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why are herefords so thin compared to "old time" cattle

cypressfarms

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As many know, I've been looking at bulls for a while. I've seen pics that Knersie and Keren post (although Keren's were older pics), and they almost all have stock that is much broader/thicker. Some of the cows and bulls Keren posted were as thick as a truck. By thick I mean front and rear legs spread out a fair amount becuase the cow/bull is wide. Some call it capacity, I call it thick. So the question is why have herefords here in the U.S changed so much. Last night I looked at many semen bulls from the a.i. companies and none of these really stood out as being truly thick. There were a couple, but most have that thinner frame. I would love to be able to buy a bull like Keren posted, but I guess they don't make 'em like they used to? So why the change in thickness?
 

KNERSIE

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The answer is simple, you only get everything you select for and everything you don't specifically select against.
 

cypressfarms

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RD Sam, let me show you what I'm talking about.

I hope Keren doesn't mind, but I cut and pasted a pic she posted on another thread.



Look at this hereford moma. She is "wide". You just don't see cattle like that around here. Maybe up north there are some, but around here, they are not seen. I would love to have a bull like this. I've been through the ABS and Genex catalog, but none of them (or very few) have this type of build. I was just wondering why the change, and if it's only a U.S. thing.
 

alacattleman

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cypressfarms":1devk9r3 said:
RD Sam, let me show you what I'm talking about.

I hope Keren doesn't mind, but I cut and pasted a pic she posted on another thread.



Look at this hereford moma. She is "wide". You just don't see cattle like that around here. Maybe up north there are some, but around here, they are not seen. I would love to have a bull like this. I've been through the ABS and Genex catalog, but none of them (or very few) have this type of build. I was just wondering why the change, and if it's only a U.S. thing.
ive seen 1500 dollar bulls on commercial cows look better then the majority of those sire catalogs... northernrancher said something while back that made sence. theres more difference in a $1500.00 and a 5000.00 dollar bull .. then a 5000.00 to 50.000
 

RD-Sam

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cypressfarms":pfe7kwz0 said:
RD Sam, let me show you what I'm talking about.

I hope Keren doesn't mind, but I cut and pasted a pic she posted on another thread.



Look at this hereford moma. She is "wide". You just don't see cattle like that around here. Maybe up north there are some, but around here, they are not seen. I would love to have a bull like this. I've been through the ABS and Genex catalog, but none of them (or very few) have this type of build. I was just wondering why the change, and if it's only a U.S. thing.

I understand what you are saying, and I think it's just cattle in general in the states. I don't think Knersie can ship semen to the US, least not the last time I asked. So all you can do is select the best sires you can find and breed your own. If you get them too wide, will that start causing a calving problem?
 

Herefords.US

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My "theory" is that it is the result of the race for frame and then the race for extreme growth EPDs.

That, along with the desire to reduce backfat to a bare minimum has made for a lot of cattle that have very little capacity and "good-doing" ability.

I don't think this problem is unique to Herefords, either.

There are some thick Herefords out there. A lot of the prominent breeders are searching for bulls that breed some capacity back in to their cattle.

George
 

Rustler9

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Nothing aginst the cow in the photo but she is being shown, don't you think she's been fed up to look like that? Granted there would have to be something there to start with but how many people have cows in production out in a pasture looking like that? I see that in the Longhorn breed too but do you think that the whole herd looks like that? Maybe so if you only have say six and want to pour feed into them constantly instead of letting them forage on what they were intended instead of feeding them out of a bucket. Just a thought.
 

dun

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Rustler9":s9p8tie1 said:
Nothing aginst the cow in the photo but she is being shown, don't you think she's been fed up to look like that? Granted there would have to be something there to start with but how many people have cows in production out in a pasture looking like that? I see that in the Longhorn breed too but do you think that the whole herd looks like that? Maybe so if you only have say six and want to pour feed into them constantly instead of letting them forage on what they were intended instead of feeding them out of a bucket. Just a thought.

