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 The Near Perfect Cow

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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 7:14 am

from the other end of the paddock...whoa, here, "pastar" , just up from the "baccer patch" I meant, surely my  hillbilly language is not being compromised  with all these NZ PICS Smile 





included with Megan`s pics is this descriptive note

You can see the moon is pretty close to the top of the big hill.  This is the hill in the last photo you posted that the cows are walking around.  It peaks at 800 metres above sea level so NZ’s altitudes are nothing compared to the States but they generally go vertically!


some obviously  think the near perfect cow must have carcass attributes...

http://farmsmartconference.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/52elite_herd_gardiner.pdf

I believe the near perfect cow would need to be bred to a terminal bull to produce a near perfect steer...but judging from the above article, I`m not so sure the right terminal is being created...is outside fat a desirable characteristic of terminal genetics?
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 8:36 am

I couldn't get the link to open so I'll ask blindly: too much outside fat have anything with not harvesting soon enough?

The pictures are amazing. I feel like I have been on a vacation.
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 9:53 am

To paraphrase that great philosopher...

Perfect is as perfect does.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 10:20 am

pukerimu, your NZ pictures remind me of this one I took in Scotland years ago on a Luing breed tour. Cows for a similar purpose - 100 head on a 28,000 acre place to chew down the rough junky grasses and keep it in better shape for the 6000 ewes. This was August so the peak grass conditions these cows would ever see. Bonsma's "raw, windy" environment.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 2:34 pm

[url=]  [/url]

Smallest yearling bull of group.  Will be a lower BW type if I guess right.  But any of these would suit me if I needed a bull to put in a group. All four yearlings are paternal half brothers. Inbred bull is not.


[url=]  [/url]

Biggest yearling bull of group.  Outlier?  Maybe but will sire more pounds.  All have been slow to shed this spring. They had better get it off soon with the temps going up.  But it has not hurt gains.

[url=]  [/url]

Will not impress others but will get use here next year due to his dam.

[url=] [/url]

Full brother/full sister mating.  He finally looks good enough to take a picture at 2 to 3 YO.  Excellent calving ease for heifers with a few calves in this year's crop.  Long term value?  Maybe, but will be based on calves and not just the parents or the look.  Maternal half brother to 800.  Another bull that is close kin but not as inbred is out with a group.

[url=]  [/url]
Megan, about as much panorama as I can get.  Strips of switchgrass and fescue/clover from past days when we grew hay.  Guard donkeys in the distance.  And yes, it is hard to get a picture in our area where there are not powerlines in the view.  If I get back to the home place towards evening I can get a sunset picture with more distance that I like but nothing to compare to NZ "hills"!
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76 Bar



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 2:54 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed the pics of Megan's environment as well as Grassfarmer's pic of the Luing's in Scotland. Dead ringer for my environment sans the wondrous and much envied level ground where the Luing's were depicted. Thank god for surefooted horses and talented dogs.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 5:03 pm

Thanks for the interest and the photos - that is really pretty Eddie - we tried a donkey a few years ago to try to moderate fighting (2 year old bulls!!!) - all he did was get obese and chase the dogs - he went home.

The cows here do the cleaning up for ewes too. They will stay in that paddock until mid July now and come out for calving - cleaning up the roughage and opening up the pasture for spring growth. There is virtually no growth between now (usually - has gone really cold, windy and wet now but we actually had an autumn flush here - first in 6 years!) and October. The mixed age ewes will be set stocked back into there for lambing in late September with which the grass growth should coincide (fingers crossed - we stagger our lambing with older ewes lambing to terminal sires - black faced meat breeds - from mid September, mixed age and two four tooth ewes lambing to Perendale / Romney replacements in October and the hoggets also lambing to black face in late October / November) Spring storms in NZ can be ferocious and we can get snow here until the end of October. I will send a pic of what the paddock will look like when the cows come out - it was taken last year in July.

Good dogs are a must here too but those hills pictured are too steep for horses - I use a horse on the rolling country but unless you stay on the tracks a horse would have trouble going on that hill (the back of the big hill is worse) where the sheep, especially, go - hard enough on two legs actually and sometimes it is climbing grabbing onto grass as I go. The wind makes it especially hazardous - four wheeler gets us to near where we want to be on the tracks and then we leg it for the rest. I lost my big strong and although a little stupid sure footed horse last year and am not all that happy with the replacement - he has spindly legs and they seem to go in all directions - feel safest on my own two legs most of the time.

