Heifers to breed

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Steve Banks
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Heifers to breed

Postby Steve Banks » Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:10 pm

I have a reg. Simmental bull with a ce epd of 4.9, I have just had his first calf crop from mature cows, they have been on average about 70 to 80 lbs.birth weight. Would that be enough information to breed some 17 month old heifers that weigh around 1200 lbs with the expection of no calving problems??
I'm looking at probables! I understand that the Simmental assoc.recommends CE of 10 or better.
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Re: Heifers to breed

Postby randiliana » Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:01 pm

Steve Banks wrote:I have a reg. Simmental bull with a ce epd of 4.9, I have just had his first calf crop from mature cows, they have been on average about 70 to 80 lbs.birth weight. Would that be enough information to breed some 17 month old heifers that weigh around 1200 lbs with the expection of no calving problems??
I'm looking at probables! I understand that the Simmental assoc.recommends CE of 10 or better.


How old is this bull? Did you have any calves that had exceptionally high birthweights? I know next to nothing about simmental EPD's, but I do know that EPD's as a rule change as a bull ages, and more data is entered. If you didn't have any calves over 90 lbs, I would probably not worry too much. 1200 lb heifers should be quite well developed, and as such should be able to handle larger BW's without added difficulty unless they are overly fat.
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Re: Heifers to breed

Postby cypressfarms » Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:48 pm

Steve Banks wrote:Would that be enough information to breed some 17 month old heifers that weigh around 1200 lbs with the expection of no calving problems??
I'm looking at probables!


What breed of heifers? The biggest risk associated with heifers is that they will not be grown enough when calving to do it with ease, but breeding 17 month olds would calve at over 2 yrs. would make one think that the growth would not be as big of an issue.
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Postby redfornow » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:05 am

Steve
I have played this game before an lost. When you say your first calf crop is on the ground, how many calfs?
What time of year? Cross or reg?
Hybrid vigor doesnt start at birth.
I dont know what others think, but I can tell you I would need 20 to 25 on the ground before I started playing games, I have been there done that got the t-shirt. lol
Our bull thru about the same numbers 60 to 80 lbs, but it was a small group, I dont remember the numbers but around ten head. Well his big calfs started to show up on the heifers. lol
That made for a sorry six weeks in a mans life, luckly we didnt lose a heifer but it really messed up a pretty good group for us. They didnt rebreed, lost some calfs and alot of sleep.
Lesson learned, those calf ease bulls have their place and should be used. AI those bad boys and chose a bull with high CE acc.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

MD

PS I wouldnt wish what we went thru on an enemy, I am sure others her have made the same mistake and know what I mean.
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Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:34 am

Steve, just using numbers, I really wouldn't be afraid of breeding a 17 month old heifer weighing 1200. That's larger than many mature COWS.
By the way, if you go to ASA'a web site:
http://www.simmental.org
you can get the most updated EPD's. They change quite often. Right now Simmental CE breed average is +6, so he is actually below breed average - depending on how old that EPD was.
Of course, you could always pick an AI bull to breed that one animal to.
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Postby dun » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:38 am

As usual, a slightly different view on calving heifers. I don;t think that it all has to do with growth or age. Some has to do with the stretching of all of the required muscles and ligaments. Seems like heifers just don;t(can't) dilate as much as older cows. That has nothing to do with size or age. 3 year olds calving for the first time still have calving issues and they're grown pretty much to full size by then, that in my warped mind puts it back to the muscle ligament deal.
Nothing scientific, just observations and opionions

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Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:27 am

Yes, agreed - a heifer is a heifer no matter how old. But a 1200+ # heifer should easily have an 85# calf compared to a 900# heifer. But, no matter what is discussed and rationalized, a calving heifer needs observation because they are the high risk calving cattle - period. Breeding to a calving ease bull, helps alleviate some of the % - but bottom line - a heifer is a heifer.
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Postby Rustler9 » Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:38 pm

I'm not knocking your Simmental bull but breeding a heifer to this type of bull is mighty risky-I've seen it too many times. I don't think it matters how big your heifers are, they're still heifers. If these were my animals I'd definitely breed for the first time to a low birth weight bull.

Here's an true example-I owned a nice Charolais bull a few years ago. Used him on mature cows, had excellent calves around 80 lb.s each. My dad decided to use this bull on his herd for one breeding season, used him on Beefmaster cows and some big heifers. Pulled seven calves, saved three of the seven, lost three of the big heifers as well. Our vet explained it this way-maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong. He told us that a first calf heifer that is in good shape and that has been on good feed will grow a larger fetus than an older cow, the cow has previously weaned a calf and has had to bounce back from that as well as maintain her own body condition. A heifer that's never calved will put alot of what her body takes in into growing that calf inside of her. He said that heifers will usually have a larger calf from the same bull if they are in good condition. Plus they aren't as mature and as wide as a cow. I personally don't want to put that kind of stress on my heifers. Breed them to something that you're going to get a live, smaller calf for the first time, then go to your Simmental bull.
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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:47 am

Steve I PM you.
If you gave me his ASA # I could look him up. If he is an American bred type bull - not a fullblood type, he should be OK.
You have grown her out to be very large. My heifers can easily have 100# calves - if the calf is SHAPED RIGHT. If your bull is fullblood type & is big headed, heavy shouldered, I don't care if they weigh 70# - I would not breed to any heifers.
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