Feed won;t build the width between the legs that she shows.
 

KNERSIE

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Rustler9":7fs8xd7b said:
Nothing aginst the cow in the photo but she is being shown, don't you think she's been fed up to look like that? Granted there would have to be something there to start with but how many people have cows in production out in a pasture looking like that? I see that in the Longhorn breed too but do you think that the whole herd looks like that? Maybe so if you only have say six and want to pour feed into them constantly instead of letting them forage on what they were intended instead of feeding them out of a bucket. Just a thought.

Thickness and width of base is genetic, feed will only help to express the genetics. Do you think that the bulls in AI catalogues are in their working clothes?
 

RD-Sam

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KNERSIE":3u8f10vm said:
Rustler9":3u8f10vm said:
Nothing aginst the cow in the photo but she is being shown, don't you think she's been fed up to look like that? Granted there would have to be something there to start with but how many people have cows in production out in a pasture looking like that? I see that in the Longhorn breed too but do you think that the whole herd looks like that? Maybe so if you only have say six and want to pour feed into them constantly instead of letting them forage on what they were intended instead of feeding them out of a bucket. Just a thought.

Thickness and width of base is genetic, feed will only help to express the genetics. Do you think that the bulls in AI catalogues are in their working clothes?

Magnum looks like he is. :lol2:
 

KNERSIE

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RD-Sam":2wdaqs62 said:
KNERSIE":2wdaqs62 said:
Rustler9":2wdaqs62 said:
Nothing aginst the cow in the photo but she is being shown, don't you think she's been fed up to look like that? Granted there would have to be something there to start with but how many people have cows in production out in a pasture looking like that? I see that in the Longhorn breed too but do you think that the whole herd looks like that? Maybe so if you only have say six and want to pour feed into them constantly instead of letting them forage on what they were intended instead of feeding them out of a bucket. Just a thought.

Thickness and width of base is genetic, feed will only help to express the genetics. Do you think that the bulls in AI catalogues are in their working clothes?

Magnum looks like he is. :lol2:

I also think that Magnum is probably closer to what cypress is looking for, if he had better eyes I would have used him myself.
 

novatech

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The same is true of most breeds. Sire catalogues give a side shot and is often hard for me to tell how thick they are. There are a lot of bull advertised a thick but are not. I completely understand why they do not include front a rear shots.
By the way, I do not consider thick and high capacity the same. Capacity is length x width x height. You need good rib spread, depth, and length. A lot of gut. I consider thick to be in the meat department.
I have herd some experienced cattlemen say that thick cows look bullish and are not fertile. I have not found this to be true.
 

rocket2222

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There's breeders out there who are trying to add some thickness and dimension back in them, may not always be a big name breeder, they are out there.

two 3 year olds and a few months shy of a 2 year old in the middle.


 

HerefordSire

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cypressfarms":apk0vrwj said:
As many know, I've been looking at bulls for a while. I've seen pics that Knersie and Keren post (although Keren's were older pics), and they almost all have stock that is much broader/thicker. Some of the cows and bulls Keren posted were as thick as a truck. By thick I mean front and rear legs spread out a fair amount becuase the cow/bull is wide. Some call it capacity, I call it thick. So the question is why have herefords here in the U.S changed so much. Last night I looked at many semen bulls from the a.i. companies and none of these really stood out as being truly thick. There were a couple, but most have that thinner frame. I would love to be able to buy a bull like Keren posted, but I guess they don't make 'em like they used to? So why the change in thickness?

Consistant weaning weight of the cross-bred offspring plus high carcass quality is more valuable than thickness if they are at times different. If they are different, why focus on thickness? So they don't roll over walking up a creek bank at an angle? Or possibly so I can post pictures of how good my cattle look? Or so I can place them in my front pasture by the Interstate? WW and carcass quality.

Let's see how much chatter I can generate off of that post.
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
 

KNERSIE

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There's breeders out there who are trying to add some thickness and dimension back in them, may not always be a big name breeder, they are out there.

