Truth or Judgement on Breeding

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Midtenn
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby Midtenn » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:43 pm

Ebenezer wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:
Ebenezer wrote: condensed down to 3 items:

1.......should the purebred breeders/suppliers/AI bull folks/whomever be breeding for the exact same things that a commercial producer is breeding for?

2...... if all purebred cattle are bred for terminal traits then where does the commercial producer get his great base of pure grade or crossbred cows to be able to sell terminally oriented crops of calves while maintaining a top end (function) commercial herd of mama cows?

3......if a purebred breeder is raising cows that are idea as commercial mamas or would be a great 50% influence in commercial type do you expect, select or demand that the sons of those cows that go out to commercial herds to be as terminal in type and function as the ones rated as such in the catalogs and sale books for strong terminal selection?


1. Should is not the correct word to lead that question. That implies they are in violation of some kinda rule. The answer is: they breed for whatever market they are targeting their product for. Look at the bulls in an SS catalog. Some are hyped for producing good maternal traits. Some are hyped for producing good paternal traits. Some are hyped for producing good terminal traits. Goes back the the point gpl made.
Should is correct if we all professionally look down the road through the steps towards terminal products. The obligation of a breed or purebred breeder who says that their animals are worth anything to a commercial grower should honestly market the animals needed. What are the current complaints of breeds? Feet and legs, udders, breeding, calving ease, ... and not "I need more terminal". Pie in the sky to think that all work together, I know.

Other opinion - increasing MM is not maternal. It is a production trait that is antagonistic at a breaking point for fertility. Fertility in the cow herd is maternal. Lot of misuse of terms it seems.

2. I don't follow your logic. Where do you get the concept that purebred is only geared for terminal traits? Grandmaster is a Simmental bull that many around here covet because of the maternal traits he puts in his females. On the other hand he does not throw good paternal traits.
From the Angus breed. From the greatness of bull test winners. From increasing EPDs being the best. It is plastered everywhere.

3. I might need some help with 3. I am not positive what you are asking.
Why would folks discount a bull as not being "bull test type" if he can leave better daughters? That is the gist. In other words, associations, university folks, experts and such never seem to say "enough is enough" so that better cattle can be raised in a commercial setting. The best always seems to be the extreme in production or terminal traits. The maternal bull you mentioned would probably get little notice from many - same idea. Comment on the War Party bull being overlooked is several posts back. Always has and always will go on.


I get what you're saying and agree About mm. I'd like to ask opinions on CEM. It seems to me the more fertility in my herd is usually with cows that have lower CEM numbers. I know some of this is a correlation with larger frame size = higher CEM. I have a young bull now that I'm using as a clean up for heifers but after his DNA results he has a -2 CEM. He is out of my most fertile, moderate sized angus cow that always weans a big calf. He is sired by soo line motive. Should I keep his daughters?
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby Ebenezer » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:28 am

Lazy M wrote:I'd be really interested in Ebenezer's opinions on what bulls in some of the major bull stud lineups he considers maternal and balanced.. For that matter I'd like to know some of the ones listed as balanced that he'd consider terminal..
Ebenezer (or anyone interested)if you get a second look through the ABS line up and pick out a few:
https://bullsearch.absglobal.com/en-us/ ... ountry/222

I'd have to see the records and hopefully pictures of daughters and dam. And, remember, I have those old and new scars from breeding mistakes so that I can pretty easily cull myself out of a mainstream catalog. :o If EPDs are true, if EPDs do not inflate (I tend to believe that they have), ... I want to maintain a FS5, 1250 to 1450 (some few are also 1050 and up) cow that can wean a 535+/- pound calf on fescue and whatever grass, clover and weeds are there with minerals but also breed back for a 60 day season to calve around every 365 days or less. Pastures are largely legume driven without commercial fertilizer. Litter is applied as needed but no more than every 3 to 5 years.

If the old EPDs are correct or close, that puts me in a old EPD range of WW 30-35 YW 45-50, MM 12-14, YH 0 or a tad higher, good on CEM, above average on HP if much data is there and not much motion on MH or MW. We have discussed BW and CED some months ago - I do not want stacked -BM or high +CED. I prefer BW in the 0 to 3 range with calf shape being snake-like rather than basketball shaped. I want a real calf and one that is not hampered by genetic links between low BW and low growth, thin muscle, ...

