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What do you think of these bulls?

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KNERSIE

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Looking at these two I don't think there is enough depth in the genepool yet to commit to the breed and expect consistent improvement in your herd.
 

DOC HARRIS

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ArmyDoc":2jcy2dmj said:

ArmyDoc-

I concur with Knersie about the lack of depth in the Senepol genepool for you to be able to be comfortable with having dependable consistency for future progeny.

Regarding the two bulls, (and NOT commenting on the specifics of the Senepol Breed characteristics or traits) they are nine and eight years old, respectively, and as such they are certainly mature enough to exhibit their masculinity and maturity, which they certainly do. However, when we examine their Phenotype closely it becomes obvious that they follow the typical Senepol appearance, color, and polledness, but the genetic traits and characteristics, of course, are not in visual evidence. But the phenotypic traits which ARE seen here tell me that they lack in bone development, they stand too close together in their stance both front and rear, their rumps slope off rearward, they show adequate hindquarter development, good scrotal development, but lack depth of heart girth. This is considering them from a strictly TERMINAL point of view. It is easy to pick individuals apart from a picture, and perhaps in seeing them "live", so to speak, they could demonstrate a more desirable presentation. Their MATERNAL indications ARE in evidence, as are their FUNCTIONAL traits.

The original selection traits of the breed (which crossed Red Poll with the N'Dama Breed) were focused on heat tolerance and insect resistance, extreme gentleness, good meat, and high milk production of the two breeds. I would asssume that is the reason for the smaller bone development as compared to a strong TERMINAL breed, such as Charolais or Simmental. But, they are what they were developed to be, and undoubtedly are dominant for those characteristics.

You may be able to utilize these traits in your herd, if those strong genetics fit your requirements for your locale and environment. But you should consider the genetics of your COW herd before anticipating rapid characteristic responses from the use of these bulls. It could take several generations of a focused mating protocol before you could realize consistent progeny responsive behavior.

In response to your original question concerning "What do you think of these bulls?", I hope I have expanded your thinking a little bit. I admit it is a little like comparing Apples and Peaches. But of course, any "Dual-Purpose" breed of cattle presents the same complexities in judging and analysis considerations. It all condenses to what your desires are - exactly - in your herd development agendas.

DOC HARRIS
 

Jovid

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DOC HARRIS":5higpcmg said:
ArmyDoc":5higpcmg said:

ArmyDoc-

I concur with Knersie about the lack of depth in the Senepol genepool for you to be able to be comfortable with having dependable consistency for future progeny.

Regarding the two bulls, (and NOT commenting on the specifics of the Senepol Breed characteristics or traits) they are nine and eight years old, respectively, and as such they are certainly mature enough to exhibit their masculinity and maturity, which they certainly do. However, when we examine their Phenotype closely it becomes obvious that they follow the typical Senepol appearance, color, and polledness, but the genetic traits and characteristics, of course, are not in visual evidence. But the phenotypic traits which ARE seen here tell me that they lack in bone development, they stand too close together in their stance both front and rear, their rumps slope off rearward, they show adequate hindquarter development, good scrotal development, but lack depth of heart girth. This is considering them from a strictly TERMINAL point of view. It is easy to pick individuals apart from a picture, and perhaps in seeing them "live", so to speak, they could demonstrate a more desirable presentation. Their MATERNAL indications ARE in evidence, as are their FUNCTIONAL traits.

The original selection traits of the breed (which crossed Red Poll with the N'Dama Breed) were focused on heat tolerance and insect resistance, extreme gentleness, good meat, and high milk production of the two breeds. I would asssume that is the reason for the smaller bone development as compared to a strong TERMINAL breed, such as Charolais or Simmental. But, they are what they were developed to be, and undoubtedly are dominant for those characteristics.

You may be able to utilize these traits in your herd, if those strong genetics fit your requirements for your locale and environment. But you should consider the genetics of your COW herd before anticipating rapid characteristic responses from the use of these bulls. It could take several generations of a focused mating protocol before you could realize consistent progeny responsive behavior.

