Ranchers.net Bull Session

Angus bull most responsible for breed improvement

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
Posts: 1994
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:11 pm
Location: Alberta Canada

Postby Jason » Sat May 07, 2005 11:20 am

Brad S wrote:What the hell is the consequence of loose skin?

Loose skin around the navel/sheath of a bull can cause injury in areas where scrub brush is thick in breeding pastures.

Loose skin around the chin is more common to Simmental and exotic cattle, so having it in Angus is a cause for concern if the line is pure. Even if it is, buyers backing off the steers because they think they might have other traits is an economic reality.

And like I said not all traits are as important as others.

I had the opportunity to look through the replacement heifer pen of one of my customers in Idaho before this BSE fiasco. He was simply astounded that I could tell him the breed make-up of the dams of his heifers. They were second generation Angus from my bulls, but old Limo, Simmental and even the odd Brahman trait was evident to me.

My herd is founded on old line Marshall and Baros breeding. I was able to (had to depending on how you view it) sell down in 1989 to 35 cows all from the same sire, R&J Blastoff 2040. He was a big thick bull before thick was popular. From that re-start I have built on EPDs for moderate calving and high growth with an eye for carcass and milk. Scrotal has been important, as has structure and eye appeal. That bull was out of a cow dad raised in the 70's that Mac McKeag said was one the te five best cows the breed ever saw.

My theory has always been if a bull has an exceptional dam, he can look average and still be a good bull. How many times have the bulls that look awesome never produced, or ones that throw show winner after show winner never go on to produce (think Stockman 365 won every show but his offspring never produced much).

The other thing is a culling program. If a cow is a poor doer she should be culled no matter what her lineage. She can look tough as long as she is raising the average of your herd with her calves.

This BSE mess has changed my ability to do all I can to improve the breed, I have been forced to revert to selling bulls based on looks rather than true merit. Buyers are trying to survive as I am, and extra information costs. I have birth weights and a semen test and the buyer has his eyes. No other information is being provided this year. So far so good. My 2 yr old pen is empty and the yearlings are half gone. I might survive if we get a good summer, it is raining so that is a start.

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