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Flecks

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DiamondSCattleCo

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After checking my weights over, my crossing to Shorthorn bulls has done most of what I wanted: Better average weight gain per day and very good feed conversion.

However, on about 1/3 of my commercial animals (mostly the Brit/Brit crosses), the Simm cross still worked the best, so I went shopping for a Simm bull today. The breeder that I normally buy from downsized last year and sold all his bulls already, so that leaves me with a couple other breeder choices.

One of these breeders uses nothing but Fleckvieh stock, but I've never looked closely at Fleck stuff before. From the little bit of reading I've done tonight, I understand they are generally easier fleshing than larger framed Simm stock. The big non-polled heads scare me a bit, as my critters are smaller framed (1200 lb avg). Two of the bulls I'll be looking at have 90-100 lb birthweights, which my ladies can normally handle, but I've never bred to non-polled animal before either.

So I guess I'm looking for is someone who can give me some generalizations on Flecks, preferably someone whose used both in the past. Calving ease, fleshing, etc... Any particular bloodlines to be watching for? These are terminal cross animals, so heifer retention is not a priority. I'm looking for pure performance without having to pull every last calf.

Rod
 

Soapweed

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Several years ago, I was at an all-breed bull sale and ended up buying a couple good red-baldy Fleckvieh bulls. I used them for three or four years on Red Angus x Gelbvieh type cows. They threw some real good calves, and I even kept quite a few of the heifers to turn into cows. My experience using them was positive, and they even had good dispositions.
 

Northern Rancher

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Diamond S you better come up and check out one of my customers herds of Fleckvieh cattle. He sells all his bulls from the yard to the rancher trade-they are as practical a herd of Fleckvieh cattle as I have ever seen.They calve easy and will work in ranch conditions. PM me if you'd like his name and number.
 

shorthorn

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What bloodlines of shorthorns were you using and where did you get the bulls? Just being curious! I like that cross myself. he he
 

ET Doc

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Diamond S,
We used to raise Full Fleckvieh cattle a number of years ago. We found that the Siegfried and Sir Arnold G809 lines worked best for us. In fact, I flushed G809's mother several times for Arnold Bros. Ranch when she was quite old.
The C&B Westerns had good performance, but were hard calving for us, although most of the calves were ET calves out of black baldy cows.
One thing, the G809 daughters got a tilted udder that became worse as they got older.
Hope this helps. I'm not up on the current bloodlines. :)
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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shorthorn said:
What bloodlines of shorthorns were you using and where did you get the bulls? Just being curious! I like that cross myself. he he

I used a couple Saskatchewan breeders animals, Saskvalley Stock Farms and Bell M Stock Farm (Moellenbeck). Saskvalley Wrangler 41H was the best of the two and a great example of why I don't trust EPDs. He traces back to MasterCharge, had average EPDs across the board, and delivered me two sets of consistent, high performance calves. In my eye, he's an almost perfect bull with a reasonably small head, narrow front shoulders that open up into deep ribs and a solid hind quarter. I've retained a bunch of his daughters.

The Bell M bull was pretty much an unknown, but traces back to High Stakes. He showed alot of promise as a yearling, but didn't flesh out like I expected he would. He was bred to my heifers, and he'll make a crackerjack heifer bull, but I know there are better out there. I'm going back to Saskvalley's sale in Saskatoon in April. I picked out 5 bulls who trace their lineage back to that MasterCharge line, and I think that at least 3 of them are going to be top end bulls. I just hope the rest of the bidders are blind :)

ET Doc, thanks for the start on the bloodlines. I did a pile of reading last night, and the Fleck stuff seems to hold some promise. I keep seeing easier fleshing and smaller frames when people talk about Flecks, so this is a good thing. My aim around here is have animals who can deliver me 4lb/day calves while eating nothing but snowballs and promises :lol:

Rod
 

Northern Rancher

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Diamond S we have a pretty big shorthorn breeder up here too (200 plus cows)-when I used to do up his ROP records was always amazed at how many cows his bulls would breed. They always have some good loking shorthorn bulls at the Vermillion Test Center too.
 

