EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

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Chocolate Cow
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Chocolate Cow » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:28 am

A lot of reasons. I live too close. I don't like their type of cattle. They're harder doing cattle. Genetics geared for the feedlot. I'm focused on more maternal lines. I think you can get a good calf with quality milk-not quantity milk. 1680 was a mess and locally, people knew there was a big problem. GAR denied every having a defective calf. A friend worked for a ranch that used their genetics exclusively and they were having curly calves years before the problem became public.
You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. It's just something I take a stand on. I'm probably one of the few who avoids their genetics.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Midtenn » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:27 am

[quote="Chocolate Cow"]A lot of reasons. I live too close. I don't like their type of cattle. They're harder doing cattle. Genetics geared for the feedlot. I'm focused on more maternal lines. I think you can get a good calf with quality milk-not quantity milk. 1680 was a mess and locally, people knew there was a big problem. GAR denied every having a defective calf. A friend worked for a ranch that used their genetics exclusively and they were having curly calves years before the problem became public.
You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. It's just something I take a stand on. I'm probably one of the few who avoids their genetics.[/quot

It seems most of the super carcass cattle are really fine boned, which usually = harder doing and other issues contrary to a hassle free herd. Am I seeing that right?
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby greatgerts » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:44 am

Allenw wrote:
NEFarmwife wrote:
Allenw wrote:Thanks for the responses I was checking to see what every one thought and see if I missed the bus some where.

I'm having to watch my brother degrade Dad's cow herd, a good 75+ years work between Dad and Granddad in them. He can't buy a bull with out EPD's, I think the bulls are all half brothers out of the same sire now. the last one he brought home my son and I both thought it was a heifer from a bit of a distance.

I have a hand full of Dad's cows but unfortunately I've been having to use one of their old bulls to breed them. I am at the point I have to get enough money together and buy my own bull. I got my feet knocked out from under me a year and a half ago when I had to stop and take care of some health problems. I'm still trying to get my head back above water maybe by next spring i can make things work out.


I don't know enough about it but someone we spoke with the other day, says he leases bulls for his herd. Not something we'd do, as we AI most everything and run our own for cleanup but if it pencils out, might be a good option for you? I didn't inquire about cost or the liability.


It's a thought and I appreciate the idea. I've thought about finding some one to AI part of them but I'd have to get something set up to do it. I've got a couple of friends that could do it but they're both busy and can be a bit scattered. one in their work schedule which is as unpredictable as mine, and the other one is well blonde and something is always going wrong around her.


Where are you located? If you aren't too far, we might be able to help some with the lease part.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Allenw » Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:37 am

Chocolate Cow wrote:A lot of reasons. I live too close. I don't like their type of cattle. They're harder doing cattle. Genetics geared for the feedlot. I'm focused on more maternal lines. I think you can get a good calf with quality milk-not quantity milk. 1680 was a mess and locally, people knew there was a big problem. GAR denied every having a defective calf. A friend worked for a ranch that used their genetics exclusively and they were having curly calves years before the problem became public.
You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. It's just something I take a stand on. I'm probably one of the few who avoids their genetics.



I've heard that before, not seeing their name dropped so much any more. The new kids on the block down to Yukon are getting theirs dropped more and more here.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Allenw » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:39 am

greatgerts wrote:
Where are you located? If you aren't too far, we might be able to help some with the lease part.


NW Oklahoma, a bit far from you depending on where in Mo. you are. Thanks for the offer.

These are straight bred Hereford cows, they had some registered cattle in the 50's and 60's, but some of these could go back to great granddads red cattle. It would be a shame to start crossing them now, although that would be the easy route.

Dad had a breeder deliver a bull a number of years ago and tour the cow herd his, comment was he needed to go home and buy some better cows. Some where something has been lost, it seems like it really hit after the older cows were sold during the drought. The cow herd lost the uniformity and style it had.

Sorry, I shouldn't be grumping about something I have no control over but sometimes it helps to let some of it go.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby MRRherefords » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:09 pm

kd4au wrote:I would say if your buying an Angus bull you better start by looking at his feet.

I think that is something that can honestly be said about all breeds. Feet are extremely important in animals. Many people have told me, "When buying a cow your eyes should first go to the ground."
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby kd4au » Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:57 am

MRRherefords wrote:
kd4au wrote:I would say if your buying an Angus bull you better start by looking at his feet.

I think that is something that can honestly be said about all breeds. Feet are extremely important in animals. Many people have told me, "When buying a cow your eyes should first go to the ground."

I never had any feet problems until I started using Angus bulls. Sure there can be feet issues with any breed, but IMO the Angus breeders have let way to many bulls with bad feet enter the bloodlines and they know it and I've seen more breeders talking about the problem.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby MRRherefords » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:58 am

kd4au wrote:
MRRherefords wrote:
kd4au wrote:I would say if your buying an Angus bull you better start by looking at his feet.

