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Looking for a direction

Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:33 pm
by Cada22
Hello all,

Longtime lurker, first time posting. I am in AL and am starting out with a new group of cattle and trying to decide which way I want to take them. We run a group of heifers each year and sell before they calve in the fall so I have experience there. This year I had the opportunity to purchase 10 heifers that are half Angus half Holstein that I intend to keep. They are due to calve in October/November back to registered Angus bulls. I plan to retain heifers and to keep this influence in my herd as the genetics these girls come from are strong in my opinion. I am very much familiar with expecting high milk production with this group. I am also very aware that we will have to keep them on a strong feeding program to keep body condition up before breeding back. That it where my question comes in. What direction do I want to take them? It is a hobby as much as anything so I am not worried about breaking even or losing a few dollars. I just want to work on something somewhat unique with these girls. Have considered breeding up to registered Simms, maybe trying to go black badly with a Fleck bull, or even getting into embryo transfer for some registered stock. If you were in my position, which way would you head?

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:27 am
by Black and Good
Welcome! Congrats on your purchase. We had a set of cows just like your talking about, when I was a kid that my father bought from a neighbor. He had bought them from a dairy and raised them on a bottle. When we got them they were 3yr olds. We ran a PB red Limo bull on them with low milk EPD numbers. They had about half blacks and half reds. The calves were whoppers. My thoughts today, would be any bull you like that's easy fleshing with lower milk EPD's. Then you could work on the replacements to get them where you want them to be. Good luck. B&G

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:53 am
by Rafter S
You're far enough south to benefit from some Brahman influence. I'd recommend using a good Brangus bull on them. You'll get black calves that will really mash the scales.

And welcome to the forum.

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:05 am
by kd4au
I had a couple of the angus/Holstein crosses a few years ago and crossed them back to a black brangus bull and the heifers from them worked out well.

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:51 am
by Cada22
What kind of longevity did you see out of the Angus/Holstein cross?

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:29 pm
by ALACOWMAN
Since their half angus,,would go in that direction till I got them fairly consistent..then go back on them wth another breed...if you want

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:32 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Welcome to the board.
I am a Simmental breeder, so I wouldn't try to talk you out of your first thoughts. Putting a Fleckvieh influence black bull on them should work out great. One of the nice things about using a Simmental bull, is that you can register the offspring as a 1/2 blood.
If you felt you needed some "ear", you could also use a Simbrah bull. I am not familiar with the percentages of registering the offspring, but they would be register-able.
You have to live with them, go with what you like.
Your idea of putting in embryos for someone can also be profitable. Any cows that don't take to the ET, can be bred to a Simme bull.

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:35 pm
by Cada22
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Welcome to the board.
I am a Simmental breeder, so I wouldn't try to talk you out of your first thoughts. Putting a Fleckvieh influence black bull on them should work out great. One of the nice things about using a Simmental bull, is that you can register the offspring as a 1/2 blood.
If you felt you needed some "ear", you could also use a Simbrah bull. I am not familiar with the percentages of registering the offspring, but they would be register-able.
You have to live with them, go with what you like.
Your idea of putting in embryos for someone can also be profitable. Any cows that don't take to the ET, can be bred to a Simme bull.


Are you saying to stay away from Direct Fleck by saying Fleck influenced?

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:54 pm
by Lazy M
Cada22 wrote:
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Welcome to the board.
I am a Simmental breeder, so I wouldn't try to talk you out of your first thoughts. Putting a Fleckvieh influence black bull on them should work out great. One of the nice things about using a Simmental bull, is that you can register the offspring as a 1/2 blood.
If you felt you needed some "ear", you could also use a Simbrah bull. I am not familiar with the percentages of registering the offspring, but they would be register-able.
You have to live with them, go with what you like.
Your idea of putting in embryos for someone can also be profitable. Any cows that don't take to the ET, can be bred to a Simme bull.


Are you saying to stay away from Direct Fleck by saying Fleck influenced?

I believe she is saying use a fleck influenced BLACK bull. The influence so that you'll get a black bull and thereby have potentially more black calves so you won't get docked at the yards.

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:06 pm
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
That is correct (Lazy M). Fullblood Flecks are red (with varying amounts of white). If you care to keep your cattle black, you would need to find a black Fleck. Although, if you used a red bull, most if not all your offspring should be black hided (depending on the Holstein red gene). All your offspring would be heterozygous black (1 black gene & 1 Red gene), so if they were to be bred to another red bull, you could get 50% red calves.

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:07 am
by Cada22
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:That is correct (Lazy M). Fullblood Flecks are red (with varying amounts of white). If you care to keep your cattle black, you would need to find a black Fleck. Although, if you used a red bull, most if not all your offspring should be black hided (depending on the Holstein red gene). All your offspring would be heterozygous black (1 black gene & 1 Red gene), so if they were to be bred to another red bull, you could get 50% red calves.


Having some red would not really bother me too bad. Considering if we add some Fleck, we might even look to add Red Angus as well. I think this would be a solid red baldy cow.

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:01 am
by cbcr
What we see when using a fullblood or purebred Fleckvieh bull on Holstein cows, the calves are black white faced on the first cross. The only exception to this is if the Holstein happens to be red or a red carrier then some of them are red white faced.

Your cows being Angus/Holstein, the calves should be black white faced on the first generation.

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:01 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
You will get heavier muscled calves using Fleck/Simmental vs Red Angus. Also, will get slightly more heterosis using Continental vs British.

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:43 am
by Cada22
cbcr wrote:What we see when using a fullblood or purebred Fleckvieh bull on Holstein cows, the calves are black white faced on the first cross. The only exception to this is if the Holstein happens to be red or a red carrier then some of them are red white faced.

Your cows being Angus/Holstein, the calves should be black white faced on the first generation.


I don't suspect any red Holstein has been used at the dairy these came from so I'm sure you are correct. Should I still be worried about birthweight from a Fleck bull on these cows? Cows averaged 1100 pounds last time they crossed the scales

Re: Looking for a direction

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:15 pm
by farmerjan
Several of the holstein bulls in use now, have some red in their background, so crossing with a fleck might give you an occasional calf with red. But if you don't mind then do as Jeanne says and use what you like. Whatever beef breed you use, the resulting heifers should make good replacements as they will carry some of the milking ability toned down by the beefiness. Good Luck.