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 Reflections from LL---Condensed

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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:00 am



The Wheels of Life



Some things that we can't recover:

The stone........after the throw.
The sound.......after the bell
The occasion........after it's missed.
The time.........after it's gone.
The word.........after it's said.
The good cows .......after they died


But we can try to rectify our mistakes.

Double D's thought of the week.

As a group we like simple things, but we are not simple, so we simply try
to simplify the simple out of boredom.

I smiled and thought ....and out of boredom we make the simple complicated again,
like Bootheel being aggravated as to whether or not the "Y" chromosome changes or not....
I thought I'd taunt Bootheel a little more, according to folklore, baldness in a man can come
from his mother's father Smile

Gavin Falloon recently wrote me in regards to questions on Keeney's Corner about "genetic drift"
and I asked him to respond directly on KC. He also said in part:


I am constantly surprised how our concepts keep coming together but it is only
with Nature always on our mind . The acceptance of her domination, to work with her and to
accept anything that she hands us with gratitude, that we make any progress. Upon studying
your reflections yesterday and thinking about them I “think” that I have discovered a great truth.
That your objectives are “to stabilize phenotype and to breed in prepotency" and of course that
is our objectives too.I envy your chance to go back to the Wye herd., after all you have been
there before? Jim Lingle must have been a remarkable man and well ahead of his time.
I find it fascinating that the University saw the error of its ways and returned to the Wye Plan.
I wonder whether it has made them think and changed their way of teaching animal breeding?


In keeping up with AAA's policies of keeping everything public, responding to Gavin's
reference to the Wye herd along with Eddie Draper's recent visit.....Eddie provided me with a copy
of a public list of 17 Wye cows identified having weaned in excess of 8000 pounds of calf since 1938
thru 1981 during this period of over 40 years. The top cow Blythe #857 produced 11,010# with
18 calves at 20 years of age, the 2nd is Lobelle #585 who produced 9,379# with 16 calves at 19,
and the 3rd cow is Luria #1022 produced 9,371# with 16 calves in l7 years, born in 1963 and was
still in production at that time. Luria's picture is shown on Page 16 of my Dec 11th post opposite
Qualton's pedigree wherein she is the dam of Lonestar. Below are pedigrees and the only pictures
I have available of the other two:






GOODNESS HAS A PATTERN.....a Lingle Wyism.

From the beginning of this series of reflections, I have tried to describe how the Tru-Line concept
was an effort to improve efficiency by harnessing hybrid power....Remindful that it is way to genetically
produce more from less, to seek the genetic truths of natural law, not to romanticize or embellish
the process. Digging through the "snow" to uncover the debris, my efforts here are to make the
invisible visible, to enlighten the darkness, to see why what is....is. We have all made many visual
selection errors and of course that will not change, we can only try to make fewer of them.

It is often said that the only way to avoid making mistakes is not to do anything. I have learned to
view differences of opinions to be very constructive to broaden the mind, the truth cannot be denied.
We all may have different objectives and selection directions but we deal with natural law whether
we like it or not. I have stated my own personal objectives which may or may not coincide with
others.....and my choices may not fit other's circumstances.

With that in mind, the total pounds these 17 Wye cows produced was not nearly as important to me
as the trouble free years of production efficiency from their maternal function...what I call ideal work
and wear cows for my purposes. A friend of mine told me his ole #1 cow had 14 in 15 years and never
weaned over a 600# calf.....that there is a pattern to the good ones and wondered how many did Wye
go through to get the 17 listed. Clarice of Wye is an exception among those 17 cows, Conans mother,
who's top weight is listed at 1506# and is the least desirable for me in an affordable environment.
I think we can safely presume breeding cows for longevity and efficiency was secondary to
Wye's primary objectives.

In the primary movement to increase individual performance, these cows were mated to more bull
than what they were. The pedigrees reveal they are crosses of the imported bulls on the concentrated,
linebred cows Jim Lingle spent working with the first quarter of his career. The cow was always important
to Lingle and was a primary reason the Wye herd became so popular when the industry desperately
needed "better cows" as a result of the extreme "baby beef" era. The influential Bonsma years
reinforced that need.

A few months before Lingle died, Dwight and I spent several hours visiting with Lingle in his office
and he had become aware of the unintended consequences of selection, finally recognizing what was
happening to the cows in the Wye herd. Few people know that Dwight Riggleman consulted with Lingle
on a regular, almost daily basis after the herd was given to the UMF in 1978...... during Dwight's tenure
and efforts to reconstruct the maternal values in the Wye herd until 1989....when he moved on to other
phases of his life.

Yes, ahead of his time, Lingle fell into the same "trap" of modern times, just like I did......Bigger is better
and the sequential lineage from his largest bull Conan born in 1963, to Franchester (1971) and his son,
the $250,000 Linebacker bull born in 1975, these were the height of his ambition and the begining of
the decline of all he had worked to build...."the typical rise and fall of things". Lingle was brought up in
the dairy business in pursuits to increase production and I was brought up as a farmer where emphasis
is alway on increasing production per acre. Craig HIlman can relate to this and his upbringing in the dairy
industry....I laugh when he refers to these modern dairy cows as walking udders, who only last a
couple lactations.....the normalcy of man's actions.

Applying those practices in the beef business is somewhat different. I had to smile when my friend
recently expressed his opinions, a man who always says things bluntly and to the point, that universities
and committies can screw up most good work in the name of research...that Maryland tax payers don't
have a clue. These opinions are based on our joint first hand experience Smile He also said Eddie Draper
has brought stability to the Wye program but wondered how long they will let him use common sense
in the breeding of the cattle.

I hadn't been to Wye since Dwight left. My friend tells me that "Eddie had very, very little
to work with when he was given the job in '96, that I visited Wye a few years after Eddie got the job
and the udders in the herd were terrible....I mean bad. Dean Bryant (the former manager) was about
raising EPDs and did a good job of moving them up....IF THAT BLOWS YOUR DRESS UP!! I met Dean
only once and I guess he was under pressure to generate cash flow. In that short visit, I thought I
met a man with absolutely no vision, one of his cash flo plans was to dump volumes of the old semen
to save storage cost!"

I might add that Eddie wrote me several years ago and told me he had a hard time finding a bull good
enough to use when he took over the herd during that period of time when the popularity of the Wye
herd had waned from the peak of popularity in the late 70's when the rest of the industry blew right on
past them with EPD measures...and in a sense I did too with Shannon and Shanigan....
Franchester descendants Smile

But all did not bode well with me. I've described some of the invisible things we don't see visibly publicized,
genetic realities hidden under the "snow". My friend also told me this story about an interesting bull born
at Wye, the legendary Fabron concentrated, how Dwight called him the day he first saw him and said
"I just saw ole Fabron" again. Telling it like it is, he told me this particular bull "is the best
and worst of Wye....I probably know more about him than Eddie does....I have some of the oldest daughters.
Just sold two....His bull calves have a spread of acceptable nuts, twisted nuts, little nuts, all the way to
no nuts! I have had some of the above....Certainly they were out of my cows also so don't think it don't
take two to make one...His daughters are good cows with good udders and more size than you would
expect from the frame score of his mother...She was just a little knot of a cow...the epitome of self denial..
She put it all into her progeny and the perfect example of the IDEAL COMMERCIAL COW that produces 12
or 13 calves of average weight and dies un noticed!!!

I thought about this when Bootheel said he was antagonized over the "Y" chromosme, how it must change
the shape of things to come. A male with no nuts would save castration of the "seedless fruit" Smile
Thinking positive instead of negative, I had a very hardy laugh when my friend proceeded with saying
"so often, the best comes early and efforts to improve them often take us backward rather than
into an improved future.....Think about your own herd and see if I'm on a dead end thought!! Wye's cow
#1708 was my ideal cow....I simply loved to look at her and her grandam 1022 (Luria)......Yet, 1479, her dam,
didn't intrigue me....Wonder if 1479 was the link that broke the chain....Anyway, 1708 broke my heart......She
may as well have been a steer.....Dwight spent his better years trying to use her as an improver...to no
avail."
1708 was a smaller framed than the average cow in the Wye herd, as was Franchester and
Linebacker's dams. Linebacker was born in 1975 out of a smaller dau born in 1963 sired by an imported bull
from the "L" family of names like Luria and Lobelle.



I want to interject a comment here about this picture of #1708. It does not look like
the same work and wear cow I always saw gracefully walking the Wye pastures. It is not a "natural" picture,
it is a professional photo authorized by Dick Beck, the Wye "promotional" manager at that time, prepared at
an angle and pose to mimic the show standards of the day....notice her nicely trimmed tail with a neck that
looks like a stallion ....in those days they trimmed all cattle both males and females to look like the
IDEAL STEER OF THE DAY...just thought it would be a good example for some who don't know how stupid
some things we do...actually are Smile


I also tried to bring forth her goodness through her progeny as an owner of Lundell and the use of her other male progeny. Disappointed, it took several years for me to recognize it was not the cow's fault, it was the TYPE OF BULLS 1708 WAS MATED TO that caused her progeny to have the inability to renew her kind......AND to recognize that her individual production records ratioing W 7-109 and Y-108 as of 1981 would not have occurred making her a "super cow" who produced four popular "herd bulls".....
AND to recognize that her individual production records ratioing W 7-109 and Y-108 as of 1981 would not have occurred making her a "super cow" who produced four popular "herd bulls", by our traditional visual definition of a herd bull, IF SHE WOULD'VE BEEN MATED BACK TO HER OWN KIND. The last information I have on this cows daus avg progeny weanig ratios was - 95, thinking if her daus were poor producers, why would I think her sons would produce high producing cows like their dam Smile

And so I thought alot about the similarity of Gavin's 86/96 cow, who told me she was the 2nd outlier cow
his herd produced in 40 years, the first one born in '74, and how he said he warned his son William to stop
using multiple sons out of those two cows. I wonder and suspect his reasons are different than mine.
Whether we close breed or outcross, we get both the best and worst of a gene pool. Unless you
understand natural law, we simply cannot get the best without the worst of something else.... and most
often the best isn't worth the worst unless you are in the registered business selling illusions. I expect
a lot of static out of this statement, so read it carefully ...everything has an opposite and equal reaction...
and then believe it or not Smile

Being straightforward here I want to repeat for emphasis what Gavin previously said that I quoted at
the end of my last post which I think sums things up pretty well ....."We both know that we
are dominated by Nature. No one could farm all their lives and not realise that she is life. Any thought to
cross her or bypass her is doomed to failure. Anytime that you step outside her she makes the cost
very high. So realising her demands we work with her because she also can be benign. I suspect that
there are only a few ways to breed anything and that progress is bounded by those rules. I have said
that what most of the registered industry is doing does not work. They can thrash around all they want
to their hearts content but they sure aren't going anywhere, and they never will. You can make them
bigger, or smaller or longer or shorter but doing these things carries with it a cost. Bigger they just
eat more. Smaller they just eat less and so on. All these things they look on as progress , but of course
they are not. Efficiency is the measure of progress and when they can demonstrate that to me , I shall
applaude their progress.'"


We work with her because as Gavin says Nature also can be BENIGN. We know how Nature protects
herself with variance in her distributions for survival of the fittest with distinct unchangeable roles for the
male and female. To better understand the simplicity of WHY things happen during our selection
processes, it allows us the means to enjoy the benefits of what Nature hands us with gratitude....
another parallel here to that old saying that "God helps those who help themselves"....meaning only in
accordance with the creation of natural law, or the costs can be very high.

The infinity of life in Nature is not concerned with efficiency, but with man's time constraints and cost
values, as Gavin says, improving beef production EFFICIENCY is finally the only important measure
of progress. Mean Spirit posted a quote which said "purebred breeders (not necessarily registered)
needed to decide what kind of cattle were needed (not wanted) to achieve his objective - without this
decision a breeder cannot select the best nor discard the worst". The conundrum here is that if we
get what we needed, we don't need it any more, we then need something else....good never seems
good enough Smile

Thinking of that long line of dogs pictured in my last post, digging through the snow to find the animals
that have the genes needed to produce the desired animal isn't the difficult part, the difficult part is
efficiently sustaining the kind of needed animal as described by the example of the few Wye cows above.
As I said above, there are many very popular animals born that transmit both the best and worst of
a herd and thusly we remain confounded....and sort
.

Repetition of talking about our problems over and over again hasn't solved the problems as our
"thrashing around changing cattle" hasn't changed the long term way we breed cattle for beef production.
I cannot see how selecting the best and discarding the rest has worked too improve efficiency over the
long term. Sustainability ....We get what we want and then we lose it. It is interesting to watch how the
ongoing search for that great bull or cow goes on trying to RECOVER some of the more desirable qualities
that certain bulls or cows left behind in the past.

So, I'll quit lecturing here, present my past and you decide. Slim writes - I've been following the
foundation cow families, like 6157,3128,6159. I would like to know more about the 6357 #11154945 cow.
I see her showing up alot . Thanks. The commonality of these four cows Slim mentioned is their close
relationship in pedigree, longevity and conformational similarities to the above Wye cows.




The 6357 cow pictured above was sold to Monte about 10 years ago One of his favorite cows,
I believe she was about 20 years old when she died. The pedigree below is another cow that
I sold to Joe Dunkum and Mike who was also born in 1988 from the same base cow family, and
they also purchased a bull Shoshone Fraser 6357 out of the above cow. The picture to the right
of 6354's pedigree below is Bob as a mature bull who was later sold to Gary Funk. Bob is also
shown above as a yearling. I suggest anyone contact these buyers to provide any additional
progeny information and each person can decide whether or not selection has been progression
or regression from cow #6357 ....dependent on selection objectives. Smile




reprinted from a 1985 semen offering

In order to provide Slim with the type of conformational characters of the ancestry of the cows
6157, 3128, 6159 and 6357, the following pictures are offered.

SHOSHONE FRASER 6357 #11637249 born 1991


BEAUFORT OF WYE born 1968.....the name of the Beauigan bull represented the "B" of my
Barbara cow family and Beau - again represented the male heritage. Bob is the male name
for Barbara Smile The "63" Frances cow family name was a derivative from the Franchester
dau #E63 and the Francis of Wye bull, perhaps the largest cow family I have had over 600
female descendants born from the base #63 cow purchased in 1971 - the last cows we purchased
except for those Craigie cows transferred to me by K.A. Clark in 1984.


