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Heifer Bull

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AGN

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Can anyone tell me what they think the defintion is and or description of a heifer bull is????
 

Hay Feeder

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Glad someone posted this topix.
I kept a record of phone calls this year of people asking about a heifer bull
39 calls this year. Not many really understand what a heifer bull is its just the buzz word these days. The deal really is people want a heifer bull to put on some cows becasue most people do not have the time or the know how to deliver a calf.

This is the list of requirments I give a bw weight of the bull, the epd of the bull and a ce of the bull. Every person picks a different number and thats their choice not mine. One would be suprised how many people will trust the sale barn owner when HE tells the bidders a non virgin bull hauled in that day is a heifer bull.

What people do not understand is that usually a very light bw calf is also a very light ww calf. Then the circle goes again...

Its the cow and heifer is also part of it and feed and management of the herd that is actually the issue also.
 

George

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I feel that "heifer bull" is the current slang for "I'm not going to take responsibility for my cows" or “I want someone else to blame for my shortcomings”

I am not advocating that you use the highest birth weight bull around on your heifers ( I would not use a bull like that on my cows ) but if you have to have a jersey bull to breed your heifers to you are either breeding much to young or you don't have the right heifers to begin with!

If a heifer cannot calve reliably with a moderate Angus or Herford bull then she does not deserve to be kept as you will have problems on down the road anyway.

People say that every bull calf born does not deserve the right to reproduce but you have to apply that same reasoning to heifers. Not every heifer deserves the right to reproduce!

If you have done a good job of keeping the best heifers back and keep them on a good growing ( not fattening ) ration and breed them at about 14 to 15 months and then again manage them for the next 9 months you should end up with a good 2 year old that is in sync with the rest of the herd and a valuable asset for years to come.

If you want to pile on the pounds and get the heifer fat and happy she will need to be bred to a very tiny bull and then you might still have issues! This does not mean starve her but first select your best , second grow them out, third manage them for a great long term outlook!
 

Northern Rancher

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It's the same thing as it's been forever a bull that will calve on heifers! I see it has segued into an object of ridicule as well-if maximum growth supported by overmanagement was the only way to do it then people would of never changed. Balance in all things-all things in balance.
 

RSL

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Most people are simply talking about a low actual birthweight. In a lot of cases I think they would be further ahead to wait an extra year and use a real bull.
A really well rounded heifer bull is usually expensive as a good one is a "curve bender", so a lot of folks just go for cheap, low birthweight sires.
We try to select curve bender bulls using EPD, structural assessment, and pedigree (don't want any CE wrecks in the background).
 

Faster horses

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When I select a heifer bull, I look into the families of the sire and dam.
You can find a heavy birthweight bull that throws small calves
(example is Rainmakerr 340--he had 90 lb. birthweight but
was a proven heifer bull). I'd rather buy a 90 lb. bw bull for heifers
out of a small bw family than a 70 lb. bw bull out of a heavy
bw family. Cattle breed back to averages, not necessarily themselves.

Bill Ohrmann, long-time Angus breeder in the Flint Creek Valley
in Montana taught me this many years ago. I've used it since
and it has never failed me.

As for weaning weight, you sell live calves, not dead ones.
Also, not hurting a heifer at first-time calving helps her to breed up better
for the next year and keeps her in the herd longer. That was
important to us.
 

coyote

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Is it a hermaphrodite? In biology, a hermaphrodite is an organism that has reproductive organs normally associated with both male and female sexes.
 

greybeard

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Most often commercial heifer bulls come out of heifers. Only logical as you don't need the light birth weight when breeding cows. The trick is to get a heifer bull out of a well proven cow.
FH has the answer.
I've looked thru some catalogs and shuddered at some of the bulls that are recommended for use on heifers just because they had a light actual birth wt.
But then some consider anything that comes out without a C section as standard practice. Before I followed FH's guidelines I use to help 20%+ and thought nothing of it.
 

Larrry

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Faster horses said:
When I select a heifer bull, I look into the families of the sire and dam.
You can find a heavy birthweight bull that throws small calves
(example is Rainmakerr 340--he had 90 lb. birthweight but
was a proven heifer bull). I'd rather buy a 90 lb. bw bull for heifers
out of a small bw family than a 70 lb. bw bull out of a heavy
bw family. Cattle breed back to averages, not necessarily themselves.

