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Gelbvieh/Braunvieh F1 experiences?

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Jeff O

Gelbvieh/Braunvieh F1 experiences?

Postby Jeff O » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:03 am

Our 300 commercial herd has drastic variety with cows predominately but not limited to Angus X, Hereford X and Limousin X. We fatten all of our calves and currently sell in the open market. I have been working to develop some relationships for improving our marketing but I know I need to develop a more uniform group of cattle for management and the rail. I am fascinated with and seriously considering moving toward an Angus X Gelbvieh (F1), terminal crossed with a Limo, Charolais. I'm also considering Angus X Braunvieh for my F1. It will take me a number of years to rebuild toward this but I feel this is the direction I need to take to raise premium beef for the future. In the mean time my 'transition' calves would still have to be quality performers as I build toward this.

I was wondering what type of strategy you would employ for transforming the herd short of selling everything and starting over. What are some of the selling points of Gelbvieh over the Braunvieh and others in your opinion? What other breeds to you feel offer a great maternal F1 package.

Thanks for any help you may provide me on my pursuit of improving the cattle segment of our operation.

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Postby Northern Rancher » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:11 am

Pick your best Angus X cows-soundest,fertile etc.-A.I.themt to the Braunvieh bull of choice-breed rest of herd to terminal sires. Gelbvieh Angus cows would be great too but any braunvieh cows i've had were good cows. Actually just about any breed crossed on a good Angus or Hereford base makes a good F1 cow.

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Postby whiteface » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:30 am

Here's where yer hiding CS! I sent you an email that must have got lost in cyber space. Wondering about that Cheque semen of yours? If yer comeing to Randys sale would you like meet and sell the semen? I asked over on Agri-ville yesterday and then sent an email to you? No answer. Have you already sold it? If not, I'm interested. I need a price and how many straws you have and if and where I could meet you. Talk soon!

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Postby Northern Rancher » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:58 am

Have to talk to my buddy who owns it-I'll be at Murray Fraser's sale for sure in Brooks on the 21st. There is ten straws of Cheque semen-just e-mail me an offer I can't refuse lol.

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Postby Soapweed » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:07 pm

Jeff O, here are my thoughts on your cattle situation. With free advice, you get what you pay for, so don't worry too much if your ideas don't coincide with mine.

You mention that your cowherd has plenty of variety, but is predominantly Angus X, Hereford X, and Limousin X. It would be easy to take this bunch of cows, breed them straight Angus for a few years, keep the good black and black white-faced uniform looking heifers for replacements, and in no time you would have a nice uniform cowherd of predominantly Angus looking females. What could be wrong with that? The steer mates to these heifers would also be uniform and very saleable.

My experience with Gelbvieh-Angus cross cows is that a quarter Gelbvieh makes a nice cow, 3/8 isn't bad, and half Gelbvieh is too much of a good thing as far as a commercial brood cow is concerned. The F1s get too big, big birthweights can come into play, and they have a tendency of giving too much milk so bad bags can become a problem. As far as using Braunvieh instead of Gelbvieh, personally I don't like the dairy look and creamy color of that breed. I know they perform well in feedlots, but I don't care for the big eared look and color inconsistency of the crosses.

Angus are easy cattle to ranch with. The calves have ambition and vigor at birth, calving problems are usually minimal, and the offspring have uniformity and saleability. Breed everything Angus, and you don't have to keep track of F1 and terminal crosses. Another distinct advantage is the fact that Angus have no horns, and that problem will be bred out of your herd. By going the way you are talking, with several breeds and crosses involved, it gets hard to come up with replacements, and there is a lot of color and variety in your herd. It becomes difficult to come up with load lots of any group of cattle.

These are just my thoughts. My philosophy is to try to operate as easily as I can and still raise the best cattle possible. Not liking individual chores, my goal is to run the most numbers of cattle with the least amount of individual attention per head.
Last edited by Soapweed on Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Faster horses » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:12 pm

Boy, Soapweed that sure made sense to me!!

Amazing how using Angus can straighten up a cowherd, with almost always positive results.

Jeff O

Postby Jeff O » Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:46 am

Thanks for the advice. The Angus discussion seems very logical. With a good database of EPD's and all the points you made it seems like a very smart approach. Cattle are just a part of our operation, so the talk about management ease really hits home. I'll have to sit down and rethink my approach. Do you have an opinion on which Angus bulls that could work in this situation? I plan on seperating the best ones out and AI for replacements.

Thanks again. I just want to make sure that I breed cattle for the future market. I've been reading a lot about our cattle getting too fat and not having the appropriate muscle mass. The Angus explosion seems to get singled out for this. I think i will focus on REA and muscle in a frame under 6.

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Postby Soapweed » Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:53 am

Jeff O, my own approach to your "dilema" would be to focus on simplicity. There are extremes in the Angus breed, but I would go for moderation. God made bulls, and these bulls have both the desire and ability to breed a cow. It is a lot easier to turn bulls out with cows than to worry about AIing. Bulls aren't necessarily expensive, and by watching for opportunities, they can be purchased much more cost-effectively than to go through the hard work and expense of AIing. Once in a while, a major wreck can happen with AI. By breeding too many cows to one bull, which later turns out to have faults that you were unaware of at the time of breeding, a whole calf crop can suffer. About the most calves you can mess up with any one bull through natural service would be 25 head, and that doesn't happen very often. I've had it happen once in my whole life.

Ranching is not an easy life at best, but there are some things that can be done with management that makes it a whole lot easier. Nature has a way of accomplishing many procedures. By flowing with Nature instead of fighting it, ranch life can be made much more simple and profitable.

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Postby Aaron » Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:44 am

If you want exotic and british influence in the F1 cowherd, I think the better crosses are:

Angus x Simmental
Angus x Gelbvieh
Hereford x Simmental
Hereford x Gelbvieh

If you just want british influence:

Angus x Hereford
Hereford x Shorthorn

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Postby Australian Cattleman » Thu Feb 24, 2005 2:56 am

South Devon crossed over any breeds that I have have all been good. I have used them over Brahman,Angus,Black Baldy,Charolais,Gelbvieh and Hereford.
Gelbviehs cross really well with Brahman.
Never tried Braunvieh,but very keen to get a Tarentaise to experiment with.

Colin

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Postby sw » Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:27 pm

We have been using GV and AN for quite a while now. This is what we have found. The only Angus sire that we have used that competes with the GV sires is TC Stockman 365, because he has the muscle that so many of the other sires lack. I'm sure that there are others that would work that I have not used. I am using the Angus for marbling, moderate size, and calving ease. The GV bring in the muscle and the growth. Now that are herd is getting consistant, I have even gone to using Balancer bulls. The idea of using all angus for a few years will probably get you to a more consistant herd faster, then start the cross breeding. As far as using AI, I can show you where those carcasses on the average, are worth $100 more than those from natural sires that were not junk that we paid a lot of money for from reputation herds. Plus, we sychronize so calving is basically done in 45 days, and our cattle all die within a 3 week time frame when we retain ownership. As far as the Braunvieh, I was thinking of using them and was told by a buyer with ConAgra that they have so much variability with in the breed that it is very hard to figure out the ones to use, so I never tried them. We were using Charolais as a terminal cross and all that did for us was to make calves even more inconsistant on rail, and the GV x AN cattle still brought the most money, we are now cleaning up with the GV and Balancers we have raised and the calves now are very consistant, heavy muscled, moderate framed and moderate framed. Had a pen killed yesterday, should get the data back real soon, can show it to you if you would like.


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