SHOSHONE BARBARA GECA27 #8805971 born 1976, dam of Shoshone Beauigan
born in 1978, her first calf



SHOSHONE EILEEN GD20 #8806007 born 1976 , maternal grandam of the sire
Shoshone 99-2028, who sired Cow #6157



SHOSHONE EUSTON 3131 #12706458 born 1996, out of the maternal sister
to Cow #3128



SHOSHONE PIVOT 6159 #13746428 born 1999. a maternal combination of cow
#6157 on top and Cow #6159



SHOSHONE PRIDE A792, not registered born 2004, sired by HBR 1126, sire/dau mating of
Cow #3128


These are a few of my "un-embellished" pictures, don't take pictures of the
"good" ones, don't know if I'm regressing or progressing by staying constant Smile Standing still
where I am, my ancestoral grand parents, great grandparents, great, great grandparents are all
"greater and grander" than I am and so are my grandchildren, great grandchildren, great,
great grandchildren.....so here I am only average in the wheels of life

..............NEITHER THE BEST NOR THE WORST !!! .......... Smile

BUT WITH THE SAME SERENE CONTENTMENT EXPRESSED IN THE EYES OF THESE CATTLE
REFLECTING THE CALM OF INNER CONTENTMENT.......AT DAY'S END JUST FULFILLING A DREAM
DURING THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON OF PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN...
UNDERSTANDING THAT IT TAKES EVERY SEASON TO MAKE A FULL LIFE...

turn on the sound and click below...
http://www.openmyeyeslord.net:80/theseasonsoflife.htm





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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:12 am





Superlatives and Smiley Faces

Some of the best things in life are free, like my participation on Keeney's Corner...thanks to Mike's generosity Smile
Taking our turns going through the seasons of life, it's been said, "You don't stop laughing when you die, you die
when you stop laughing"....that laughter is the best medicine....And having good friends to share our ups and
downs is priceless. From the top of the mainstream of the registered business on down to the bottom, we select
the "BEST" of whatever and we often pay the highest prices for the best to get something free in this business....
and the quest goes on and on and never dies Smile

So Mike and I laugh till our cheeks get numb,
of things we did that now seem so dumb,
He doesn't quite know which way he'll go,
looking for the right cows under the snow.
Mike says he's ET'ing just to have fun,
I tell him cows are just cows when its all said and done,
and with bulls like 'sniff the wind' and 'unwanted',
I laugh at how many Mike has taunted,
and we laugh at all our own naivety,
that our progress is moving backwardly,
laughing so we can live for all eternity

Robert Mac asked Mr. Falloon how should we define 'progress' in a breeding program. Since man must measure
starting from some comparative average, I think of all the charts and graphs we make to measure change and
I've often wondered how high is up and how low is down.

And Bootheel says, "The ol' Blythe cow I guess would be pretty hard to improve upon, production wise, not much
accuraccy in the EPD's to say, yay or nay, but her numbers would have you banished, whipped, dragged, tarred
and feathered by the mainstream mafia these days. Chances are she would still sell dang good at a commercial
sale though......hummmmm. Ah well, good story once again, nice pictures, seemed liked I might have laughed even
.....continue on.

Reflecting on what my good friend Ed Oliver said "so often, the BEST comes early and efforts to improve them often
take us backward rather than into an improved future".
So, in comparison to what I received in the mail yesterday,
I laughed thinking of my "unimbellished pictures" of cattle on pasture in their work clothes in comparison with a
picture of an Angus "male" on "pasture" who was featured on the cover of ANGUS The Magazine, December 2010.

Progress going round and round in the show circuit over the last 160 years can be described by the following pictures....
the one pictured on the bottom is the California 2010 "velvet model" featured on the cover of this months FREE Angus Magazine, "serving the west and beyond".



I remember being so embarrassed with my 4-H fat heifer named Tessie, placed near the end of her class cause she was the largest framed heifer there. Smile Looking at these pictures, I noticed people sure were small in the late 80's and how tall they were in the 50's and in New Zealand now.... and I thought what a gorgeous lawn ornament that 2010 model would make for my front yard pasture at Red Lodge Smile

And then when I opened the magazine, on the inside front cover I had to smile again. I shouldn't be so tacky but I can't pass up an opportunity to make a point of how we might measure progress in maternal efficiency.. ....using Lobelle of Wye born in 1954 as a basic comparative starting point....Mike prefers Blythe but I wanted to go back another five years....could go back to the 1900's but cattle were too big then and we don't have EPD's on cattle born back then.

Select Sires has an ad promoting a semen offering, proclaiming a 10 year old bull to have "the most balanced EPD profiles in the business, calving ease with disposition, feed efficiency and performance, $Values are ALL high, his proven genetic offering fits now more than ever !" Hmmmm, they seem to have forgotten to highlight his MATERNAL $EN of a minus 13.03 .... which is $65.48 less than Lobelle's in order to produce $56.54 more $B (75.07 - 18.53, these numbers change a bit almost daily).....so I smiled about how we're going forward "NOW MORE THAN EVER" to go backwards by producing cows with a negative dollar beef value of 8.94 over the past 50 years...or if my math is wrong, someone please enlighten me Smile

EPD Percentiles The best of this bull is promoted to be in the top 5 percentiles for the categories - highlighted in green, I highlighted the worst in red
As of 12/22/2010 Production__________________________________________ Maternal
CED____BW____WW___YW___RADG____YH___SC____Doc___CEM__Milk___MkH___MkD___MW___MH____$EN
+9____+1.0___+56__+108__+.26____+.3___-.26___+38___+9___+36____103___316___+53___+.7___ -13.03


Carcass
_CW____Marb____RE____Fat____Carc Grp____Carc Pg Usnd Grp____Usnd Pg
+34___+.78____+.82__+.025____15________22____ 1139_______3007


$Values
____ $W______ $F_____ $G______ $QG_____ $YG_____ $B
__+35.58___ +45.28__ +38.12__ +31.04___ +7.08____ +75.07 Rank top 1%



Of course, we could say this proven 10 year old bull is a very useful terminal sire, but that is not enough to attract "Angus people" who always want superlatives in everything Smile So, the ad also displays four professionally signed photos of four pretty, silky smooth daughters , one from each of four herds to exemplify the uniform quality of this bull's daughters ....I've just shown one, the pictures are all similar.....the power of advertising Smile

I wondered how far and wide they searched to find these four out of 103 herds...and I smiled thinking of Gavins statement "All these things they look on as progress , but of course they are not. Efficiency is the measure of progress and when they can demonstrate that to me , I shall applaude their progress". So, I wondered if this ad demonstrated progress in efficiency or deficiencies, dependent on how we'd use this bull. Someone once told me that Roy Wallace said Select Sires has the right bulls, we just use them wrongly.....I certainly can't argue with that last part, but I question whether this is the "right bull" to improve efficiency.

Having been down that path before, first I wondered how much fat (marbling) is in the RE expanding the "muscle", and since calves are born without fat, I understand the light BW. I shouldn't be a doubting Thomas, but if this bull was used for efficient maternal function, I wondered what these cows would look like working in "western environments and beyond" with a +36 milk with their bones showing after they lost their fat, or how they could ever breed back...and how "dairy" cows need nutrition to milk and are poor converters of roughage to beef....but somehow large "beef" cows don't and aren't, like they're another species Smile And for the size of these cattle at YW, I also wondered about the SC.

So, IF it would be wrong to use this bull to produce maternal work and wear cows to improve efficiency, would it be our own fault that we were disappointed? Perhaps we should know better, but I'm sure Select Sires has another bull in the wings whose top percentiles that "fits now more than ever" to fix the deficiencies of this one in one generation.....I can quickly think of some right off the top of my head to reduce the milk and frame while adding "natural" thickness, but then ......oh my, how the truth hurts Smile

Ah well, I suppose "what we don't know won't hurt us", to each their own, Nature has one for everyone. While I tend to wonder alot, my mind drifts back to how amazingly different that long line of differing breeds of dogs are who are all waiting to pee on a single tree....and how much a lazy St. Bernard eats compared to a Chihuahua....and neckless elephants need trunks while giraffes have long necks and skinny legs....and camel's humps....and how the ugly moose is said to be made out of all the leftover parts of other animals....and Santa Claus is fat and jolly giving free gifts Smile

Warned to never look a gift horse in the mouth, from the traditions of emphasizing the positives while ignoring the negatives, many years ago I became spellbound by the awesome distributions of types within averages. Infatuated and intrigued by Nature's variation, borrowing data from the advent of EPD measures, I made a crude effort to describe these spherical distributions by breed and each isolated population's limitations and common genetic interactions within each sub group. I guess I was bored going up and down the fields on tractors where I did most of my thinking....thinking always gets us in trouble. Smile

The initial idea evolved from my study of Wright's multi-year guineau pig inbreeding research project....sub populations of isolated families. But guineau pigs aren't like cattle. Well, I also had visited with a researcher from England who provided me with some data about the distributions within breeds of cattle. I was surprised that Simmental's had the greatest variation - a dual purpose large breed, who branched off into other breeds like Fleckvich and Gelbvich. Extracted from what I printed in 1987, this "homemade" chart is submitted here just to test your own imaginative skills Smile




Whether understood or not isn't important since this was done over 20 years ago and the accuracy may be off a bit from changing times. I perceived this in order to mentally measure the whole rather than measure distributions trait by trait as is customary using the "bell curve". I laughed thinking we might use the superlatives from these single trait measures of parts to create a "mooing moose" rather than a bugling one made from leftover parts. It was just a means to describe how the limitations of each subsequent isolated population of any whole becomes less within their parameters of variance and we could move way down to the genetic limitations of each individual.

One day several years ago Dr. Robert Taylor of CSU and I were talking about the changes in the ideal steer...and about Max, the Denver champion steer who was dyed black, presented as an Angus. We laughed concluding that even with all the exotic imports, it was still hard to beat the cross of a "good" Angus cow with a "good" moderate Charolais bull....but alas, again good is never good enough Smile

Concerned with the continuing expansion of the distributions of the Angus breed as documented by the national sire summaries, I had read a July 2003 Angus Journal article written by John Crouch. John and I have been friends associated in this business for about 40 years. I had written John a brief letter the fall of 2003 expressing some concerns about the continual chaotic directions of the breed...and he responded with the following letter, which is preceded first by API's 2002 article on "Beef Cow Efficiency" and then the article John had written earlier in the Angus Journal, July of 2003:






Sometimes each of us are stuck in the rut of our positions. From the resolutions John alluded to in his letter, I thought alot about how the AAA has grown into a huge political promotional society always led by the traditional mainstream of self serving members....that we lack the discipline to learn together. I finally realized that trying to improve the efficiency of beef production as one tiny player within the Angus breed was an uncontrollable futile effort which required supporting all its contrary hyperbole. This realization was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's hump, or should I say back....now that takes alot considering the shape of the starting point. Smile

I quit registering cattle in 2004 and continue to help myself reach my simple objectives....which I have clearly stated here on Keeney's Corner before....to serve that reality tempered cowboy that John talked about in his article.

I could not rightfully serve two masters once I learned the genetic truths about cattle....damn, I should've known thinking would get me in trouble, ignorance surely is bliss. Smile Damn my upbringing, I also learned to despise the phoniness in the registered business. And so I presented the detailed production pedigree of Shoshone Bob 2712 in my last post for many reasons.

There is a wealth of information in that pedigree that reveals the consequences of selection if you each had intimate familiarity with each individual animal and their progeny therein like I do. I told MIke for those interested in the nitty gritty details of every one of those animals and each of their progeny, I would provide all the information I know about them in later posts to serve as selection examples of what happens.....but maybe it would be better if what we don't know won't hurt us Smile

For example, you might notice that Shoshone Barbara 2 GEA27's first calf, sired by her own sire had a BW of 60# and a NR 97. her next four calves ratioed an average of 118, each listed specifically the same way I listed Luria's and Quija's progeny, which turned GEA27 into a "super cow"....maybe even more super than Wye's cow #1708, at least I know lots better than Mike's idolistic Blythe Smile

Being familiar with the natural limiting factors and consequential trade-offs within the Wye herd, I knew I had to go outside that herd to introduce more growth. One I chose was Nichols Landmark L56, born in 1979, who was being promoted as one of the greatest, most comprehensive bulls in the breed. Notice his individual record, weaned with a 136 ratio, yearling 137, with a maternal EBV of 102 in 1981....and notice his "first cross" progeny records up thru 1984, five years after he was born....without doubt, a true superlative Smile

Simply outstanding, but now look at his current EPD and I've highlighted in red how his worst was much worse than his best, from a herd that promoted nuts, butts and guts by all VISIBLE appearances with good intentions, certainly not from deliberate deceit on the part of the breeder(s), but from the HAZARDS OF NOT UNDERSTANDING and ACCEPTING THE CONSEQUENCES of NATURAL LAW Smile

As of 12/22/2010 Production Maternal
_CED____BW___WW____YW____RADG____YH____SC____Doc____CEM____Milk____MkH____MkD____ MW____MH____$EN
_-5____+6.1___+36___+65____+.10____+.3____-.47____+17____+6_____+4____ 438____1437____+67____+.7___+14.51



Carcass
_CW___Marb___RE___Fat___Carc Grp___Carc Pg___ Usnd Grp___Usnd Pg
+21___-.32__-.46__+.060___ 15_______142_______ 3_______5



$Values
__$W____ $F____ $G____ $QG____ $YG____ $B
+1.36_ +10.55_ -28.24__ -10.40__ -17.84__ -4.34



Making the INVISIBLE VISIBLE, compare the profitability of Landmark with Blythe or Lobelle's EPD....and from my actual experiences, I could almost guarantee that if this bull were mated back to his daughters, you would get big fat, milkless, subfertile cows like I did...the EPD of his genome's random HALF have a high accuracy....the whole gets even worse Smile

Superlatives....As an additional example from an extreme from my own turf, to prevent bias, here is Shoshone Shanigan's pedigree and current EPD, a bull that was progeny proven No. 1 for growth in the entire Angus breed's National Sire Summary....who was born in 1979, the same year as Landmark, who in 1982 was projected to have a maternal EBV of 107....well, so much for scientific "PROJECTIONS" based on averages in the real world of natural law Smile



EPD Percentiles
As of 12/23/2010 Production Maternal
_CED___ BW___WW___YW___RADG___YH____SC___Doc___CEM___Milk___MkH___MkD___MW___MH___$EN
_-13___+8.0__+44___+82__+.24___+1.1__+.40___+9____+8____-21____126___368___+48___+.6__+34.40


Carcass
_CW____Marb____RE____Fat____Carc Grp____Carc Pg____ Usnd Grp____Usnd Pg
+12____+.34___ -.12___.008

$Values
_$W_____ $F_____ $G_____ $QG_____ $YG_____ $B
-13.01_ +23.59_ +19.96__ +19.22____ +.74___ +39.75



Note the CED compared to the CEM and MW & MH, bigger frames do have bigger pelvics, who says EPD aren't worthwhile Smile In our pursuits of seeking something greater than ever before, it is water over the dam. I don't wish things to be the way they are and I laugh thinking we have to be careful what we wish for because we may get it Smile Shanigan topped the Midland bull test with a final weight of over 1400# if I remember right. He was one of three bull calves for the pick of my bull calves during the early summer of 1979, offered by the current owners for which I was to be paid $75,000.00 at weaning. It didn't take me but a split second to accept the offer Smile

They picked out the three bull calves in late September and took delivery. Shanigan had a BW if 86#, WR of 120 @ 682#(149 contempories), they entered him into the Midland bull test in late October and he earned a YR 122, adj @ 1265# (Midland contemporaries)....simply an outstanding superlative at that time.

