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Heterosis

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Tap

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I am wondering what folks think of the added value of a crossing cattle, as far as added pounds go? I have figured the weight/day/age of our straightbred angus calves against neighboring ranches that crossbreed, and we are right in the same area on weights.

The main reason I am asking is that we recently bought a few hereford bulls to use on some purchased mainly black with a few baldie cows thrown in, and I am wondering how they will compare to our straightbreds on weights? They will probably calve a week or two later than our black herd, and I will be interested to see what the heterosis does to the weights.
 

Faster horses

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Tap, we experience the same thing. We used hereford bulls for a couple of years when we first moved here. They were real nice calves, but no better than our straightbreds. Regardless of popular opinion, it is my opinion that you can get crossbred vigor within a breed.

(And you know, my opinion is worth just what it cost).

I too will be looking foreward to the responses to your question.


This is kind of relative, but not totally on the subject:
When comparing calf weights with neighbors you must take in consideration age of calf; example: end of Feb. calvers or end of March, etc); age of dam, type of supplement, if any, etc. There are so many variables. I always figure our calves 205 day weight without being adjusted. I give the calves all an 80 lb. birthweight (we don't weigh the calves at birth, but we do not have big calves), I know the day they were born and the day we precondition in the fall, we weigh each calf. It is pretty darn interesting to figure their gain using actual day of age. I think it would help everyone know where they are performance wise, if they could do this.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Tap,

I've worked around both purebreds and commercials my whole life, and while Faster Horses is correct that there is some heterosis to be had within breeds, it doesn't match that which you get from proper crossbreeding.

From within my own herd, my Angus/Shortie crosses outperform my straight Shorties and my Straight Angus calves by 15% (8 year long term avg) with about a 10% increase in feed efficiency. My third cross, Simmental, nets me another 3% - 4% increase in feed efficiency and another 5% more ADG. I do need to state that my feed trial this year with my Angus/Shortie/Shortie crosses are performing every bit as well as the Angus/Shortie/Simm crosses do, but its only the first year.

Despite the fact that those black baldies are so popular, I haven't seen the best heterosis from Angus/Hereford crosses. Its been ok, but I'd rather see Angus/Simm or Angus/Shorthorn cows kicking around this place.

Rod
 

Soapweed

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Tap said:
I am wondering what folks think of the added value of a crossing cattle, as far as added pounds go? I have figured the weight/day/age of our straightbred angus calves against neighboring ranches that crossbreed, and we are right in the same area on weights.

The main reason I am asking is that we recently bought a few hereford bulls to use on some purchased mainly black with a few baldie cows thrown in, and I am wondering how they will compare to our straightbreds on weights? They will probably calve a week or two later than our black herd, and I will be interested to see what the heterosis does to the weights.

By using Hereford bulls on black baldy cows, you will get a few calves that look to be straight Hereford. Hereford bulls on Angus cows will work great, but if it was me, I'd use Angus bulls on the baldy cows. Free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it. :wink:
 

Tap

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Thanks Soapweed, I like your advice. I know what you said to be a fact. The calves would sell the best if we could keep the red baldies to a minimum. That is why a person would have to rotate your cross if you kept replacements out of your own cows. In our situation, I think we will either buy cows for replacements for this herd, or more likely use cows from our own angus herd. That way every baldie will go on to feed, and not be kept for replacements.

I wonder how a good sized coming three year old would calve, that had been bred to hereford bulls with real moderate birthweights and low BW EPD's? These cows will not be calving where we can look at them real often. And calving so late, we shouldn't need to either.
 

Denny

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I have done that cross but got some hereford looking calves out of the baldies which were sorted off at the salebarn and brought 20 cent's per lb. less than the blacks.

I used a horned bull and the only problem I had was the heads were a little wider and on heifers they needed some assistance.The cows had been bred charlaios so they were already streatched to the max.

I do know those baldie cows I have are a never miss bunch of cows.Easy fleshing and mild tempered just good cows all around.
 

WB

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Heterosis is for real it is not an imaginary thing. The real value of heterosis is in the cowherd. While calf weights and performance are important what is the value of increased fertility, increased feed efficiency, increased longevity? And if you are using Hereford bulls on Angus cows you will get the added value of docilty. You have to decide what these are worth to you then decide how to manage your program.
 

Faster horses

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In talking with Larry Leonhart, (Shoshone Angus and very knowledgeable on Angus genetics) he says Hybird Vigor is the only thing in this business we get for free...

I have always been a fan of the shorthorn breed, and wouldn't mind trying a Shorthorn on our Angus cows. But my better half isn't interested. So guess we will keep on keeping on...so far so good...and the straight bred Angus heifers have to come from somewhere, right?

Interesting information you posted, Diamond S, thanks!!

Some friends bred their black baldy cows to hereford bulls and got the hereford looking calves, some were black with hereford markings even. But I do remember one crossbred calf the daughter took to the fair as a Hereford and won Grand Champion Steer with him...
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Faster horses said:
I have always been a fan of the shorthorn breed, and wouldn't mind trying a Shorthorn on our Angus cows. But my better half isn't interested. So guess we will keep on keeping on...so far so good...and the straight bred Angus heifers have to come from somewhere, right?

Well I have to say I don't blame your better half. Right now, the Shorthorn breed is recovering from the show ring destruction of the 80s and 90s, so its tough to find an EXCELLENT beef producing Shorthorn bull.

Give us Shortie guys a couple more years though. :) Even in the last 2 or 3 years, the breed has made some significant strides, as there have always been lesser known breeders who maintained the Shorthorn breed as a beef producing animal, and now those genetics are making their way back into mainstream use.

Anyway, sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread. :)

Rod
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Northern Rancher said:
Didn't you just find one up in my country lol.

lol Yep, Edmund falls under the category of lesser known breeders who understand that the final result of all this feeding, bedding, selection, marketing, and debating is something that hits a consumer's plate.

Rod
 

PPRM

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If you don't find heterosis, well.......Maybe you used a crap bull or a crap cross. I have used a variety of breeds, but you bettter be using good ones.

I do find it interesting as i have looked at a lot of bull sale catalogs this month. You can get 700-800 pound weaning weights from calves with under 85 pound Birthwieghts. Then you can get 650 pound WW from 95 pound BW calves. I always want to ask the guy buying the second Bull, "What the hell are you thinking?"

BTW, saw a Kessler Bull Sell for $21,000 in Spokane Today....


PPRM
 

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