders in the near future. I'm not retired but I am on the farm all the time as I the 7th generation of farmer in my family farming the same ground, so luckily I don't have a town job to waste the best 8 hours of my day. I am not trying to sell seedstock to make a fortune, I just think it would be extremely rewarding to supply other cattlemen with cattle that helps with their operation. I'm not trying to compete with the top seedstock operations, I'm not trying to have sell with 420 bulls and 200 females and I'm not trying to have 1500 people attend a sale at my farm.

What I don't understand is using the top AI bulls on your cows to sell seedstock, shouldn't you use your own genetic lines to sell animals? If somebody wanted a SAV lines why wouldn't they just go to SAV?
 
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YoungAngusCattle

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Ebenezer said:
YoungAngusCattle said:
In your mind what separates the good seedstock breeds from the not so good ones?
Do they build from their herd including from their own bulls most of the time.

Does anyone have any thing the wished they were told when they were trying to get into the seedstock buisness?
Buy the best BS filter that is on the market.

I am very interesting in line breeding, I am looking for more available reading on this subject in cattle.
Bakewell, Leonhardt, Emulous ... just do some searching.

It seems to me that seedstock producers want to use line breeding to establish a genetic line of cattle and let his buyers use the hybrid vigor, is this correct thinking?
Just the contrary. Most known seedstock producers use constant line crosses.

In your mind what is the optimal amount of inbreeding coefficient for a seedstock herd?
You're not doing much unless you get above 15%IBC.

When would you start sprinkling in new genetics?
When an individual is proven to fit your environment or has potential to help a line. The most useful animals from that effort will be the second generation raised in your conditions as 25% influence of the outcross.

Would you go out and try to find a handful of your ideal females to start as your foundation females or would you improve your current females through aggressive culling?
There is a difference in culling and selecting. Let the animals cull themselves and you select the functional.

How often are the top seedstock operations utilizing line breeding?
Seldom if sales are the #1 priority.

How does it work for the seedstock operations that are utilizing the hot bulls of the month, like what is their breeding plan?
Sell the non-performers to others prior to telling others that they do not work so well. Then find another great unproven bull to try to use.

Can you explain these a little more?
What is the benefit of selling line crosses vs just straight line bred stock?
Doesn't that seem like the producers that use the hot AI bulls, aren't they just trying to sell somebody elses genetics and not their own?
Why do linebred stock not sell as good as outcrossed stock, just public perception?
Why don't most seedstock guys use their own breeding?
I still am not sure when is a good time to use outside genetics, if I had animals that thrived in my environment wouldn't bringing in outside genetics increase the good and bad genes so I would just be starting over?
 
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YoungAngusCattle

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A couple stupid questions about cow families.

How do you know what good ones are as everybody and their mom can have a proven queen or elluna. is it just based on the operation the cow family is at like Joe Blow down the road has the best proven queens?
How are new ones established?
 

CattleMan1920

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YoungAngusCattle said:
A couple stupid questions about cow families.

How do you know what good ones are as everybody and their mom can have a proven queen or elluna. is it just based on the operation the cow family is at like Joe Blow down the road has the best proven queens?
How are new ones established?

If you can get hold of top notch Blueblood Lady genetics, you will be very happy. I have a handful with more on the way, they exhibit longevity, very good feet and disposition, and have been fertile. The whole package.

I also really like Elba and Miss Burgess as well. Both do quite well.
 

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