Worthy to be a bull?

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faster horses

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Usually your heifers are what you have been breeding for, they would be your newest genetics, so why not keep him a bull even if he is out of a heifer? He's a really handsome calf. You can always cut him if he disappoints you later on, but if you cut him now...you are stuck with him being a steer. Patience might pay off greatly. Good luck.
 
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gooberland

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Heifers calves can often be carrying the best genetics if you are selecting your breeding stock on improving the herd. We always calve heifers at around 2 years old (MG herd in NZ) and even though the calves may be smaller at birth they catch up rapidly if the genetics are right! Your bull looks like he has great muscling already and if there is a market for bulls over with you then keep him as a bull. We sell most of our Murray Grey yearling bulls to the dairy industry here as there is a move to produce beef x dairy calves for rearing for beef rather than the straight dairy, mainly Jersey and Jersey x Holstein bull calves being disposed of soon after birth.

Pictured is a 30kg calf from a 2 year old heifer and now at 14 months of age, ready to meet the bull. Her Epds (EBVs to us) suggest she is up there with the best. Above breed average for all the traits except she is leaner than breed average. She will be scanned for eye muscle size and marbling at 20 months of age.
Waihou, thank you for sharing. Great looking ladies.

Seems obvious when you put it that way regarding heifers… always thankful for a fresh take.

Btw, the Mrs and I honeymooned in NZ, north and South Island. Beautiful place, great folks.
 
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gooberland

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Hello gooberland :cool:, welcome to the MG club. Bull calf looks good. Easy birth, getting some growth on him, nice head and dam looks good. Sometimes when you are getting started its tough selling the bulls.

My only suggestion would be don't cut him if you think he has the potential to be a bull. You don't want to regret taking those balls and you can't put them back on- I've learned the hard way.

He has a good phenotype, will be a calving ease/heifer bull prospect and still has a masculine appeal that we all want in a bull.

For the "leather"- I worry most about the sheath area and not about the neck. If he starts looking like he has too much then it might be a problem but I've seen them tighten up as they get more towards weaning age.

So give him some time.
TwoByrds, thank you for sharing and for your take.

That’s certainly my dilemma.. with my numbers and lack of reputation I didn’t intend to breed and sell seedstock at all let alone bulls. But, I’m definitely going to let him get to weaning to decide any further. Looking forward to seeing how he holds up.

I will update with pics as he gets closer to weaning.
 

gusea305

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Had an ai calf born early July this year to a heifer. Heifer was already 2 years of age and unfortunately schedules pushed breeding too late, but given heifers age we decided to go ahead and breed her and take necessary precautions with a summer calf.

Little guy was born on a brutal summer day, during a brutal (as expected) early July week in North Texas.

We only have two that we ai’d and he was the only bull calf, but in the next few weeks each of these calves is getting ran through and I’m trying to determine if this guy has potential as a bull. Difficult to judge without any others his age range to compare him too, of course not ideal that he’s out of a heifer either. We planned to cut him regardless but he’s maturing nicely and would like others opinions… he is a registerable Murray Grey.
Full blood or percentage. If percentage what is it?
 

Son of Butch

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Looks good. I never understand the dis on a heifer's calf.
You're right, genetically it's all there at conception.
Glendell Arlinda Chief was a somewhat famous top A.I. Holstein sire back in the '70s who's dam died giving birth to him as a heifer in Cook county, near Skokie Illinois.
 
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gusea305

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He’s a full blood
I haven't been on line for a while or I would have responded earlier. It if this is still at question, I would hold him if you have the infrastructure. Get his weights and register if he is hitting the marks. Worse that happens is you eat a bull. I can't tell a difference in the meat between them and a steer.

I doubt you will have an issue though. That skin is part of the breed don't worry about it.
 
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gooberland

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I haven't been on line for a while or I would have responded earlier. It if this is still at question, I would hold him if you have the infrastructure. Get his weights and register if he is hitting the marks. Worse that happens is you eat a bull. I can't tell a difference in the meat between them and a steer.