I think that is something that can honestly be said about all breeds. Feet are extremely important in animals. Many people have told me, "When buying a cow your eyes should first go to the ground."

I never had any feet problems until I started using Angus bulls. Sure there can be feet issues with any breed, but IMO the Angus breeders have let way to many bulls with bad feet enter the bloodlines and they know it and I've seen more breeders talking about the problem.

I agree. Never had any feet issues with my Herefords.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:46 pm

SPH said it right about EPD's being just ONE of the tools we should be using. For me, first is phenotype. I don't expect an ugly bull to produce what I am looking for. Then I try to see offspring to see if he passes on the traits I'm interested in - especially STRUCTURE. This usually means calling other breeders that get around the country and SEE the offspring walking. Pictures help, but you really can't see the structure properly. Then if everything else pans out, I check out the EPD's. I print off a sheet of my cows with pedigree & EPD's. Then the matching begins, picturing in my mind what the cow LOOKS like and what I need to change on her to give me the "perfect" calf.
We all know there is NO perfect calf. But, that is what I try to create by mating.
Edit: The "perfect" calf for me (or any breeder) may be totally different than the perfect calf in someone else's mind.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby cow pollinater » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:29 pm

I don't get to hung up on most of them. I watch reliability closely so I know what the margin of error is. On most things I really don't spend to much time worrying about it if I like what I see. Very few people are good enough managers to really see a huge difference between high end epds and middle of the road and the people that aren't are setting themselves up for a train wreck when they jump on the more is better band wagon. I can get more out of a middle of the road calf with decent management than I can a calf that needs more feed than I'm going to offer.
Killers for me are CEM and poor heifer fertility, especially if they have any kind of reliability to them. I watch stayability closely in breeds that offer it.
Breed plays a role as well. The more popular breeds tend to have more reliable epds. Smaller breeds would be just as well served to crumple them up and toss them and go by actuals as there just isn't enough of a sample size to make them worthwhile. Keep in mind they are just genetic averages and if it were that simple there would be no need for any measure in the first place as we could just assume that what we see is what we get. Ask any parent with more than one kid by the same spouse and they'll tell you that the same mating can produce different results.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby SPH » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:49 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:SPH said it right about EPD's being just ONE of the tools we should be using. For me, first is phenotype. I don't expect an ugly bull to produce what I am looking for. Then I try to see offspring to see if he passes on the traits I'm interested in - especially STRUCTURE. This usually means calling other breeders that get around the country and SEE the offspring walking. Pictures help, but you really can't see the structure properly. Then if everything else pans out, I check out the EPD's. I print off a sheet of my cows with pedigree & EPD's. Then the matching begins, picturing in my mind what the cow LOOKS like and what I need to change on her to give me the "perfect" calf.
We all know there is NO perfect calf. But, that is what I try to create by mating.
Edit: The "perfect" calf for me (or any breeder) may be totally different than the perfect calf in someone else's mind.


The 1 thing I will add is that we do factor in EPDs in our decisions, especially when it comes to CE and BW but it's just 1 of many selection criteria and is not where we start our selection but it may factor into the decision later. We bred and kept semen interest on a bull that by EPD standards is on the higher end for BW but we know enough about the genetics behind him that we think his BW EPD is not an accurate predictor based off the results we've seen. We want a well-rounded package when it comes to meeting phenotype/structure and proven performance in the pedigree with a balanced set of EPDs with some accuracy to them is ideal too. We report all our weights to the AHA along with getting scan data and DNA testing on our sale bulls and scan data on steers we retain ownership of that go to the feedlot which all that helps improve our EPD accuracies. There are some dams and sires we've bred that may have some EPDs that don't tell the whole story because we know the genetics behind them don't reflect what their EPDs are.

The 1 thing I do get irritated with are folks that stereotype certain breeders as EPD chasers without ever stepping foot on and viewing their program in person and getting a good understanding of what and how they are doing things or looking at a fair amount of progeny sired by a bull in person in other herds. It amazes me just how much some think they know so much about certain bulls or programs just because they are marketed or collected by a sire stud and have never actually got out of the bubble the live in and viewed some herds and programs that use genetics they are criticizing. Hate to burst the bubble of some folks that think all bulls in a AI catalogs are spending their days in front of a feed pan or in a cooler getting ready for a show. Most of those bulls actually spend their summers working in a pasture and have semen collected during their down time. We usually buy semen directly from breeders who have proven genetics but this year we bought some semen on a bull offered by a sire stud this year that one of the co-owners lives in state. The bull spends most of his time in the pasture servicing cows in multiple herds including a well respected registered herd as well as some commercial herds too and was part of the National Sire Reference Program in 2014. We've seen pictures of him in the pasture he was working in this summer and he definitely was not a tub of fat in the condition he was in. Several other AI sires we've bought semen on were working sires in the programs that owned them who have been in the business for multiple generations and have a proven track record of breeding good cattle and they are also ones that are reporting their weights which are adding to the accuracies of their EPDs.