Do not be fooled into thinking that all stud cattle are run under these conditions in NZ - the breeders that do have their cattle performing under commercial hill country environments are the loudest voices of dissent about paint by number breeding and the resulting "perfect" animals - as you would expect those that do not subject their cattle to these conditions are biggest proponents of high figured, large indexed animals as being the breeding ideal ................ yeah right! We are over it now and just breed what we want to but I do tell anyone who cares to read the foreword of our catalogue why we do not breed for figures and why we dare to not even publish indexes - we have made our position clear enough I think.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 5:06 pm

Can you please explain what a Luing cattle beast is - I am not familiar with them - although I have seen them being discussed here - are they from Scotland originally or Europe with a name like that?
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 8:16 pm

the vacation continues... Very Happy is this the back of the big hill?



are these "near perfect"?  Very Happy 



a Rod Ross Airedale?  Surprised 



I though NZ was the origin of high tensile fencing? Is this the fence that was? does it ever snow up there?



awww..perspective...



nice to take a vacation and never leave the corner  Very Happy I have been sending these pics to my daughter; a non cow person...mentioned a NZ trip; and she said if I would buy the plane tickets; she would buy the snacks  Idea
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 8:51 pm

The last pic is the back of the big hill - all the others are the front again - this is what it and the cows will look like in July this year - some are pretty close to calving in those photos.

Those cows a pretty perfect - they found the gate anyway  Very Happy 

The dog is a NZ Huntaway which vary in shape and size. Jim is a moderate sized huntaway. They are usually black and tan, sometimes beardie type. There are strains of big black dogs and brindle in the tan can be seen also. Any with any amount of white on them usually contain Heading dog (smooth collie type) and are usually referred to as Handy dogs as they will both head and hunt. Jim is brainy and we rely on him a little too much - we have three huntaways - Jim, Wag aka stroke dog - he will give Kevin one someday (more black than tan has a huge bark but only has one speed - flat knacker!) Roo - aka Turner as in turns food into you know what ...... who was bought in an emergency when Wag hung himself on a gate and did his cruciate ligament - big mistake - kennel barking, backside sniffing, peeing menace - really dislike that dog!, and Sarge a youngster - he is looking very promising to take over from Jim - he is steady, has brains and really hates being told off.

Once apon a time (maybe 50 years ago) those fences were high tensile well strained fences - since then the wind damaged, staples fell out, wires broke and then as we discussed Mike some noddy made them into deer fences - these a good ones where full height deer netting has been placed with some new posts - in other places the top ups are connected to posts that are not even in the ground - rather stapled onto the existing posts which may or may not be in the ground. We have a big job ahead of us!!

Yes we get snow about 4 - 5 times down around the house in an average year. The snow does not hang around here but the top of the big hill can be coated for weeks. If it settles at the house then there will be twice as much on the high country.

You know where the airport is Mike  Very Happy 
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Sat May 24, 2014 10:21 pm

pukerimu wrote:
Can you please explain what a Luing cattle beast is - I am not familiar with them - although I have seen them being discussed here - are they from Scotland originally or Europe with a name like that?

They are a breed developed from a 5/8 beef shorthorn and 3/8 highland base, by the Cadzow family who own the island of Luing off the west coast of Scotland. Started in the 1940s and have been recognized as a breed in their own right since 1965. The Cadzow vision was to create a breed like no other - one that's focus was to be purely commercial as they were frustrated as commercial cattlemen that the pure bred cattle of the day had lost their way by following the "fads and fashions" of the show ring. Some of us try to keep the original vision alive while others want to put them on the show circuit and are breeding them for that purpose Rolling Eyes 
I likely have the biggest herd of them outside Scotland (www.luingcattle.com) although there are herds in several other European countries as well as Australia (Tasmania) and a few in NZ. Roger James from Benmore Station (now a leading Limo breeder I see) was the first herd and biggest in NZ in the early 70s. Breeders that I know of in NZ now are Dwight Gray, Te Anau, Southland, Dan Love, Omakau, Central Otago, Mr & Mrs J. Thom, Waikouaiti and Daniel Wheeler Kaiapoi who was an occasional poster on here a while back.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Mon May 26, 2014 12:42 am

