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 Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?

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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:44 pm

So how does that work in the fall Eddie? I know in the spring the one that sheds the earliest is usually reckoned to be the most adapted. Is the one that hairs up first in the fall deemed to be the best adapted too and does the same animal ever win both these accolades in one year?

Also I submit a cow for your (or anyone else's) Bonsma inspection or comments. Just curious how others see this cow. No big story or anything remarkable about her - just a cow.

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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:30 am

Hair in fall? Need enough to not freeze to death in the winter.  About all I know.  I can influence the rate of shedding a bit: mineral quality, supplemental feed, diluted fescue, ...  And I will look a little closer but really will stick to letting the function of the cows tell me if things are working.

Your cow?  As compared to what and where?  Probably best to stick to compared to cattle in your herd.  Overall end game: is she dependably fertile and productive?  Bonsma was more complex in his efforts than I wanted to believe and he had different limits and checks and balances.  The model cow, I believe, was his beloved dairy type, and secondly, my opinion, he learned to like the Hereford cow.  Those two seemed to make his day.

So, how much does this cow resemble a dairy cow?  Maybe a little too much on muscle, good on bone indicators, jaw heavy or not?, I don't know.  Don't see excess fat deposits, hide and hair look fine.  That is where I thought Dr. Bonsma stopped but that was the first step.  He believed in performance testing.  So you take a herd of ideal animals (females) by phenotypic selection, use performance testing on their calves or potential herd bull candidates and seek to boost production.  If the best of bulls in the performance test that meets the eye test is chosen, in comes the bull(s).  Inbreeding was not desired so this was acceptable.  But then we are back to next fall or whenever and sorting by the eye for traits and hoping to see more performance in the new set of calves.

We are increasing or holding to a lot of stuff: type (hopefully), early skeletal maturity, function, fertility and performance.  This is difficult in my opinion.

The lack of linebreeding or even the allowance of crossbreeding sets up the gene blender and puts the next generation in the mixing bowl after a puree session.  Blend, visualize, sort, sort, sort, outcross, blend, visualize, sort, sort, sort, ...

Larry decided to breed into the type rather than keep trying to buy it back in.  He learned this, it seems, in the writing we have from him as he trialed so much to get to the end game of Tru-line.  I will tell you the view from my small world: I admire Larry as much if not more for the work he did and the cost he incurred to try, learn, buy, sell, cull, ... as I do with his final place of a closed herd that pleased him for the good that it could do.  Dedication is easy in success.  It is the mark of character when it pushes us over failures to seek a greater good and to try again.

I was a early student of mainframe computers.  There was an old programming tool called a "do loop".  It asked a question and would either cause the program to compare the input and then chose to do or not do.  It was a selective type step.  It worked great if you did it right.  But if you were "eat up with the dumbs", half asleep, didn't focus or whatever your ailment at the time, it would get the program hung up and the same "do loop" question would go over and over and over again like a scratched record.  Finally the computer had some limit and kicked your program out and told you that you had a fatal error.

I talk in "do loops".  I finally get back to the same thing I started off discussing.  If we do like the Bonsma eye work, if we do know that his original cow image was a dairy type, if we chose inbreeding or a closed population rather than outcrossing, if we neglect the performance testing because that is "terminal", "carcass traits", "performance", or "paternal", ... what will we see as results?  

I am fully open to personal criticism and constructive critique on all of this.  But I will tell an opinion and a personal situation.  If I do not look at the market, the bull buyers, the means to economic return I am a mere dreamer.  I have no scale, fame, power of leverage.  I am a little fish in a big pond.  

I really like the Bonsma visual selections and hope that I can use it to speed positive selections.  I don't know if I have the full ability or the right "stuff".  If I only use a view of the cow without a balanced interest in the performance, I tend to believe that the cows will in time become more "dairy-like", some might use the term "frail", and if they breed true in a closed line here (not a closed herd) then the bulls should more resemble a dairy-like bull.  I cannot go there.  Where does that leave me?  Outside of the bounds of Bonsma's "no inbreeding".  Outside of the mainstream "carcass is key".  Outside of a closed herd.  Outside!  I will select for bulls that have sales appeal while coming from functional cows.  I sound confused because I do not know the answers.  The old "do loop" thing again!  That is the best non-answer I can give you. Smile
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:59 am

Eddie just breed cows that make you happy and work under your management style and resources.
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Mean Spirit



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:09 am

PatB wrote:
Eddie just breed cows that make you happy and work under your management style and resources.

