Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

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Bullitt
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Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Bullitt » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:24 am

I am planning to start a cattle herd and I am researching the best way to go about doing it. I have a few questions.

If I have a group of cows and a bull, is it safe to keep putting the heifers into the herd and breeding the bull to his own daughters?

Is it best to change out a bull? How long do I wait between changing bulls?

I cannot understand why the color of cattle hair makes any difference in sales price. Can anyone explain this to me?

Everyone says black hair is best, so it makes me want to go a different direction to show people wrong. :) Are black cattle selling the best all over the country?

From what I have read there is one big exception to this rule, and that is Black Baldies, which are Angus and Hereford cross. I have read that if a calf has a white tail or white spots it is docked on price. But if a black calf has a white face the price generally goes up.

If Hereford cows were used you get better feed efficiency, and if Angus cows are used you would get more milk for calves. But i can see the cross working both ways.

Any input is appreciated.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby rain dance » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:38 am

You will not convince anyone you could have the best calves in the world if someone puts in a order for black steers and you have red white faces those order buyers will not bid.

A good way to go is get all good hereford cows and get a good black angus bull on them like you where talking about. You will get all black baldies. This is easier said then done. A decent set of Herefords is alot harder to find in in most places then Angus.Another good option is to get all solid black angus cattle and use a hereford bull you will most likely get all black baldies unless some of the cows carry the red angus gene or are cross bred with some weird color pattern. Dont try to get exotic colors or anything like that. You might like the look of a certain breed doesnt matter you will not like the prices when it comes time to sell. Try to get all your cows the same color and breed it will make things a lot easier. If you end up getting a mixed group of herefords baldies red and black angus its best to use a black bull on them.

If you like having cows that are not black thats fine just as long as a black bull will make the calfs black or black baldies. Go to the auction barns around and see what sells good. In a lot of areas Charolais cross calves sell. Even if you plan on marketing your beef privately or some other way you still might as well have animals that will sell at auction as a back up option and so you can tell people i will get this amount of dollars if I go to the stockyard.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Rafter S » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:58 am

1. Breeding a bull back to his daughters isn't likely to produce birth defects, as some fear, unless that was a genetic trait the bull was already carrying, since breeding him to his daughters will concentrate that trait. I'm by no means an expert on genetics, so someone else may be able to clarify that, or correct me if I got something wrong.

2. Many experts advise getting a breeding soundness exam done yearly on bulls, and I do this myself. If you do that, the vet will tell you when he needs to be replaced.

3. The Angus breed association has done an extraordinary job of convincing the general public that black Angus beef is superior to that from other breeds. I'm convinced that less than 1% of the population could tell the difference, but perception rules.

4. I understand that black cattle sell well pretty much all over the US. How other colors, or color patterns, do seems to be regional.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Bullitt » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:50 am

rain dance wrote:You will not convince anyone you could have the best calves in the world if someone puts in a order for black steers and you have red white faces those order buyers will not bid.

A good way to go is get all good hereford cows and get a good black angus bull on them like you where talking about. You will get all black baldies. This is easier said then done. A decent set of Herefords is alot harder to find in in most places then Angus.Another good option is to get all solid black angus cattle and use a hereford bull you will most likely get all black baldies unless some of the cows carry the red angus gene or are cross bred with some weird color pattern. Dont try to get exotic colors or anything like that. You might like the look of a certain breed doesnt matter you will not like the prices when it comes time to sell. Try to get all your cows the same color and breed it will make things a lot easier. If you end up getting a mixed group of herefords baldies red and black angus its best to use a black bull on them.

If you like having cows that are not black thats fine just as long as a black bull will make the calfs black or black baldies. Go to the auction barns around and see what sells good. In a lot of areas Charolais cross calves sell. Even if you plan on marketing your beef privately or some other way you still might as well have animals that will sell at auction as a back up option and so you can tell people i will get this amount of dollars if I go to the stockyard.



Can I just put the Black Baldy heifers in the herd and breed an Angus or Hereford bull to them? It seems like a black bull would be better in that situation to keep the calves mostly black, correct?

I think you are right that Angus cows and a Hereford bull would be an easier cross because good Hereford cows can be more difficult to find. I have seen some use Brangus cows and a Hereford bull, and some are calling the calves Super Black Baldies. I would think Brangus cows would be healthier and would be able to stand summer heat better than Angus cows.
Last edited by Bullitt on Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Rafter S » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:39 am

If you're far enough south that Brahman influenced cattle are fairly common I'd definitely recommend using Brangus instead of Angus for black baldies. In fact, it's not just a recommendation, it's what I'm doing.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Bullitt » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:07 pm

Rafter S wrote:If you're far enough south that Brahman influenced cattle are fairly common I'd definitely recommend using Brangus instead of Angus for black baldies. In fact, it's not just a recommendation, it's what I'm doing.



