Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:46 am

No - I am not thinking about crossbreeding. Just wanted to get "updated' info on the breed. Had someone ask me some questions & I realized the only info I have is from maybe 20-25 (or more) years ago.
I used to be on the Cornell bull test committee and played an active role in it. We only had a few BB's, but none ever passed, mainly due to structure evaluation. Huge muscled body with real fine bones and small feet.
So, Fact or Fiction on the modern BB's:
1. The double muscle gene is recessive.
2. Non-double muscled cows can calf successfully bred to a BB.
3. 50% BB's can calve successfully bred to a purebred BB.
4. 75% - Purebred BB's must have cesarean birth.
5. Are they still fine boned?
thanks
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby lithuanian farmer » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:32 am

I'm not an expert, but have some experience with them. Will try to answer to some of the questions.
1. Not sure about this. Have a few girls which have 25%BB in them, other breeds in them- not double muscled. Cows aren't that muscled. However, they throw more muscled calf no matter what bull you use, not 100% of times, calves from the same bull sometimes have more muscles, while next year the new calf will be nothing extreme.
2. I guess this was a fact even earlier. For example, dairy cows can calve BB calves pretty easily. I've some friends, who use BB bulls even on more muscled cows, like Limousine, Simmental, and usually don't have calving problems.
3-4. Yes, but not everywhere. Countries like Belgium, France, Netherlands haven't improved BB's calving ability. But if look at such countries as Denmark, Ireland and some other, there are herds 99% calving naturally.
5. Improved in this point too. Now they usually have better legs, bigger bones, larger pelvis.

This winter will try to use two AI BB bulls. One should be easy calving, BW 99lbs. I'm sure that for most of you it can hardly be considered as an easy calving, but we often have calves bigger than that. He will be used on a few easy calving matured cows. The second bull isn't easy calving. Actually, there is nothing written about his calving... Would like to use him on two cows. Both are pretty young. It's known that white BB's are abit easier calving than the blue ones.
http://www.db.cschms.cz/english/index.p ... =945501479
http://www.netbbg.com/netbbg.site/index ... e/?lang=en
I'd be the 1st time using BB bull on beefx cow. Have used only on dairy, without calving problems.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:34 pm

OMG - Grenader looks like something out of a horror movie. He is grotesque to my eye. Looks like a freek of nature.
Sorry - that threw me off.
Thank you for you response. I appreciate it.
So, are you saying 75% & higher, they are still doing cesarean ?
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:38 pm

I never heard of anyone doing a C-section on Belgian Blues, especially on improved types. Check out on American Blue cattle. I hope you ain't doing a breed stereotyping
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby lithuanian farmer » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:46 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:OMG - Grenader looks like something out of a horror movie. He is grotesque to my eye. Looks like a freek of nature.
Sorry - that threw me off.
Thank you for you response. I appreciate it.
So, are you saying 75% & higher, they are still doing cesarean ?

In some countries almost every time. They breed BB heifers with BB bulls and that of course is a certain C-section.
Often BB cows due to small pelvis and calf's shape, can't calve naturally even 90lbs calf. However, a lot of calves are way bigger, like up to 170lbs. But again, they feed pregnant cows well, so they are in good condition, calves as well.
For example, this heifer is 169.7lbs weight. You'd need some cow to calve such calf naturally.
Image
However, other countries worked to improve calving ability, feet, bone structure in BB breed, also now there is such thing as British Blue. For example, in Denmark it was said after bringing the first BB cattle, that either they'll have to be bred to calve naturally, or they all have to be killed.
One my friend has bought BB bull recently. The first calves are due this month. He is from Ireland. This bull should be easy calving, or at least normal calving. Will see how it goes. Cows he's been used on are xbred, mainly Simmental, Limousine.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:51 pm

American, Canadian and Australian Blues are pretty functional cattle with better calving ease and low birthweight. I knew few breeders that raises them and they never had a C-section in years. I believe that most commerical folks are missing out on American Blues.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby lithuanian farmer » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:10 pm

Muddy wrote:American, Canadian and Australian Blues are pretty functional cattle with better calving ease and low birthweight. I knew few breeders that raises them and they never had a C-section in years. I believe that most commerical folks are missing out on American Blues.