What about the genetic challenges? Shouldn't Eddie test for all of them, starting with his oldest cows and bulls? What does he do if cows with known genetic challenges happen to make him happy and work under his Management style and resources?

Obviously, I'm messing with you Pat.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:57 am

Grassfarmer wrote:
So how does that work in the fall Eddie? I know in the spring the one that sheds the earliest is usually reckoned to be the most adapted. Is the one that hairs up first in the fall deemed to be the best adapted too and does the same animal ever win both these accolades in one year?

Also I submit a cow for your (or anyone else's) Bonsma inspection or comments. Just curious how others see this cow. No big story or anything remarkable about her - just a cow.


suits me pretty well, in fact, more than that...
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:42 am

PatB wrote:
Eddie just breed cows that make you happy and work under your management style and resources.

Sounds so simple and unproven it almost sounds farao ish "Small is good and makes you happy in spite of the impoverished lifestyle it will yield for you at the salebarn." Surely at your lofty level of genetic search, push, testing, postings, submissions and study you can come up with a better motto than, "Don't worry, be happy". Shocked The question is: are you happy?

Eddie, born at night but not last night
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:02 am

EddieM wrote:
PatB wrote:
Eddie just breed cows that make you happy and work under your management style and resources.

Sounds so simple and unproven it almost sounds farao ish "Small is good and makes you happy in spite of the impoverished lifestyle it will yield for you at the salebarn."  Surely at your lofty level of genetic search, push, testing, postings, submissions and study you can come up with a better motto than, "Don't worry, be happy".  Shocked The question is: are you happy?

Eddie, born at night but not last night

The money I have spend on genetic testing has answered questions for me. Some of the bulls that I have used in the past left genetic challenges that cost me calves and aggravation trying to figure out why they died. The ability to identify and eliminate those challenges from my herd is worth the cost to me. SNP parentage identified several animals that had the wrong parentage recorded caused by several different reasons but explained why their offspring were not as expected. I am still in the process of tweeting the herd to work under my management style and resources and will use what tools that will help me with that goal. I am happy with the herd overall.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:08 am

Mean Spirit wrote:
PatB wrote:
Eddie just breed cows that make you happy and work under your management style and resources.

What about the genetic challenges?  Shouldn't Eddie test for all of them, starting with his oldest cows and bulls?  What does he do if cows with known genetic challenges happen to make him happy and work under his Management style and resources?

Obviously, I'm messing with you Pat.

If he is willing to put up with dead/deformed calves or cows that have extended calving periods or come up open due to embryonic loss then more power to him. That is assuming he uses bulls with the same genetic challenges.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:13 pm

PatB wrote:
.......I am still in the process of tweeting the herd to work under my management style and resources

Your cows tweet? wow, is there a test for that? Wink
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R V



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:58 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
So how does that work in the fall Eddie? I know in the spring the one that sheds the earliest is usually reckoned to be the most adapted. Is the one that hairs up first in the fall deemed to be the best adapted too and does the same animal ever win both these accolades in one year?

Also I submit a cow for your (or anyone else's) Bonsma inspection or comments. Just curious how others see this cow. No big story or anything remarkable about her - just a cow.


