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 Kiss of Death! Damn!

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Grassfarmer



Posts : 850
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:13 am

The decreasing fertility due to inbreeding thought scares me but thus far I can't really say I've experienced it. Is it inevitable, and at what degree of inbreeding, or can it partly be overcome by management (nutrition)? I read this story yesterday on the island of Swona cattle in Scotland and wonder how much can be attributed to lack of management (lack of human assisted winter nutrition) and how much to inbreeding which is presumably affected by the very small population size.

"The main purpose of my visit was to see the cattle. Up to 1974 about a dozen cross bred cows were grazed on the island.  Shorthorn bulls had been used up to the 1940s and Angus bulls after that. After the evacuation the cattle were set free and went their own way.  Within a few years they had developed a herd structure similar to that in the wild with a king bull siring the calves.  Young bulls stayed within the herd and defeated challengers were banished to live out their days in isolation.  The present king bull is black and, although cross bred, looks like the kind of Angus fashionable 40 years ago. There was also a young red bull.  There were 10 fit cows and three old crocks which looked as if next winter could be their last. I wondered why there were only three calves as the cows were in excellent fettle.  Nutrition wasn't a problem as the sward of grass and wild white clover was ample for the modest number of cattle. Maybe the poor weather in 2012 played a part.  Probably the reason was depression of fertility due to intense inbreeding."


I've posted some pictures of them as I thought they were quite interesting in type, particularly the red bull who would pass for mine and the single black cow pictured last.  







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RobertMac



Posts : 377
Join date : 2010-09-28
Location : Mississippi, USA

PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:54 pm

MKeeney wrote:
Mike, you are wrong about me. I believe seedstock animals should be superior commercial animals FIRST.

The above proves I`m right; also may prove I`m poor at clarity...parent seed corn has poor fertility; poor performance...but when crossed, is superior commercially...the question seems to be...must an animal be superior individually by the customary measures, to produce superior individuals of commercial economic superiority? ....I don`t think so...
For clarity, I should give my definition of a superior commercial cow...a cow that lives her life on pasture, raises a good calf, and breeds back every year without extra help.

At this point, I don't pay much attention to "customary measurements" ( I'm assuming you mean weights). I learned long ago in my row crop days that higher yield didn't mean more profit unless there was a higher net. High yield, like high weaning weights, make for good coffee shop talk, but doesn't mean you can't go broke chasing them.

As an agronomist, I don't believe you can extrapolate genetic meaning from plants to apply to animals, but if you plant that superior hybrid corn at a time or place it isn't best adapted to, it's not going to do very well.
It is my opinion that poor fertility cows, that the cause can't be attributed to environment, will produce poor fertility progeny...that is, if they reproduce at all. I see fertility as a function of the endocrine system. I don't believe that two animals with weak endocrine systems will produce an animals with a superior endocrine system...but, I've never tried.
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Tom D
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Join date : 2010-09-25
Age : 38
Location : Michigan

PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:37 pm

RobertMac wrote:

For clarity, I should give my definition of a superior commercial cow...a cow that lives her life on pasture, raises a good calf, and breeds back every year without extra help.

Shouldn't that be the definition of an average commercial cow? Is there such a thing as a "Superior" commercial cow. Has average become unique and has ordinary become extraordinary?
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MKeeney
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Posts : 4624
Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:09 am

here you go RMac...a simple solution to more than just fertility...everything in fact

REGISTERED BUSINESS...OUR MISSION is clear:
To provide breeding stock to our customers that will increase their profitability!  We demand that our cowherd calve in a 42 day calving season without exception.  This one management strategy dictates that our cowherd become highly UNIFORM, FERTILE & FUNCTIONAL!   All these factors allow for our customers to add significant VALUE to their programs!

Our commitment of a 42 day calving season drives all the breeding and management decisions that we make here .  Our “cowherd” must be impeccably fertile, perfectly sound structured and have an incomparable ability to convert forage into growing a big calf and maintaining their own body condition to a level to survive the sometimes brutal Montana winters.  These are the factors that allow our clients to achieve that “Added Value” that makes them come back year after year!

Wonder what drives January calving?
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RobertMac



Posts : 377
Join date : 2010-09-28
Location : Mississippi, USA

PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:49 am

You're right, Tom, where I went wrong was believing too many of the ads like Mike posted. I bought registered cattle that were touted as superior to average commercial cattle and ended up with a 60% calving rate and lower weaning weights when the registered cattle were treated like commercial cattle.(side by side in the same herd)
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MKeeney
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Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Kiss of Death! Damn!   Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:00 pm

1) All the useful genetic variation your breed will ever have was in the dogs that founded the breed. This genetic diversity is finite.

All the useful genetic variation your breed will ever need was in the dogs that founded the breed...the purpose of a breed is finite.
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