Using Sim. on heifers

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Nov 29, 2006
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I have always been alittle to worried about A.I ing heifers to a Sim bull. I have always used either red or black angus calving ease bulls when i have A.I'ed my commercial heifers. The group of heifers i have this year have alot of angus or red angusblood, (most are 3/4 or better angus). My question i guess is.. If I use a calving ease and low birth weight proven Sim bull,(thinking maybe Shear Force at Genex, or Olie at ABS) do you think i will get along ok, or am i going to be cussing what i thought was a good idea,next spring. I run a commercial herd where i shoot for no less than 50% angus genetics, red or black, and no more than 50% Sim genetics. If I used Sim. genetics on my heifers a few of the resulting calves might go over that 50% barrier just a touch but if i use Angus genetics, alot of the resulting calves will be 7/8 or higher angus blood. I use F1 bulls on most of my cowherd, and that would be an option, but there are no real F1 bulls available that ilike, or are proven enough to make me feel confortable. Any suggestions, or warnings?

The January edition of "SimTalk" magazine, the breed magazine of the American Simmental Association has several articles pertaining to your current situation. Very interesting. Volume 17 - No. 1. Use one or both of these links. Click on "A Perfect Match, Part 1 by Jerry Lipsey and "Balanced EPD.s: What Does That Mean? also by Jerry Lipsey, and others.

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I wouldn't think it would be a problem if you use the right bull. After all, the calving ease and calf's attributes only come from the sire 50%. Since your heifers are mostly Angus, they will be contributing calving ease. Its not like you are breeding a Jersey to a Sim :D :D
After all, Sim breeders breed their heifers to Sims don't they??
check acc. to see if they are proven.not just should be, might make a heifer bull. i had a good heifer bull i used him, my brother-in-law used him, my neighbor used him, but last year i hauled a heifer to the vet 3:00 a.m. to pull a calf, swelled head contracted tendons, mom is just as much to blame.
you should have no problems. i have used olie on several pb angus heifers. the calves come easy enough usually between 70-85 pounds just be extra watchful of all heifers.
Both are fairly high accuracy CED bulls. What I would look at is the MCE on the sires of your heifers or do pelvic measurements. If you have been using bulls with low MCE numbers you may be asking them to squirt a normal calf through a keyhole.
A few years back I was at a seminar put on by the Simm Assoc, about when Dream On was really hitting it big, and the advancement the association has made in the last 10yrs,IMO,is unmatched by any other assoc. They have taken the time and expense to get real time data on Simmental bulls used on British cows. I know they(along with the major AI studs) supplied the semen and breeding of Simmental bulls to British cows at no charge to producers so they could get the data. Contact the Simmental Association in Bozeman MT and they should have data on bulls used on British cows availabe.
LoveMoo11":v6cnwyyl said:
After all, Sim breeders breed their heifers to Sims don't they??

Ever heard of hybrid vigor?

I'd be darned if I'd breed them to a simmi, and I like simmis. Use an angus bull (your choice of color) the first time, then you've got the rest of their lives to experiment.
Depends - are you home or work off farm? Are you willing to check them often? If you are home and are available to check then you may want to try a Sim. heifer bull if your heifers are a good size If you are using small red angus then I would still be cautious.
I saw the heading of this thread, and I thought, "oh here we go - let's see all the nasty comments getting made".
I was PLEASANTLY surprised to see all the knowlegeable comments (well MOST comments). :tiphat:
ASA has gone far & beyond breed assn. expectations proving the CE of Simm bulls used on COMMERCIAL and registered british cattle. We have proven to be easier calving than Herefords & within 1% of Angus, when using a CE sire.
When ASA started this program, they contracted for ALL the calves to be put on a feedlot. The biggest problem they ran into with the producers was that by weaning time, they wanted to renegotiate because they wanted the heifers as replacements. :banana: That is normal practice now. They have calved out thousands of calves in this program.
Can you imaging going up to a commercial british breeder and saying, "I'd like to breed all your heifers to a Simmental bull". Not easily convinced. ASA provided university students to calve out the heifers as a college credit.
After all, Sim breeders breed their heifers to Sims don't they??

This is not a slam on Simmental cattle so please don't take it that way but reading this post reminds me of a conversation that I had with a Charolais breeder a few years ago (not a slam on Charolais either-so no one needs to get uptight) but this person told me that they average losing about ten calves a year and sometimes the heifer herself by breeding their first calf Charolais heifers to Charolais bulls. I asked how she planned on ever making any profits if they have this type of losses. I also suggested using an low birth weight Angus or horror of horrors (my breed choice) a Longhorn bull on those first calf heifers to at least get a live calf that could be sold at the sale barn rather than dragging it to the ditch. I can't understand putting my heifers through that and losing them and/or the calves. I just can't imagine doing this even if I didn't want crossbred calves. if I was having that much of a problem with those calves being born I would have to breed the heifers to an easier calving bull regardless of the breed.
In this day & age of breed technology knowledge, there is no way on this earth any purebred breeder needs to breed their heifers to another breed. If a PB breeder is having that kind of problem, he/she really has no clue how to breed cattle & should not be in the cattle business.
Occasionally, breeders make a mistake with their bull choices & pay the consequences, but to consistantly lose calves to hard calvers - or poorly raised heifers unable to calve easily, is unheard of.
I would use a Simmental bull on British heifers if he had a 15+ CE EPD and he was proven. Hook's Shear Force, In Dew Time, Dream On, and I'm sure there are others out there.
I think a lot of this reflects on the technology changes such at the accuracy and development of EPDs. In the past I know of dairies that would breed Holstein heifers to Angus, herefords, & Murrey greys to avoid calving problems. The same dairies now are using Holstein bulls AI and having fewer calving problems than before. 15 years ago I would have said no way to Simmentals on anything, now this will be the second year we plan to breed all our commercial Red Angus cows to a Simmental bull.
Thanks for all the opinions. I would never of thought about using a Sim bull 10 to 15 years ago, but the association and breeders have done such a good job, that i have used Sim genetics to compliment my angus genetics, and dont plan on using much else.
As a Simmental breeder, I greatly appreciate that comment. We HAD hard calving when used on commercial cattle, and we had big lazy newborns on all cattle - but, we've come a long way because the breeders & ASA were so determined to improve our product.

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