Ugly heifer, great cow family..

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Lazy M

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Sorted through our calves to pick out the heifers to retain yesterday. We were making our last cut and I am still kind of stuck on one. This one particular heifer is clearly not one of my best. Nothing structurally wrong with her, but she is pretty plain and I clearly have ones that look better than her that I sorted out. However, her dam, grand dam, and great grand dam are all still in the herd and have been excellent cows..always one of the first to calve, raise bigger than average calves, and have great udders and dispositions.
What do you think; would you hold a heifer based mainly on family history or just go with a better looking individual?
 

Ky hills

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If it were me, and knowing the positive history of the cow line, I would keep her. She could change and mature into a better looking individual. Not exactly the same comparison but there was a certain Charolais bull that was said to not have been much to look at but he was highly regarded as a sire of really good productive females.
 

dun

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Keep her. Some years ago we had a heifer that the vet said he hoped we wouldn;t keep. She just didn;t look right to him. The next year at preg check time he had his arm up one heifer and had commented on what a great looking "power cow" she was. Then he asked whatever happened to the ugly one. When I told him it was the one he was palpating he couldn;t believe it. Turns out that the one cow has supplied 2 herd bulls and 5 replacement heifers. She's still going strong and due to calf next month.
 

TCRanch

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Erma was butt ugly! I'm talking small ears, nappy coat, funky looking eyes, short, fat . . . woof! But one of the best cows I ever had: always one of the first to calve, docile, great mama, great udder, etc. Retained every heifer she ever gave me and they always have the highest pelvic measurements and have carried on her lineage - except for her looks because most of them are actually quite pretty. I'd definitely keep her. You can always sell her later if she doesn't fulfill your expectations.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Lazy M":3al3ksfx said:
Sorted through our calves to pick out the heifers to retain yesterday. We were making our last cut and I am still kind of stuck on one. This one particular heifer is clearly not one of my best. Nothing structurally wrong with her, but she is pretty plain and I clearly have ones that look better than her that I sorted out. However, her dam, grand dam, and great grand dam are all still in the herd and have been excellent cows..always one of the first to calve, raise bigger than average calves, and have great udders and dispositions.
What do you think; would you hold a heifer based mainly on family history or just go with a better looking individual?
not anymore,, though she could come from a great cow line,, there's a sire involved ...and sometimes no matter how good those cows are, those matings don't click...I've been disappointed to many times,,and then get surprised by one of the lower end cows with a dandy , bred to the same bull...
 

gizmom

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I would hate to get rid a heifer out of a top cow family. I don’t care if she is ugly if she is bringing in calves on the top end and doing it consistently her heifer is going to get an opportunity to stay on the farm. We just put some eggs in out of an ugly cow. We flushed her at 13 years of age she produced over 30 eggs. Two of her daughters have been designated as pathfinders. She might not have been a pretty cow but I wouldn’t be unhappy with a pasture full of them if they did the job as well as she did.

Gizmom
 

lithuanian farmer

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It might work or it might not. Just recently have kept one heifer, which I didn't like, but she has a great dam, good half sisters, so tried. She is doing the worst with her first calf from the whole group. On the contrary, a couple years ago left one pretty ugly heifer from a good dam, and the daughters she produced so far are one of the best looking.
As it was mentioned earlier, I'd keep an extra heifer if possible just in case.
 

Ebenezer

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Keep her. The maternal side trumps the sire used unless you used an extreme oddball bull. Same sire as the other heifers you are keeping - no brainer- keep her.
 

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