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FUNNEL BUTTS & GREED! - It' a CATCH 22!

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DOC HARRIS

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With the achievement of the current GOOD cattle market in the last year or so, it is my opinion that the ugly demon "GREED" has joined in the fray!

I have watched on Superior Auction the last couple of weeks a few, shall we say, BIG NAME registered Beef Cattle operations and their Fall Bull Sales. One very glaring fact has emerged that has convinced me that SELFISHNESS AND GREED seems to be more prevalent than INTEGRITY AND HONESTY.

Because "Money and Power" seem to be the prime movers in every human endeavor these days (as has always been the case for that matter), Beef Breeders seem to have lost the motivation to use the castration knife on their bull calves which should NOT be allowed to "transmit their genes" to succeeding generations! The result has been evident the past few months to me in observing the Phenotype AND Genotype (EPD's) of individuals selling in auction sales, both live and televised.

A great number of bulls :eek: :shock: selling would not have made respectable steers - to say nothing of keeping them and SELLING them as bulls! :???: :mad:

GREED! - - and the result is another three or four GENERATIONS of "FUNNEL BUTT" Angus masquerading as quality breedstock! To my critical eye this practice is disgraceful! One registered operation in particular, which, several years ago was considered one of the top Angus seedstock operations in the breed, presented a group of bulls for sale recently which were so funnel-butted lacking hind quarter depth and thickness they could have been mistaken for black Jersey's!. Not much evidence of a crest - they could have been Clarabelle Cow with a purse! :mad:

The one conclusion to which I can arrive is - GREED! Forget Breed quality, forget honesty, forget integrity, - - -it's the DOLLAR$ the breeder can get by riding on his reputation and selling Registered Seedstock to unsuspecting and un-AWARE customers that is important to HIM! Forget the future of the Breed! It's a Catch 22. You are darned if you do and darned if you don't! Perhaps his bottom line at the bank is sliding downhill because he has been selling lousy stuff the past few years!

Any Comments???

DOC HARRIS
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I agree whole heartly. I have 25 bull calves that we left at branding from my PB cows. I like to keep 10 - 15. I told my daughter this morning that her, my 83 yr old dad and my self would each go and write down 10 numbers that we thought should be culled and see which ones we agreed on. Then we might even dig deeper cause I don't really need 15 more bulls.
 

Shelly

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We have a neighbour near here that is the same kind of guy of which you speak, Doc. His philosophy is if it's born a bull, it sells as a bull. If it's born a heifer, then it'll become a cow. Brother-in-law bred some of his heifers to one of that guy's bulls. Damn calves looked like pail-fed holsteins at weaning time. Father-in-law used to buy bulls from this same guy all the time, (why, we don't know), and the birth weights on the calves were so inconsistent, ranging anywhere from 50-100 lbs. How can one bull vary so much? One year, if the heifer had a heifer calf, it would literally fall out onto the ground. If the heifer had a bull calf, it come out the side or was a very hard pull. Some of these purebred breeders just don't know how to cull out the worst of their calf crop. All they think, is well, we'll make more money selling it as a bull instead of a steer.
 

sw

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YEA DOC!!
There is a serious lack of muscle in so many of the Angus cattle it is unbelievable. That is why our GV x AN crosses work on the ranch, in the feedlot and on the rail. It is sickening how some of these Angus breeders are touting a sire as a "carcass bull unmatched by few" when they have a negative EPD for marbling and for carcass weight. We do still get paid for the pound last time I checked and in the current market the choice select spread has been so small and the discounts for YG 4 so large, why are so many people using these bulls with no butts, no ribs but they have nuts. That is why the only bulls on this place are ones we raised or they come in a straw. I am going to challenge the seedstock people of the Angus variety to their ethics, I have agreed to put 100 embryos into our cows this fall and we will see what kind of data comes out on the bulls they keep. I have a tendency not to tell some of these people my background so they think they can pull things over on me.
 

Red Robin

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On the top end of the black business there are some very nice bulls. I saw a SAV Travler 004 at Genex this summer that sure looked nice. He was thick and volumous but at the commercial level I think you have a better offering for the money in the Red Angus breed. They still have meat and middle for the most part.
100_0827.jpg
 

Angus Breeder

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Doc, I agree with you 100%. As purebred breeders our single most important tool is a sharp knife. Just because you can hustle a yearling bull for $2500 does noth mean the road stops there. The customer must have a good experience so that he can relay that information to everyone he is in contact with. That is a double bladed knife a bad experience will cost you far more than $2500 over the long run.
 