Yeah, I know that. Just saying that it's not the same situation everywhere.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:01 pm

lithuanian farmer wrote:
Muddy wrote:American, Canadian and Australian Blues are pretty functional cattle with better calving ease and low birthweight. I knew few breeders that raises them and they never had a C-section in years. I believe that most commerical folks are missing out on American Blues.

Yeah, I know that. Just saying that it's not the same situation everywhere.

I know few dairy guys that used old Dutch types BB semen on their milking cows and boy the calves are so absolutely monster at birth. Easy 140+lbs.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby plumber_greg » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:34 pm

But, why would anyone want them? gs
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:23 pm

plumber_greg wrote:But, why would anyone want them? gs
Why not? American Blues worked in commercial herds very well, gives you great terminal calves and high weaning weights, tho the half blood females do makes a great momma cow. Cross American Blues to Black Angus do not give you double muscled calves. You'll just get plain looking black calves but they'll be beefier, unlike many straight black Angus cattle everyone has.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby plumber_greg » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:43 am

But giant high weaning weights ususally don't do well on the rail.
Shouldn't everyone's end goal, whether selling unweaned calves, yearlings, or fat cattle, be to raise the best. Bigger weaning weight doesn't mean best. Best is the best when harvested.
I know a lot of us hobby farmers are just looking at the weaned calf. I believe this hurts the whole industry. We should always look at the finished product. Not try to hide some off beef breed, like Holstein, in our calves for the packer to find. HolX cows raise big calves, but one should expect, and always get, Holstein prices for their calves.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby glacierridge » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:57 pm

Belgian cattle don't hurt the industry.
When the crossbreds are entered in carcass contests they usually turn up at the top after all the data is entered.

There have been many studies. The data is there, they would be an asset if people would be willing to put them in their program.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:06 pm

plumber_greg wrote:But giant high weaning weights ususally don't do well on the rail.
Shouldn't everyone's end goal, whether selling unweaned calves, yearlings, or fat cattle, be to raise the best. Bigger weaning weight doesn't mean best. Best is the best when harvested.
I know a lot of us hobby farmers are just looking at the weaned calf. I believe this hurts the whole industry. We should always look at the finished product. Not try to hide some off beef breed, like Holstein, in our calves for the packer to find. HolX cows raise big calves, but one should expect, and always get, Holstein prices for their calves.
JMO gs

Please be elaborate on the bolded statement? What do you meant hurting the whole industry? From non-angus calves or what?
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Ky hills » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:54 pm

I admittedly don't know anything about Belgian Blue cattle, with the exception of seeing a bull on display at the NAILE. He was a huge heavy muscled animal.
I do know that double muscling is viewed as negative by most if not all around here, and even though the modern ones may have bred away from the extremes, my fear is that an extreme could manifest itself out of the blue (no pun intended) generations down the road.
I had Charolais years ago, that were large frame but not all that heavy muscled at all, and we consistently had BW's at 100-135lbs, and we did have some calving issues. We followed the trends and bought a more moderate framed but thicker made bull, it was a disaster, we pulled and or lost most of that years calves. That was with large cows of the same breed, so I am now very reluctant to even consider a Charolais bull again. Those BBs are a lot more muscular than any Charolais that I have seen. I can't imagine using them on an Angus or Hereford cow. Not bashing the breed just don't think some breeds are for everyone's cow herd.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby ALACOWMAN » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:22 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:OMG - Grenader looks like something out of a horror movie. He is grotesque to my eye. Looks like a freek of nature.
Sorry - that threw me off.
Thank you for you response. I appreciate it.
So, are you saying 75% & higher, they are still doing cesarean ?
looks uncomfortable just standing...like a muscle bound human...
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