In response to your original question concerning "What do you think of these bulls?", I hope I have expanded your thinking a little bit. I admit it is a little like comparing Apples and Peaches. But of course, any "Dual-Purpose" breed of cattle presents the same complexities in judging and analysis considerations. It all condenses to what your desires are - exactly - in your herd development agendas.

DOC HARRIS

As usual a good post from Doc
 

ArmyDoc

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Thank you very much for the input!

Here's where I'm coming from. I don't currently have cattle (or land for that matter). When I was a kid, we had a handfull of herford cattle, usually we kept one a year for our selves and a sold the rest after weaning. I'm getting out of the military this summer, and will finally be able to be settle down and get some land. (if all goes well, I should have about 90 acres in pasture - currently he's using half for hay and half for his cattle).

I looking for, or to develop, cattle that will do well in a MIG program, likely ending up with a certified organic program, though I'm not 100% sure about going certified organic. I confess, like red, so, I was originally interested in Red Angus. Proven angus genetics, in a red wrapper so to speak, and I figure you can cover it with a homozygous black bull for a terminal sire for market if they are penalizing for red. (I've been told they don't penalize nearly as much for red angus as they do for other non-black cattle in our market - I haven't verified this myself yet.) Since I live in Georgia, I'm interested in improved heat tollerance. From what I've read, red vs black alone has been shown to allow the animals to run 1.5 degrees cooler, (based on angus vs hereford), so that should help the cows to be a bit more efficient in the georgia sun. The slick coat on from Senepol cattle adds about 0.5 degree to that.

Then I thought to myself, since the slick coat is dominant, it shouldn't be that hard to select for, and since Red Angus allows for breeding-up, why not raise Red Angus as planned, cross with Senepol and then breed back to purebred Red angus while selecting for the slick coat?

Any thoughts about this plan?
 

charangusman08

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ArmyDoc":txd3wx7p said:
Thank you very much for the input!

Here's where I'm coming from. I don't currently have cattle (or land for that matter). When I was a kid, we had a handfull of herford cattle, usually we kept one a year for our selves and a sold the rest after weaning. I'm getting out of the military this summer, and will finally be able to be settle down and get some land. (if all goes well, I should have about 90 acres in pasture - currently he's using half for hay and half for his cattle).

I looking for, or to develop, cattle that will do well in a MIG program, likely ending up with a certified organic program, though I'm not 100% sure about going certified organic. I confess, like red, so, I was originally interested in Red Angus. Proven angus genetics, in a red wrapper so to speak, and I figure you can cover it with a homozygous black bull for a terminal sire for market if they are penalizing for red. (I've been told they don't penalize nearly as much for red angus as they do for other non-black cattle in our market - I haven't verified this myself yet.) Since I live in Georgia, I'm interested in improved heat tollerance. From what I've read, red vs black alone has been shown to allow the animals to run 1.5 degrees cooler, (based on angus vs hereford), so that should help the cows to be a bit more efficient in the georgia sun. The slick coat on from Senepol cattle adds about 0.5 degree to that.

Then I thought to myself, since the slick coat is dominant, it shouldn't be that hard to select for, and since Red Angus allows for breeding-up, why not raise Red Angus as planned, cross with Senepol and then breed back to purebred Red angus while selecting for the slick coat?

Any thoughts about this plan?

Sounds like a plan to me.
 

ArmyDoc

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DOC HARRIS... But the phenotypic traits which ARE seen here tell me that they lack in bone development said:
Thanks for your input Doc. Regarding their rumps... Some of the angus lines seem to have a very high tail head, which I've been told can cause calving problems. I thought their rumps were just round, and with a flat, low tail head. But, then I looked at the bull on the third page of this brochure - his looks flatter / less sloped:

http://www.senepolcattle.com/files/Engl ... ersion.pdf

Is this more what I should be looking for in the hid quarters?

