Gelbvieh

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your favorite breed.

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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby elkwc » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:42 pm

Nesikep wrote:I think the moderate frame size is one of the best parts of them... My cows from my gelbvieh bull grow out to about 1400ish lbs, which I find is about perfect... If you want bigger, go to Shorthorn or Limo... I found the calves from the moderate GV cows are every bit as heavy as the ones from the much bigger SH's


Again it is likely the bloodlines involved. But a frame 4.0-4.5 is what I'm seeing and the heifers are just now almost two and they look like they will appear to mature at 1250 or less. The other concern I have is I saw some 2 y/o half sisters to this bulls sire a while back and the breeder was having to milk some of them because of teat size. They were nice made very moderate females. By this time next year we will have a good feel for how they are going to work in our herd. At this time I wouldn't buy another but may change my mind. I like a cow to mature at 1,350-1,450 and don't feel any of these will make it although some of their mothers is going over 1,500. We sold one of them last week and she weighed 1,650 and her heifer I don't think will ever beat 1,300.
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby Nesikep » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:05 pm

In that case I agree :)
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby cfpinz » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:38 am

There's more variables within a breed than between them in most cases.

We've used them quite a bit over the years, mainly to replace the Simmental genetics we used prior, and I'll echo some of the points from above. Too much milk can be a problem, pay attention to what you're buying and what you have forage-wise. Personally, I like a 6-6.5 frame bull when I'm looking at GV's and have noticed it's harder to find now than it was 10 years ago.

And be careful putting them on cows with too much continental influence, GV are not known for marbling ability. We've butchered a few steers that were 75% or better GV and I won't do that again, 25-50% seems about ideal for us with the balance British.

As far as temperament goes, 99% of our GV influenced calves/cows are as gentle as can be but that 1% will be batsh*t crazy. I'm convinced that there's a wildcard gene that "clicks" every once in awhile and when it does, it's bad. Deal with it and move on.

Overall, Gelbvieh is my favorite breed to work with, (we also have Hereford and Angus), because they seem to be a happy medium between the other two. My biggest complaint with the breed is they are focusing too much on selling Balancer bulls instead of purebreds. Crossbred cows pay my bills, but you can keep your mongrel bulls.
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby UG » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:58 am

As cfpinz noted, there is a great deal of variability in all breeds. We have had Gelbvieh and Gelbvieh influenced cattle for over 20 years, as well as a few other breeds.

Several previous posts mentioned too much milk, too much leather, too little frame, poor teats, etc. I agree with these statements. I can also show you Angus, Red Angus, Herefords, Simmental, Limousins, etc. with these same characteristics.

Within the Gelbvieh and Balancer breeds there are cattle that will meet your objectives for milk, frame, prettiness, nice teats and udders, good dispositions, etc.

Also, I have Balancers out of Angus bulls and Gelbvieh cows, and out of Gelbvieh bulls and Angus cows. I don't see a difference.

cfpinz, why do you call Balancer bulls "mongrel bulls"?
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby Son of Butch » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:40 am

UG wrote:As cfpinz noted, there is a great deal of variability in all breeds.

Several previous posts mentioned too much milk, too much leather, too little frame, poor teats, etc.
I agree with these statements. I can also show you Angus, Red Angus, Herefords, Simmental, Limousins, etc.
with these same characteristics.

cfpinz, why do you call Balancer bulls "mongrel bulls"?

I can't speak for cfpinz... but, A purebred bull on crossbred cows gives the most hybrid vigor.
A crossbred bull such as a balancer ect. on crossbred cows gives so much variation many refer to them as mongrels.

Other than a Craigslist 'Angus' for sale can't say I've ever seen an Angus with too much leather.

Hoss would post pictures of some nice Gelbviehs... anyone know whatever happened to him?
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby cfpinz » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:30 pm

UG wrote:
cfpinz, why do you call Balancer bulls "mongrel bulls"?


Son of Butch nailed it.

I want the benefits of the hybrid vigor, doesn't make sense to pay the breeder to enjoy the benefits while I'm getting slighted.
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby Nesikep » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:36 pm

I would only consider a Balancer if it isn't an F1 for the exact reasons stated.. someone else is getting the hybrid vigor benefits.. Now if you have a herd of GV/Angus crosses that has been tightly bred, they will have more homozygous genes and thus start to contribute to hybrid vigor for you once again.. this would of course take generations.

As for teats and udders, maybe I just got lucky, but the GV bull I had was a definite "improver" in that aspect, not one cow has had a problematic udder, many were darned good looking... Here's a nice pair
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby Black and Good » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:57 am

cfpinz wrote:
UG wrote:
cfpinz, why do you call Balancer bulls "mongrel bulls"?


Son of Butch nailed it.

