Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

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True Grit Farms
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Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:30 pm

With all the different vaccination and worming protocols, people supplementing cattle with feed and minerals have we have taken the hardiness out of the cattle breeds? We have definitely made it easy for cattle to be able to survive and reproduce even if their not hardy. Sometimes I feel we're our own worst enemy.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:38 pm

Vince:

Absolutely, all the animal husbandry practices you mentioned and many more, have reduced natural selection pressures. (The mechanism by which organisms evolve to meet the pressures of the environment)

However, cows are domesticated animals. Mankind decided to take them under his tutelage thousands of years ago. Manage them and selectively breed them for the traits mankind covets.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:56 pm

Sometimes it seems like the more folks do for their cows, the more problems they have. And it doesn't matter what breed of cow they happen to be. A cow is a long way from being a dog, and we don't give our dogs anywhere near the shots we give our cows.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:00 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:Sometimes it seems like the more folks do for their cows, the more problems they have. And it doesn't matter what breed of cow they happen to be. A cow is a long way from being a dog, and we don't give our dogs anywhere near the shots we give our cows.


I am proactive managing my herd - in fact - probably in the top 10 percentile. What I don't see that you suggest is that it causes "more problems". Vince, my cows are about as problem free as is humanly or should I say cowly possible.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Boot Jack Bulls » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:06 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:Sometimes it seems like the more folks do for their cows, the more problems they have. And it doesn't matter what breed of cow they happen to be. A cow is a long way from being a dog, and we don't give our dogs anywhere near the shots we give our cows.

I agree to some point, but maybe they just realize they have a problem because of intensive management and the guy who just lets them be, doesn't have problems because he can't see them... As far as your point about dogs, I know some registered dog breeders that do way more testing and vaccinating than I could possibly manage to give my cattle. My heelers on the other hand, eat cow shyt and dead things, and get wormed with Valbazen and poured with Ultra boss (they get a rabies vaccination only because the county says they must!).
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:16 pm

Boot Jack Bulls wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:Sometimes it seems like the more folks do for their cows, the more problems they have. And it doesn't matter what breed of cow they happen to be. A cow is a long way from being a dog, and we don't give our dogs anywhere near the shots we give our cows.

I agree to some point, but maybe they just realize they have a problem because of intensive management and the guy who just lets them be, doesn't have problems because he can't see them... As far as your point about dogs, I know some registered dog breeders that do way more testing and vaccinating than I could possibly manage to give my cattle. My heelers on the other hand, eat cow shyt and dead things, and get wormed with Valbazen and poured with Ultra boss (they get a rabies vaccination only because the county says they must!).


I was thinking the same thing on dogs. My dogs get an 8 way vaccine plus rabies. In fact, the kennels here require proof of vaccination before they will board your dog. They also have to be wormed and tick and flea treated. Personally, I also treat for heart worm. Dogs are just as pampered as cows if not more.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby elkwc » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:42 pm

The management and handling I'm sure has attributed to the loss of hardiness. But I blame more on the infusion of outside blood. You can still find Herefords that are as hardy as ever. But they tend to be just like the Angus and mainly in the older bloodlines that I consider more pure. You can see it in a herd if you do some observation. Another thing that I feel attributes to it is the rapid turn over of generations. I will be sorting cows to sell this weekend. All 14 y/o or older and all but 6 have a calf on them and I weaned theirs about 5 weeks ago. I was talking to one of the PB breeders that turns over generations fast and he was trying to explain to me why it wasn't good management to keep cows that long. They run with the others and receive no special treatment. If they start having trouble making it we sell them. I have a few Brangus cows in the group that look 9 y/o that will likely stay another year. IMO when you are turning over generations fast you lose hardiness, longtivity and fertility. I keep all the good heifers out of the older cows as I feel they will likely have the mentioned traits. So IMO there is many factors that attribute to this than just the one mentioned.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Nesikep » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:46 am

Dogs are bred to have problems,.. you look at the noses on these new dogs? What about the hips on Shepherds? And 90% of it is because of the show scene..
Probably a little of the same with cows.. what cow would ever have a full coat of hair in the summer?
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby wbvs58 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:26 am

We subject them to very intensive and stressfull artificial conditions when they enter feedlots so I guess a bit of assistance with vaccinations is needed. Also in the north of your continent many are in lots over winter. It is a bit like kids in childcare, disease is rife.

Another aspect I have often thought about, with artificial breeding, are we breeding cattle that will be reluctant to breed naturally?????

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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby farmguy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:39 am

I would say the opposite in some cases. Our cattle winter graze and bale graze here in Minnesota. As you know it can get down to -40 F and snow can get deep. They calve out in the fields and I have never had a problem with scours. My father-in-law would calve his beef cows in a pen in a barn. Many would keep cows in a dry lot all winter and haul every bit of feed to them. I do believe a new generation is questioning why do this. I do feel that economics among other thing is pushing for reduced costs and in fact in many cases a hardier animal. Also on a side note I observed that some of the "new" breeds came from Europe where they were treated more like dairy cows. As they were bred in this country the generations became hardier as they were treated as beef animals. Just my opinion, farmguy.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby True Grit Farms » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:21 am

There's a lot of time and money spent on pastures, water, and minerals to keep our cattle healthy. So that me got thinking about people, those that eat right and live right don't hardly get sick. So why can't a cow be the same under ideal conditions? We all know thin cows are the first to get sick and die in harsh conditions, don't usually breed back on time, or raise the nicest calf even if they've been properly vaccinated. I think proper nutrition is more important than vaccines if you want to have healthy cattle.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Bright Raven » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:58 am

True Grit Farms wrote:There's a lot of time and money spent on pastures, water, and minerals to keep our cattle healthy. So that me got thinking about people, those that eat right and live right don't hardly get sick. So why can't a cow be the same under ideal conditions? We all know thin cows are the first to get sick and die in harsh conditions, don't usually breed back on time, or raise the nicest calf even if they've been properly vaccinated. I think proper nutrition is more important than vaccines if you want to have healthy cattle.


That is not a profound concept on nutrition. Not trying to be insulting but most know nutrition is the foundation of the pyramid.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Allenw » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:03 am

I'm convinced with out allowing some seasonal environmental stress on your cattle you can't pick out the good ones for your environment and conditions.

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I agree that longevity is important. If a cow or bull has made it to a teenager have have passed a lot of tests and is well proven in their environment.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Ebenezer » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:12 am

Need some data on native North american species of cattle to compare.
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Re: Is the hardiness of cattle breeds ruined?

Postby Bright Raven » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:19 am

Ebenezer wrote:Need some data on native North american species of cattle to compare.


You are being clever. Lol. The closest relative is the Bison. Would have to check, but there were no native bovine representing the genus Bos.

Edited to add: the only native North American Bovine was the Wood Bison of the Pleistocene. There were 3 members of the genus Equus which are members of the horse family.
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