New purchase

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your favorite breed.

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Supa Dexta
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Re: New purchase

Postby Supa Dexta » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:59 pm

I notice in your own animals - lith farmer, as well as that herd you just shared that there is always a mixed bag of animals. Does carcass traits always rule the selection criteria and not much emphasis on uniformity over there?
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Re: New purchase

Postby lithuanian farmer » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:37 am

Supa Dexta wrote:I notice in your own animals - lith farmer, as well as that herd you just shared that there is always a mixed bag of animals. Does carcass traits always rule the selection criteria and not much emphasis on uniformity over there?

The whole exterior, muscularity plays probably the main role in selection of replacement heifers. However, there are some other important criterias, which often can cull some pretty good heifers, like character, growth, dam's milkness.
Our herd has many different famillies of different breeds, so cows are extremely different, like have some half dairy cows and have some already just with 1/8 dairy blood, plus some are Angusx, some BBx or Limox, which look completely different themselves and their calves too. We started from a few different breeds crosses, tried a couple more and now we kinda know what we like the most and what we don't like, so will try to form our herd mostly from those breeds and lines we like the most. However, I'm pretty sure that our herd still will have different looking animals, as we gonna use a couple breeds in the future. For example, we really like Charx and definitely going to have them in the herd, but we like animals with BB in them too and going to have a part of the herd with some BB in them too.
At the moment, it's pretty good to have animals of different types, as we sell cattle to two markets, which have different needs. One needs smaller carcass, but already decent fat cover, so for them it's better slower growing, easier finishing animals, very good with some Angus in them. They don't buy BBx, as it's too lean for them, however they do pay more for more muscular animals. Another market needs bigger carcasses, so it's better to have faster growing, bigger animals, with decent muscles, some fat cover means higher price too.
My personal goal would be that the whole herd of cows would look like our new heifer and with time we probably gonna go to that direction. For now will look how it works for us, but I really like such type females. We've a small plan for next year to improve our herd and move toward the direction we want, so hopefully we'll succeed and I'll be able to show our 2019th calves crop, which would show our future plans.
At the moment we still leave very different type heifers as replacements too. Some examples with explanations:

#1 heifer. Typical Angus type heifer with very good growth and character, pretty milk in her family too. It's easy to say that she isn't the type of heifer with good muscles we like, but we look to the future that we'll be able to use a more muscular breed bull on her with more frame and get a good muscular calf, which would have an excellent growth and if it's a heifer, we could keep her as a possible replacement of her dam with good milk, growth, character and fattening traits. But that doesn't mean that we will cull this girl after leaving her daughter. As long as she will be a better cow than atleast one from the herd, she'll stay.
Image

#2 heifer. More Charolais type. Big frame heifer with excellent character and milk in family. She has pretty big bones and gonna be much bigger cow than her dam. Would like abit more meat on rear, but it can be added to the calves with a bull. I'm pretty sure that we couldn't use such bull on her like BB or Charolais due to the calving, but can use Limousine, Piedmontese or Parthenaise and add more meat, while calf will get growth, frame and character from the dam.
Image

#3-4 heifers. Full sisters. Smaller bones, smaller size, but very good muscularity and character. None has calved with their first calves yet, so no ideas about their calving or milkness yet, but it'd be perfect that most of the calves looked like this.Not a type to cross with extreme bulls. Easy calving Limousine, Parthenaise or Piedmontese is perfect. Charolais or BB would be 95-99% c-section. However their first calf should be Angus or any other smaller frame, less muscled breed. Needs to be very careful with such heifers, but they can produce top priced calves.
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Sorry, for a long post, but just wanted to share some my thoughts.:) Everybody works towards the direction, which is the most profitable for them. My parents started developing their herd and now with me we'll try to create a herd, which we would be proud of. My perfect commercial herd model would be big, nicely muscled, milky, fertile, as easy calving cows as possible, on which you could use a muscular breed bull with few problems (even dairy calves from dairy cows can be born by c-section, so working with muscular animals can often be risky) and get a calf, which could grow well, be well-tempered and would bring top prices.
We'll buy some purebred animals in the future. If will have some extra money, maybe even next year we'll bring a couple purebred heifers and will try to build a purebred herd with elite examples of their breed using top AI bulls. Of course, we want to have a more muscular breed, like Limousin, Parthenaise, maybe Charolais. Personally, I really like Belgian Blue and with a good care, selection and management they can be easy-normal calving. These breeds are too muscular for some, but as I said, everybody finds their own direction and what they like and want to work with. I believe that if your herd is 200+ cows, you can't be always around your cows at calving, but as we don't plan having more than 100 cows, we can afford ourselves to spent more time watching cows at that time and have more muscular animals.
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: New purchase

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:13 pm

I have a hard time looking at your 3 & 4 heifers as being replacement anything. But, that's my eye and my goals - totally different than yours.
Do you worry about structure? #3 & #4 look extremely post legged to me???
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Re: New purchase

Postby lithuanian farmer » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:00 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:I have a hard time looking at your 3 & 4 heifers as being replacement anything. But, that's my eye and my goals - totally different than yours.
Do you worry about structure? #3 & #4 look extremely post legged to me???