I looked them up in NZ - they are classified a rare breed - there were no direct links to the breeders you mentioned but I did not go looking - would they be considered a rare breed in Canada also?  I am guessing you sell bulls to farmers who are looking for maximum hardiness?  Making assumptions here.  How do they do as a meat breed?  I am interested - Kevin looked at the picture and picked the shorthorn influence immediately.  Interesting that they are polled in light of the very hornedness of the Highland - hard to miss those babies!  Do you have horns or scurs crop up?

Freezing here today - got caught out the back in a severe hail storm - was snowing on higher hills - lulled into false sense of security by our Indian summer - was waterproof but not enough layers - closest to hypothermia that I have ever been I think - NZ high country is notorious of catching people out - weather can change dramatically in a blink. Our snow does not just start - we generally have days of rain and sleet making sure everything is completely drenched and miserable before snowing on top.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Mon May 26, 2014 8:23 am

pukerimu wrote:
I looked them up in NZ - they are classified a rare breed - there were no direct links to the breeders you mentioned but I did not go looking - would they be considered a rare breed in Canada also?  I am guessing you sell bulls to farmers who are looking for maximum hardiness?  Making assumptions here.  How do they do as a meat breed?  I am interested - Kevin looked at the picture and picked the shorthorn influence immediately.  Interesting that they are polled in light of the very hornedness of the Highland - hard to miss those babies!  Do you have horns or scurs crop up?

Freezing here today - got caught out the back in a severe hail storm - was snowing on higher hills - lulled into false sense of security by our Indian summer - was waterproof but not enough layers - closest to hypothermia that I have ever been I think - NZ high country is notorious of catching people out - weather can change dramatically in a blink.  Our snow does not just start - we generally have days of rain and sleet making sure everything is completely drenched and miserable before snowing on top.

Once you thaw out: where do the cows and sheep drink? Are there springs, streams or other water on the hillsides or do you have to pipe it in? Sorry to hear of the close call.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Mon May 26, 2014 3:14 pm

Reticulated water to troughs - pumped from a well on front flat country, reticulated water to troughs gravity fed from dams (ponds) on the back flat country and a variety of natural streams, springs and dams on the rest - NZ is a lucky country with regard to the water - although the fact it rains so much does not hurt either - unless you happen to be out in it  Wink 
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Tue May 27, 2014 12:29 am

pukerimu wrote:
I looked them up in NZ - they are classified a rare breed - there were no direct links to the breeders you mentioned but I did not go looking - would they be considered a rare breed in Canada also?  I am guessing you sell bulls to farmers who are looking for maximum hardiness?  Making assumptions here.  How do they do as a meat breed?  I am interested - Kevin looked at the picture and picked the shorthorn influence immediately.  Interesting that they are polled in light of the very hornedness of the Highland - hard to miss those babies!  Do you have horns or scurs crop up?

There aren't a lot of them in Canada, that's for sure but we have considerably more than they do in NZ. Apparently you can't classify things as "rare breed" in Canada unless they have been here for x number of years. That's fine by me as going on registration statistics we've increased about 10 fold in a decade.
Not sure buyers come to us for what I perceive to be the "right" reasons. Some look for the hardiness, lots of guys that push their cows too hard in winter in my opinion want their toughness and foraging ability. Quite a lot of guys want bulls for use on heifers as the breed is generally bomb proof in that respect. At the moment we are probably getting more demand from small scale producers and direct markers of "grass-fed" beef than anything else. My selection focus is on concentrating maternal function and I let the rest fall where it will. Personally don't think they can be beaten for meat quality on our type of grass fattening program but others would have different opinions.

Horns are an issue, we get @95% polled calves each year but they are only heterozygous polled so depending what a bull customer does with them he may get horned calves. Large number of the pure male calves have tiny scurrs, a few have big, old Shorthorn scurrs. The polled gene in Canada was introduced through the "Snowlander" strain of cattle - similar to Luings these were developed from a Highland and Shorthorn base but the original bull in this case was a homozygous polled "dual purpose" Shorthorn bull. Not quite sure how that worked so well but it seems to have done the trick. We are way ahead of Scotland in polled Luing terms but I hear they are covertly using Red Angus, I mean some "carefully selected naturally occurring polled Luing animals" to poll the breed there;)
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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Tue May 27, 2014 7:06 am



for the acs search, all three cows are tanks...baby bear tank, mama bear tank, and papa bear tank...the registered crowd has always preferred a tank to a cow...