In Leachman's sale featuring the first progeny of Shanigan, I have a record that indicates his first 25 bull calves in their herd had a BW of 81#, weaned at 654#, WR 108...and 24 heifer calves had a BW of 79#, WR 105. The other two bull calves they picked had 18 bull calves, both with a WR of 96. They sold five of his first yearling sons for over $10,000 each. If I remember correctly, I think Jay Leachman told me that Shanigan died at about 3 or 4 while on a foot trimming table....a common structural problem for cattle that carry too much weight......they're kinda like people too....perhaps someday we'll have EPD's for problems Smile

Incidently, I might mention that my Landmark heifer calves born in my herd averaged 4# heavier than his bull calves, but he did leave me three productive F1 cows when he was mated to Qualton daughters.....I suppose it has something to do with Nature restoring the proper hormone levels, or something... Smile

Anyway like me, my associates and friends Les and Jay Leachman had some super high dollar sales. They also bred a bull named Leachman Hoss, #10654079 born in 1985, out of the infamous Leachman Lass 1004 cow. His current EPD is very similar to Landmarks only with "better" carcass values...but his $W value of a minus $1.85 is $11.16 "better" than Shanigan's...but that, plus a dollar more for his $B (40.75 - 39.75), comes at a MATERNAL cost increase in $EN of 23.52 more FOR a commercial cow/calf producer (34.40 - 10.88) when comparing Hoss to Shanigan.....but this is just the price of progress Smile

Measuring net production of beef in EPD dollars, for another non-related example, Leachman's also bred the $150,000 Leachman Right Time #11750711, born in 1992, one of the more popular sons of the infamous EXT, with much better, more balanced EPD which "fits NOW MORE THAN EVER", yet RT's $B at 5.45 higher than Lobelle of Wye's comes at an additional MATERNAL EN$ cost of 46.21. Now I don't make this stuff up, we need to believe in the numbers Smile

Natural law....someone wins and someone loses and the loser is usually the commercial cow/calf producer. Leachman's sold their Bozeman herd privately a few years ago and I have not heard much about that herd of cattle since as time marches on....I'm still here stupidly plugging along, I suppose one of the reasons we earned the reputed nickname of being "dumb farmers". Smile

FAITH IN NUMBERS....two years after John Crouch wrote me that Dec 2003 letter, he wrote the following article in the November 2005 Angus Journal in regards to SUPERLATIVES. The people he went hunting with, Roy Wallace died a couple of years ago and I'm not sure whether Doug and Molly Hoff are still in business or not....I'm rather uninformed since I quit subscribing to the Angus Journal. As most of you know the Hoff herd became very famous for big cattle promoting light birthweights with 1400+ yearling weights, extra ordinary curve benders. Doug and Molly visited my herd several years ago and I could feel that they were very disappointed in my "ordinary" cattle.....and I wasn't interested in their extra-ordinary ones either. Smile




I do want to remind you all that the subject of this post is all about "smiley faces" and laughing at all the dumb things we do..."smile and the world smiles with you". I am not being critical of breeders or animals. My sole purpose for the above examples is to demonstrate why I became so infatuated with distributions within a gene pool. I can't even begin to imagine how the randomized process of genes gathered together to produce a Shanigan from his ancestry while in my presence. And when I sold Viking for $50,000 at the Midland test sale, I can tell you I did begin to believe in the gift of miracles, like pots of gold at the end of the rainbow Smile

And when the sky cleared, what a let down to see all the debris left behind from the storms after the rainbow disappeared with its pot of gold along with the miracle bulls and cows. Sobering up from my drunken spree, I had to learn the humdrum of how to increase the frequency of the characters being sought in accordance with the limitations of natural law.....rather fascinating how a clear mind can simplify things. Smile

So, when Mike posted this statement in reference to his purchased OCC Kalispel bull.....and that precipitated my little foray into the fat cow, bad feet, no milk, infertile genetics so prepotent that I saw it immediately with little damage to the cow herd; just my pocket book and ego.....I laughed thinking of all my own bad experiences and was reminded of what Ed Oliver said "I often wonder what it must be like trying to breed cattle with one of everything that ever walked to deal with" ....and when Gavin says "...Any thought to cross her or bypass her is doomed to failure. Anytime that you step outside her she makes the cost very high" .....and how we all must wonder if someday a breed will ever try to breed more consistency into our "good" cattle, or wait for someone else to do it.

Goodness has a pattern, and so does greatness...which one is more beneficial - "to be or not to be, that is the question". Smile None of us can change a single mistake we all made during the yesterdays. We've seen how one bad "apple" can spoil a whole barrel....and that is why Gavin told me he closed his herd. The more we do going round and round in this crazy world, I have never been so convinced that the Tru-Line concept is the only way to truly improve the economics of beef production for every segment.....by improving the "consistant goodness" of the parts, not consistently changing them into superlatives of something else.

When I selected the base animals for my experimental project, please notice on Bob's detailed pedigree that Beauigan had a BW of 70#, a NR of 99, a progeny record from 6 herds with a NR of 100, a YR of 101 and a limited number of daus had a progeny NR of 102. Qualton, in the Wye herd had a BW of 75#, a NR of 110, 153 progeny from 6 herds had a NR of 100, a YR of 100 and 37 daus from 3 herds had a progeny NR of 101. No greatness is evident here Smile

NEITHER THE BEST NOR THE WORST.....And I truly believe that is in rythm with natural law, that that is why Nature gives us more of her distributions around the center.....and why I chose this center of balance for my preferred maternal REproduction level in a moderate environment. I do believe I have the needed genes in this smaller sphere of this isolated population to achieve my objectives. I've had my flings with extremes. I've had experiences with inbreeding regression and restoration. I am aware of much more of the invisible in my own cattle than I am of others.....never perfect, but slowly improving for their purpose....I think!!!! Smile

Eddie Martin says: I still drift back to the thought about the genes turning on and off. If the males seem to exhibit the "off" position in their youth and the females do not exhibit any "off" traits, is it something of or including the Y genes that are the ones that turn off? Poor question, but you can probably make a silk purse out of it! Of the bulls pictured in this most recent chapter, how many/which were "on" and which were "off"? I have observed no differences in sexual "regression", it seems to generally occur individually, in both sexes.

Not being a geneticist, perhaps I view things this way Eddie. When we have a simple recessive or latent allele like dwarfism or other detrimentals, how do we explain that a single pair of these alleles or genes can predominate and disrupt the entire anatomy of an animal. As defined, prepotent animals have the unusual ability of an individual or strain to transmit its characters to offspring because of homozygosity for numerous dominant genes. That predominance can either be favorable or unfavorable, a double edged sword Smile So when that random half is transmitted to the next generation, I have observed that a similar mating of inbred animals produces a similar result and remains predominant, good or bad, favorable or unfavorable.

The way a layman like me tries to understand the process, when mated to a complementary outcross, that "unfavorable or favorable" predominance can be changed into a LATENT position, what I call a "turned off" condition that is still there. It can be turned on and become predominant again in the ABSENCE of other dominant alleles or other predominating genetic arrangements. We all know that in Angus color, "C" (black) is dominant over "c" (red) but in the ABSENCE of "C", two latent "c's" become dominant and are prepotent in red....and we have observed that some characters are linked to the "horned or polled genes".

With multiple alleles affecting or linked to the overall genome, I have used the following theoretical example to explain complementarity if the big "A's" are favorable and the little "a's" are unfavorable. No one knows for sure about how all the interrelationships of genes all work together beyond theory....and genomic science cannot change natural law.....so I don't expect any "miracles", even gene splicing will have an effect overall : ) I recall a discussion between Dr. Willham and Dr. Brinks while riding with them in a car about splicing a gene into a cat to cause it to have a bob tail....and it also caused the cat to have one less whisker on the other end Smile

Prepotent Genotype of one animal or strain.............crossed with...........the prepotent type of another
AA AA AA aa aa aa aa ----------------------- aa aa aa AA AA AA AA

In a perfect world Smile the resulting first cross progeny would = Aa Aa Aa Aa Aa Aa Aa = and we would have perfect consistency of only the favorable, however, the next generation of the progeny we are back to the real world, trying to increase the favorable gene frequency of what we visibly see.....the simple but time consuming difficulty....and so Eddie, I don't know if this makes a silk purse out of it or not in the confounding links of the new whole Smile

I think I have been calloused from my obsessions for a long time now, having this incurable plague that's toxic to the traditional mainstream Smile From the archives of my files, the themes of my 1982 sale catalog described my thoughts about the sale offering being "The End of the Beginning for Fundamental Accomplishment Towards Prepotency.....Efficiency from Consistency....Genetic Stupidity Must be the Supreme Cosmetic..... Chasing Rainbows". My preface in that catalog was concluded with the following "editorial" written in 1926.



The above article corrects my previous post where I talked about my visit with J.B. Lingle shortly before his death, I thought it was about 1983 when in fact when I reread this, I noticed he passed away Dec 4th, l981.

As long as Keeney Corner posters and lurkers are willing to be gluttons for punishment Smile , in my next post I can furnish additional information on 6357's relatives in regards to Keystones comments of - "My 6357 is looking better all the time, Powell Eli 6254 KReg: AAA +15505435. He will likely be the dominant bull next year. I like him more and more as he matures"...and to Slims comment about wanting more information on Shoshone Ester 3116. I can get into more detail about the invisible relatives of that group's ancestry. I have nothing to hide from the past public documents, they are what they are...however, the details of what I'm doing now and in the future will remain relatively private....the "mysterious secrets" are greater than reality Razz Smile Smile

Mark, I don't have a full semen tank but I do have a fair amount of significant pictures of the past. In regards to older semen, I might just say that some bulls become greater in death than they were in life, like some people Smile I have no need to go back in time, I don't think I lost anything valuable from genetic drift, but there's some stuff I hope I lost somewhere along the way and it won't come back to haunt me again Smile

And Craig, I hope the seasons will help you melt your boys snow fort, maybe instead of peppering them, you might try salt.....pouring it in their wounds. Smile

Heres hoping we all have a good New Year, just be careful of what you wish for in your New Year's resolutions Smile I've put lots of smiley faces in this post to keep things in perspective, where birds of a feather on the Keeneys Corner clothesline can sit and happily chirp together .... not to laugh so as to never die, but just doing what we can while we can, cows are just cows....remembering that Bootheel always signs off with "life is GOOD"....not great Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:15 am





Mike wrote:

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer,
let it be, let it be...
Smile

Mark Day wrote:
Mr. Larry,
You are amazing. Can't help but wonder what do your customer's cattle look like that for years have done nothing more than tell you to send them 5-10 bulls or whatever and never agonized over any decisions and bit of information because they never collected any info. They would just turn the bulls out and keep a group of heifers when needed.


Mike responded :
Taylor Orr described the commercial herd across the fence from a set of his cows where "for years have done nothing more than tell you to send them 5-10 bulls or whatever and never agonized over any decisions and bit of information " as the kind of herd he would like to have" or "the best cows around" or something to that effect...anyway, the statement was glowing enough that Larry said it was worth the trip over the roughassed roads just to hear that statement alone Smile

Mark, the real amazing thing is how life itself works and gets along so well despite man. You may not realize what a vast and open country this is out here so asking me what my customers cattle look like without furnishing them with a bit of information is like asking me what a herd of Buffalo look like. Smile They're moderate work and wear cows where the outliers on both sides of the spectrum with problems eliminate themselves.....my customers tend to follow JAD's slogan "less problems, more profit".

For example, the 500 head commercial herd Mike is referring to is the Owen McKeith Ranch at Reedpoint, MT, typical of many in this area. Owen, his wife Catherine and son-in-law Matt operated that ranch by themselves and in addition to the cows, farmed several hundred acres of mostly dryland grains and hay. Owen bought his first two bulls from me in my 1984 sale. It was common in those days that most of the bulls sold for prices based on their size. That sale averaged $1654, Owen paid 1800 for a non papered bull and 2500 for another, both smaller bulls. That was the beginning of a long relationship. He bought most of his bulls from me over the years, never the bigger bulls. I price all my bulls the same, double the average price of commercial bred cows.

McKeith's started their calving at the end of Feb in order to get that job out of the way before they needed to start farming each spring. Their steers always wgh'd from 630 to 650 lbs in the forepart of Nov and they would sell their surplus heifers for replacements after the first of the year for more money per head than the steers brought. When the buyers of the heifers would ask Owen where he bought the bulls that produced those quality heifers, it never really helped my bull sales cause my bulls generally weren't big enough to suit 'em. Owen told me about how his neighbors using big bulls or exotic crosses had these piles of dead calves each spring and shaking his head wanted no part of that.

Owen died, Matt and Catherine continued running the ranch for about three more years, but Matt was diagnosed with Lou Gerhig's disease and Catherine had just entered a nursing home when Mike and I visited Taylor a few years ago. The end of an honest, no nonsense, practical, low cost, profitable working operation that avoided extremes and egoism. I always tried to provide him with "just enough" genetic variation to avoid phenotypic regression without disruption.

In my previous post I talked about the pursuits of superlatives and how mainstream registered breeders tend to create their own problems and pass them on down. I regret thinking back how often I was responsible for unknowlngly doing this very same thing. This post involves some of the animals that contributed to the current gene pool of the herd as it is evolving from selection with primary emphasis on maternal values. For my objectives, most of you know by now that maternal is more about reducing problems than it is quantitative production.

Most of the data, pictures etc. I submit may be of little interest to most of you but for those who may have some of the related bloodlines may be interested in the sequential selection processes of the types of the ancestry. Since I am a proponent of stabilizing types, Mike and I have often talked about how neat it would be to have "ordinary unembellished" picture pedigrees in lieu of standard ones to demonstrate the depth and CONTINUITY of TYPE SELECTION rather than how much the cattle have been changed.....the purpose of a breed as presented by that article in the Breeder's Gazette at the end of my last post. I think most everyone on Keeneys Corner enjoys the ordinary pictures that are posted by everyone.

From a genetic standpoint, I think most of us struggle with the opposite effects between outbreeding and inbreeding during selection. I have been told that the positive phenotypic effects of heterosis are NON- ADDITIVE.....and how many of us stop and think that the negative phenotypic effects of homozygosis would also be NON- ADDITIVE since both revert to their basic average over time. Hybrid vigor/heterosis is explained as a "phenomenon" resulting from hybridization wherein offspring display greater vigor, size, etc than the parents....obviously homozygousity would have the reverse effect from any given centerpoint.

So, learning from history from an example of a closed herd, the below chart is the year by year trend of the PHENOTYPIC weaning weights of the Wye herd that Eddie Draper sent me in 2006. In response to Wye's overall comprehensive selection criteria, the distributions seem to indicate that the results are neither significant progression nor regression, but a rearrangement of the same gene pool over and over again

I want to remind everyone that when I use real live examples, it is to provide some evidence of the modes of inheritance and what happens.....not to praise or condemn any herd or individual animals, nor to opine the positive or negative merits of a breeding program, but to describe the results of breeding and selection methodologies. The primary purpose here is to learn from the past in order to reach a greater understanding, to help each of us to make more realistic selection decisions in each of our own herds of cattle with fewer disappointments. I am not the judge or jury, Nature is. Smile



MARC research has demonstrated how we must maintain the percent of heterosis lest we "regress" back down to the average of the parents, whatever that was.....BUT, I have not heard much talk about how we must maintain the percent of homozygousity lest we "progress" back up to the average of the parents, whatever that was. I think the above chart offers a good example of this. So, the simple mysterious secret to all this is that we must know what the average of the parents are in order to know what ANY PHENOTYPIC PROGRESSION OR REGRESSION WILL REVERT TO....and we measure that by averages of the distributions with EPD.