Of course, I don't know anything about the cow and like Mike said, she looks very adequate. The only trait that I recognize that Bonsma did not like, is the shoulder blades are below the level of the spine. It has been a couple of years since I read any of his work, so I don't remember all of the explanation, but it had to do with bone growth timing I believe and the average result was decreased fertility. As I recall, Bonsma felt the shoulder blades above the spine was a more hormonally balanced and fertile animal. Within my herd and since I have been trying to observe more, there does appear to be a correlation. Interestingly, the decrease in fertility may not show up until the next generation. I have lots more to learn, so I hope others will comment more.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:14 pm

Any cow who does what you want in your herd, under your management and without fuss for as many years as you want her too is a good cow in my opinion. I like the strong jaw on that cow - cows at pasture need a good jaw to ensure they maximise every mouthful. Not sure about the view on the shoulder blades though - thinking that if you kept breeding your cows with shoulder blades above the spine it would not take long for you to have a herd of short necked giraffe looking animals - if they did not all succumb in the birth canal that is ..................
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:07 pm

Thanks for the comments and I realise its difficult and perhaps unfair to ask you to judge on one photograph as it is merely "one moment in time" in a cow's life.
She is a cow that has done well for me on the face of it, 9 year old now, one of the few I've bought in. She has calved every year, had twins twice - reared both once, one the other time. She is a huge milker, remarkably so for a cow that carries so much flesh when she isn't milking. Has fairly high birth weights as she is a bigger, fatter cow (1500lb ish)and has weaned some huge bull calves, although the heifers have not been so extreme. She has always been a "heavy breather" literally panting on a hot day when nobody else is but as she has short, frostbitten ears I wonder if she didn't suffer some lung damage as a calf. That can happen here if it's so cold when they are born. I suppose her offspring would be touted by some as curve-benders as the early growth gives way to average middle of the road daughters and bulls. None of the offspring produce as much growth or milk as her. Maybe she is a bit of an anomaly - She's one that has surprised me as i've always been expecting her to drop out after having twins, milking so much or with the apparent lack of heat tolerance but thus far she has always bred back on time.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:31 am

pukerimu wrote:
Any cow who does what you want in your herd, under your management and without fuss for as many years as you want her too is a good cow in my opinion.  I like the strong jaw on that cow - cows at pasture need a good jaw to ensure they maximise every mouthful.  Not sure about the view on the shoulder blades though - thinking that if you kept breeding your cows with shoulder blades above the spine it would not take long for you to have a herd of short necked giraffe looking animals - if they did not all succumb in the birth canal that is ..................
You might enjoy reading and disagreeing with Bonsma lectures. Very Happy
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:39 pm

Bonsma observed and measured all his cattle, then when the functionally efficient were identified, the data was gone through to establish those traits that made them functionally efficient.
Bonsma thought the ideal cow weighed between 1200 to 1390 pounds.

I agree that it is unfair to judge by a picture. The picture of GF's cow is taken at an angle from the rear and her neck and body are turned slightly toward the right as indicated by the skin folds behind her shoulder and in her neck. In real life, I'd think she is very much a Bonsma type and I'd take a herd full of them...of course with less hair and more ear.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:42 pm

Been looking at the farm cats with the "Bonsma eye". All look fertile. Smile
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:08 pm

Wonder what Bonsma would make of this specimen? A 15 month old heifer that just sold in Scotland for $12,000 your money. Must be a good one - she was bought as a frozen embryo and sold before she was even bred.

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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:28 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
Wonder what Bonsma would make of this specimen? A 15 month old heifer that just sold in Scotland for $12,000 your money. Must be a good one - she was bought as a frozen embryo and sold before she was even bred.


I was wondering if they have genetic testing results so we can know if she is good or bad.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:48 pm

EddieM wrote:


I was wondering if they have genetic testing results so we can know if she is good or bad.

No I think they just go by looks, the traditional mainstream approach in Scotland. Extreme=great, Biggest=best, Biggest + most extreme=$$$$$$$$$.
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Mean Spirit



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:28 am

I was actually wondering if they had any testing to prove she was a she...
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:05 pm

Eddie, a sheep post for you - doesn't really belong here but doesn't merit a thread of it's own.