I think the breed as a whole has made big improvements in this regard in the last 10 years or so in the USA.
 

KNERSIE

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HerefordSire":1tgi3pq6 said:
cypressfarms":1tgi3pq6 said:
As many know, I've been looking at bulls for a while. I've seen pics that Knersie and Keren post (although Keren's were older pics), and they almost all have stock that is much broader/thicker. Some of the cows and bulls Keren posted were as thick as a truck. By thick I mean front and rear legs spread out a fair amount becuase the cow/bull is wide. Some call it capacity, I call it thick. So the question is why have herefords here in the U.S changed so much. Last night I looked at many semen bulls from the a.i. companies and none of these really stood out as being truly thick. There were a couple, but most have that thinner frame. I would love to be able to buy a bull like Keren posted, but I guess they don't make 'em like they used to? So why the change in thickness?

Consistant weaning weight of the cross-bred offspring plus high carcass quality is more valuable than thickness if they are at times different. If they are different, why focus on thickness? So they don't roll over walking up a creek bank at an angle? Or possibly so I can post pictures of how good my cattle look? Or so I can place them in my front pasture by the Interstate? WW and carcass quality.

Let's see how much chatter I can generate off of that post.
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

WW has improved alot over the years, carcass is just striving to get back to where it once was before we tried to make charolais out of herefords and still the marketshare for bulls is dwindling?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone needs to make up his own mind what he wants to breed, most would be better off to study his breed first and try and get to grips what his breed's traditional strengths and weaknesses are and what was the success stories of the past and what wasn't quite as successfull, before running away with yet another not so original market transforming idea.
 

JHH

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I guess I am going to sound like Greenwillow now. I like the Day bull. Some one said he had eye problems but he is either 9 or 10 years old and still being used. I do think He is as thick and wide as we need and in a moderate package. He should be used as a tool not a solution. He should help out herds alot. Here is his pic again.



Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
 

Keren

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Interesting discussion here and I thought I'd just pop in to clarify something regarding the cow who is pictured here (no I dont mind you pasting it)

The hereford pics in that thread I posted came from a few different breeders - but I think its obvious there are two different types there, the type that is thick, deep, muscled etc like this cow and those are the ones we won a lot of ribbons with. The others are finer made plainer type cattle from several local breeders, no show winners there but simply something for me as a young person to take round the shows and have a good time with.

But - of those GOOD type - those cattle came pretty close to my idea of perfection, and sadly the stud is now dispersed. Those cow were BIG - although you cant tell from that picture that cow is somewhere between frame score 7.5 and 8 - between the height and the width/thickness and muscling on her, I couldnt fit that girl into the chute. The bulls didnt fit into the chute to be weighed at the show, they had to take the scales out of the crush and stand the bulls on them.

Now, those cattle were good, but extreme. LOTS of size, LOTS of milk under them as you can see. They were breeding the biggest, the best cows, with the most milk under them, and the biggest sappy calves you've ever seen. But, they were easy doing in their own environment. They wouldnt have stood up very long in my environment, we dont get a lot of rain or pasture growth. But where they were was a dairy area, with very very good pasture, very reliable rainfall. And that cow, while she has had some show preparation, looks very much like that out in the pasture. All the cows from this herd do.

I guess what I am trying to say with my rambling that these cows were so suited to their environment, and Rustler, no she hasnt been stuffed full of grain to get her looking like that. Besides, as many have said the frame height and width is genetic, you've gotta have that foundation there, feed wont change how wide an animal is. Just how much flesh is on that base.

I think herefords on the most part are known for being soft, easy fleshing animals and good mothers. And I think these animals stand up to that reputation - they are fantastic mothers, easy calving with plenty of milk. They know how to raise big thumping calves. They are really well muscled - without losing their softness and easy fleshing ability. And the structural correctness is there also. Good cattle, imho. If they were scaled back a few framed they'd fit perfectly into my environment
 

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