The Senepol breed seems to have a tendency towards a pinched heartgerth - I was conscious of this when looking at bulls and the two I asked about were better than many others. By this, I mean that the width of their body often narrows somewhat a little behind the front legs. Is this what you are refering to also?

Lastly, do you have a preference between these two, or do you feel they are really not worth looking at in the first place?
 

TEhayandcattle

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Hi there ArmyDoc, I realize I am extremely biased and exhibit a strong sense of favoritism toward my breed, but that's just because Beefmasters are the best. Being in the Georgia sun or any other southern state, Beefmaster can tolerate heat, they are thrifty, you don't have to pen up all your bred heifers unless you want to(calving ease), they gain as good but usually better than other breeds and they come in slick and red. Sometimes I like 'em really red and put a good old Gert out there so they calve right between black and red and they are still slick. Anything I lose by being off color at the market, I make up for by having bigger calves, yes the angus and other continental types will bring a premium, but there is always a tradeoff and in my overly biased opinion Beefmasters and Santa Gertrudis are so much easier to look at.
 

DOC HARRIS

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ArmyDoc":18otkhfd said:
Thanks for your input Doc. Regarding their rumps... Some of the angus lines seem to have a very high tail head, which I've been told can cause calving problems. I thought their rumps were just round, and with a flat, low tail head. But, then I looked at the bull on the third page of this brochure - his looks flatter / less sloped:

http://www.senepolcattle.com/files/Engl ... ersion.pdf

Is this more what I should be looking for in the hid quarters?

The Senepol breed seems to have a tendency towards a pinched heartgerth - I was conscious of this when looking at bulls and the two I asked about were better than many others. By this, I mean that the width of their body often narrows somewhat a little behind the front legs. Is this what you are refering to also?

Lastly, do you have a preference between these two, or do you feel they are really not worth looking at in the first place?

ArmyDoc-

Let me answer your last question right at the outset. Please do not mistake my rather severe assessment of these two bulls as a rejection of their worth! By NO means. I am very impressed with the Senepol breed from what I have read here on this thread, as I have never studied them in the past, so I was going into the review completely open minded. The related facts concerning the breed here is very interesting! Their characteristics relating to hotter, Southern Climates, and insect resistance is a breath of fresh air ( a little bit of humor there :lol2: :oops:), and I think it could open the door to a lot of Breeders in the Southern part of the US for crossbreeding opportunities - with several breeds! :eek:

Having established my enthusiasm for the breeding opportunities with the Senepols, Let's take a deep breath, anchor in on the necessary factors which are required for the selection decisions on ANY Bull selection protocol. ...and these same tools are just as imperative in the management of your COW herd!

The Primary elements and ingredients in your decision-making schedule is for you to make a definite resolution and determination concerning just EXACTLY the type of Beef Cattle operation in which you wish to engage - Terminal, Maternal (cow calf program), OR a flexible Dual purpose-type agenda. That decision will stamp your FUTURE seedstock selections (purchases) AND Heifer retentions from your own program indelibly, and preclude any uncertainty, ambiguity and doubtful questions from clouding your ultimate goals for your herd. You will KNOW what characteristics and traits are lacking in your program, and can proceed with alacrity and determination!

Establishing a mental image of the Phenotype, Genotype and Functional Trait characteristics you desire for your "Herd Image" takes the perpetual pressure from you in making selection and retention decisions for years in the future!

The subject of "High Tail Heads" is one which is controversial and seems to be an arguing point. Some breeders are adamently against them (high tail settings), for a variety of reasons (difficult calving being the most predominate), and other breeders are just as vehemently in favor of them, claiming that it makes for easier calving. To be honest with you, I don't know. Personally, I just don't like the appearance of a high tail setting, as it gives the impression (true or false) that the individual has a weak top-line. I guess it comes down to a personal choice for the breeder.