And EPDs - they do not link well to our cattle. I remember old 205 - she had 10 to 12 calves, never assisted, sons and daughters never required assistance in later generations - they had her at the lowest CED of any cow in the herd at about -5. Other EPDs do not link well either. I also have the benefit of some unreported carcass data from sales of steers to a friend who did grassfed beef. I was pleased with those results.

So, take a run through the AAA sire search and you will find few if any bulls with that balance. I just helped a guy south of me buy a starter herd. We did quite a search. There were disappointments in the sale cattle along the way because words and pictures did not match the real world. What ended up was that I knew of a solid breeder from a state or two north of here with a fairly linebred herd. We knew that his conditions and environment trumped anything south of him and sorted through some offering from the middle performance cattle of his herd. They have done great. The proof of fit will come next year. So sometimes it is OK to sit on the porch with the little dogs and let the big dogs have the yard. You have to know your environmental limitations and management limitations.

We have discussed the semantics of the word "should". I use that word for myself because I have an obligation to buyers, customers, friends, neighbors to sell them breeder animals that will help and not hurt them. Maybe others see buyers as pawns or rubes. If the whole industry was congealed that all segments looked out for other segments and people beef would be far ahead in the whole and in the diets of people.

Plan your work and work your plan. I know my limits and my limitations. I can add some WW if things improve and they have. We added 25 pounds by putting in additional watering points and more of it. I can boost growth with winter annuals, higher fertility, adequate rain, ... but the thing I really need is a herd of cows that can survive and produce in the sure-to-be drought periods and hot summers while eating fescue, eating around fescue, not getting pampered. When it finally does rain, I still want the cows bred and ready to calve again in 365. I cannot do that with extreme growth, extreme size or extreme milk production. Neither can the average neighbor's cattle.
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby Ebenezer » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:43 am

I'd like to ask opinions on CEM. It seems to me the more fertility in my herd is usually with cows that have lower CEM numbers. I know some of this is a correlation with larger frame size = higher CEM. I have a young bull now that I'm using as a clean up for heifers but after his DNA results he has a -2 CEM. He is out of my most fertile, moderate sized angus cow that always weans a big calf. He is sired by soo line motive. Should I keep his daughters?
My opinion and just that - numbers do not matter so much but rump shape in the cows does. Bonsma has an illustration of flat rump bone structure versus sloped rumps bone locations. Flat rumped (I assume ski slope rumps are worse) cattle in that diagram have the tail bone blocking part of the birth canal. (page 22 of the lecture reprint). To get the proper bone structure of the tail bone it also requires proper leg set, leg angles and works itself up to the spine- my opinion. Thus I want nothing swaybacked, post legged, anything that presents itself as abnormally long or has a ski sloped rump. Also, I think and Bonsma said that a cow should be her widest at the rear. Some dislike the parallel that a bull should be widest at the shoulders but not in the sense of either meatless or hard calving as some will always send up as a trial balloons to express dislike. Find a picture of the great old bull Emulous Bob of K Pride - he was 5.5" wider at his shoulders than at his rump. I'd love to have some of those cattle again.

But I do watch and have known to avoid a herd(s) where their bulls consistently show -CED when used beyond their herd. I'm guessing pelvic problems or poor calf shape - I don't know but do not want to pull calves.
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby elkwc » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:44 am

Ebenezer wrote:
Lazy M wrote:I'd be really interested in Ebenezer's opinions on what bulls in some of the major bull stud lineups he considers maternal and balanced.. For that matter I'd like to know some of the ones listed as balanced that he'd consider terminal..
Ebenezer (or anyone interested)if you get a second look through the ABS line up and pick out a few:
https://bullsearch.absglobal.com/en-us/ ... ountry/222

I'd have to see the records and hopefully pictures of daughters and dam. And, remember, I have those old and new scars from breeding mistakes so that I can pretty easily cull myself out of a mainstream catalog. :o If EPDs are true, if EPDs do not inflate (I tend to believe that they have), ... I want to maintain a FS5, 1250 to 1450 (some few are also 1050 and up) cow that can wean a 535+/- pound calf on fescue and whatever grass, clover and weeds are there with minerals but also breed back for a 60 day season to calve around every 365 days or less. Pastures are largely legume driven without commercial fertilizer. Litter is applied as needed but no more than every 3 to 5 years.

If the old EPDs are correct or close, that puts me in a old EPD range of WW 30-35 YW 45-50, MM 12-14, YH 0 or a tad higher, good on CEM, above average on HP if much data is there and not much motion on MH or MW. We have discussed BW and CED some months ago - I do not want stacked -BM or high +CED. I prefer BW in the 0 to 3 range with calf shape being snake-like rather than basketball shaped. I want a real calf and one that is not hampered by genetic links between low BW and low growth, thin muscle, ...