I doubt you will have an issue though. That skin is part of the breed don't worry about it.
He’s still in tact. Going to reevaluate at weaning and post some pictures. Appreciate the insight.
 

Nesikep

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I *usually* don't keep calves from heifers, but the last one I did, did very well, and a first timer this year raised a steer that I'm kinda regretting having banded
Here's the thing about heifers, they *might* be genetically better, but are you REALLY making genetic progress that quickly? Meanwhile that 10-15 year old cow has proven she has what it takes to perform in your program

I don't think there's any good, hard rule about it

This is one heifer from a first timer I kept and have no regrets so far, heifer had her first calf this spring and did well... Momma's sister is the one who's calf I regretted banding
20191014_135516crop.jpg

I think he could have been a nice bull, but he'll be a tasty steer instead
20210901_103950.jpg

This is a yearling heifer from a 1st timer as well, she'll have a calf in the spring and I'm looking forward to that
20210325_120927.jpg


Keeping bulls from heifers, while I haven't done it (yet), if they were a little smaller at weaning it wouldn't affect their performance like it would a heifer, the heifer needs to have the genetics and the body condition, size, etc to raise the calf.. the bull, well, even if he looks starved and skinny, he's only a sperm donor in the equation.. The bulls I raise get no special feed, yes, they look a little gangly in their "teens" but they grow into their frames eventually
Here's my homeraised boy, sire of the heifer above, cow in first pic, and grandsire of the steer
20160913_083445sm.jpg
 

Backbone Ranch

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He is a very nice looking calf, and I believe that he has the potential to be a quality herdsire if he continues to grow and develop at this rate. He has more muscle than many of our Tony calves do, but that is good to see. His sire, BB Uncle Tony, is 9 1/2 years old and will be covering a group of Red Angus heifers this winter for a neighbor. This was Tony as an 8 year old.
BB Uncle Tony (8 years).jpg
 
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gooberland

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I *usually* don't keep calves from heifers, but the last one I did, did very well, and a first timer this year raised a steer that I'm kinda regretting having banded
Here's the thing about heifers, they *might* be genetically better, but are you REALLY making genetic progress that quickly? Meanwhile that 10-15 year old cow has proven she has what it takes to perform in your program

I don't think there's any good, hard rule about it

This is one heifer from a first timer I kept and have no regrets so far, heifer had her first calf this spring and did well... Momma's sister is the one who's calf I regretted banding
View attachment 9635

I think he could have been a nice bull, but he'll be a tasty steer instead
View attachment 9637

This is a yearling heifer from a 1st timer as well, she'll have a calf in the spring and I'm looking forward to that
View attachment 9639


Keeping bulls from heifers, while I haven't done it (yet), if they were a little smaller at weaning it wouldn't affect their performance like it would a heifer, the heifer needs to have the genetics and the body condition, size, etc to raise the calf.. the bull, well, even if he looks starved and skinny, he's only a sperm donor in the equation.. The bulls I raise get no special feed, yes, they look a little gangly in their "teens" but they grow into their frames eventually
Here's my homeraised boy, sire of the heifer above, cow in first pic, and grandsire of the steer
View attachment 9641
Great post - thanks for sharing the pictures. Looks like a beautiful spot.
 

Ferd

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What I have read and makes sense, the heifer is still growing, putting to herself some of what would be going to the calf if she were full grown. If the heifer was bred late for some reason, then that wouldn’t apply. However the proof is in the pudding. A great calf is better than a theory.
 

anewcomer

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This calf is sired by the best bull ever shown on this forum. He exhibits, at an early age, all the attributes of his sire. His dam is registered. He should be kept intact. If he is not worthy of being the next herd sire in your herd, he will improve 99.9% of your neighbor’s herds calves.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I have ALWAYS LOVED Tony calves. I pick them out every time posts pixs.
Theory on heifers:
Old timers always bred dink bulls to heifers for CE. They never kept anything out of heifers - they were "junk" calves.
If you have a decent herd, your heifers represent (or SHOULD) your best GENETICS and goals for your farm. I have never let the fact that the dam was a 2-yr old influence my decision on keep or cull.
 

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