Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

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Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby Bullitt » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:35 pm

I am curious about this. Which cattle breeds can easily give birth to large calves?
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby lithuanian farmer » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:45 pm

Easiest calving breeds are Aubrac and Salers. The are often used for Culard Charolais bulls, or just any other terminal bull, here.
However, others some other breeds can have more difficulties at calving, but they sure can calve big calves sometimes: Blonde d'Aquitaine, Charolais, Simmental. They are big breeds, so their BW is bigger here.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby WalnutCrest » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:30 pm

To echo the statement about Aubrac cattle...

A friend of mine ran 600 head of commercially influence Aubracs way (!!) north in the frozen tundra of northwest Canada. They started with commercial cows and ran fullblood and purebred Aubrac bulls on top for many many generations. In their first ten years, they pulled three calves.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby ALACOWMAN » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:35 pm

Beefmaster, and most of your Brahman influenced.., now I'm talking bigger than your average, not freakish monsters...
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby Bullitt » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:15 pm

lithuanian farmer wrote:Easiest calving breeds are Aubrac and Salers. The are often used for Culard Charolais bulls, or just any other terminal bull, here.
However, others some other breeds can have more difficulties at calving, but they sure can calve big calves sometimes: Blonde d'Aquitaine, Charolais, Simmental. They are big breeds, so their BW is bigger here.



I looked on the Internet and I see that Aubrac cows average about 1,300 pounds, and the Salers are even larger. Those are pretty big cows. I can see why they can easily give birth to large calves.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby Bullitt » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:19 pm

ALACOWMAN wrote:Beefmaster, and most of your Brahman influenced.., now I'm talking bigger than your average, not freakish monsters...


Can the Brahman X Hereford cows easily give birth to large calves?

I was curious about which breeds can easily give birth to large calves because I saw a Limousin bull for sale that stated it produces large calves and is not suggested for heifers.

I am not sure what they consider a big calf. I would guess maybe over 90 pounds.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:27 pm

It's not a matter of breed. If the females don't have proper structure, and the bull doesn't sire calves of the right shape, you will have issues. I have a Limousin bull that based on numbers (EPDs and calf weights), should not be calving ease. Yet, I have never had to assist a single calf sired by him, nor have the other breeders who have used him (Simmental and Angus herds). He sires calves that are in the 85-100 pound range, but they have his build(smooth shouldered and clean fronted) and come out like they should.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby Bullitt » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:39 pm

Boot Jack Bulls wrote:It's not a matter of breed. If the females don't have proper structure, and the bull doesn't sire calves of the right shape, you will have issues.


I think the breed of cow has a lot to do with structure and shape. Obviously the breed of the bull will make a big difference also. You are right that there are variations among a breed. That is why people are always looking for a "low birth weight" bull.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby plumber_greg » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:50 pm

I think something happ happened to what I thought I posted.
Boot said it all. Nearly any breed can be worked on to produce big calves..
Years ago, when I had Nichols breeding, I routinely had 100 lbs calves and no trouble. Cows got too big, though.
Had a plus 6 BW bull I found could be us on heifers, simply because of his shape. Gs
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:56 pm

Bullitt wrote:
Boot Jack Bulls wrote:It's not a matter of breed. If the females don't have proper structure, and the bull doesn't sire calves of the right shape, you will have issues.


I think the breed of cow has a lot to do with structure and shape. Obviously the breed of the bull will make a big difference also. You are right that there are variations among a breed. That is why people are always looking for a "low birth weight" bull.


To some extent, there are phenotypical differences between breeds. Unless you are talking about fullbloods, most more common, "americanized" breeds (Limi, Simmi, Angus, Herford, Char, etc) are now more similar than different though. Anything with Brahma influence is a whole separate category. I am a Limousin die-hard, but I will be the first to admit that today's purebreds look little like the originals. Not necessarily a bad thing, but a reality non-the-less. As producers, we should strive to build a better animal. The beauty of that is that unanimous perfection is unattainable, so we will always have something to work toward.

As far as calving ease, in my opinion, any breeder that uses single trait selection in purchasing stock will have a herd that reflects that mentality. Calving ease is more than numbers in a glossy catalog, and shouldn't be the sole reason one picks a particular bull.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby ALACOWMAN » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:03 pm

Bullitt wrote:
ALACOWMAN wrote:Beefmaster, and most of your Brahman influenced.., now I'm talking bigger than your average, not freakish monsters...


Can the Brahman X Hereford cows easily give birth to large calves?

I was curious about which breeds can easily give birth to large calves because I saw a Limousin bull for sale that stated it produces large calves and is not suggested for heifers.

I am not sure what they consider a big calf. I would guess maybe over 90 pounds.
the calves usually come slim bodied and smooth... The Brahman influence condenses the calf size to some extent,plus a birth canal you can back a train in..
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby Bullitt » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:09 pm

ALACOWMAN wrote:the calves usually come slim bodied and smooth... The Brahman influence condenses the calf size to some extent,plus a birth canal you can back a train in..


Funny. I am not sure that is an image I want in my head. :)
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby ALACOWMAN » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:11 pm

Boot Jack Bulls wrote:
Bullitt wrote:
Boot Jack Bulls wrote:It's not a matter of breed. If the females don't have proper structure, and the bull doesn't sire calves of the right shape, you will have issues.


I think the breed of cow has a lot to do with structure and shape. Obviously the breed of the bull will make a big difference also. You are right that there are variations among a breed. That is why people are always looking for a "low birth weight" bull.


To some extent, there are phenotypical differences between breeds. Unless you are talking about fullbloods, most more common, "americanized" breeds (Limi, Simmi, Angus, Herford, Char, etc) are now more similar than different though. Anything with Brahma influence is a whole separate category. I am a Limousin die-hard, but I will be the first to admit that today's purebreds look little like the originals................
....
Seems like that's what folks have been wanting..been putting butts on angus,, and and breeding them off the limmi...for awhile it seems
Last edited by ALACOWMAN on Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby Son of Butch » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:12 pm

Pound for pound Jerseys calve as easy as any. Many dairies breed jersey cows to holstein sires and they have no
higher % of calving difficulty than their holstein bred to holstein herdmates.
Of course 1/2 jersey calves are smaller than holstein calves, hence the pound for pound qualifier.
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Re: Which Cattle Breed Easily Birth Large Calves?

Postby WalnutCrest » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:05 pm

Bullitt wrote:
lithuanian farmer wrote:Easiest calving breeds are Aubrac and Salers. The are often used for Culard Charolais bulls, or just any other terminal bull, here.
However, others some other breeds can have more difficulties at calving, but they sure can calve big calves sometimes: Blonde d'Aquitaine, Charolais, Simmental. They are big breeds, so their BW is bigger here.


I looked on the Internet and I see that Aubrac cows average about 1,300 pounds, and the Salers are even larger. Those are pretty big cows. I can see why they can easily give birth to large calves.


1 - There is variation around that 1300 lb average. My mature cows range from 1150 to 1450. None are below a FS 3.75 and none are over a FS 5.5.

2 - 1300 lbs is not necessarily a big cow. Ours are thick and densely made...yet feminine. They're easy doers. Someone else's 1300 lb cow may be tall, lanky and hard-doing -- those are (by my way of thinking) are big (unprofitable) cows.

3 - While there is some correlation between absolute size and the ability to calve a big calf, it's more about pelvic structure and "want to". Some just don't want to ...
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