Will see how both work for us, how they'll calve and how milky they'll be.
Well, we look at the whole animal, not just meat.
Photos of both heifers at bigger age. I'm not very familiar with term "post-legged", but from internet pics I'd say that they aren't really.
Image The 3rd heifer last year.
Image The 3rd heifer this year.

Image The 4th heifer this spring. She's the one with leg trauma, so the way she puts her one rear leg isn't normal anymore.
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: New purchase

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:22 pm

You are correct. In these pictures, they don't look posty at all. That's the problem trying to get a good picture. I wasn't trying to be insulting, I just have a hard time with super muscled females. Well, males also, to extremes. You are in a different environment & market. We all try to manage our cattle to make money. Looks and sounds to me, you have a good grasp for what you need to raise.
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Re: New purchase

Postby cattleman99 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:04 pm

Different market than North America. Different cattle. You have a plan and are sticking to it. Gotta respect that. Think you will have a wreck with 4 at some point though. I get the attachment but have learned over the years sometimes you just gotta let them go when there is an issue. That back leg is screwed and there is no other way to put it.
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Re: New purchase

Postby lithuanian farmer » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:48 am

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:You are correct. In these pictures, they don't look posty at all. That's the problem trying to get a good picture. I wasn't trying to be insulting, I just have a hard time with super muscled females. Well, males also, to extremes. You are in a different environment & market. We all try to manage our cattle to make money. Looks and sounds to me, you have a good grasp for what you need to raise.

Thank you. We still have a lot to improve in our cattle and I could find few, which would fit into all our standarts. :)
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Re: New purchase

Postby lithuanian farmer » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:57 am

cattleman99 wrote:Different market than North America. Different cattle. You have a plan and are sticking to it. Gotta respect that. Think you will have a wreck with 4 at some point though. I get the attachment but have learned over the years sometimes you just gotta let them go when there is an issue. That back leg is screwed and there is no other way to put it.

Have been watching her since the injury and she has improved alot. She's been growing alot since then and her leg has made an improvement to the good side. That's a photo taken in April-May. Now when she walks she puts her hoof almost normally and we maybe even won't need to trim her hooves as she does a good job now with it. No pain in her leg too. She's very mobile, walking and running with other heifers and she's the head of her herd now. Time will show, but we always can cull her later if there will be some problems, because we get ~1-2 such good heifers in a couple years and it's pretty hard to grow a good heifer into a cow. We had to cull many due to being open or other health problems which would have affected the future calf.
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Re: New purchase

Postby lithuanian farmer » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:41 pm

Have weighed the new girl before letting her into cows herd. 1460lbs. Should be ~5weeks pregnant.
She was with us 38days now and gained 181lbs. I wonder how big she'll be as a full grown cow.
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Re: New purchase

Postby BigBear » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:26 pm

Just a question, but I would have to imagine the muscularity in your cattle is driven by Piedmontese influence right? What other breeds could be creating that muscularity? Also curious how much inter muscular fat you are getting off of those cattle. They look like some azz kickers!
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Re: New purchase

Postby lithuanian farmer » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:22 am

BigBear wrote:Just a question, but I would have to imagine the muscularity in your cattle is driven by Piedmontese influence right? What other breeds could be creating that muscularity? Also curious how much inter muscular fat you are getting off of those cattle. They look like some azz kickers!

No Piedmontese blood in the herd, yet. Have some plans for AI in the following spring.
Breeds which gave the best muscularity in out practice, so far, are Belgian Blue, Charolais and Limousine. Crossing these with other breeds improves muscularity of those. Have a few 3 breeds combos, which works very well for us. All cows came from the dairy ancestors and they are <50% dairy. This year had the first 7/8beef heifers calving.
We get our cattle valued by 1-5 carcass fatness scores.
Image
Heifers pretty easy reach 3 at the sale time, 17-20months old. Bulls are 2-3, 15-19months old. Once in a while get a couple 1, but usually from younger bulls after hotter weather. As bulls and heifers are in the pastures at the summer time it's a bit harder to reach a higher fat score, especially with bulls. We get the best price for score 3.
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