I want the benefits of the hybrid vigor, doesn't make sense to pay the breeder to enjoy the benefits while I'm getting slighted.


In my opinion "Mongrel" is a little harsh. They have their purpose for example if you are making 3/4 blood angus 1/4 blood GV or you want to make 3/4 blood GV's. If you have 50/50 Balancer cows and you want to keep them 50/50. But, I do agree if you heavily crossbred cows a balancer bull my not be the ticket. B&G
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby WalnutCrest » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:17 am

A F1 balancer (or limflex, etc) bull could be a low cost way to do a three way cross.

For example, start with commercial herf cows, put a balancer bull on them ... take the resulting heifers to a herf bull ... take those females to a balancer bull ... etc ... two breeding pastures, not three.

Eventually, you'd get to a place where the balancer sired calves would be almost exactly 1/3 of each breed.
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby Black and Good » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:24 am

WalnutCrest wrote:A F1 balancer (or limflex, etc) bull could be a low cost way to do a three way cross.

For example, start with commercial herf cows, put a balancer bull on them ... take the resulting heifers to a herf bull ... take those females to a balancer bull ... etc ... two breeding pastures, not three.

Eventually, you'd get to a place where the balancer sired calves would be almost exactly 1/3 of each breed.


Agreed! :nod: B&G
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby dun » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:48 pm

The whole problem with "Balancers" is they are not 50:50 F1s. Any percentage of either is apparently acceptable. We started off with Balancers before they were called balancers, but they were all F1 Red Angus X Gelbvieh.
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby Son of Butch » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:43 pm

A 2 breed rotation gives 67% heterosis
3 way cross = 86% heterosis
4 way cross using F1 x F1 gives 75% first generation and then in the 2nd generation and beyond it stabilizes at 67%
making it no better long term than the simple 2 breed rotation plan many use.

IF you have F1 cows purebred 3rd breed is the hands down heterosis winner, not F1 x F1 cross.
crossbred cows are more efficient than straight bred cows and so using a straight bred bull (pb) is much better than
using a F1 or composite bull on unknown crossbred cows.
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby cfpinz » Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:41 am

Everybody wants to take a shortcut these days. I'd rather do it start to finish myself, at least I know what I've got in the end.
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Re: Gelbvieh

Postby UG » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:08 pm

I agree with the comments regarding the value of heterosis (hybrid vigor); especially maternal heterosis. However, it isn't always as simple to implement, especially in larger operations, as the "experts" would lead you to believe it is.

For example, a progressive cattle producer that I know runs 2200 cows. He wanted to maximize heterosis in his herd, and after much research (including reviewing data from MARC) decided approximately 15 years ago to run Angus/Gelbvieh cows and breed them to Charolais bulls. All of the calves would go to the feedlot. His first challenge was finding a reliable single source of Angus/Gelbvieh heifers every year. It wasn't a problem finding enough Angus/Gelbvieh heifers, but the challenge was finding enough of those heifers that fit his Iowa environment. Many of the heifers from the west and north didn't acclimate very well to the humidity, and challenges of tall fescue. He wasn't able to find a reliable source for that many heifers in states with comparable environmental conditions.

So, he decided to maintain a base herd of purebred Angus females to produce his own replacements. Part of the Angus females would be bred to Gelbvieh bulls, from which he would select his replacements for the main herd, and the balance of the Angus cows would be bred to Angus bulls to replenish the Angus herd. On paper this looked great. The problem was that some years he may get 65% bull calves, and not have enough Angus/Gelbvieh and/or Angus base herd replacement heifers.

Another challenge was that he didn't want to breed the first calf Angus/Gelbvieh heifers to Charolais bulls, to avoid calving problems, so these heifers were bred to calving ease Angus bulls. After all of this, he didn't have near as many Charolais sired high-growth calves to ship to the feedlot as he initially envisioned.

After several years of trying to maximize heterosis, he gave up. It was too time consuming trying to ensure that he had enough Angus and Angus/Gelbvieh replacement heifers. It was also a challenge having enough bulls of the right breeds to service the various segments; especially when he had 25+ breeding pastures. Another challenge was making sure that the employees were putting the right bulls with each set of cows and heifers. Eventually he recognized that he didn't have enough time to manage the breeding program as it required, and he transitioned to using hybrid bulls.

Someone posted earlier that one of the disadvantageous of using crossbred bulls is that there would be more variation in the calf crop. In my own experience I have not seen this. I also have not heard this comment from the many, many producers I know that utilize Simangus, Limflex, and Balancer bulls. I am sure that we would see more variability if seedstock producers were breeding 7.5 frame Simmental/Limousin/Gelbvieh bulls to 5 frame Angus/Red Angus cows, but for the most part I see seedstock producers breeding 5.5-6.5 frame bulls to 5.5-6.5 frame cows, resulting in a consistent product.
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