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  Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience

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Mean Spirit



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:58 am

Regarding the health claims for grassfed beef and whether Bob's cattle have the right levels of CLA or whatever, we probably should remember that large numbers of actual scientists think that's all crap.  So make the claims, don't make the claims-- the science on any substantial health benefit for anyone beyond the ruminant itself due to feeding fresh grass is far less settled than the science regarding anthropogenic climate change.  

Mike, I can't think of a reason changing which parent is F1 in an F1 X third breed purebred cross would change the amount of uniformity in the product.

And I'm with Mike- most grassfed beef I've ever had is pretty unpalatable. Not saying it can't be done well, or isn't done well by some. But it is definitely not done well by many.
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MVCatt



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:49 pm

MKeeney wrote:
mvcatt wrote:
I'm with MK I love these type of bulls. I'm sure Bob's F1's are very productive and it seems like they give him the end product he desires. A question for some on here who have had more late nighters with Larry than I. Did he visualize a F1 cow in a Truline system? Or did he believe you could get it done with a line cross within ones own herd?

ignoring the mis-placed heterosis, would the progeny variation be any different using crossbred f1 bulls on purebred cows?

I agree with MS on the progeny variation. If the goal is less variation would you be better off with a two breed system? Does the added heterosis with the F1 maternal offset the increased variation (possible problems)? Did LL question some of MARC's studies based on the type of cattle they used? I'm definitely not against crossbreeding (I'd take a whole herd of Bob's F1's). Just bringing up questions for more discussion.
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Bob H



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:37 pm

Mike I do not think that it would make any difference in the offspring other than the percentage of the end product would change to what ever the largest percent of influence. But I would think that an f1 char angus bull on an akaushi cow would make the same end product to eat, the problem would be that I do not think that she would be as efficient as a brood cow.

The discussions that Larry and I had about MARC was that the did not use lines of cattle. They were already using cross bred cattle  they just called them Angus or some other breed  as they were not true parent stock that had been proven for three generations.  With this line of thought it became vary easy to see how their results came into being. They compared cross bred cattle to cross bred cattle and they were similar, I will be darned.

About uniformity in my mind we will have good uniformity with more carcass weight. The mothers are all f1 cross with Leonhardt mothers and Eaton fathers, the fathers are all Heartbrand  Akaushi. If we were to cross any more the uniformity would be out the window, as it could revert to any parent.

I believe that the success of our cattle breeding is because Larry Leonhardt studied genetics and understood that you had to have true parent lines to be successful at cross breeding cattle and understood the limitations that are set by mathematics in over crossing.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:12 am

do we really believe we limit phenotypic range of variation of quantitative traits {yearling weight etc} to an economic threshold by using closer bred animals?
I never did; still don`t...

I do believe closer bred animals are more predictable as parent stock...

are these statements contradictory?
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Mean Spirit



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:10 am

MKeeney wrote:
do we really believe we limit phenotypic range of variation of quantitative traits {yearling weight etc} to an economic threshold by using closer bred animals?
I never did; still don`t...

I do believe closer bred animals are more predictable as parent stock...

are these statements contradictory?

Well, the statements aren't necessarily contradictory, to the extent you are talking about qualitative traits being more predictable.

But I hope using closer bred animals of similar quantitative phenotype (like mature size) will result in a more limited range of variation in mature size. I know the bell curve will always have tails on both ends, but I hope the middle is more squished up.

Mike, I guess you probably think the curve is just shifted by selection, and not really squished up.