The 1 thing you can never get enough of is expanding your knowledge and sometimes that means leaving your comfort zone and getting out and visiting programs you think don't match your description of what you deem important. A lot of those programs that have been in business for multiple generations and have sustained that success for a reason. If they weren't raising cattle desirable to their buyers then they wouldn't still be in business today. You may still leave with the mindset that you wouldn't buy from them but I would bet you'd learn some things that busted some stereotypes you had of them pegged for prior to viewing their operation.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:31 am

cow pollinater wrote:Killers for me are CEM and poor heifer fertility..... I watch stayability closely in breeds that offer it.

IF it were simple there would be no need for any measure in the first place
We could just assume that what we see is what we get.
:nod:
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby Chocolate Cow » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:50 am

[/quote]


[/quote]The 1 thing I do get irritated with are folks that stereotype certain breeders as EPD chasers without ever stepping foot on and viewing their program in person and getting a good understanding of what and how they are doing things or looking at a fair amount of progeny sired by a bull in person in other herds. It amazes me just how much some think they know so much about certain bulls or programs just because they are marketed or collected by a sire stud and have never actually got out of the bubble the live in and viewed some herds and programs that use genetics they are criticizing. Hate to burst the bubble of some folks that think all bulls in a AI catalogs are spending their days in front of a feed pan or in a cooler getting ready for a show. Most of those bulls actually spend their summers working in a pasture and have semen collected during their down time. We usually buy semen directly from breeders who have proven genetics but this year we bought some semen on a bull offered by a sire stud this year that one of the co-owners lives in state. The bull spends most of his time in the pasture servicing cows in multiple herds including a well respected registered herd as well as some commercial herds too and was part of the National Sire Reference Program in 2014. We've seen pictures of him in the pasture he was working in this summer and he definitely was not a tub of fat in the condition he was in. Several other AI sires we've bought semen on were working sires in the programs that owned them who have been in the business for multiple generations and have a proven track record of breeding good cattle and they are also ones that are reporting their weights which are adding to the accuracies of their EPDs.

The 1 thing you can never get enough of is expanding your knowledge and sometimes that means leaving your comfort zone and getting out and visiting programs you think don't match your description of what you deem important. A lot of those programs that have been in business for multiple generations and have sustained that success for a reason. If they weren't raising cattle desirable to their buyers then they wouldn't still be in business today. You may still leave with the mindset that you wouldn't buy from them but I would bet you'd learn some things that busted some stereotypes you had of them pegged for prior to viewing their operation.[/quote]

SPH- I believe this portion of your comment was directed towards me. I was, for years, a GAR cooperator herd. My beliefs and comments are based on my experiences as such. I had Predestined calves before most ever heard of Predestined. It was my experiences, observations and requirements that formed my opinion of the cattle and program. I would be negligent if I formed no opinion of the animals I was caring for due to the intensive work associated with being a recip herd.

It's a big, amazing world. We are free to make our own choices. You are welcome to make yours and I make mine. We all need each other. Have a blessed Sunday.
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Re: EPD Followers What's Your Priorities

Postby SPH » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:22 pm

Chocolate Cow wrote:
SPH- I believe this portion of your comment was directed towards me. I was, for years, a GAR cooperator herd. My beliefs and comments are based on my experiences as such. I had Predestined calves before most ever heard of Predestined. It was my experiences, observations and requirements that formed my opinion of the cattle and program. I would be negligent if I formed no opinion of the animals I was caring for due to the intensive work associated with being a recip herd.

It's a big, amazing world. We are free to make our own choices. You are welcome to make yours and I make mine. We all need each other. Have a blessed Sunday.


It was not directed at you, it was just a general statement. Trust me, there are a lot more guys out there that irritate the heck out of me with their bad mouthing, rumor spreading, conspiracy theories, and just general negative attitude towards breeds or breeders who have success without having the full knowledge behind those breeders of how they do things or ever set foot on there operation yet they have already drawn conclusions about how those said breeders without even having any kind of direct interaction with them in any shape or form. I completely respect that everyone has their opinions and views on things and how they go about their ways but the 1 thing that frustrates me the most are people that have someone pegged for what they are not and spews rumors and stories about them without having anything factual to back it up.

Talking poorly of other breeders and how they run their operations is just careless, reckless, and reflects poorly on one's character. It's just another example of how much hate and negativity we have in the world today, it's not worth adding to that and in turn likely bringing your own reputation down in the process by participating in the bashing and 3rd hand gossip and rumors that go around when they don't directly impact you.
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