To help keep things straight in my own simple mind, whatever that average is or was, GENETICS IS A NUMBERS AND PROBABILITIES GAME OF PERCENTAGES as selection begins to increase or decrease the gene frequency for whatever characters we emphasize or prefer. When I described the averages of Landmark and Shanigan, they represented the visible characters we were preferring or emphasizing at that point in time....and of course much to our dismay, we also decreased the frequency of other characters. I am certainly not qualified to scientifically explain how all this happens .

Most of us know all this but we tend to ignore the fact that looks may only be skin deep. What I can try to explain is what we do. We see the phenotypic benefits of a cross. To sustain the non-additive effects of heterosis, we seek another outcross usually to newer and higher levels, and another, and another, most often with extremes or the "best" from the distributions. The continuum of trade-offs and correctional processes fuel this timeless perpetual motion machine in our pursuits of more and more comprehensive perfection.....and the higher our standards, the more we cull.

In my previous post, I talked about the importance of distributions within an average AND SAID I did have three useful productive cows from Landmark when mated to Qualton daus...somewhat genetic opposites....but then what happens next is dependent on the next mating or selection emphasis....the give and take of genetic trade-offs. I've often wondered why anyone would want the headaches and stress of trying to breed better and better cattle, I'd rather just turn the job over to Nature and be a spectator watching the genes fight their invisible battles for predominance with their available forces as commanded by their generals.

Bootheel said ....I do remember the days of Shannigan, and remember thinking, how it must be impossible for something to have that little amount of milk. My Dad had similar experience with the 60E son, so widely used in the late 70's and early 80's, as he would breed the bag off of a very milky cow, in one generation, but of course not all, and the ones left behind, for me to observe, were pretty good. I smiled when he said "the ones left behind were pretty good".....percentages.....I did have one productive Franchester cow, the dam of Shoshone Pied Piper KFD20, registration #9563705 born in 1979, an outcross sired by Rito "149", one of the most popular "total performance" bulls and herds of that time period.

I also remember much later seeing a flush of five full brothers to Rito 149 being exhibited at the Denver Stock Show one year, but I never heard anything about them since....perhaps it was because that was during the races for frame era and those cattle didn't fit that fashion of the day. I have come to believe that most of our confoundment stems from these distributions and our subsequent selection emphasis from those natural distributions. Any herd, breed or composite is a pool of genes and I prefer to think of any individual therefrom as an isolated population of those genes....that random half from each parent. To just look at a pedigree can be very misleading and I wondered why a poster was trying to trace the Eileenmere cattle back beyond the 50's with all the selection changes that have transpired since.

For example, from selection emphasis on increasing performance, as an individual, Pied Piper expressed a BW of 98#, ratio 128, born 3/22/79, on 9/27 he had a WW of 592#, adj 205 day by MBPA IPR of 666# with a NR of 116, 83 contemporaries. He was placed on the MIdland Bull Test and had a GR of 113 with 218 Midland contemporaries, a final weight of 1165#, a YR of 111 with an adj. YW of 1148#, an IPR index of 111. Beyond his individuality, we know his current EPD represent measures of what he transmits on average to his progeny in comparison to breed average, which is constantly changing.

For a layman like me, it would be much simpler if the base from wherever the measures started remained at zero and any changes would be plus or minus therefrom...but for whatever scientific or marketing reasons, they're not, which necessitates carrying a computer around with us to stay current. Anyway, here are his current EPD and his phenotype pictured as a two and a half year old.

As of 12/30/2010 Production Maternal
CED___BW____WW____YW___RADG____YH____SC___Doc___CEM___Milk___MkH___MkD___MW___MH___ $EN

-1___+3.4___+24____+32___+.12____+.4___-.24___+9____+3____+5___ 60____179___+48___+.6___+25.98

Carcass
_CW____Marb____RE____Fat____Carc Grp____Carc Pg____ Usnd Grp____Usnd Pg
+12____+.26___+.09__+.016____ 2_________5

$Values
__$W______ $F______ $G______ $QG______ $YG______ $B
+11.34___ -13.38__ +19.00___ +16.21_____ +2.79___ +34.14



What is not shown by these averages is the distributions from which we make our selections. This bull was and transmitted VERY SOUND predominate structural conformation. About 20% of his daughters, the largest in the distribution, were slower breeders. The power of selection, I had to smile from my hindsight when Mike posted his experience with Shoshone Fraser 6357, a son of Pied Piper out of the 6357 Balboa daughter, who would lack the anticipated "total performance" of Pied Piper so we might call Fraser a diluted version on average of the Pied Piper bull's average characters for growth, or....maybe not until after evaluation.
This is what Mike says:

Subject: Re: Reflections from LL Thu 23 Dec 2010, 8:14 am from MIke Keeney
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Since I`ve half-assed traipsed along on this journey through the years, recounting
a lot of it is rather painful for me...nothing moreso than failing to capture in renewable form
the goodness of the above cow. Joe mentioned to me this morning how he would like
having a herd of Balboa daughters; the cows I was most impressed with on my first trip to Larrys...but
when I used Balboa a little here AI ON MY COWS; they were not big enough..or so I thought;
they probably were Blythe sized...another brain turn off...
I remember seeing Fraser as a yearling and telling Joe when I got home I had saw a
really nice bull for a future purchase...we didn`t wait long; paid $5000 and bought him as
a two year old. He got pretty big; sired the Rito/Francester birthweight and very
merchandizable bulls...the daughters were big cows with milk in perfect udders.
They happened to be the cows in inventory when Joe had re-breeding problems;
maybe caused by SE defieciency; too much chicken manure, who knows...anyway,
we blamed it on genetics; too big a cow with too much milk, and that precipitated my
little foray into the fat cow, bad feet, no milk, infertile genetics so prepotent that I saw
it immediately with little damage to the cow herd; just my pocket book and ego.
The open Fraser`s moved from Joe`s spring herd to my fall herd, and settled routinely...
typical in this environment. Yes, too big to recreate the 6357 dam, but very problem free...
below is one of the smaller daughters {1300plus) running on nothing but stockpile grass;
hard at work proving how brain dead I`ve been, and what a farce the guru`s of low input
genetics truly are...




I`m sure glad she is stuck in the grand mother slot of a couple of bulls I`m using...
the genes are still here; they need better organization


Mike, from intimate familiarity with the ancestry of this cow pictured on the paternal side, I did notice she had more of a typical "Rito" hip rather than a typical "Shoshone" one as expressed by 6357 as shown above. Whether one type "hip" is preferable over another is a matter of personal judgement, but I did notice you said she was one of the "smaller" Fraser daus. And Mike, I had to smile again in hindsight thinking about how often we pick a bull, like most of us often do, wanting him to be the BEST bull in the pen and produce daughters just like his productive mother....how the BEST bulls always seem to be out of good productive, often smaller or moderate mothers compared to the average of a herd.

I'm not sure if this happens from an effect of heterosis or genetic complementarity since they both mean about the same thing.... but this frequent circumstance brings back shades of my memories with Blythe, Luria, Loanda, Leachman Lass 1004, the Jorgensen Skylandmere or Algoma cows....how it often takes the difference of the two to produce what we see as "our BEST bulls". For reproductive characters, I am convinced that strong sexual distinction is paramount. I'd rather not try to explain why these "best highest performing bulls" seldom leave daughters as productive as their mothers beyond my own theories, I only know it happens most of the time and have painfully learned to avoid them for my own personal objectives.

Distributions....I thought about the major phenotypic difference between the two full sisters I had sired by Pied Piper out of my base #1702 cow, Shoshone Erica 1707 #10393614 born in 1983 and Shoshone Erica 1714 #11155041 born in 1988.....Mike, I sold the first one (1707) to your neighbor Mike Thomas, and her mature weight was at least 200-300 lbs LESS with a current BW EPD of -.3 compared to her full sister (1714), who I sold to Theo Costas and has a current BW EPD of +3.2, a difference of 3.5. Random gene distributions....I've provided the registry numbers so anyone can look up the entire EPD of both cows, both born from the same cow. Fraser's EPD and phenotype pictured at about the same age as his sire are shown below....and of course higher accuracies would be better but there STILL WILL ALWAYS BE "DISTRIBUTIONS" to select from that ultimately determines a selection direction:


As of 12/30/2010 Production Maternal
CED___BW___WW____YW___RADG___YH____SC___Doc____CEM___Milk___MkH___MkD___ MW___MH___$EN
-4___+4.0___+38___+53___+.11___+.2__+.17____+7____ +1___+13___ 17_____60___ +3____+.2__+19.19

Carcass
_CW____Marb____RE____Fat____Carc Grp____Carc Pg____ Usnd Grp____Usnd Pg
+5_____+.25___-.04___+.012___

$Values
__$W______ $F______ $G______ $QG______ $YG______ $B
+23.66____ -.67___ +18.78___ +15.84_____ +2.94___ +28.28




In my eyes, the phenotypic likeness of Fraser is amazingly similar to Pied Piper's. I don't know how many of you will remember from my previous post, but I know Ben will, that when I told Ben that the full sister to Peter and Paul may have inherited her interim BW EPD from SELECTION from the very top portion of her paternal pedigree....that it would be difficult to visably project simply because she was the result of ET, having been born and raised from a recipient donor cow.... but based on the genetics of probabilities, I would venture to guess that the predicted EPD would be relatively accurate.

However, that particular individual, JAD Prudence 6110, by random chance may have inherited "more" of 6357....I did wonder just what John meant when he said in his catalog "She's going to mature a little later, so take care of her when she is young....", I had to laugh since I was unable to decipher whether John meant she was small....or, bigger and later maturing....we'll know several years from now.

And speaking of Ben's, when Oldtimer said the picture of Shoshone Euston 3131 "caught his eye", he was sired by a bull named Shoshone Ben 1012 #11459822....one of my favorite older bulls who left me a high percentage of the more solid work and wear cows I prefer, ....if anyone wants to look up the very bottom of his extended pedigree, I think you might find the selection processes very interesting going back to the "Y10" cow, born in 1971. I cannot stress enough that the averages of EPD differences are often insignificant. I have often thought that the significance is the selection within the distribution of any average....the direction is whether we select the top outliers, the intermediates or the lowliers Smile

Highpockets asked: Mike, Larry, someone...........please expand on this a little more. I think I understand that when linebreeding, the top and bottom (outliers) should be sold and only the middle/average kept to perpetuate the program but when you talk about variation in phenotype, how much variation before you consider the animal an outlier? As you might guess, until now I've always brushed off linebreeding as something I couldn't afford to experiment with. Now, I'm beginning to think that I can't afford not to.

Linebreeding per se is often defined as having a common lineage to a presumably superior individual. Unless you have an intimate familiarity with the individual(s), I suppose establishing a type would be a form of linebreeding with emphasis for certain characters. Before all else, the preferred type must ultimately be determined. Lofty ambitions for an ideal with high standards is common, but economic practicality often dictates what type is sustainable and also affordable. Perhaps the rest of this post will provide you with some ideas or guidelines to consider.....hindsight is often 20/20.

For example, when Mike said above that "Joe mentioned to me this morning how he would like having a herd of Balboa daughters; the cows I was most impressed with on my first trip to Larrys...but when I used Balboa a little here AI ON MY COWS; they were not big enough..or so I thought; they probably were Blythe sized...another brain turn off..." I have shown a picture before of Balboa as a yearling, an IBC of 28.37 and his immediate ancestry on page 16.....the picture of him below is as a more mature bull at three plus years of age.



Hardly anyone would have selected this bull based on his type nor on the size of his daus at that period in time....like Mike said he liked the type but they weren't large enough in a perrformance oriented society. There was no individual phenotypic selection involved from a group of contemporaries, he was the only one and so I got whatever he happened to be.....so based on selected ancestry, I just "let it be... " Smile

So Highpockets, to answer your questions, even if Balboa represented a litter of full brothers to select from, from my experiences I doubt there would have been a significant difference in what those full brothers would transmit in their distributions. Mike and I have been messing around with this narrow gene pool for about 30 years now with varying degrees of IBC's with many individuals in the distributions. Ultimately selection determines direction and for me, the average is still what I would want them to be for me, perhaps not for Mike or thee. Smile

We're all too familiar with how our ideal types and directions may change over time from experience. I recalled a picture of a cow Mike sent me several years ago, believe she was a Balboa dau or somehow connected to his "902" bull. I was amazed how much she looked like a picture I had of my base 1702 cow, Balboa's dam, taken in 1987....even the switching of their tails. The first picture is Balboa's dam, the 2nd picture is Mike's low EPD "Balboa" cow, and the third picture is one he sent me at the same time of his Leachman Tonto high EPD "fescue intolerant" daughter.




The picture of the bottom cow is not meant to be ridicule, but an example to demonstrate the importance of adaptable types beyond numbers. For another example, Tonto #10937839, born in 1987 has an extremely interesting pedigree to demonstrate mixed ancestry. He was another popular bull out of the infamous Leachman Lass 1004 cow, a grandaughter of "Shoshone", sired by the widely used Rito 2100 of GDAR. For those who are interested in the "pursuit of progress" based on pedigrees from multiple mixes of the "best" of the registered breed, may I suggest each of you spend about an hour logging on AAA and trace the pedigrees and EPD of each and every individual back several generations as an example of how genetically "mongrelized" the breed has become.

This mix and match approach to breeding by the numbers seems to be preferable for much of the mainstream and as I said before, it is passed on down to anyone who has been brainwashed to accept this methodology of selection. I don't enjoy being a contrarian but I call these pursuits of progress "pedigreed lotteries" hoping for a more comprehensive big winner. I do not like this popular changing process but I accept the facts of life that it is just part of our Nature to create many games to play like we do in all of life

I am aware that I often become a very obnoxious person to be around, a spoilsport....but I am going into a great amount of detail here for those who are genuinely interested in what happens with real world genetics....not for those who may think I am only promoting my cattle. All this detail consumes alot of time to prepare and for you to properly analyze it for your behalf.... and is of little consequence and likely too boring to those who prefer to "thrash around changing cattle" the same ole traditional way.

So, I had to laugh at J. Bob Hould's sense of humor when he said - There is no possiable way to talk to each other about livestock of any sort without some sort of ID system. Until the livestock is of exact kind. Until then there will always be numbers(ear tags) names(%&@@@() and some sort of ID system. THere has to be, without it what the heck are we talking about. There would be no need for words, because we would not have anything to talk about. THis thread would be pictures and nothing else. Back to Blythe, is there even a chance that in ones lifetime to recreate her consistantly?
Since I've never been short on words or pictures, I also had to laugh thinking of Eddie M wanting me to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, I think we can, I think we can, "Still a chance that they will see, there will be an answer, let it be, let it be" Smile So when J. Bob wonders about recreating a type consistantly in one`s lifetime, I think of the 1926 Breeder's Gazetter article again, how success is not obtained in a season, and I think about how much success have we actually had in "determining that the qualities sought are DEFINITELY FIXED" . I think whenever we do, how then we changed 'em over and over again during these many seasons of the last 200 years of breeding Angus cattle.

And so, when Slim asked for more information on the cow Shoshone Ester 3116, I have often thought about whether my years of efforts to "FIX" the qualities I seek will just be another wasted effort or not....and I wonder at my day's end does it really matter if the improved prepotency of the characters I'm seeking are diluted again. In any event, for those interested besides Slim, the 3116 cow's dam was a typical Balboa daughter. By placing more or less the same isolated gene pool back together again. the sire of 3116 was a bull called Shoshone Quent 7103, #10393682 born in 1983.