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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:11 am

mean spirit wrote:
Mike, I guess you probably think the curve is just shifted by selection, and not really squished up.

pretty much...I suppose "economic threshold" is a key phrase in my hypothesis ... I don`t get the disappointing "ends of the bell curve" much anymore in a set of replacement females, but I think that`s more of a reflection of having the center about right than it is intensely bred parent stock...
throw back to the old "fire and ice" study that Larry and I could never come to full agreement on...
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Breeding for type (within a herd of closely related individuals) is the most likely pre-cursor to predictability - in our experience - has to be multi generational selection though - cannot wake up one morning and say "oh I know what type I am after" and expect it to happen - at least 6 - 7 generation before you are even getting close to a theme - ours is at least 20 and probably more like 50 as our type not that different to Kevin's fathers.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:16 pm

I`m not so sure of the multi-generational aspect...closer bred individuals like sire dau matings should create more homozygousity far quicker than type to type would be likely too...
does NZ require whole herd reporting of perf data? anything less is half-assed imo...
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:28 pm

is type a mere result of trait selection...how many genes control milk Question how do the genes create the type that always follows more milk etc ? linkage?
is selection for more across several generations not changed type? are the Mt Mabel cattle not heavier than 5 generations ago? how can you change that without related consequences...one of which would be

predictability?
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:58 am

it`s been a while...always good for a re-read with the multi-generation pre-potency rehash...

http://www.angusjournal.com/ArticlePDF/1194_FireandIce.pdf
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:10 pm

MKeeney wrote:
is type a mere result of trait selection...how many genes control milk Question how do the genes create the type that always follows more milk etc ? linkage?
is selection for more across several generations not changed type? are the Mt Mabel cattle not heavier than 5 generations ago? how can you change that without related consequences...one of which would be

predictability?

The average weights of our bulls as at sale time which has been the second Monday in June for the last 8 years and before that the last Friday in May for 23 years - don't have records before 1997 without doing a massive research project but the average weight for the sale bulls has stayed at a constant average of between 760 - 780 kg over 24 - 50 bulls catalogued. The weight fluctuations has been more to do with climatic and feed conditions than changes to animal type. Our aim is not to have them bigger or heavier every year - our aim is to have them well fleshed, moderately framed and constant. One of our best sale results was on bulls with one of the lowest average weights.

In answer to your earlier question the recording in NZ would be as haphazard as in the US - we get stars awarded for completeness of recording - we have 5 (which is maximum) and just about all of our animals have data recorded for everything required up to 200 days and then 70 or more % for the rest of all the animals for all the traits at all the age stages. Some of the oldest most consistent herds in NZ have the least stars - day to day operations are much more interesting to them than ticking boxes at the right time.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:22 pm

good info Megan...two points interest me; from your info I create an extrapolation you may wish to refute any or all parts Smile ... kinda backs up some of my theories...you select "balance" bulls to use that I assume are most likely 100 ratio at yearling or more...and yet yw doesn`t increase at the top {let`s call that the Wye syndrome}...Wye`s selection for the more extremes of yw became very disruptive to maternal and to predictability...
I would also guess the range of variation in yw in the herd has decreased; the effect of those generations of culling or bringing up the bottom of the variation closer to the mid point...but while the herd variation has decreased , the range of variation any individual bull from your program would sire has not changed significantly...
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larkota



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:44 pm

MKeeney wrote:
good info Megan...two points interest me; from your info I create an extrapolation you may wish to refute any or all parts  Smile ... kinda backs up some of my theories...you select "balance" bulls to use that  I assume are most likely 100 ratio at yearling or more...and yet yw doesn`t increase at the top {let`s call that the Wye syndrome}...Wye`s selection for the more extremes of yw became very disruptive to maternal and to predictability...
I would also guess the range of variation in yw in the herd has decreased; the effect of those generations of culling or bringing up the bottom of the variation closer to the mid point...but while the herd variation has decreased , the range of variation any individual bull from your program would sire has not changed significantly...
 

so why would one be worth any more then another to a buyer?
 
Megan if average weight for the sale bulls has stayed at a constant average of between 760 - 780 kg over 24 - 50 bulls catalogued and you have at least 20 and probably more like 50 generations as our type not that different to Kevin's fathers.
why the need for 5 Stars?

