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To all the longhorn breeders

cypressfarms

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I'm just starting to get my health back, and I'm looking hard at my herd and which direction to go. Most of the cows I have are brangus and beefmaster now, and I normally breed them with an Angus plus bull, and the hereford to make baldies (with the brangus girls). There is a small farmer about 10 miles from my house that raises longhorns. Weird though because he cuts the horns on every one, so I know he's not a purist or showing them. I was considering buying some heifers or cows from him to use in my herd, they are really cheap - about half the price of a normal beef type replacement heifer/cow. My thoughts were that they would be more efficient and have less calving trouble and handle the heat better (I live in south Louisiana and it's HOT). My only experience with longhorns, though, is looking at them from a distance. My concerns are the carcass of the resulting calves and color. I sell most calves at the local stockyard and I'm not sure what my Angus bull crossed with a longhorn would throw in color or frame. If the calves came out spotted or a weird color, they would get docked heavily here. Also any calf with a light frame/small boned gets docked as well. The local longhorn farmer's stock are small/medium sized heifers/cows and are lacking some in the rear when compared to other beef breeds. At the same time though, my hereford bull throws thick calves no matter what the moma looks like.

Could anyone offer me any insight on what the calves of a longhorn crossed with an Angus bull might look like in comparison to a "standard" beef calf - and would they stick out like a sore thumb? Any comments on the temperment of longhorn cows - I know they are supposed to be docile, but some say that limo's are too :lol2:
 

Rustler9

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Hey, see your inbox, sent you a pm. You'll get mostly black but some linebacks or spots which they'll dock you for because they can. The calves will have a good conformation and will grow like crazy. The cows will produce the calves on alot less than your other beef cows. I'm not saying there aren't wild Longorns but we don't have any. I think it's mostly how they are handled and treated from the get go. We wean all calves and put them in a lot on feed, within two weeks they will follow you like puppies, this carries over to our adult stock. I call them and shake a sack or a bucket and they all come running. Your best cross wil be with a Charolais bull to wash the color out. Ate a big Longhorn/Charolais steak the other day. It sure was good.
 

mnmtranching

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You buy bred cows for half the price of regular cattle and you will sell calves at half the price of regular cattle. Why would you want to dilute your Herefords and Angus and have your calves docked at sales. :???:
 

Frankie

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Could anyone offer me any insight on what the calves of a longhorn crossed with an Angus bull might look like in comparison to a "standard" beef calf - and would they stick out like a sore thumb? Any comments on the temperment of longhorn cows - I know they are supposed to be docile, but some say that limo's are too

From what I've seen, most calves will be black, but some will have spots and you will be docked for them at the sale barn. The people I know that get those occasional spotted calves sell them separately from their solid black calves. They claim if you sell the calves young, you'll do ok. But as they get older, you'll take a hit.
 

Rustler9

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In our area-the Charolais bull on a Longhorn cow is the ticket. You'll get big growthy calves raised on less pasture and feed than other beef crosses. The black bull just can't do the same thing. If Charolais calves sell good in your area you'll love this cross. There are many people in our part of the country who swear by this cross and they'll tell you all about it. There was a Mennonite at the Longhorn sale that I wnet to this past weekend. He bought 19 head of cows and heifers-taking them home to breed to his Charolais bull. Says he's actually making money on them. Runs somewhere close to a 100 head of Longhorn cows. Says he got $900 a head on his Char/Longhorn cross heifers at the sale barn recently. These were bred back to a Charolais bull
 

farmwriter

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Color is really unpredictable with the LHxAngus. My avatar is one example. We have better than half that arrive mostly black, but the others are LOUD! I love them though; they are so easy to deal with, often polled or scurred, and taste great! ;-)
 

mnmtranching

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I would agree that if you can get those LH cows cheap [cows size is a factor] Maybe buy the cows by the pound. Breeding them to Charolais would be best. I wouldn't be surprised to see some light roan calves, most would be white IMO. I would select a Char bull with less then 80 pound birth weight, and polled.
 