Insofar as to what you should be striving for in your selection processes concerning hindquarters, it depends upon whether your herd 'type' is Terminal or Maternal. Heavier hindquarters and larger bone, higher MW along with higher REA EPD's and overall thickness is a template that indicates Terminal (feedlot) breeding. Maternal characteristics carry with them a lesser hindquarter (proportionally) than Terminal, along with higher Milk EPDs, lower BW and calving ease, and higher Cow Energy Values. You can readily see why it is so critical that you establish a "TYPE" basis at the outset of your long-term breeding schedule!

As far as to which of these two bulls I would prefer, I would take into consideration what their progeny has presented and how they have performed in the past, how their dams have produced and their longevity - and - probably most important of all - what cows you have with which to establish a breeding program. I tend to prefer PRR 2110L on the basis of his EPD's, his age, and his physical conditioning at the time of these pictures. CN5K is in higher finish condition, however I am of the opinion that 2110L has been in a breeding schedule, and if he were in the same Body Score Condition as CN 5K his phenotype would have a more desirable appearance. Having said all of the above, I still insist that PICTURES are NOT sufficient testimony or evidence for making optimal mating decisions.

I think that a careful crossbreeding agenda using acceptable Senepol Genetics with any of several other breeds would result in surprising successes. With the present costs of Agricultural commodities, land, feed, pasture, forage and seedstock, we must plan carefully to reduce overhead and increase PROFITS incrementally, and crossbreeding is one of the most efficient ways to immediately serve those needs. I feel that Senepol cattle have a place in that effort, particularly in the Southern parts of the country.

DOC HARRIS
 

KNERSIE

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Doc the sloping rump is breed characteristic of the senepol, my main gripe against the breed is that based on what I have seen in hot climates they certainly aren't the easiest keeping breed around. I recently visited with a local senepol and red poll breeder where the two breeds are run side by side on the veld. The red polls actually handled it better and the calves outperformed the senepol by quite some margin. What you gain on the one side with supposed heat and insect tolerance you lose on the other side with lower performance in basically all the heat tolerant breeds, not only the senepol.

In my opinion if you need heat tolerance and insist on a bos indicus breed in the USA, go with brahman or one of its derived breeds. If you were in SA, I'd go with afrikaner or one of its derived breeds like bonsmara. If you want veld ornaments go with nguni or if you want to play (and have money) go with boran.

For heat tolerance in a MIG system I think straight british would be alot easier to handle and my breeds of choice would be either hereford or sussex as a cowherd and you can cross them with whatever your market demands.
 

ArmyDoc

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DOC HARRIS":2bvz9jyn said:
The Primary elements and ingredients in your decision-making schedule is for you to make a definite resolution and determination concerning just EXACTLY the type of Beef Cattle operation in which you wish to engage - Terminal, Maternal (cow calf program), OR a flexible Dual purpose-type agenda. That decision will stamp your FUTURE seedstock selections (purchases) AND Heifer retentions from your own program indelibly, and preclude any uncertainty, ambiguity and doubtful questions from clouding your ultimate goals for your herd. You will KNOW what characteristics and traits are lacking in your program, and can proceed with alacrity and determination!

Doc Harris,

Thank you again for your input. Can you tell me if I am understanding Terminal vs Maternal correctly? My understanding of the cattle business is probably too simplistic. As I understand it, there are four basic divisions - the seed stock producer, who raises bull and heiffer replacements for the Commercial Cow/calf operations. Commercial Cow/calf operation generally produces feeder calves to go to either a stocker/backgrounder or directly to the feed lots. The stocker/bacgrounder (NOT quite sure the difference between the two) gets calves ready for the feed lots also, by a combination of growing them and or buying them individually and then repackaging them into larger uniform lots for sale to the feed lots. Feed lots finish the animals for slaughter.