And EPDs - they do not link well to our cattle. I remember old 205 - she had 10 to 12 calves, never assisted, sons and daughters never required assistance in later generations - they had her at the lowest CED of any cow in the herd at about -5. Other EPDs do not link well either. I also have the benefit of some unreported carcass data from sales of steers to a friend who did grassfed beef. I was pleased with those results.

So, take a run through the AAA sire search and you will find few if any bulls with that balance. I just helped a guy south of me buy a starter herd. We did quite a search. There were disappointments in the sale cattle along the way because words and pictures did not match the real world. What ended up was that I knew of a solid breeder from a state or two north of here with a fairly linebred herd. We knew that his conditions and environment trumped anything south of him and sorted through some offering from the middle performance cattle of his herd. They have done great. The proof of fit will come next year. So sometimes it is OK to sit on the porch with the little dogs and let the big dogs have the yard. You have to know your environmental limitations and management limitations.

We have discussed the semantics of the word "should". I use that word for myself because I have an obligation to buyers, customers, friends, neighbors to sell them breeder animals that will help and not hurt them. Maybe others see buyers as pawns or rubes. If the whole industry was congealed that all segments looked out for other segments and people beef would be far ahead in the whole and in the diets of people.

Plan your work and work your plan. I know my limits and my limitations. I can add some WW if things improve and they have. We added 25 pounds by putting in additional watering points and more of it. I can boost growth with winter annuals, higher fertility, adequate rain, ... but the thing I really need is a herd of cows that can survive and produce in the sure-to-be drought periods and hot summers while eating fescue, eating around fescue, not getting pampered. When it finally does rain, I still want the cows bred and ready to calve again in 365. I cannot do that with extreme growth, extreme size or extreme milk production. Neither can the average neighbor's cattle.


Very well stated.
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby Allenw » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:14 pm

Ebenezer wrote:
Lazy M wrote:I'd be really interested in Ebenezer's opinions on what bulls in some of the major bull stud lineups he considers maternal and balanced.. For that matter I'd like to know some of the ones listed as balanced that he'd consider terminal..
Ebenezer (or anyone interested)if you get a second look through the ABS line up and pick out a few:
https://bullsearch.absglobal.com/en-us/ ... ountry/222

I'd have to see the records and hopefully pictures of daughters and dam. And, remember, I have those old and new scars from breeding mistakes so that I can pretty easily cull myself out of a mainstream catalog. :o If EPDs are true, if EPDs do not inflate (I tend to believe that they have), ... I want to maintain a FS5, 1250 to 1450 (some few are also 1050 and up) cow that can wean a 535+/- pound calf on fescue and whatever grass, clover and weeds are there with minerals but also breed back for a 60 day season to calve around every 365 days or less. Pastures are largely legume driven without commercial fertilizer. Litter is applied as needed but no more than every 3 to 5 years.

If the old EPDs are correct or close, that puts me in a old EPD range of WW 30-35 YW 45-50, MM 12-14, YH 0 or a tad higher, good on CEM, above average on HP if much data is there and not much motion on MH or MW. We have discussed BW and CED some months ago - I do not want stacked -BM or high +CED. I prefer BW in the 0 to 3 range with calf shape being snake-like rather than basketball shaped. I want a real calf and one that is not hampered by genetic links between low BW and low growth, thin muscle, ...

And EPDs - they do not link well to our cattle. I remember old 205 - she had 10 to 12 calves, never assisted, sons and daughters never required assistance in later generations - they had her at the lowest CED of any cow in the herd at about -5. Other EPDs do not link well either. I also have the benefit of some unreported carcass data from sales of steers to a friend who did grassfed beef. I was pleased with those results.

So, take a run through the AAA sire search and you will find few if any bulls with that balance. I just helped a guy south of me buy a starter herd. We did quite a search. There were disappointments in the sale cattle along the way because words and pictures did not match the real world. What ended up was that I knew of a solid breeder from a state or two north of here with a fairly linebred herd. We knew that his conditions and environment trumped anything south of him and sorted through some offering from the middle performance cattle of his herd. They have done great. The proof of fit will come next year. So sometimes it is OK to sit on the porch with the little dogs and let the big dogs have the yard. You have to know your environmental limitations and management limitations.