Shelly

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If I was you, I'd consider a smaller birthweight. My father-in-law was heavy into Fleckveih bulls and we had lots of problems calving cows. The smaller the cow, the worse it was. Lots of hard pulls with a few C-sections thrown in for good measure! We've used both traditional and Fleck, I'd much rather calve a traditional. The calves off the Fleckveih just didn't seem to have much get-up-and-go. Sure, the calves were thick and meaty come weaning time, but the stress of getting them to survive from the start was more than a person could handle. If you're going to use Fleckveih, go with the solid reds. They are (for some reason) a little easier to calve out. I'll stress again, though, go for a smaller birthweight for your smaller cows! The calves will turn out just as nice come fall.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Shelly said:
If I was you, I'd consider a smaller birthweight.

Thanks, its all going to depend on the bull conformation. I've got no problems with 100lb birthweight calves on my smaller cows, as long as they've got small heads, and narrow front ends. Thats why I was a little worried about the Fleck stuff, because they aren't polled, and as such, they've got a fair bit more head to squeeze out before getting to the shoulders. I may have to drop back to 80 pound birthweight Flecks to ensure the same calving ease that I get from a 100 pound birthweight Simm or Shorthorn.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I was beginning to wonder if Flecks were the perfect animal as I hadn't heard a bad thing about them :) It gives me a heads up.

Rod
 

Bruce C

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Diamond S
If I was looking for polled Flecks I would try Dayton Funk at Richard. He has had polled for several generations If you want to go a little further the Campell Family at Andrew Alberta has some polls up to 5 generations .These cattle are run as much like commercial as any you will find -Call Clinton or Wade(780-367-2586). Good luck with your selection
 

shorthorn

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DiamondSCattleCo said:
shorthorn said:
What bloodlines of shorthorns were you using and where did you get the bulls? Just being curious! I like that cross myself. he he

I used a couple Saskatchewan breeders animals, Saskvalley Stock Farms and Bell M Stock Farm (Moellenbeck). Saskvalley Wrangler 41H was the best of the two and a great example of why I don't trust EPDs. He traces back to MasterCharge, had average EPDs across the board, and delivered me two sets of consistent, high performance calves. In my eye, he's an almost perfect bull with a reasonably small head, narrow front shoulders that open up into deep ribs and a solid hind quarter. I've retained a bunch of his daughters.

The Bell M bull was pretty much an unknown, but traces back to High Stakes. He showed alot of promise as a yearling, but didn't flesh out like I expected he would. He was bred to my heifers, and he'll make a crackerjack heifer bull, but I know there are better out there. I'm going back to Saskvalley's sale in Saskatoon in April. I picked out 5 bulls who trace their lineage back to that MasterCharge line, and I think that at least 3 of them are going to be top end bulls. I just hope the rest of the bidders are blind :)

ET Doc, thanks for the start on the bloodlines. I did a pile of reading last night, and the Fleck stuff seems to hold some promise. I keep seeing easier fleshing and smaller frames when people talk about Flecks, so this is a good thing. My aim around here is have animals who can deliver me 4lb/day calves while eating nothing but snowballs and promises :lol:

Rod


them are some good bloodlines. I just got that sale book in the mail the other day. They have some nice bulls in it. Good bloodlines from some good breeders. Good luck but the shorthorns are higher than ever down here. We have a little bit differant lines but not as much as you would think. I am feeding about 50 head of shorthorn cross feeders and about 25 head of other. It assures me of why i buy and raise shorthorn bulls.They flat grow and cut good.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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shorthorn said:
them are some good bloodlines. I just got that sale book in the mail the other day. They have some nice bulls in it. Good bloodlines from some good breeders. Good luck but the shorthorns are higher than ever down here. We have a little bit differant lines but not as much as you would think. I am feeding about 50 head of shorthorn cross feeders and about 25 head of other. It assures me of why i buy and raise shorthorn bulls.They flat grow and cut good.

You got your sale book already? Dang, I still haven't gotten mine yet. I'll have to call them and find out what the hold up is.

I like both breeders because they rough their bulls, versus giving them show rations. That gives me a better idea how they're going to perform in the real world. They're also specifically breeding for easy fleshing and moderate frames, so they are simply a good fit with both my purebred operation and my commercial operation. I've got a couple more guys to check out, including the guy in Meadow Lake (Vidals), but its going to be tough to compete against the Saskvalley stuff. I got a catalog from Huberdale and Horseshoe Creek that appears to have a couple of _maybe_ winners, but nothing from the sires that I liked at the end of the catalog.

Rod
 

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