I have shown the phenotypic photos of Balboa's ancestry on prior posts, so the phenotypic expressions of the other individuals of 3116's ancestry are shown below. If you look up his AAA pedigree, Quent's sire "Intent" is the first picture below, out of a Qualton dau #GEA27. Quent's dam is the center picture, cow "#7103", one of my preferred types of Qualton daus, and "Quent" is the bottom picture shown as a yearling on summer pasture breeding cows.



Of course, selection at this point in time (mid 80's) had shifted to establishing a preferred type FROM WITHIN A SELECTED PORTION OF THE HERD. Certainly there are many other cattle available besides the ones I have in the world to select characters from whatever ideal someone may prefer. In this regard, I want to address Oldtimers post.

Oldtimer asked: I know talking individual animals is a no-no on here-- but since both Mike and Larry over the time have brought up a number of old Wye and Shoshone bulls- Shoshone Felix 6310 J O D, Shoshone Encore 6310, Shoshone Viking GD-60, Shoshone Bob, Shoshone Eric, etc., etc. that you raised or used-- I was wondering if either of you would comment on if and if so which of the bulls had the biggest impact on your program....

The reason this came to mind was on the 5 Bar X site we were talking about the Black Cedar bull- and I mentioned his sire- the old "Cedar" CH Quantum 6247... Which months ago when talking to one of the fellows that had owned him had commented extremely highly on the Shoshone Intent KGEA27 bull- and that he thought much of the good qualities of 6247 had came from being double bred back to that Intent bull and that he thought he was one of the better Shoshone raised bulls....


First of all I don't mind talking about these individual animals simply because they are real examples of genetic selection processes and the results thereof, they are dead and gone from the scene. Some bulls are rumored to be greater or poorer over time from what was selected from the distributions that they left behind over time . They all have within their distributions their pros and cons. So I suppose my honest answer is that they were all a part of the somewhat related gene pool that had parts of the characters I was trying to extract and organize into a smaller isolated population. Some contributed more than others.

To increase the frequency of my more preferred characters in the absence of others, it is a slow and tedious process of trial and error. Anyone could take any other animals of their preference and do about the same thing to build prepotency for their preferred characters, the difficulty is in determining the type you'd be satisfied with.

Shoshone Intent #9517083 was born in 1979, a NR of 119 and sold to Bill Pope in GA in my 1980 sale for $18,500. Bill was so elated with this bull's first progeny crossed on his Emulous based cows, that he asked me to pick out another Intent son to mate back to his Intent daughters to "INTENSIFY' that goodness. When someone saw Intent's first progeny, Bill told me they offered him $150,000 for the bull. At his request, I sent him an Intent son, a bull named Shoshone Beacon 2005 #10393669, born in 1983, with a NR of 112, who's dam was Shoshone Eileen GD20 #8806007(my idea of a model cow pictured on page 19 of this topic).

What was so very interesting to me is how the confirmation of Natural law prevailed in Bill's close matings.... the temporary complementarity of the first cross "disappeared" in the subsequent close bred progeny, and since Bill was focused on increased performance during that time period, it was natural that Bill would be disappointed. I have no idea what Bill ever did with the Beacon bull....the bull certainly did have the genetic potential to help "FIX" the characters I am seeking. But that is just more water over the dam of wasting another bull for all the different reasons.

Intent's sire, Viking was progeny tested for defects on 35 daus, with the monitoring help of AAA and Ben Lawson the owner and organizer, much of which was done in a herd in ND and a few other herds. I never heard a thing about those inbred progeny from that point on. The same with the progeny testing that Dr. Bartenslager did on Shannon's 35 daus....I offered to buy those inbred cattle but I don't know what they ever did with them, if anything. In my own case with Shanigan, most of those inbred progeny were sub-fertile.

These particular bulls were declared genetic defect free. To critique the process, I suppose infertility is not considered an important defect by AAA members, nor are any of the other commonly accepted more complex problems or defects that we all deal with on a daily basis trying to manage a vast array of more economically important issues. I have learned it is difficult to uphold fertility inbreeding extremes, but fairly easy in properly hormone balanced animals....Not just in my herd, but in others as well. If you don't believe me, try it....I did learn to understand alot about natural law in my lifetime.

The mainstream traditional selection creates more problems than it solves. It is from what we do that science and research concluded that we need to have an F1 cow or heterosis to improve fertility. Science has been measuring the results of our selection and extremes and we sure as hell do need Nature to help straighten us out. We may need an F1 cow to manage latent problems but not to improve fertility, or longevity, or mothering ability, or disposition, or good udders, or increased production, or structural conformation, or increased milk, or built in vigor.....after our last 100 years, we need to rearrange our selection priorities.

It is my own personal problem that I cannot tolerate the misgivings and perfectionists in this business. I have never met a breeder who knowingly wants to increase the incidence of problems but we do in our races for extremes. No one understands more than I how difficult it is to sell close bred cattle lacking the phenotypic effects of heterosis based on visible individual performance.... and why there is so little close breeding practiced to increase prepotency in order to harness hybrid power.

And yet, I have to laugh how increased prepotency of certain over emphasized traits causes continual directional cycles of change in this crazy business over time anyway...but just at a much slower pace...we just can't [color=red]"let it be". /color] Smile I do need to constantly remind everyone that my focus is on a means to IMPROVE the EFFICIENCY of beef production, which definitely includes the management of problems...not the genetically impossibility of eliminating them !!!!

I recently received another email from Gavin Falloon that I thought was appropriate to introduce here since this is a topic on opinions and philosophies. He said in part:
I have , of course not seen tha Wye cows, except in Jim Lingle’s book. But one thing is certain that our plane of nutrition is much lower. Our bulls appear to do well over Wye cows. That is not surprising as it would recover both lots of inbreeding depression and from reading the book , I think that Wyes could be quite high !

The ultimate in animal breeding would be to have a number of breeders each single factor selecting for a single trait. Because you can go much faster that way. Then have a breeder crossing them. Multi factor selection like we are doing is so slow and will take many years to make much progress. But people being just people it could never happen.

At a public forum over here YEARS AGO, our professor of Genetics said that they would like to see Falloon with 100 contributors to his Group not just four. But my reply was that too get four breeders to be disciplined enough to follow a clearly stated plan was hard enough, it would be impossible with more.

At the beginning we had a meeting with T.S. (our geneticist) at my place. Before the meeting we looked over each persons cattle. One of the breeders had a different looking bull , that on performance was ahead. “They” decided that “they” had too have the right not to use that bull because he was not conventional. They got up and made their request. I got up and said either they use unconventional bulls if they are at the top or they can walk out the door right now !.

At one stage I was doing all the calculation for 800 cows, selcting all the bulls that were used after T.S had taught me. I quickly found it was far more valuable for each breeder to do his own cows because it gave them much more knowedge of their cattle.

Even after all this one of the breeders would sneak off and buy a bull. I would turn up to go over the cattle and say what is that bull. He would say that I found that bull and it is just what my herd wants. Every time he fell flat on his face. But he never learn so he fell further and further behind in the programme.

My goodness what a lot of gas! . It is time that I shut up !


The cows shown in Lingle's book were not highly inbred at that time and without a hesitation of doubt, Falloon's bulls would do well over Wye type cows.

I did have to laugh from his story because I think the current primary Waigroup still consists of only 3 people or herds. No one knows more than I how difficult it is after 30 years to accomplish the "ultimate in animal breeding", but somehow I believe it will still happen despite "people being just people". People have distributions too, and there are some people on the other end of the mainstream curve that can make it happen.....certainly not overnite, but over time in a gradual step by step direction, and perhaps special purpose strains could be called flat liners to straighten out the incomprehensive and inefficient fallacies of curve benders.

Beginning where it all starts and that is maternal strains...more prepotent types. Some of you might wonder what a "Wye" type of cow is and I would also describe it as a "Bonsma" type. I reflect back reminded of how I thought Cow 3128 #11303817 was one of my near perfect ideal types. As a first calf heifer, she was so perfectly uddered, so full of feminine grace, so structurally sound, being the 2nd dau born in 1989 from cow #3116...kinda like love at first sight, the same as when I first saw her dam begin production. 3116's first calf, cow 3121 #11154982 was AI sired by Rito "549" and grew into a large volumed 15-1600 lb cow and I certainly didn't expect that my "progressive" attempts to stay up with the mainstream would actually turn out to be "regressive".

According to the current EPD values comparing these two maternal sisters, the most significant difference favoring 3128 was in $EN, $W, $G and $B values in addition to many other unmeasured traits. So I laughed thinking of the phrase "the faster we go the behinder we get". I did get tired of falling "flat on my face" so many times from the unintended consequences of natural law....unlike Gavins one cooperative breeder, I hope I learned and don't fall further and further behind.

HBR sent me a picture of the 3116 cow taken in 1997, and sent a picture of 3128 when she was 14 years old in 2003.....no longer teen aged beauties but both of these "ordinary" matrons lived until about 20 years of age. While it may no longer be pertinent, some of you might want to know what our foundation Ester cow looked like, #4454375 born in '64, who was purchased along with her maternal sister at the Lovald dispersal in '68 for $250 each. My brother bought her dam, who was born in '56.








With our seemingly inability to successfully renew live cows let alone dead ones, the selected genes do live on through their descendents.....like HBR 1116 of 3116, the bull pictured below and full brother to cow #3128 .... thanks to Mike's contribution of some Encore semen. And through Shoshone Extent 3116 #12006859 born in 1993, a bull who produced exceptionally uniform nearly flawless "ordinary" cows, nearly all keepers. I never did get a picture of Extent but his expressed phenotype was nearly identical to Quent's, the bull shown above. Some of the other primary bulls in the ancestry are portrayed below.











No one is more amazed than I am at the similarity of patterns of animals going back to Beaufort of Wye born in '68 when disruptive genes are reduced in frequency and finally can become absent from selection among an isolated gene pool. Notice how Qualton was somewhat uniquely different, pictured at nine and a half years of age still breeding cows....I nicknamed him my little beef Jersey bull since he had so many sound virtues, but too much milk, which isn't reflected in his EPD simply because that is a measure influenced by the growth factors as well.

When a bull is mated back to his close bred progeny reducing the effects of heterosis, the true prepotent genotype is revealed. For example, Echo with an IBC of 39% had an initial milk EPD of about 13, his daus first closebred progeny ratio'd 98 in the overall herd, their next set of outcross calves by C H O54 Rito 0055 #11462259 had a WR of 106 and Echo's milk EPD jumped up to +29 at that point in time.

Some of you might wonder about the name "Schearbrook" of the above pictured bull....his original name was Shoshone Rescuer B32. I sold this bull as a calf at about 3 weeks of age with his dam for $1500 for the pair in 1971. Schearbrook Farms branch in Missoula, MT decided they wanted to show this calf at the Denver Stock Show and requested a name change to include both farm names. At Denver, the pre-show rumor was that he was going to be calf champion and Schearbrook offered me $10,000 for my remaining interest about a coupla hours before the show.

Being a dumb young kid, I didn't take the offer.... he stood 4th in class....."they" said he wasn't thick enough. Schearbrook later leased the bull to Select Sires who I think initially sold about 6,000 units of semen, of which I never received a nickel, claiming I only retained a "within herd use only"...... I lived and finally learned that some people believe that when you're free, white and over 21, anything goes.....much later I learned that what goes around comes around. I later had what they didn't have, some Franchester progeny who were "thicker" and "better", a bull with a 17.6 RE at a year of age and weighed 1400# and was out of this outstandingly nice little perfect Fabron dau #1209, Friona of Wye. Smile And of course, this is the story behind Shoshone Viking GD60, who sold at the Midland Bull test sale for $50,000. I think Schearbrook Farms went out of business some time ago.

I often reflect back to how I once thought "how could we miss", I would live happily ever after with all these great cattle.... after all, we also had Memo of Wye who's dam was the high producing Fabron dau Mieta of Wye, who's progeny weaning ratio was 106 in 1981 and was also the dam of Meteor of Wye, the highest selling bull calf in the Wye bull dispersal of '78 bringing $31,500, a calf sired by the $250,000 Linebacker. What I didn't pay attention to was that Mieta had 4 daughters, presumed to be larger, with 6 progeny WR of 98 over a period of 16 years....where are they all at I wondered. Smile

Yes, we can fool some of the people some of the time.....but, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that we need distinct more prepotent maternal strains if we are to ever improve efficiency in beef production. I have gotten very discouraging over the years because I never hear anyone talking about harnessing all this hybrid power. I've never heard anyone ever even utter those three simple words. I wonder what can I ever do or say to convince people of the need for the Tru-Line concept, and now you all know why I can write and write and write to no avail.....it releases my pent up frustrations Smile

I know this post has a lot of superfluous content to digest and as I write my story, I remain amazed how the industry blindly dances around the issue of improving efficiency.... and it is little wonder that Craig is one of my favorite people here on KC. I have him thoroughly brainwashed. Smile Even though I extracted the following from the preface of my 1983 sale catalog, with some minor word changes, I still believe in the same principles and philosophy as always.



And I will continue onward to the next steps. I suppose it is kind of a ridiculous connotation for me to think that anyone would ever accept a herd of cows that look like the one shown below - extracted from my 1983 Tru-Line booklet. Recently I have taunted Mike over his inquisitive nature to know the proprietary pedigree of the animals pictured in my Exhibit 5. That young inbred cow's heifer calf nursing her was later so admired by an Australian visitor, that he bought her and that calf spent the rest of its life on the other side of the world.

And so I have to laugh to myself when the few visitors I get anymore see animals in my herd that look like that. I'm thinking "they" probably feel sorry for me, that my herd is going to hell in a handbasket.....because "they" usually just ignore these kind of "regressed" animals without saying anything. I can only console myself with thinking "he who laughs last laughs best". This turned out to be quite a long story of my trials and tribulations, its hard to squeeze 40 years into one post but life is swell when we stay well....this is a reflection of my breeding philosophy, cows are just cows and there will be an answer, let it be, let it be Smile




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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:17 am




Mike asked: How much larger or smaller than 3116 or 3128 was the base Ester cow, taunting us a little wanting to know how far back he should go to make Blythemakers. As individuals there wasn't any significant difference in mature size, but based on EPD numbers, there would be a difference....as always it is the individuality vs. the expected parent value and the two may not be the same. The Lovemere Ester 19 cow would have been considered an individual outlier in her day, the opposite of what was being selected for by the mainstream in her immediate ancestry....and today with her EPD she would be considered a definite lowlier, not necessarily a little NZ Lowliner. Smile

I laughed at how only Dennis could so uniquely tell his story about the Esters "......Survival of the fittest. Nature at work. Somehow I knew those 2 bulls had enough brains and athleticism that they would somehow come out of this, but I never did ask Larry any specifics so to this day I don't know how it all turned out...."