We have discussed the semantics of the word "should". I use that word for myself because I have an obligation to buyers, customers, friends, neighbors to sell them breeder animals that will help and not hurt them. Maybe others see buyers as pawns or rubes. If the whole industry was congealed that all segments looked out for other segments and people beef would be far ahead in the whole and in the diets of people.

Plan your work and work your plan. I know my limits and my limitations. I can add some WW if things improve and they have. We added 25 pounds by putting in additional watering points and more of it. I can boost growth with winter annuals, higher fertility, adequate rain, ... but the thing I really need is a herd of cows that can survive and produce in the sure-to-be drought periods and hot summers while eating fescue, eating around fescue, not getting pampered. When it finally does rain, I still want the cows bred and ready to calve again in 365. I cannot do that with extreme growth, extreme size or extreme milk production. Neither can the average neighbor's cattle.


"cow that can wean a 535+/- pound calf on fescue and whatever grass, clover and weeds are there with minerals but also breed back for a 60 day season to calve around every 365 days or less."

This is something I think is being lost in some of today's cattle, the ability of the cow to fit her environment and thrive in it without supplementation.
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby Nesikep » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:44 pm

Midtenn wrote:There is a market for all types of angus bulls....maternal, balanced, calving ease, and now more than ever...Terminal. When selling seed stock we should strongly recommend to our customers that certain bulls be used as terminal only. And we need to explain that the best bull on the place, who happens to be a balanced type, probably won't sire calves that wean quite as heavy or marble as well. That's all you can do, just try to educate your customers (without stepping on their toes), and if they don't take advice, they will learn soon enough like we all have (and still are). In the end you have to give a customer what he wants if you want to stay in business.

Exactly.. As long as it has a black hide! :hide:

All kidding aside, I do agree
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby Bright Raven » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:54 pm

Nesikep wrote:
Midtenn wrote:There is a market for all types of angus bulls....maternal, balanced, calving ease, and now more than ever...Terminal. When selling seed stock we should strongly recommend to our customers that certain bulls be used as terminal only. And we need to explain that the best bull on the place, who happens to be a balanced type, probably won't sire calves that wean quite as heavy or marble as well. That's all you can do, just try to educate your customers (without stepping on their toes), and if they don't take advice, they will learn soon enough like we all have (and still are). In the end you have to give a customer what he wants if you want to stay in business.

Exactly.. As long as it has a black hide! :hide:

All kidding aside, I do agree


Yes. Excellent points by Midtenn.
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:20 am

Best discussion in a long time. Very educational.
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby bse » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:48 am

I am taking steps to never have another bull calf. The truth i had 7 bulls i kept from fall 2017, sold 4 without even registering, all A I, leaving 3. Bull #1 (19165631) out of clean up bull just nice so i kept him. (could wind up clean up this time) Bull #2 (19153592) out of a cow already bred bought in spring of 2017. Bull # 3 (19153506) i did the mating.
now guy comes to look, you know which he took #3, looked at #1 said hes nice, last look. He liked #2 but #3 was just 30 days older and better numbers. I know i do things a bit backwards in that i keep whatever bull is left to clean up, i like whatever i keep as bulls for 1 reason or another.
its all marketing and what your customer wants!!!!!! the straw works here.
This year thinking of using a Hereford bull to clean up, all bulls get steered and keep heifers to make recips.
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Re: Truth or Judgement on Breeding

Postby Lazy M » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:43 am

bse wrote:I am taking steps to never have another bull calf. The truth i had 7 bulls i kept from fall 2017, sold 4 without even registering, all A I, leaving 3. Bull #1 (19165631) out of clean up bull just nice so i kept him. (could wind up clean up this time) Bull #2 (19153592) out of a cow already bred bought in spring of 2017. Bull # 3 (19153506) i did the mating.
now guy comes to look, you know which he took #3, looked at #1 said hes nice, last look. He liked #2 but #3 was just 30 days older and better numbers. I know i do things a bit backwards in that i keep whatever bull is left to clean up, i like whatever i keep as bulls for 1 reason or another.
its all marketing and what your customer wants!!!!!! the straw works here.
This year thinking of using a Hereford bull to clean up, all bulls get steered and keep heifers to make recips.

I end up saving as many heifers from our Hereford cleanup as the ai sired heifers.. not really my intent, but when I'm sorting through potential replacement heifers I choose the best phenotypes regardless of what magic may be hidden in their genes. Guess I'm a dumb commercial cattleman with an admitted soft spot for nice white faced cows..
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