By maternal, do you mean a classic cow/calf operation that maintains a herd of cows, breeds them each year and sells all their offspring to market? I'm familiar with the concept of using cross breeding to produce greater hybrid vigor/heterosis, and the concept of a "Terminal sire" that is used to breed calves strictly for market, such as a 3 breed rotation. So by Terminal, I am guessing that you mean an operation that crosses two breeds, retains the best cows and then crosses to a Terminal sire before maketing? So they are sort of combining aspects of a seed stock producer and a cow/calf model?

As for me, here is my reasoning, and the business concept that comes from them. Any comments are most welcome.:

Profit is produced by income - expenses. There are two ways to increase profit - increase income, and decrease expenses. To increase income, you must produce a good product (and market it well). To decrease expenses, you need to reduce the input costs. One way to do this is to push towards cattle that that do well on pasture alone.

Ultimately, the product is meat - tender, well marbled and good tasting. What ever portion of the industry you are in, that has to be your end goal. The cow/calf operation should be choosing for their breeding stock cows and bulls that will produce calves that will be tender, well marbled and taste good. Backgrounders/stockers/feed lots don't get to choose their genetics, but ultimately they want to buy animals that will benefit from a feeding program that produces animals they eventually sell to result in the same thing.

If I could magically choose a segment of the business to enter, I would choose to be a seedstock producer. Reseaching lines, sellecting based on EPDs, Phenotype etc. fascinates me. Unfortunately, it would also be a totally unreasonable choice for me. I don't have the experience, knowledge or investment capital necessary to make a go of it, much less succeed.

But that doesn't mean I can't do what I am able to do. I will have enough land to support a herd of 30-50 cattle. I want to start off as a cow/calf producer. But as such, I believe my goal should be to steadily improve the quality of my herd and their offspring, such that they produce such great tasting, tender and well marbled beef that ultimately my animals are worth more as seed stock to other producers trying to do the same thing, than they are as meat on your table. I may never get there, but that should still be my goal. I plan to start off with between 5 and ten good cows, perhaps either cow calf pairs or 3-in-1s. For the first 3 to 5 years, I plan on using AI only. I figure it's my best bet at improving my genetics, and for this small of a herd, probably cheaper than keeping a bull. I plan to build my herd slowly, retaining the best heiffers and AI-ing them to the best bulls I can find.

My sales will be on two fronts initially. Probably the most profitable will be from direct marketing - there's a meat market here in town that pays well for grass fed beef with no exposure to hormones or antibiotics. They buy animals for slaughter directly from the man from whom I'm buying my land. They don't require you to be certified organic, but that is the direction they are headed I think. I've only just found out about them, so I don't know how large this market is, initially it may be everything I raise. But ultimately, I think I will end up having a portion going here, and the rest sold at auction.

As I said, my interest is mainly in Red Angus. But I thought perhaps introducing Senepol genetics would be a good idea, while breeding back to Red Angus and sellecting for the slick coat. I would ultimately end-up with a pure-bred Red Angus with a slick coat. I see it as a potential benefit down the road if I am successful, without a lot of down side.

As you can see, I'm talking about a relatively small operation. My goals are threefold: Turn out a good product, over the course of 10 years, to be in the black (no I'm not counting land costs - I'd be living here cows or no cows), learn alot while having fun.
 

ArmyDoc

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KNERSIE":3g5w6hw0 said:
Doc the sloping rump is breed characteristic of the senepol, my main gripe against the breed is that based on what I have seen in hot climates they certainly aren't the easiest keeping breed around. I recently visited with a local senepol and red poll breeder where the two breeds are run side by side on the veld. The red polls actually handled it better and the calves outperformed the senepol by quite some margin. What you gain on the one side with supposed heat and insect tolerance you lose on the other side with lower performance in basically all the heat tolerant breeds, not only the senepol.

In my opinion if you need heat tolerance and insist on a bos indicus breed in the USA, go with brahman or one of its derived breeds. If you were in SA, I'd go with afrikaner or one of its derived breeds like bonsmara. If you want veld ornaments go with nguni or if you want to play (and have money) go with boran.