Well Dennis, they survived, some don't Smile ..... the rest of the story is that Owen McKeith called me up late and needed a couple more bulls due to injuries. I was sold out and so I sent those two bulls to him. I wish I could take credit for the so called "Shoshone influence for animal intelligence" but I can't. I laughed reminded of the nursery rhyme that ends with "leave 'em alone and they'll come home waggin their tails behind 'em". While being a poor manager can be tough on the pocketbook, it can have some long term genetic values....I've always enjoyed Dennis's stories of his observations of the antelope, deer and elk herds that roam their ranch without a bit a measured information Smile

But nothing tops his story of his "All Academic" bull and the names of his relatives. Dennis is not only an artist, he also has an artistic ability with words and imagination. Since "mere" is a synonym for "pure", Lovemere is a neater name than Eileenmere or Baroliermere, how about Vossmere.....or Keeneymeres don't sound too bad either.

I am always amazed how Nature preserves the genes that may be needed when we need them through her distributions....how the virtues of the Angus cow have somehow prevailed despite us. At 14 years of age, Lovemere Ester 19's dam had the biggest framed spring bull calf at Anton Lovald's dispersal in October of 1968, near Bozeman, MT. His dispersal sale was going soooo poorly, that they stopped the sale about midway through the sale....we bought the immediate family of four Ester cows privately after the sale at the cheapest price of any registered cattle we ever bought.

We made more money from that day than if we'd of stayed home and harvested sugarbeets like we were supposed to be doing. I consigned one of the first Beaufort/Ester sons, #B31, to a WY state Angus Sale at Douglas and he was about two frame scores larger than the Black Watch Lodge of Wye sons that were there....Lodge a $250,000 bull. A commercial Hereford rancher bought #B31, used him several years and later sold him to a registered Angus breeder who was impressed with the crossbred calves he produced. Like Dennis, "I don't know how it all turned out" after that.

Another Lovald cow (of eight we purchased that day at commercial prices) was Lovemere Rosemary 11 #3446409, who became our tag #3 cow, who produced the highest performing bull at the 1974 Midland Bull Test Station, and who was also the maternal grandam of Shoshone Shannon HC3 #9034175 GDF, a bull who topped the 1978 Midland Test. I've often wondered about the fickle finger of fate from the distributions and the pros and cons of selection for extremes. Smile

For easier comparisons of the pertinent animals posters have questions about, I've listed the EPD below followed by a copy of an ad we had in the 1978 Angus Herd Reference Edition featuring Shannon. In addition to Shannon's individuality, he was entered into the AAA's structured sire evaluation which was done in commercial herds in those days. His progeny topped all other notable sires, bar none, in the measured traits of beef production with average carcass weights of 746#: I've often wondered if it was his prepotency of genetic difference that "complemented" the commercial cows or not in comparison to his contemporary competition.....I think I know Smile

Differences.....PBray asked: My question is about the 6157 and 3116 cows. Both of these cows share many common ancestors. Phenotypically they are both beautiful cows but very different. To me 6157 looks more refined than 3116 and 3116 looks like a no-nonsense workhorse. How would you evaluate the difference in type between the two? How would you compare the two cows strengths and weaknesses in regards to overall function.
A picture is but one moment in time PBray, and the picture Mike took of 6157 became somewhat famous. I did submit another non-posed picture of her back on page 12 of this topic. Walking thru the pasture one day, I saw her contently standing there chewing her cud staring to see where her calf was at during my approach. The functional differences of these two cows performance-wise are relatively insignificant, but the physical differences you see in the pictures are likely reflected in their EPD quality grade and yield grid values, compared below.

They both lived to be about 20. As I remember, 3116 expressed a little tighter udder attachment, and had an ability to put on more external fat (backfat) while 6157 had the ability to store more of her fat as marbling, which I attributed to a higher concentration of "Balboa genes" in her ancestry. In severe cold weather, 3116 probably has an advantage, in hot weather 6157 would likely have the advantage, which was also reflected in their haircoats.


RobertMac stated: ...Disposition, reproduction and longevity will stay as my functional traits and, so far, have given me the forth necessary trait of beef in my bulls. I believe being a conception to consumer operation makes my goals a little different from breeding for a type for crossbreeding.
RM, I do believe those traits you mentioned are vital to improve efficiency. In determining my type for my maternal goals, I initially wanted a moderate functional type that would stand on their own for profitable beef production, or with their superior genetic beef quality, to complement an endpoint cross with either more quantity or quality.... but not so much emphasis on beef quality or quantity so as to disrupt reproductive or other essential maternal functions. The EPD shown below is about the way I see the cattle. The parent value of the herd today will hover around those current EPD, and while the numbers may change, the cattle won't. The general herd will work producing good usable cattle. These cattle were not selected based on EPD, these measures followed the selection for what I deemed to be my preferred functional type to minimize any counter-productive problems.

Patb stated: "LL The reason I was asking about eileenmere animals from yesteryear I was trying to trace a bull with a challenge back to an earlier ancestor who is rumored to have the same challenge. The link between the 2 bulls was there as with every other documented case of this challenge. ....Could the cows and bulls that leave your desired animals have a tendency to pass their dna on at a higher percentage then others?"
In the full context of your last question, unless proven otherwise, I still believe each parent contributes half its DNA to offspring. I believe it is more a matter of a predominance of the more homozygous gene frequencies that one parent may have over another's random half. Patb, I spent a couple of wasted, or should I say useless years searching pedigrees to find the origin of "challenges". Gavin told me "One of my mottos through life has been: there are no problems in life only challenges".

With today's DNA technology, animals either carry defects or they don't. Beyond identifying simple recessives, DNA is just another identification tool to add more costs and complexity to those measures we already have....the same forms will ultimately follow functional selection no matter what.....so now the labs are wanting to use our forms in order to identify the DNA that caused them and have the audacity to charge us for that contribution .....to each his own, but good grief, talk about the tail wagging the dog to add more unnecessary costs to beef production. Smile

From the old to the change of these few four Shoshone cows, I see very little significant difference between them as I highlighted the "tops" in red from the distributions....perhaps IBC's would assist in measuring the distributions, however, IBC's are based on pedigree averages as well with their own actual individual genotype differences in the distributions....measures seldom provide simple quick answers of what to do, they can help in providing simple answers of what not to do Smile




________________CED__BW__WW__YW__YH__Doc__CEM___Milk__MkH__MW__MH__$EN__$W___
$F___$G__$QG__ $YG__$B

Lovemere Ester 19_____+7____-4.1___-5____-21___-.2___________+0_____+0_____________________+48.93_ +12.61_-42.16_+9.93_+3.58_+6.35_+14.84

Blythe of Wye_________+1____-2.5___-3____-26___-.5___+14____-7______+5____1_____+1___+0___+44.57_+16.27_ -45.53_+12.67_+7.38_+5.29_+14.04

Shoshone Erica #1702_+10____-1.7___+12___+24___-.1___+8____+9______+14____4____-28___-.4___+25.99_+20.28_-15.97_+25.15_+17.75_+7.40_+8.04
Shoshone Ester 3116___+4____+.9___+23____+34___+.1__+9____+6_______+8____2____-14___+.1___+28.50_+21.51_ -13.08_+7.85_+6.95_+ .90__+3.06
Shoshone Ester 3128___+3____+1.6__+26____+40___+.1__+ 3____+4______+10____4____-1____+.2___+24.57_+21.52_ -7.62_+14.66_+12.49_+2.17_+18.17
Shoshone Prud..6157___+6____-.5___+12____+25____-.1_________+7______+8____ 3____-21____-.4___+30.59_+16.41_ -15.20_+20.56_+14.24_+6.32_+10.12

Lovemere Rosemary 11_+6___-4.9___-10____-15____+0____+11___+1______-12___1____+0_____+.1___+53.06_- 4.08__-37.28_+15.58_+9.61_+5.97_+29.41
Shos. Shannon HC3____-7____+4.2__+30____+63___+.6____+11___+1______-26___94___+5_____+.2___+44.46_-11.86_ +10.85_+16.20_+11.67_+4.63_+41.44




I reflect back to how the more we play with extremes, the more we pay for them ...and then with them we pay again from the hidden problematic costs in a cow herd...eventually I learned that bigger isn't always better nor is it always worse Smile Many differences in EPD are highly overvalued and have had little impact overall on commercial profitability, in fact the way we mis-use them, they likely have had a net negative effect. When cattle breed like they look, EPD are not necessary.

The two calves pictured at the bottom of the ad turned out to be Shoshone Vantage JB23 #9250940, a bull sold off the Midland Test to Bill Davis of Rollin Rock Angus, a bull who became noted more for his maternal values than performance.....the other calf turned out to be Shoshone Senturion JD60 #9250938, the bull that turned out to be the excitement of the '79 Midland Test sale bringing $60,000...who's epididymides were examined to be damaged from the winter cold, still producing a large amount of semen but never freezable and so I had to return that money....ah, for the good ole days that didn't turn out so good Smile

Adversity eventually prevails with extremes and of course, these are just some of the events that transpired from some of the unintended consequences of selection which inspired the Tru-Line concept. Improving beef production efficiency via optimum hybrid production systems is more like saying that optimum is wishing you just enough when good might be good enough to be the "BEST" that we can do TO MAXIMIZE EFFICIENCY.....but "people just being people" tend to become addicted gamblers in anticipation of winning the lottery.

Rather than join AA, perhaps Tru-Line might be better named to be known from this point on as GA (Gamblers Anonymous) as we seek the cure here on KC Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:18 am





Past, Present, and Future

Reminded that Keeneys Corner is "A reflective and futuristic view of cattle breeding FROM OUTSIDE the
registered mainstream
", much of the debate continues to be centered around the values of registered mainstream
dependency on EPD values and public papers vs. private entrepreneurship...one who organizes, manages, and assumes the
risks of a business or enterpise. This is a choice that anyone is free to make.

Differences of opinions are healthy but facts are facts. While an individual in the registered business owns his own cattle,
they are dependent on the entire AAA membership's cattle that determines the ever changing trait by trait averages of the
entire breed. The humorous content in this topic is always the best parts to help lighten the loads in life where my role is
only to take the present and make any proposed actions for the future feel like they could actually happen for the betterment
of the beef industry. I enjoyed Dennis's story of how the antelopes EPD average zero and I doubt any wolf, eagle or bear
selects the ones they eat based on which one has an above or below the zero EPD average for carcass.

The averages of the fittest antelope within their environment changes very little over time. Dennis, however, wouldn't have
a zero EPD for character, he has a forlorn coyote as a pet which makes him uniquely different, plus or minus from whatever
direction normal is measured as zero. There is that old phrase of when a person has one foot in a bucket of hot water and the
other in ice water, we're comfortable if the average is 98 degrees.

I'm reminded of an article written by Darrh Bullock, a KY geneticist entitled "fire and ice" describing how these opposite EPD
matings can be utilized to make "progressive" genetic changes and how the KY experts set a range of EPD standards on bulls
in order to qualify for "free tobacco money" to subsidize the purchasers for those cattle who qualified, and therefore also
benefitting the pocketbooks of sellers. Mike and I debated the so called merits of this persuasive influential tactic at length.
If a fire and ice mating of a 20 to a 0, Mike initially {mk-ps...still does Very Happy } supported the notion that the progeny would
average a 10, the same as if we had mated a 10 to a 10 to a 10....I questioned why would we have mated a 20 to a O in the
first place, then which would we select from the distributions, a 15 or a 5 or a 10.....And what if there had been a 30 or 40 in
the distributions since the 20 and O's also had distributions that could have ranged from say a +40 to a -20.

This is an unending selection process of a direction and why I submitted the spherical distribution charts in a previous post....
along with all the many individual examples with their EPD and photos from my reflections of my past. At first, it seems
amazing that I "created" a Shannon in two short generations out of the Lovemere Ester 11 cow and that is why I compared
her EPD to that of her grandson. I wondered if anyone noticed she had a minus 11 milk and Shannon a minus 26....and notice
the difference in BW EPD, then think of all the possible ranges that could exist in single trait selection. You all can decide whether
Shannon was a amazing mystery miracle or not, that resulted not necessarily from outcrossing, but closely related selection
of type. I did present all the facts as I know them....Lovemere Ester 11 could easily be described as a very "easy fleshing" cow
as was her daughter, tag number C3. The pictures below are the immediate relatives of this portion of the germ plasm pool.





I hope this helps answer Eddie M's question to Pbray: "PBray, do you think that the EPD's posted by Larry on
some of his "die for" cows were accurate with the single and negative digits? Do you think a fire and ice mating of a
bull with a MM of 36 and a cow with a MM of 4 will give you a pasture full of MM 20 offspring or a huge range of MM values
from 40 to 0?
Is it any wonder that I did not continue on in this selection direction. Smile

These cattle described above did breed true to type like they looked, and the frequency of that type dramatically increased.
Irregardless of how they ultimately ranked in breed EPD, the females would likely be more efficient converters of feed to beef
likely better than most steers, but as their EPD indicates, they would be very inefficient cows.

While Coffelt is concerned without affirmation of a BW EPD. I have experienced that EPD whether its BW or other traits,
that the averages of EPD that descend from a mixed array of animals in a pedigree is a very poor indicator of individual
predictability. And I do want to refute Coffelt's statement that "Identification of defected animal is only
possible in a breed association context".
Our progeny tests were conducted prior to the dates of EPD and the AAA
did not spend one nickel for our testing of animals, it was funded entirely by the participants. With all due respect, I sincerely
do not know exactly what the Angus breed represents other than color and being polled.

Anything can have an average. At some point we need to ascertain what the phenotype of an average Angus animal
symbolizes or represents. I had to laugh at Mike's "stick man ad" of a few years ago, a search of the sire summary will
reveal no animals which are breed average across the board, nor in but a very few single traits.



There still might be some listed with zero EPD in some traits today, but tomorrow they may be plus or minus. If we were
to just compare animals within a population or for example in a closed herd, we can go back and use ratios where the average
is always 100.....and of course, we have been indoctrinated during the performance movement that half the herd is always
presumed to be inferior to the superior half.

I have said that I considered each individual an isolated population of genes and EPD's are a measure of each ones averages...
and I have said for my objectives, I have learned to avoid extremes in my selections. I see where the picture of the dogs has
gained in popularity, and I am reminded what Gavin said in his selection for his preferred type that "Multi factor
selection like we are doing is so slow and will take many years to make much progress."


Breeders of PARENT strains may have a zero as a base for their own population. The only "EPD" that would be
relevant in systematic programs to harness hybrid power would be the EXPECTED PHENOTYPIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
THE SPECIFIC CROSSES and "SRD' - STANDARD RANGE OF DEVIATION
.

I am certainly enjoying all the comments and I do think we are making educational progress during these exchanges to
reach a greater understanding of each others concerns. While trying to uncover the invisible to see what lies underneath,
being an old guy much of the anticipated excitement has waned as I had to laugh at Mike's email to me of the AARP eyesight
chart followed by the "sheer nightgown" example that reaffirms that the naked truth in breeding cattle can be hazardous to
our our own well being.



The Sheer Nightgown....


A husband walks into Victoria 's Secret to purchase a sheer negligee for his wife. He is shown several possibilities that range
from $250 to $500 in price -- the more sheer, the higher the price. Naturally, he opts for the most sheer item, pays the $500,
and takes it home. He presents it to his wife and asks her to go upstairs, put it on, and model it for him.