cypressfarms

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mnmtranching":s9rxhooj said:
You buy bred cows for half the price of regular cattle and you will sell calves at half the price of regular cattle. Why would you want to dilute your Herefords and Angus and have your calves docked at sales. :???:

The thought is not to sell calves at half the price. I don't worry about dilution, I'm not a seedstock breeder. Dilution is another word for heterosis which is another word for mutt. The thought was to have docile momas that were long lived and hearty and could handle the heat. (This week my brangus' tounges have been dragging with heat indexes 110+) If a longhorn cow could provide that while producing a decent calf, what's the harm? The only problem I see so far is the weird colored calves. I'd have to sell those separately or take a hit on everything. I've seen too many pics of Ryan's calves to know that longhorns can raise some fine looking calves. So I progressed to the point of considering using them crossed with my normal bulls.
 

mnmtranching

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By dilute I meant in the quality of the calf at sale time. A long horn cross calf will not bring the price of a BA calf.
 

Rustler9

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As I said earlier it all depends on your area. In this area they sell just as well as a black calf and they are just as good as a black calf. They certainly don't sell for half price here.
 

Running Arrow Bill

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Also remember that a LH cow bred to any bull that CAN sire low birthweight calves means essentially NO pulling/calving problems = more money and less effort. LH's also will eat things the other breeds won't.

Get a LH female that genetically has shorter horns for more insurance against too much horn.

The LH can survive in most any climate, unlike the other breeds. In hot climates, they don't have all that excess thick hair some other breeds do.
 

talldog

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They sell just as good in my area---- people prefer the low fat beef. Black cattle don't do well here ! Sale barns aren't the ticket here either. :wave: :wave:
 

CPL

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cypressfarms":1ovm0cpq said:
I've seen too many pics of Ryan's calves to know that longhorns can raise some fine looking calves. So I progressed to the point of considering using them crossed with my normal bulls.

:???: :???: :???: Keep in mind Ryan has top notch cattle that have won many National and World Shows. I doubt the guy you know has the same qualilty cattle as Ryan.

It seems to me that there are MANY Longhorn Breeders that raise them just for their horn length and the rest is left to chance. Single trait selection NEVER works, as can be seen in the phenotype of alot of Longhorn cows.

How many of you Longhorn breeders actually keep performance records, ultrasound carcass, etc?
 

Running Arrow Bill

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CPL":3pyx7sdl said:
cypressfarms":3pyx7sdl said:
I've seen too many pics of Ryan's calves to know that longhorns can raise some fine looking calves. So I progressed to the point of considering using them crossed with my normal bulls.

:???: :???: :???: Keep in mind Ryan has top notch cattle that have won many National and World Shows. I doubt the guy you know has the same qualilty cattle as Ryan.

It seems to me that there are MANY Longhorn Breeders that raise them just for their horn length and the rest is left to chance. Single trait selection NEVER works, as can be seen in the phenotype of alot of Longhorn cows.

How many of you Longhorn breeders actually keep performance records, ultrasound carcass, etc?

Let's not dichotomize the Longhorns and/or their breeders...lol. It is not a black and white issue (i.e., Horn length vs. heavy beefy body). There are many breeders who breed for both body and horn and their breeding strategies reflect this. Winning ribbons at a show for either horn length or full body is but one nitch part of the entire LH industry. Only the "generic" breeders breed "left to chance"...the serious breeders have a plan and follow it. ANY species or breed being run through the show ring is a specially bred, fed, groomed, and pampered animal that is selected to hopefully win a ribbon; it serves the purpose of "what can I do with X animal"; it is a benchmark that others reference as to what I want to achieve (or don't want to achieve). It is also a venue in advertising and marketing (as well as socialization for the people that show them).

The registered breeders do keep records (BW, WW, YW, MW. Horn length. Mating records. Etc.). Since the LH breeders are (as a rule) not into the "feedlot" system, they are not usually measuring ribeye size, carcass quality, and stuff.

True, there are probably a small percentage of LH breeders that breed for "single trait" outcomes. However, as we all know, "single trait" breeding is a risky strategy, both from the ultimate survival of the animal and its marketability.

The historic appeal of the Texas Longhorn (among many other traits) is to preserve its best traits, along with a colorful animal, without sacrificing body condition.