Some more record breakers from Scotland. Record price pen of 3 Blackface ewe lambs at a sale. In a sale where 5500 were sold (open consignment auction sale) these three were deemed to be worth $3890 each, the second highest priced trio brought $705 each and the sale average was $98 per head. Reason for the record high price? - their sire sold for $194,600. Quite the con game in this breed - there is no herd book, they are essentially all "commercial" stock and the value of the "good ones" is determined by looks and how much the sire sold for. All ancestry is word of mouth. Interesting in a maternal breed that show winners or high priced individuals are described as "son/daughter of a ****** (farm name) $50,000 ram and out of a ewe by a ****** $25,000 sire". Buyers of these record price ewe lambs have in the thousands of females already I wonder what the contribution of these 3 will be to the genetic pool?
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:10 am

Mean Spirit wrote:
I was actually wondering if they had any testing to prove she was a she...

My thoughts exactly ..................... affraid
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:41 am

Grassfarmer wrote:
Eddie, a sheep post for you - doesn't really belong here but doesn't merit a thread of it's own.



Some more record breakers from Scotland. Record price pen of 3 Blackface ewe lambs at a sale. In a sale where 5500 were sold (open consignment auction sale) these three were deemed to be worth $3890 each, the second highest priced trio brought $705 each and the sale average was $98 per head. Reason for the record high price? - their sire sold for $194,600. Quite the con game in this breed - there is no herd book, they are essentially all "commercial" stock and the value of the "good ones" is determined by looks and how much the sire sold for. All ancestry is word of mouth. Interesting in a maternal breed that show winners or high priced individuals are described as "son/daughter of a ****** (farm name) $50,000 ram and out of a ewe by a ****** $25,000 sire". Buyers of these record price ewe lambs have in the thousands of females already I wonder what the contribution of these 3 will be to the genetic pool?
I wonder what the contribution of these 3 will be to the genetic pool? Pay for more feed, down payment on a truck, a quick vacation, a trophy in the case, that warm and fuzzy feeling of success, ... It doesn't cost that much more to go first class.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:42 am

pukerimu wrote:
Mean Spirit wrote:
I was actually wondering if they had any testing to prove she was a she...

My thoughts exactly ..................... affraid
I'd cross her with a Longhorn and start a new breed. "The Lumpyhorn"
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:09 pm

EddieM wrote:

I wonder what the contribution of these 3 will be to the genetic pool? Pay for more feed, down payment on a truck, a quick vacation, a trophy in the case, that warm and fuzzy feeling of success, ...  It doesn't cost that much more to go first class.

I was thinking more of the genetic contribution to the buyer's gene pool rather than the sellers. The seller probably already has something to spend his sale proceeds on - a great ram costing $12,000 from the flock of the guy that bought the ewe lambs. Suspect Round and round it goes.........
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Bonsma - which parts do you let slide?   Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:43 am

Grassfarmer wrote:
EddieM wrote:

I wonder what the contribution of these 3 will be to the genetic pool? Pay for more feed, down payment on a truck, a quick vacation, a trophy in the case, that warm and fuzzy feeling of success, ...  It doesn't cost that much more to go first class.

I was thinking more of the genetic contribution to the buyer's gene pool rather than the sellers. The seller probably already has something to spend his sale proceeds on - a great ram costing $12,000 from the flock of the guy that bought the ewe lambs. Suspect Round and round it goes.........

You are confusing sales and genetics with future sale catalog pictures. Get a picture of "Big Dollar Bertha" or "High Cost Harry" as soon as you get home and put his/her picture in the next catalog or two or ten while not picturing the resultant wonder that is actually for sale. Tell the sales prices of Bertha and Harry and the joy to own them. Replay the story of awe and amazement, Lo-o-o-o, so many years ago. "I just happened to be there at the sale ring because I was passing by but had to stop ASAP because I had dysentery, as I stepped out of the jiffy john I just happened to be on the edge of the crowd when Bertha lumbered into the ring, the green sawdust just set her off and it was cow-buyer's fever at first sight. I just knew deep down in my gut that I had to have her and it was not another pang from the dysentery".

But have you ever noticed that animals with a sales catalog picture of them or that "favorite cow" that is the dam will sell for a lot more than the ones without pictures to some far distant first time buyer? I now know what it is. I used to think it was merely promotion and hype, but that distant buyer can see the Bonsma type traits in those cattle and just know that the deal of a lifetime is right there in either black and white for a few $1000 or in color for several $10,000.
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