Upstairs the wife thinks (she's no dummy), 'I have an idea. It's so sheer that it might as well be nothing. I won't put it on,
but I'll do the modelling naked, return it tomorrow, and keep the $500 refund for myself.'

She appears naked on the balcony and strikes a pose.

The husband says, 'Good Grief! You'd think for $500, they'd at least iron it!'

He never heard the shot.

Funeral on Thursday at Noon. Closed coffin.
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:19 am





Seeing is Believing

So many questions, so few answers Smile
In regards to Wyes WW Chart, Jack McNamee asked:
Larry do you know if these weights included the calves from their outcross herd they had from 89-96? If so then outcrossing had no real effect....It would make sense to me that both of these things were going on at the same time. I would think that while they would have been selecting for outliers for use as bulls, they would have also be cull lowliers based on phenotypic production levels. It would be interesting to know at what rate both of these things were going on.

Jack, I suppose we each tend to evaluate data in different ways and I think you have the genetic aspects well in hand. While I am somewhat reluctant to discuss other programs beyond my own, I have been personally familiar with the Wye herd until 1990, now a public research herd. You might be interested to know that Dr. Brinks from CSU (who was on TAD at Wye after the herd was donated to the UMF) had prepared an analytical study from the records of the history of the Wye herd prior to 1978. We know what the selection emphasis was and the calves were creep fed prior to '78. Dr. Brinks measured the trends and the actual 225 day weaning weights were steadily increasing. Since that time without creep, if you look at the bar graph closely you will notice what I call a consistant waving trend, a few years up and then fewer down, repeating itself five times over this time period since....guesstimating the last five years from 2005 to 2010 not shown on the graph would be the formation of another wave up.

I call this surfing the waves, our reactions to our selection from the trade-offs within the true genetic level of a population in accordance with the natural laws of inheritance. For whatever Wye's own reasons, their recent bull sale offerings are being selected and tested consisting of two or three from a particular sire, involving many sires, some old and some new. I found Wright's long term guineau pig study of isolated families to parallel the way gene segregation occurs in our breeds of dogs and cattle or whatever. Recent discussions on the merits of different breeds are being debated on this topic.

When I reflect back to my first experiences with beef cattle and milking our own cow(s) at about 8 years of age, on a previous post I pictured my 4-H Hereford heifer Tessie. In those days probably 90% of the commercial herds had Herefords. Every so often they would introduce a Shorthorn to improve the milk. Hereford feeder cattle who had a "white lineback", brocko face or "roanish haircoat" were discounted, suspected of being part Shorthorn. Hereford people criticized Angus bulls for their lack of asses, they liked bulls with a full "twist" between their back legs with full flanks....fat, some liked "mellow yellows" with big bone and wide muzzles...darker reds, the shade of Shorthorn red, were discriminated against. While Dennis and Bootheel talk about roosters, I have plenty of stories about my boyhood days and odd cattle habits....which still prevail : )

When Dennis displayed those pictures of Beetseed, I laughed thinking he is reaffirming the reputation of those finer boned, assless Angus bulls and how Eddie M is concerned about those pictures like Craig submitted ..... how those young Shoshone bulls look awfully regressed. I can't find the picture right now, but Mikek sent me a picture of a Wagyu bull a few years ago and I laughed thinking how much he looked like Beauigan or Balboa. And I also laughed when Henry B. told me his Wagyu half blood bulls looked like damn sorry Angus bulls. No wonder I enjoy breeding cattle, it is so full of laughs from all the silly things we do.

Mikej said: ......"And the highest marbling Wagyu have the least milk. So "milk/marbling type" does not neccesarily equal large milk production. Maybe it's not all so neat and tidy as I'd like to think." Certainly the dairy cow is the ultimate "maternal machine" but the difference in the Jersey and the Holstein or dual purpose Simmentals is their "density"....or size.

Mean Spirit says:
In my dairy cow vet days, lameness was a constant problem. Sometimes hairy warts, sometimes foot rot, but very often plain old laminitis. The modern Holstein, as you guys know, is an extraordinarily delicate flower.
My vet told me ovarian cysts in Holsteins were a major problem, among others. Mark Hannah who operates a 2500 head Jersey dairy told me modern Jersey calves are so frail at birth that without human assistance, few would survive. Ken Clark told me if we could put an Ayrshire udder on an Angus, we'd really have something worthwhile. So, we reap what we sow and the problems come with it.

I watched a science channel show where the only survivors of the larger mammals in Argentina during long droughty periods were those who had the smallest brains since the brain is the biggest user of available energy....and how a small mouselike creature in Australia survives because the male's nuts are as large in proportion to a man having those the size of large watermelons. So I laughed wondering whether Beetseed could "whip a 7 frame Hoffster mobster growth bull in 3 minutes flat" from brain or brawn...reminded of David and Goliath....it couldn't have been from his scrotal size, maybe it was the "female intelligence" Dennis talks about....I noticed he always checks things out first with Erica, learning that from his rooster Fred Frisbee Smile


Bootheel said: I saw a chart somewhere, sometime, that showed a breakdown by breed, and their ability to make prime, choice, etc,.....seemed like Angus, was the only purebred, that could make it to the upper grade, as far as traditional beef breeds go, maybe shorthorn.......yes Wagyu, and a sluece of dairy. I wonder why even beefier Angus have the inate ability to marble.......maybe my memory ain't that good, might have dreamed it....too many exhaust fumes or something.

I cannot spin yarns as well as Dennis or Bootheel, but the rest of the unembellished story behind Beetseed as I remember it goes like this. I came in one day from working in the beetfield, and my wife told me Dennis called and said he thought I would be interested in his ultrasounding results. Most of you know that at one point in time Dennis and Erica were very interested in developing a superior carcass strain of cattle. Dennis told me he had this bull who's ultrasound ratio was about 170 or something near that for marbling, a bull sired by Echo out of 1126's full sister, #1130. A very interesting circumstance if you look up Beetseed's pedigree #14639597....each parent was a highly inbred individual.



Reflecting back at the pictures I submitted on Page 26 of the 1702 cow and Mikes "902" cow, for some reason or another, these cattle tend to switch their tails when they are getting photographed. Not sure what that means, but for those interested in how Beetseed ranks within the breed for individual traits, the following is his EPD percentile graph wherein he is expected to transmit calving ease, near the top for minimum cow maintenance requirements, excellent carcass qualities, a plus 13 milk is enough and I would expect the docility, stayability and longevity could be as good as there is.




Coffelt asked me some valid pertinent questions:

Please find a few questions if you would be so kind to address them. I am interested in your thoughts on a business model.... I AM NOT BREEDING FOR OUTLIERS, BUT PREPOPENT OFFSPRING...... I am interested if LL believes the great things he has done over many years are possible in this day and age. I desired his opinion..... Ranching is a business where economic performance matters...I further asked what genetic variation 5 generations of breeding could be reduced to : This is the second time I have asked and the answer is avoided. The next best source of an answer is the Keeney cows in my herd. The variation is large, and it is my strong opinion that EPD's are needed to make breeding decisions , as the variation is too great....My third question was the genetic significance of a bull excelling on test, and I am interested in LL's answer.

First of all I believe greater things are not only possible in this day and age, more than ever before, they are essential. The business models will take care of themselves from man's own innovative entrepreneurship. The entire beef business is based on economic performance by the per pound marketplace. If the variation is too great in the Keeney cows, it is still not as great as the EPD and phenotypic variation in the Angus breed from which EPD averages are ascertained. I provided an example of the significance of bulls excelling on test as dominance for those measures are increased. The constant additive selection was a step by step process from one through three generations to reach Shanigan...from Franchester to Titan to Shannon to Shanigan with single trait selection. Multi-trait selection would be much slower.

If our single trait selection is to improve the economics of beef production, then certainly prepotency or predictability in the parent stock seems vital. If it is your strong opinion that EPD''s are needed to make breeding decisions, I totally agree with you if you are a commercial producer who must have more reliance on the expected progeny difference FROM THE COMPLEMENTARITY OF THE CROSS of specific parent lines, but I have questioned the necessity for EPD for the development of the functional parent lines or strains. I thought I explained that with the hand holding the crystal ball of pre-evaluated linecrossing systems. The entire cow herd NEEDS to be considered as a genotypic population of one....if we begin with an Angus cow herd....we need to determine which one type of the many types do we prefer. Some breeders may prefer "open pollinated" varieties, but Wright claims successful breeders use closely related prepotent sires of the same type if the objective is to fix characteristics or establish an ideal.

Surely a type like Beetseed and any other similar types would reduce input costs and you could run more animals per acre of feedstuffs or per unit of available energy to offset lower per individual production. There will always be debates over which type of animal people prefer but reliability in nearly anything we purchase is generally an important consideration....whether it is a John Deere or Case IH tractor, who have different competitive models for their own purpose. New technology enhances marketing strategies and I often wonder if the additional costs are worth the convenience of the benefits. It all boils down to each of our own's affordability, when times get tough, we make do with what we have and then reliability becomes more important.
We all know how we tend to become complacent or extravagant when things go well.

If you remain a PCC cooperator, over time your experience will reveal whether or not both you and your customers improve production efficiency as compared to something else.....particularly if you want to improve the prepotency of your offspring without breeding for outliers. Would you also be so kind to address my questions to you. Do the PCC sale prices tend to hinge on the degree of any outlier's own individual performance? Does their individuality override EPD in the marketplace? Someone told me that the sale bulls must pass Kit's comparative standards or are rejected and sold for slaughter. Please explain to me how the PCC program is improving predictability/consistency and profitability not to the cooperators, but to the commercial beef producers with factual data rather than testimonials or opined rhetoric.

I do not want to debate the pros and cons of anyone's breeding program, it is like arguing over which breed is best. About the only thing I can do is to enlighten us all with genetic principles repeating the following paragraph from a previous post and continue providing my personal experiences as examples herein, as JBob says, the ultimate decisions we make are our own and we will either enjoy or despair over these independent decisions.


From a genetic standpoint, I think most of us struggle with the opposite effects between outbreeding and inbreeding during selection. I have been told that the positive phenotypic effects of heterosis are NON- ADDITIVE.....and how many of us stop and think that the negative phenotypic effects of homozygosis would also be NON- ADDITIVE since both revert to their basic average over time. Hybrid vigor/heterosis is explained as a "phenomenon" resulting from hybridization wherein offspring display greater vigor, size, etc than the parents....obviously homozygousity would have the reverse effect from any given centerpoint.

When I use Shannon and Beetseed as examples, their individuality or "looks" is what their EPD truly represents whether we like it or not. The continued predominance of the random half of their genotype depends on the other half they are mated to. Beetseed's individual carcass qualities and his EPD are not a fluke of nature that just happened by mating fire and ice to change an average. Whether these additive results of close breeding are preferred or not, his sire carries an EPD $G value of +31.38, his dam a +22.70 and he has a +32.68. If the primary objective is disrupted by higher marbling values, then he should not be selected as a next generation parent.

I hope my examples help anyone to make better breeding decisions, I prefer not to get into business model discussions regarding monetary values. I did list many of the high prices that people have paid for individuals and anyone can decide whether or not these habits have improved the efficiency of beef production. My primary objective remains the development of parent stock that can regularly produce beef animals which at the lowest possible cost and expenditure of labor give the highest possible and longest lasting net returns to the commercial beef industry.

I've talked about tunneling through all the "snow" to find answers....To all those who might EVER WONDER WHAT TWO FEET OF SNOW LOOKS LIKE ?? WELL----
HERE IT IS----




HEY !! DON'T YELL AT ME--- I DON'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP--

I JUST SEND IT ALONG----
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:20 am

Purpose

MikeK asked:
Larry,
I seem to have remembered hearing that Lingle laid you out a mating system for your early Wye purchases that lead to the Midland test successes?


First, I want to remind any readers that my purpose here is educational primarily intended for breeders of commercial cattle ....too often I tend to get side-tracked by debating the pros and cons of the traditional selection habits, mostly to demonstrate the results. To move forward and away from that, while learning from the historical experiences of those before us, I am always reminded of the old saying that if we ignore history, we are destined to repeat it .... often laughing about doing the same things over and over again expecting a different result......and yet most of us still do, especially in the political arenas Smile

Mike, the initial mating system that Lingle laid out for me was NOT what lead to my Midland successes in the 70's. Having the impatience of youth, I soon skipped his suggested sequential mating sequence in favor of concentrating the highest growth genes that Wye had developed up to that point in time. The initial mating system Lingle suggested was actually a reflection of his own mating systems from when he began to over a period of 30 years to increase the production of the Wye cow herd. Being a product of his upbringing, including the milking and working with dairy cows, he developed an eye for the dairy cow supplemented with measures and nutritional effects in his directions to increase production. I didn't want to do what he already did all over again so I became an "extension" of the then current Wye herd.

Some of you are aware that Lingle wrote a book describing his life and the evolving processes of the Wye herd, "The Breed of Noble Bloods". He gave me his book, personally autographed December 25, 1976. One of the statements that always stuck in my mind was that he said a dairyman has an advantage over beef cattle fellows since they slept with cows and sat under them milking them by hand....that you really get to know a beast that way....and that breeding a top herd is one of the most difficult jobs in all of Ag. I recommend anyone interested in breeding beef cattle to read his published book. I want to share with you a couple of paragraphs in his ending summation which have had a big impact on me.

"My life has passed through a number of phases. Looking back at the ups and downs, the satisfactions and the disappointments, I find the most important influences were the lasting impressions made on me by an unselfish and saintly mother and a good and dedicated father. If I had not received their early training and the inspiration of their example to deal with others as I would be dealt with, and to do as good a job as my powers allowed, I would never have been trusted with such good land, cattle, and people as has been my privilege.

It has been said "A great herd of cattle is the lengthened shadow of one man". Yet no man can accomplish much by himself alone. He is the sum of all the influences of all his associates. I am not inclined to think of the Wye Angus as a creation of mine. The program is more far-reaching than anything I could ever have created. It is the finest example I know of cooperative effort. Whatever I had to do with its inception by the injection of a few cardinal ideals on breeding and merchandising has come back to me a hundredfold in the confidence and, I believe I may say humbly, the love of my associates. All along the way they have strengthened me with their esteem. The desire to be worthy of them has made me a better husbandman...and in return they have given unstinted devotion to duty.

Sitting back in retirement and surveying the entity that is now Wye Plantation, I can see great things in the future for it and through it for the entire cattle industry.....With it all, the Wye program will remain distinctly practical, aimed at producing practical cattle for practical cattlemen. The Wye product will always be cut from the pattern of goodness.


Of course, the Wye herd was gifted to the UMF two years later, in 1978. Seeing greater things in the future to better serve the "entire cattle industry", these were the inspirational words that contributed to my years of contemplating experiences which led to the birth and conceptual application of Tru-Line. I talked about the importance of the purebred role and stabilizing types back on Page 23 of this topic and how Lingle and K.A. Clark were very supportive of the concept.....yet here I sit nearly 30 years later still waiting and looking for cooperative efforts. Smile While not sitting still in my own learning experiences, I have thought alot about the continued non-acceptance of this concept, and yet the commercial industry readily accepts crossbreeding reinforced by academia approval.