Are you using straight Brangus, or are you crossing Brangus with another breed?

I think if Brangus cows are used with an Angus bull or a Hereford bull, the calves that are produced would not have much ear, as they say. I think those calves would sell well anywhere in the United States.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Rafter S » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:14 pm

I have mostly Brangus cows, with a Brangus and a Hereford bull. So I'm raising super baldies, and my own Brangus replacements.

Brangus x Angus has become a popular cross. They even have a name for it: Ultrablacks.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Bullitt » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:16 pm

Rafter S wrote:I have mostly Brangus cows, with a Brangus and a Hereford bull. So I'm raising super baldies, and my own Brangus replacements.

Brangus x Angus has become a popular cross. They even have a name for it: Ultrablacks.



Do the Super Baldies have a good disposition?

That is good that you can breed your own replacements. Sell the bulls/steers and keep the heifers you need.

How do you manage the bulls? Do you isolate the Brangus bull with just some of the Brangus cows?
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Rafter S » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:31 pm

Disposition isn't a problem with any of my cattle. That's one of the first things I cull for.

And I try to keep the Brangus bull with my older, better cows, and my Hereford with the younger ones. I'm just getting into running a few Hereford cows. Not sure yet which bull I'll put on them.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Bullitt » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:02 am

Rafter S wrote:Disposition isn't a problem with any of my cattle. That's one of the first things I cull for.

And I try to keep the Brangus bull with my older, better cows, and my Hereford with the younger ones. I'm just getting into running a few Hereford cows. Not sure yet which bull I'll put on them.


I think most cattle producers cull cattle with a bad disposition. But I was just wondering what the Super Baldies are like in general. You hear some say this breed is calm and that breed is crazy and will run you over.

I am guessing that you would put the Angus bull on the Hereford heifers and the Brangus bull on the older cows since the calves would be a little bigger.

Now you will have Super Baldies and Black Baldies. I think those calves sell very well all over the country. I have read that Black Baldies make very good mothers also.

It seems like you are doing it right based on the market.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Bullitt » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:48 pm

If I have Black Baldy cows and an Angus bull, that would produce calves that are 3/4 Angus and 1/4 Hereford.

What do these calves look like? I am guessing they are mostly black with a little white on their faces. Can you easily tell the difference between Black Baldies and the 3/4 Angus calves?
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby ddd75 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:36 am

not all black baldies or herefords will produce baldies.

a lot of that depends on the bull and how dominate his color is.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby 1982vett » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:42 am

Bullitt wrote:
Rafter S wrote:Disposition isn't a problem with any of my cattle. That's one of the first things I cull for.

And I try to keep the Brangus bull with my older, better cows, and my Hereford with the younger ones. I'm just getting into running a few Hereford cows. Not sure yet which bull I'll put on them.


I think most cattle producers cull cattle with a bad disposition. But I was just wondering what the Super Baldies are like in general. You hear some say this breed is calm and that breed is crazy and will run you over.

I am guessing that you would put the Angus bull on the Hereford heifers and the Brangus bull on the older cows since the calves would be a little bigger.

Now you will have Super Baldies and Black Baldies. I think those calves sell very well all over the country. I have read that Black Baldies make very good mothers also.

It seems like you are doing it right based on the market.


Id put the Brangus bull on them. Would rather have the super baldy.... course,the decision would likely be determined by space in the pasture group but I’d sure try to cover them with a brangus bull.

Also I’d say I’ve had more crazy in Hereford, braford and angus than I have brangus.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby Bullitt » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:32 am

ddd75 wrote:not all black baldies or herefords will produce baldies.

a lot of that depends on the bull and how dominate his color is.


So a pure Angus and a pure Hereford will not always produce Black Baldies? If so, that is disappointing.

In that case, we have to just find the right cattle for the cross.
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Re: Best Way to Develop/Maintain a Herd

Postby 1982vett » Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:34 am

Bullitt wrote:
ddd75 wrote:not all black baldies or herefords will produce baldies.

a lot of that depends on the bull and how dominate his color is.


So a pure Angus and a pure Hereford will not always produce Black Baldies? If so, that is disappointing.

In that case, we have to just find the right cattle for the cross.

Some will be red baldies.....
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