Last edited by MKeeney on Tue May 27, 2014 7:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Tue May 27, 2014 7:19 am

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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Tue May 27, 2014 3:31 pm

The near perfect cow for me is one born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama.
Her sire would be a bull born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama's sire.
I'll find her with a new, nursing calf as a two year old and every year after that...just like her mama.
She will bring that calf to the weaning pen ever year...just like her mama.

Everything else will take care of itself.
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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Tue May 27, 2014 8:04 pm

RobertMac wrote:
The near perfect cow for me is one born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama.
Her sire would be a bull born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama's sire.
I'll find her with a new, nursing calf as a two year old and every year after that...just like her mama.
She will bring that calf to the weaning pen ever year...just like her mama.

Everything else will take care of itself.

what criteria do you select a yearling heifer on Robert? or keep them all??...Lingle said goodness had a pattern...do you see a pattern in the cows that meet your above criteria?
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Tue May 27, 2014 9:05 pm

RobertMac wrote:
The near perfect cow for me is one born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama.
Her sire would be a bull born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama's sire.
I'll find her with a new, nursing calf as a two year old and every year after that...just like her mama.
She will bring that calf to the weaning pen ever year...just like her mama.

Everything else will take care of itself.

I, too, prefer all home raised. It gives a sense of accomplishment. But what if some outside genetics are better than what you have for the desired females? Most closed lines will crash and burn, won't they? The unexpected or the unseen will concentrate. Isn't that why there are so few success stories of closed herds besides poor management and unreasonable selection?
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Wed May 28, 2014 3:02 pm

MKeeney wrote:
RobertMac wrote:
The near perfect cow for me is one born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama.
Her sire would be a bull born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama's sire.
I'll find her with a new, nursing calf as a two year old and every year after that...just like her mama.
She will bring that calf to the weaning pen ever year...just like her mama.

Everything else will take care of itself.

what criteria do you select a yearling heifer on Robert? or keep them all??...Lingle said goodness had a pattern...do you see a pattern in the cows that meet your above criteria?

criteria is funtional traits within my environment
My heifers and young cows are starting to look alike, but I could answer that question better in about 10 more years.


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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Wed May 28, 2014 3:13 pm

EddieM wrote:
RobertMac wrote:
The near perfect cow for me is one born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama.
Her sire would be a bull born and raised in my pastures...just like her mama's sire.
I'll find her with a new, nursing calf as a two year old and every year after that...just like her mama.
She will bring that calf to the weaning pen ever year...just like her mama.

Everything else will take care of itself.

I, too, prefer all home raised.  It gives a sense of accomplishment. I believe that home raised, closed herd is the best way to achieve accomplishments.

But what if some outside genetics are better than what you have for the desired females?  Gather the outside genetics in the beginning. Then when you are satisfied with the base genetics, close the herd and select for functional traits.

Most closed lines will crash and burn, won't they? Why?  

The unexpected or the unseen will concentrate.  Isn't that the purpose of closed herd linebreeding? To expose the problems and get rid of them.

Isn't that why there are so few success stories of closed herds besides poor management and unreasonable selection? I would say wrong management and wrong selection.  
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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Wed May 28, 2014 8:46 pm

but isn`t the function to produce a product? an selection for the characteristics of that product creates certain types...or the intermediates thereof ?



the muscle of the limmy with the marbling of the wag...the milk of a Holstein combined with "flesh"...do we need a 100 ever changing breeds or just 4 basic types?
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Wed May 28, 2014 9:40 pm

I even wonder if we need 4 types. What do you do with the fat cow, fry a lot of French fries? Which of those 4 contain the functional maternal line?
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: The Near Perfect Cow   Thu May 29, 2014 5:46 am

Not sure about merits of those pictured but they are hurting my eyes - please make it stop  Shocked Shocked 
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