On a sidebar: Those breeding horses or bulls know that in order to sell semen or on-side breedings for the best price, winning ribbons at a show is what it's all about. There is a notion that IF a Stallion or Bull doesn't have a closet full of ribbons then no one wants to breed to them for the asking price.

Finally, there are many exceptional animals of any breed or species that have nevr seen the inside of show ring, much less made a trip to the 4-legged beauty shop...lol.
;-)
 

Arnold Ziffle

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Congrats on thinking outside the box a little. I'd also be inclined to forget about using an Angus or Brangus bull with LH cows. I don't know if he still frequents the CT boards (you might want to send him a PM) but there used to be a member named "Stocky" from Missouri that posted about having very good results using LH cows and Char bulls (at least I think he mentioned Char bulls). As I recall, he bought the cows for bargain prices at regular auctions, cut the horns back significantly, and then ran them on his poorer forage places. Just like in any business, it's not necessarily selling your end product for the highest gross proceeds that gets you the most profit. Cheaper LH cows and the ability to utilize poorer forage in a pretty hostile environment, plus the generally longer productive life expectancy, might just be the ticket. From time to time I've toyed with the same idea myself. Perhaps another option to consider is getting your cow herd to just have a meaningful LH influence. I know of a fella (now retired) that did very well with Char bulls and some composite cows that were anywhere from 25% to 50% LH. And as I recall, the CT member called "Bez+" could tell you about his positive experience with a cow herd that has some minority % of LH blood, albeit in a completely different environment than yours. Heck, I remember back to when I was a kid, absolutely our two best calf raisers, year after year, were composites that many folks reading the CT board would scoff or chuckle at --- 50/50 Brahman/Jersey and 50/50 Brahman/Holstein. They were first class calf raisers, in a very crappy pasture, and I sure wish I had a herd full of gals like them to put with a real good terminal bull!

Was very glad to read of the positive developments in your medical situation. Thanks be to God and good luck to you and yours.
 

cypressfarms

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Thanks for the kind words Arnold. In these times you almost have to think out of the box. I'm not saying that I'll give up any brangus or beefmaster cows - they've proven themselves over the long haul. I have to admit, the thought of getting a low cost replacement (of any color) that is very long lived, doesn't have many calving problems, docile, and heat tolerant is interesting. I just may "experiment" with 8 or 10 to see how they work. I remember about 5 years ago when all of my friends thought I was crazy to buy beefmaster momas and cross with Angus bulls, but it's worked really well. IMO, you can never stop thinking of ways to improve; as soon as you do, your stuck in the past.

Why does everyone recommend a Char. bull? Because they'll throw a larger/more muscular calf as compared to an Angus or other, or is it to get the yellow calves?
 

Ryan

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cypressfarms":3vwj2o1i said:
Why does everyone recommend a Char. bull? Because they'll throw a larger/more muscular calf as compared to an Angus or other, or is it to get the yellow calves?

For me, its two fold, both of what you said:
1) color. Of the LHxCHAR calves I'VE SEEN, the spotted/painted/lineback yellow and white calves at birth where usually a solid yellow-ish color at weaning. You won't seen that with your spotted LHxANGUS

2) TYPICALLY/GENERALLY/STEREOTYPICALLY speaking, Chars are a more muscular/terminal breed, and that compliments the biggest knock against LH's (lack of muscle).

Ryan
 

kenny thomas

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I have 12 lomghorn cows mixed in with the herd. I have bred them Angus, Simmental, and Charolais and the Charolais by far outsells the rest. Always have a CharX calf at sale time, not a spot or a lineback. I can make them black but can not always get rid of the spots. The CharX also has been bigger calves to sell with no birth problems.
 

Red Bull Breeder

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Char crosses work good as do red Limi crosses. Have some friends who run longhorn cows and use either a red limi or char bull. Calves mostly sell pretty good.If you ain't betting the whole farm on them cypress what you got to loss. Just because super rancher Mnmt says it won't work doesn't mean a thing. I have seen it work so i no it will. Passed a herd everday for the past week, looked good to me.
 

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