Jason

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Hey don't paint us all with the same brush :D

I was just about the first one in Canada to use EPD's and saw a huge benefit from them. Since then EPD's went "mainstream" and have been in my opinion watered down. If you feed a show string and say they were fed the same as the pasture cattle, it makes the show string that much "better".

In the long run the EPD will be properly adjuste but most purebred cattle are sold young.

In a properly culled herd using proven bulls matched to each cow, every animal should be acceptable as breeding stock. Even then the odd 'looker' won't pan out. That isn't greed. What DOC described is though.

When prices rise some tend to keep everything thus their herd isn't properly culled.

I read an interesting comment from Doug Hoff in one of his ads about the bulls that scan the highest for rib eye but aren't the thickest looking. He said the scan only measures surface area not total volume. By looking at some of the offering in semen catalogues I tend to agree.
 

Jinglebob

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I should probably keep my comments to myself, but what the hell! Here goes....

If people don't buy those poor bulls, breeders will cut them! You ain't being greedy if it's an honest sale. And buyer beware. Most of the bulls who top the shows sure wouldn't work in my enviroment.

No one is forcing anyone to buy these bulls.

Why is it that everyone agrees that they can't buy as good of heifers as they raise, but they have to buy bulls from someone else? Why are their heifers so good and their bull calves so poor? :???:
 

Northern Rancher

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Most breeders keep adding bulls till their average drops-gotta have lots there so the 'price' shoppers can still go and buy-like Jinglebob said if you don't like them don't buy them not like we have a shortage of angus breeders anywheres. One of the most profound things I ever heard was 'If you want to wreck a good commercial man buy him five purebred cows.' The thing that ticks me off is when some purebred yayhoo whose never closed out a set of steers or calved a few hundred heifers etc. starts telling me what I need. I'll look and if you damn well got what I want I'll buy it. In my years of order buying bulls of several different breeds of bulls I've think I've heard every pitch and line imaginable. As for E.P.D's I'm beginning to think they are becoming more for marketing than for breed improvement-if your wondering about why some bulls birthweights are a bit swingy it's because alot of the birth weight data thats turned in is pure unaldulterated bullcrap-you know the sale catalogues-page after page of bulls weighing from 80-87 pounds -then a page or two of 'POWER' bulls that are heavier-it's not up to the breeders to cull the bulls it's up to the buyers to cull the breeders I'm thinkin.As for Angus cattle I think they were alot more practical when they weren't popular-it was alot harder to sell bulls so you only saw the good ones. OOPS this is turning into a novel lol.
 

OK Jeanne

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Here's a few that we like - to produce beef. There's not much
good eatin between the bottom of the belly and the ground.

2404Jumbo.jpg


thumbsup2.jpg


jopaElationPower.jpg


40moe2.jpg


gladiator2.jpg
 

Northern Rancher

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Used to buy a set of Murray Grey/Limo calves from way up in northern Manitoba they were sure a good set of steers. I've often wondered how MG bulls would work on Smoky cows-I think that would be a pretty sweet cross-those Smokes are pretty underrated as far as cows go-used to have quite a few of them in our Charolais days-they were every bit as productive and easy doing as our black cows.
 

OK Jeanne

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Are "smokes" angus/char cross? We have a few nice angus cows,
but only use murray grey bulls. The calves start out some shade
of charcoal grey and then gradually turn to some shade of
chocolate---all the way from cocoa to dark hershey. Photo below
shows the brown steers that are nearing "ready" and the silver
ones were more recently weaned in that picture...winter pasture
of forage oats. Even with red cows all the resulting calves are
some shade of chocolate by 6 months of age or so.



moessteers.jpg
 

George

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One of the reasons these poor bulls sell is that a lot of the people now purchasing cattle don't know one end of the cow from the other.

It seems in this area a person making good money in town will buy ground and have someone watch cattle for them - - -I say watch them as they will not allow someone to manage them ( any one who drives a pickup instead of a Lexus can't know anything) and they will go to a sale and purchase "bragging rights" - - - the main reason is to be able to go back to work and impress their friends with how much they paid for a "registered bull" -- - many of them will not tell the person watching the cattle they are even going to a sale and will have the bull dropped off.

It seems that a proffit is not even considered as they seem to want tax deductions more than anything.
 

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