For heat tolerance in a MIG system I think straight british would be alot easier to handle and my breeds of choice would be either hereford or sussex as a cowherd and you can cross them with whatever your market demands.

That's very interesting. The information I've read suggests that they are close to the same yield/grade as angus. Ofcourse, most of what I read about Senepol is on Senepol sites, so they are going to quote the studies that show them in a favorable light.

As for brahman, from what I've been told they are heavily discounted at our markets. I was told that Senepol had "too much ear". I don't think Senepol as a breed is as viable from a commercial beef standpoint, but may have some benefits from a crossbreeding standpoint.

Why do you recommend hereford or sussex over red angus? I certainly haven't settle on my breed yet, though Red Angus makes the most sense to me right now. Sussex doesn't seem to be readily available here in the states, but hereford certainly is.
 

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Once you introduce the senepol the purest you can breed the Red Angus back to is a classification of 1B. The demand for 1B bulls is practically nill and it isn;t much better for 1B heifers over commercial percentage heifers
 

ArmyDoc

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TEhayandcattle":309f7748 said:
Hi there ArmyDoc, I realize I am extremely biased and exhibit a strong sense of favoritism toward my breed, but that's just because Beefmasters are the best. Being in the Georgia sun or any other southern state, Beefmaster can tolerate heat, they are thrifty, you don't have to pen up all your bred heifers unless you want to(calving ease), they gain as good but usually better than other breeds and they come in slick and red. Sometimes I like 'em really red and put a good old Gert out there so they calve right between black and red and they are still slick. Anything I lose by being off color at the market, I make up for by having bigger calves, yes the angus and other continental types will bring a premium, but there is always a tradeoff and in my overly biased opinion Beefmasters and Santa Gertrudis are so much easier to look at.

Thanks for your input! Beefmasters was one of the breeds I looked at initially. And I haven't fully ruled it (or any breed) out of the question. Reading their respective breed association pages, the beefmaster and Santa-Gertrudis seem to both bederived from herford, shorthorn and brahman stock, but Santa-Gertrudis later states that they are 5/8ths short horn and 3/8 Brahman. Can you clarify the difference between these two breeds?

Also, you mentioned that the beefmaster "come in slick and red". The ones on the breed association site are sure a pretty group. Do you know if their slick coat is caused by the same gene as is the senepol's slick coat, and if it is inherited the same way?

My main reason for leaning toward Red Angus is that they seem to be discounted less at the sale barn. I don't have enough experience to judge for my self, but what people tell me is that around here, Black Angus is "king", but (presumably registered) Red Angus does ok. Black animals are next and then anything not black. Having a significant amount of ear also seems to be a strike against you.
 

ArmyDoc

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dun":eejb53sk said:
Once you introduce the senepol the purest you can breed the Red Angus back to is a classification of 1B. The demand for 1B bulls is practically nill and it isn;t much better for 1B heifers over commercial percentage heifers

I knew that the highest you could get was 1B. I didn't know that there was no market for them. :( I've read on various sites that advertise "high percentage Red Angus". I thought that was an indication that there was a good market for them. Not so?
 

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Australian":1360dpkl said:
Senepols are a bit of a fad at the moment. Here in Australia. British breeders who want a bit of a tropical lookalike without the Brahman, are getting into them. Their attribute would mainly be hybrid vigour then I'm not sure after that.

The Kerr Foundation here in Oklahoma did a lot of work with Senepols several years ago. Their interest was in carcass quality. They claimed Senepol produced more tender meat than Brahman cattle, with similar heat tolerance.
 

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The first one is my winner, however the second one is also splendid.
I can not grasp why a thick muuscle bull would be less perfect by having fine bone?
And also I think that the most important question is what the bull looks like at normal slaughter age, and not years later, Basically I wish bulls to show muscle and depth before their weight and age passes optimum pay!
 
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