That is where EPD help in the selection process. BW are not always accurate. BW doesn't take into a cow calving early because of getting butted for instance. Body structure is a biggy. Curve benders are out there. One has to be careful they don't get into the rut that they get numbed to the big calves and all the drama that goes with it. Some people create such a drama around calving and seem to enjoy living with the cows at night. When that happens you don't get to enjoy the Roses along the way(newborn calves)
 

LRAF

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Lots of different opinions and thoughts here. Good topic. Myself with angus I feel any 14/15 month old heifer that has been fed correctly grown out nicely and is reproductively "mature" should be able to handle a bull with a bw epd of 2 or below as long as she is continued to be taken care of. Mind you I'm saying a proven bull that is consistent. But you also have to take into consideration the females side also. If she is from a cow family that consistently gives birth to larger calves then ya better opt for a lower birth epd. A live calf makes money. They don't sprout back up if ya gotta plant them!!!
 

Larrry

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This bring something else out. I can see we all have our ideas about what aheifer bull is or even what a light birth weight is. I don't think you need a negative bw to be a heifer bull
 

Hay Feeder

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This is a interesting topic I would also like to add I am seeing fewer and fewer people that own cattle that know they have no livestock skills. We are seeing fewer and fewer people that even know when,if or how to pull calf and seek smaller and smaller calves so they do hot have to deal with the issue at all. The smaller the calf the smaller the heart and it becomes more of a issue can the calf live.
A real ranch here has been selling bred heifers now they have to sell heifers with week old babies at side.
 

LRAF

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A negative birth weight bull has its place in a reg herd to balance out epds with these +5 bw cows.
 

LRAF

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greybeard said:
Are you a Charolais breeder?

Do you think Charolais are the only bred with heavy birth weight cattle? And no I wouldn't have a Charolais here.
 

Northern Rancher

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Not sure if I want to push the calving ease issue just to make sure i don't get rusty with a puller-5% assists aren't a big deal with a 100 cows-it is a bit of an issue with several hundred. The beef business our way is seeing less people taking care of more cattle-the switch to a kinder season and easier cattle to deal with is because of this. There are easy and hard calving lines in every breed-you can pretty much run what suits your comfort level and curse everybody who does different.
 

Whitewing

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LRAF said:
greybeard said:
Are you a Charolais breeder?

Do you think Charolais are the only bred with heavy birth weight cattle? And no I wouldn't have a Charolais here.

About half my animals are Charolais. My Charolais heifers I normally cross with a Brahman bull and my mestizas I cross with a young Charolais bull. We have an occassional problem birthing with the heifers, but not often, fortunately.
 

littlejoe

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Northern Rancher said:
Not sure if I want to push the calving ease issue just to make sure i don't get rusty with a puller-5% assists aren't a big deal with a 100 cows-it is a bit of an issue with several hundred. The beef business our way is seeing less people taking care of more cattle-the switch to a kinder season and easier cattle to deal with is because of this. There are easy and hard calving lines in every breed-you can pretty much run what suits your comfort level and curse everybody who does different.

5%? That's an interesting number----in a good yr, that's about what we figger we save by bringing them home to calve---backwards, big calf, leg back, head down, occasional set of twins, mothering issues.

And would probably have fewer 'mothering issues' if we left them out.



But we prefer to try not to lose any, and they ain't all good yrs. Probably one of the best we ever did was to have 50 live calves outa 50 heifers we'd A.I.'d, with no twins. Calves were about a mo old, we had them in a really neat 80 acre field with creek, springs, shelter, lotsa old grass. And a damn mtn lion killed one. Always something. fwiw, lions kinda skin them like you do a muskrat, hide was turned inside out plum up to the ears.

Two cats had been seen together, neighbors got 2 kill permits. One morning I'm settin' on the steps and hear hounds across the crick---then shots, 3 or 'em. Bonus rules, I expect.
 

Northern Rancher

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I just plucked 5% out of the air-it's been going a fair bit better than that this spring. The cows and heifers are both calving on grass but we can bring one in to help if need be. I'd be more inclined to use 'power' bulls if I wasn't retaining any females.
 

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