Bull Buying is Changing
http://www.cattlenetwork.com/news/markets/beeftalk-expanding-genetics-and-electronic-bull-buying
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:00 am

Gidday - been out and about looking for a new patch of dirt today.  Very promising - going back tomorrow for another look.

Mike we are looking for average rather than exceptional on their numbers, when selecting sires to import, but also insist of breeders providing the actual weights for the whole catalogue from which we are making a selection - very few do - apparently actual data of one animal's growth against all the rest in their mob is not as meaningful as numbers computed and averaged, over much, or not so much as the case may be, data inputted, which may or may not be accurate, incomplete or just down right rubbish.  YW is just one of the traits we are looking at and of course while YW is relevant if they grow like stink to YW and then stop they are about as useful to us as tits on a bull as we sell r2 year olds - 600 day and sale day weight in comparison to their brothers is much more relevant to us - and when I say that - we are watching for the ones that do not grow to the average, to exclude them from our selection, rather than the ones that grow excessively above average - which we also exclude.

Larkota - that is the million dollar question - I guess we could have them in the paddock and say the price is $X but we have a set of committed and loyal buyers who all want the same cow lines etc and are used to getting the bull they want at they price they set - if we sold one bull to one buyer in the paddock and then the next day another of our clients came and said "that is the bull I want" it would be easy for offence to be given and taken - put all the buyers in the same place, put all the bulls in front of them and they can decide how much one bull is worth to them as opposed to another - our auctions are low key and convivial with just about all of the crowd knowing who everyone else is and how much they are prepared to pay for a bull - they can decide whether they want that bull that much that they will take someone else on over it.  We do not have phone bidding and very rarely will an agent have a buying order (usually for lower value bulls - useful to kick of the bidding but they do not add to the buoyancy of the sale) - generally everyone is bidding for themselves and they can see those that they are bidding against.

NZ's internet and cell phone coverage in the rural heartland is so rubbish it will be years before the on farm sales change to on line or electronic - because of dreadful coverage older farmers are very poor up takers of new technology - not because they are not clever enough but because they are busy and the first time the revolving wheel on their computer screen kept going and going and took ages or didn't find them that tractor they were wanting to look at they would give up in disgust and that would be the end of it.  I imagine that by the time the on farm sale system is redundant so we will be too Wink

We don't want the stars - think it is a cheap way to divide and conquer those who would criticise the number breeding systems - our Assn came up with it so they could say publicly "see those breeders don't like the system because they are poor recorders and that is why they have dreadful figures" - the funny part is that we have been some of the loudest critics, and those that would criticise us were horrified (I mean horrified - enough for one of them to comment quite rudely to me at his absolute astonishment!) when the crunching was completed and we ended up with 5 stars - we of course think it is a huge joke Smile By using the "Completeness of recording star system" our Assn at the time declared that the attainment of figures was much more important to them and their ilk than the breeding of cattle by those who had been doing it for years with results to prove their ability.  Fortunately there has been a change in council since then and it is not being promoted to the same extent - it was a tool of sabotage and wielded ruthlessly by some.

Sorry to hijack your thread Bob - have enjoyed reading your posts
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:41 am

we never steal threads or change ideas; just a mere detour of location from Idaho to NZ... study

Megan, what was the highest-lowest weight bulls catalogued last year? and their price if the info is handy?
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:24 am

MK wrote:
but while the herd variation has decreased , the range of variation any individual bull from your program would sire has not changed significantly...
Curious, why is there concern over the individual rather than the population? Just buy one and go.

BL wrote:
so why would one be worth any more then another to a buyer?

Free enterprise. Why does anyone need more than a basic truck: 4 wheels, seat, steering wheel, brake petal, ... But trucks come in a huge price range because of extra gizmos and chrome. Do we disdain every other industry as much because buyers are willing to pay for what they perceive as better? Most sports: you can see more and better at home on the TV yet seats at the events are out of sight on prices and hotels jack up their prices for the big day. Do we boycott because we know better?
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:01 pm

Pinned on the wall next to me with all the buyers phone numbers for calling after preg scanning - as we do every year. The phone has not rung yet and all the bulls would have been out working for at least one cycle by now in the commercial world so as far as we are concerned silence is golden ....... again this year.

Okay top price bull this year was $14,000 - he weighed 868 kg and was 20kg heavier than the rest of the bulls - another stud who love big bulls bought him - he was a little big for our taste and we would not have used him ourselves. There were 11 bulls sold for $4,000 to $3,700. Their weights ranged from 622 to 710 kg - 622 being the $3,700 bull. Another at 650 kg sold for $3,750. The lighter weight bulls were mostly sired by the same bull and the buying public shied off them for the obvious lower growth rates than their peers - it has been a common theme with the bull but he was a safe heifer bull so we continued to use him. At $3,700 the bulls were sold at the knock down price - ie one bid only.
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Bob H



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:28 am

Megan I agree with Mike this is good to have discussion going that Is about breeding cattle no mater the thread. I understand why you have an auction, and why people pay more for one than the other. My question is what does it end up doing to your cow herd in the long run using outside genetics. The outlier that was heavy and brought more in my opinion was just a hybred like American Pharo the race colt. His parents will have an easier time reproducing him than he ever will.
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Bob H



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:16 am

I am going to skip back to Howard ranch and our philosophy about selling seed stock. The reason that I went to Larry Leonhardt place the first time was my inability to buy genetics that worked in our environment under our conditions. I truly thought that I was the worst manager in the world as I could not get the Bulls that I purchased at auction for a lot of money to reproduce females that we could keep for very long.
After several long smoke filled visits it became clear to me that I was not the worst manager in the world, but was purchasing Seed stock that I was unwilling to support with my management.

Today I believe that you can purchase seed stock where ever you want if the person you are buying from is honest and you are willing to duplicate their management and spending habits on cattle. If you are not then you must be willing to live with the percentages that occur under your management. and spending habits.
Or you can find a Seed stock breeder with the same philosophy and same or harsher environment that will raise cattle and will keep you in business it is always your choice.
I am not saying this to argue with any one but to state to anyone that is frustrated with what they are doing, what we found by using true line cattle, we have stayed in business while a lot of the folks we started out with have gone.

Bob H
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:30 pm

Howard Ranch Beef can be what`s  for dinner? looks nice Bob; add your comments..mk

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Bob H



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:33 am



By my wonderful wife's design we were picking up some product to take to a store group on Wednesday and Pam snapped this photo.

The 4 center rows are our half Akausthi true line cross beef. I think that pictures say a thousand words. This kill was in late Dec.  Bob H
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:51 am

Bob H wrote:


By my wonderful wife's design we were picking up some product to take to a store group on Wednesday and Pam snapped this photo.

The 4 center rows are our half Akausthi true line cross beef. I think that pictures say a thousand words. This kill was in late Dec.  Bob H


So Bob how much of a premium are these prices over regular beef in similar stores? I had looked at the Heartbrand website and see their prices seem to be twice what yours is advertised for. Assuming that is a premium for 100% Akaushi?
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Bob H



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:58 pm

I am not for sure about Heartbrand and what product you were looking at. The have about 3 or 4 from high choice to prime 4 or above.

We sell this product to theses stores on whole hot carcass weight, today they are 1.60 to 1.80 over the hot carcass grain fed price.
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LCP



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:09 am

Bob H wrote:


By my wonderful wife's design we were picking up some product to take to a store group on Wednesday and Pam snapped this photo.

The 4 center rows are our half Akausthi true line cross beef. I think that pictures say a thousand words. This kill was in late Dec.  Bob H

Bob, is that a "Level 4" sticker on the placard? Is that a GAP certification? If so, what's your opinion on that verification process? I've looked into it a little but don't know where I can get a premium at by doing it.
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Mean Spirit



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PostSubject: Re: Update from Howard ranch on our true line experience   Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:29 am

It looks really tasty.
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