I have surmised that it is the fear of close breeding that is the primary concern of most people. In this regard, a few days ago I received an email from another respected old experienced breeder, Gavin Falloon which is very revealing to me. With his prior permission to utilize his comments if presented in the proper context, here is what he said:

Larry
On the 12.12.2010 you sent me a mail about the wye data and giving me a web where I could get their published data. What interested me was that they stabilized type and levelled performance. So that was why you set out to stabilize phenotype I have only just printed off all the information and have only just had a cursory look at it . When we first closed our herd and the geneticist looked at our pedigees he was horrified at my inbreeding levels, so the programme firstly set out to dissipate those levels. Since our inception, our inbreeding levels have dropped to zero so the scientists tell me. When I suggested that we look at levels they told me that it is not necessary as doing what we were doing they would return to zero. I can see why this would happen ( changing bulls every year) but it does concern me that son William is using more of a very few cows sons in those sires. This has two effects, bringing the herd too close to the pedigees of those few cows which tend to be similar. Raising inbreeding levels. William is constantly concerned with in breeding and so he is constanly on the lookout for old NZ pedigree cattle in other herds that are by our bulls but acceptable phenotypically. Where as what he should be doing is to make sure that the sires used each year are out of different cows in our herd. Unfortunately like all youth he has all the answers.

It does not appear that we have stabilized in any aspect yet. Again the scientists tell me that we never will, provided we keep spreading our genepool by using sire out of different cows (within reason)… I am probably shooting at the clouds yet as I have not carefully studied the wye data just some more thinking to do

Regards to all. When I suggested that Kit Pharos letters were worth looking at it was “marketing” not breeding that I thought was interesting...... but meantime he sure is a hot marketer.

Gavin


In the competitive marketing arena, yesterday, I received two free magazines in the mail, one issued by the Limousin Foundation, the other by the Gelbvieh people.....and both full of articles promoting the values of their breeds for crossbreeding, and many of those articles cite the research data at MARC maximizing heterosis for credibility.....so when in Rome we must do what the Romans do. For those who have followed this topic, you will recall how Tom Burke wrote me and said the Angus breed is at another of its long list of crossroads of change. Of course, the Angus breed promotes it's self sufficiency with all it's diversity to do all things suggesting you to use their data bank to select those bulls to fit your needs. Some use trait leaders which is nothing more than straight bred crossbreeding and others may select a range of preferred types seeking a continuum of outcrosses to avoid close breeding.

Choices....If there is someone out there that is specifically breeding populations of parent stock for optimum complementarity of the cross to improve the predictable consistency of the "seedless fruit", I do no know where they might be. Since I chose not to live in Rome, I often think I must be living in the land of Oz. In the land of Rome, we expect "purebreds" to be phenotypically superior to crossbreds....somehow crossbreds and superior Angus do not have any pathetic progeny Smile I do not know who authored the following post on Keeney's Corner, but I would sure like to meet and welcome him or her to the land of Oz.....or Oddity Smile

The ability to control the end through the Terminal topside for specific markets and improve production efficiency through more trouble free cows matching the environment and management of the individual ranch or area. Custom designed cattle to do a specific job with the beauty of the cowside control being her versatility to reproduce herself or be mated to produce a specific product.

Sold before conception. Plans for longterm. Flexibility through the cow. Precision through the sire. (Too bad that word is now forever tainted)

The cowherd efficiency and the terminal selection suffers from the disfunctional marriage of Terminal, Maternal, Growth, Milk, Lean, Marbling, Muscle, ... and the industry wide parallel selection across breeds. Nothing is as good as it could be or should be. The commercial cattleman is left to pay the price of sorting through and culling more. Producing more from more. Culling more and more. Net result: less and less.


So Mike, I took a long route to answer your question about the mating sequence Lingle offered me. He said to first breed the Wye bull we purchased back to his daughters to establish some genotypic uniformity in that god awful mixed up herd we had, then cross them with the Harvestoun blood for more ______, then cross those with Ballindaloch for _____, then cross those with the Prince Paul lineage for ______ etc. etc.and at some point in time we should begin using our own bulls from which we would make our most progress. Well, I didn't follow thru after the first uneventful disappointments in 1971, but by hook or crook, I now laugh that they were nevertheless instrumental in today's population in the development of sub-populations for the future.

Well, like Lingle, my life has now also passed rather quickly through a number of phases. Looking back at the ups and downs, the satisfactions and disappointments, I find that the most progress I made in the efficiency of beef production was from those first pathetic inbred animals like that one pictured below, who's dam born in 1974 was a result of that first sire/daughter mating sequence. And Nature must have so loved this animal, she gave me two of them born in 1981, for the cow pictured below also had an identical twin sister. Since no one offered any comments on that exhibit, perhaps it is either a little too radical, or, I can only presume that no one would ever consider owning a herd of regressed, functionally efficient cows that looked like that Smile I did learn that by using my own bulls, I did make my most progress for my direction in the land of Oz, my only concern is that the Romans will use them to feed their lions instead of people, but even that would be an improvement ....there is lots of space left yet in this new land of opportunity .. Smile Smile




Answers

Bootheel asked:
I have been meaning to ask, Whatever became of the Craigie cows, Mr. Leonhardt? I have not noticed them in any of the pedigrees posted and was just wondering how they fit in.

As I stated in my previous post, my life has passed through a number of phases. I received two potloads of Craigie cows in the early 80's during the races for performance and size with EPD just being in the initial states of development. The bulk of the Craigie EPD were mostly about zero for the few growth traits measured at that time, basically B, WW, YW and MEBV. At that time period, it was very difficult to market zero EPD cattle, just as it has always been difficult to sell "average" registered cattle. I originally had intended to keep them as a separate unit for their carcass quality and cow families...and had a separate member code for them with the AAA. That was also back before the CAB program. I also had to spend several years to gain more familiarity with those cattle. Long story short, I later abandoned those initial plans and eventually via selection I incorporated those I preferred into what I call my yellow tags, the population of the "X" strain. All those females in the herd today that descend from that Craigie base carry an "A" prefix to their cow family number.....the basic gene pool was similar to the Wye herd, while the selection was somewhat different wherein the primary selection criteria on the Craigies was for carcass quality in comparison to the Wye herd where the primary emphasis was on performance.

Charles quote:
I am struggling a bit with the idea of population genetics. When in reading Larry's posts about his history and methods, he was able to produce midland winners and then produce consistantly functional x-strain cows by only breeding in that direction for only 3 maybe 4 generations. Why then would you use the population method where you are waiting for a random selection of genes to produce what you qualify as superior animal over a long period of time such as with Mr Fallon's direction? I realize that Larry used outliers, but what about using a set of animals with a good balance of functional traits, but select for a bit more performance or a bit less milk or whatever and achieve the desired results much quicker.

Of course, we all select individual sires from a population to multiply and develop that population or herd to propagate the preferred characters. To speed up the process, an "outlier" is normally assumed to be the most extreme of something to move a population in a direction. To speed up the process in my direction, I practiced inbreeding and an outlier in my herd may also be defined as those individuals who transmit the characters more often for my "ideal" type, for example the "average". The human difficulty in our endeavors is to ascertain and sustain that type while trying to maintain zero inbreeding or outbreeding. Breeding parent stock for hybrid production (seedless fruit) would dwell on "that random half an animals genotype" as oppsed to the whole....isn't this as clear as mud Smile Smile
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PostSubject: The Games Go On by LL   Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:41 am

Enjoying a little R & R, I noticed Mr. Rattler has slithered back from the 4.9pointBarY ranch to the shelter of his den to watch the VM Cowboys battle the CVD Kitty Cats on the internet superbowl of ideology....or would that be idiocy. Smile Bootheel's experiences in Shantyville surely win him the right to furnish the concessions for the Cats and I'm sure Eddie M will be glad to furnish the Cowboys with a half beef he finally bought from my surplus 3 legged registered inbreds who didn't lose their EPD (extra prime dining). I've witnessed one of those cowboys eat 32 ounce rare steaks including the bone in one sitting looking for more, a quarter beef wouldn't be nearly enough. Mr. Rattler told me he's hoping for a quick Cowboy victory over the Cats so he can feast on Bootheel's leftover rodents.

While OT is battling all the snow trying to keep things clear, Mike's got his protective wife all heated up ready to whip some ass. Apparently, Linda raised the temperatures to 61 degrees in KY and Mike got to laughing too much at all our tribulltations, that he clicked the wrong buttons. So Mike says he's outa here, likes short winter pastures so he can find golf balls while OT must use orange ones to play on his cement hard snow. In appreciation for services rendered, I do think Mike ought to send OT one of those Swiss St Bernard caddies who carry those flasks around their necks. And I do want to thank Eddie M, I used his money to pay my internet bill and also to Mike and Joe for paying my Beartooth Cooperative electric bills at Red Lodge.....just to keep their Linda's happy.... I didn't need to ask why Joe and Mike preferred Bordens milk from contented cows with fruit for their cold morning cereal.... Joe does all the morning cooking for Mike and I also understand why Joe is Dennis's barometer. Smile

Now Mike concedes that "Like cattle breeding, golf is a game you cannot win...all you can do is play". I think Mike is mistaken about golf being a game you cannot win, only play, since Tiger can attest to both winning and what you cannot also do or eventually you pay the piper. Smile I am familiar with how Mike can't seem to distinguish his work from his play and so he carries his rattles with him wherever he goes, kinda his security blanket. I once changed him into an owl but like our cattle, despite my best efforts he reverted to his former self. My guess for this is that he thought his inbreeding levels were negating any progress. His owlishness tried to persuade him that this did not mean he was not making progress, it was being built in but not being realized visually, that anyone purchasing his cattle would gain the full value of his progress.....that it makes some sense that inbreeding depression is just that and depresses recordable progress. Well, Mike told me he learned common sense ain't too common and claims his sense of humor is just common sense dancing, that conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.....So Mike began playing with his ABC building blocks, we're still working on his conduct Smile

Mike and I love learning from everyones mistakes since we can't possibly live long enough to make them all by ourselves.....we have made more than our fair share so we're keeping some of them a secret to even the playing field. We do need two lives, one to make all the mistakes and the second to profit from them, so we have formed this relationship where I make 'em and he profits from 'em. I wouldn't want to rob R V of the thrill of self-discovery if I told him about any disadvantages of Viking, rather I'm suggesting he form a harmonious relationship with Mike like I have and it'll all work out OK.

While I've been told imagination is the workshop of the mind, Churchill said a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. I laugh thinking how all my difficulties must offer me so many opportunities.... if only I could be an optimist with perserverant persistence. I think I was granted that wish back when Mr. Lingle said " I find the most important influences were the lasting impressions made on me by an unselfish and saintly mother and a good and dedicated father. If I had not received their early training and the inspiration of their example to deal with others as I would be dealt with, and to do as good a job as my powers allowed, I would never have been trusted with such good land, cattle, and people as has been my privilege." Mike claims the only rule needed on KC is the golden rule..... do unto others what they do unto you Smile

Mike and I can spend hours laughing at all the silly things we do so if my babbling sounds confusing, it is because it's challenging to be outside the registered mainstream.....kinda like Patb's standard "If a bull is worth using he is worth testing for genetic challenges". Challenges are looking through the latest Montana Angus News, a landmark state for performance, wherein it exemplifies what Dennis describes as the ancient era of "illusionistic bovine promotional aggrandizement". More big words, I just call it the land of milk and honey, where there are over 60 glossy pages of the upcoming sales with pretty pictures of all the bulls with their superlative growth and carcass EPD....An envious ole man like me can get as jealous as when I look through Playboy reading about 85 yr ole Hugh marrying another gorgeous 23 yr old chick. Mike is alot like Hugh, his work is his play.... Linda don't know Smile

Fantasy can always be better than reality. In cattle breeding we usually do whatever we can afford to do, but I have never seen anyone with money want to waste it in a business, rather they want to invest it to make more. It is obvious why none of the bulls promoted in the MT Angus News advertise the $EN requirements of their daughters, nor their stayability .... the ancient era of the registered mainstream is strictly an output oriented society with lots of egoism. My guess is that it took Dennis over 20 years to learn that he wants to be "...part of a new movement in the cattle industry to separate from the ancient history most bovine breeders are still in, including the so-called grass/pud/dud breeders. A revolution has begun. It's happening right here, right now. The thesis is being written and the manifesto is forming."

Dennis can be mad dog mean or as gentle as Ivory soap.....A revolution sounds harsh but I do detect a quiet undergrowth of resistance to being lemmings of the mainstream. I did say as the genes wage their invisible battles from our selection, I decided I am not going to get involved in those visible battles going on with registered multipliers, public or private. I've always preferred volunteer armies and I sincerely appreciate Dennis and Mike's support, especially for bringing forth the definition of MANIFESTO and my previous statement.
: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer

a primary point to contribute to the manifesto...

Nothing new, the history of the registered Angus breed has always been about trophys, awards, contests and self-acclamations unto itself which actually increases beef production costs. I have never figured out how boasting about how much their sales bring, listing their top sellers etc, helps the commercial producers improve their bottom line.


When we get serious about the self-responsibility of this business where we reap what we sow, a new movement to separate itself from the ancient history must be careful to not bring some of the old habits with it. I worried somewhat when Mike publicly posted the complete pedigree of #13472009. For obvious reasons, my own herd records have been proprietary since 2003, I can't imagine why breeders want to publicly expose all their dependence on others. For many reasons, the registered industry is basically untrusting and has insisted on many kinds of verifiable credibility forms and measures. We measure the parents, then the progeny after the fact. We use terms like progeny proven without regard to distribution. We measure individual metabolic efficiency without regard to efficient production. Someone posted we measure more and more to net less and less. We live in an era where we're strangled by regulations to protect us from ourselves. I do like the phrase that humor is just common sense dancing.

For some reason I feel very comfortable looking at pictures like OT recently displayed as compared to those in the Montana Angus News, and I felt very comfortable with the picture of the young bull in his working clothes that I received from Leroy Thorstadt in this mornings email out the cow that Craig liked so well.....not aggrandized.....good word Dennis, I did have to look it up in the dictionary to see if it was a real word Smile


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PostSubject: KISS by LL   Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:31 am

In this business I am constantly reminded of the Charles Mingus quote - "Making the simple complicated is commonplace, Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, That's creativity." R V, I cannot thank you enough for saying "the two dimensional view is eerily similar", in gratitude a KISS from the manifesto for helping me make a point. Smile I was reminded of a childhood riddle of what is black and white and red all over.....add the letter 'a' in "read" and the answer was a newspaper. Additive and subtractive genes....we seem to favor making the simple complicated but I think about how we all tend to ignor the simple basic guideline of the manifesto - "form follows functional selection" whether it is a 41/97 or a multi-sired Shoshone.

Whether our cattle are red, black, white or blue, this simple universal guideline eventually always holds true with or without pedigrees, measures or DNA. I really don't know how to explain any clearer how when our cattle breed true to their look, there is a commonality of that functional form as it becomes more prepotent or predominent irregardless of origin. But it seems the mainstream is never satisfied with a single prepotent form. I am reminded of that picture I submitted of that long line of dogs waiting to pee on a single tree, which one is the best dog for me. Some science people have told us about 98% of our human DNA is the same as chimpanzees and have told us there are very few genes involved in what makes a dog into a Collie or a Spaniel.....or from a dwarf to a giant....and so R V, if we can increase or decrease the frequencies of a type via selection, I am wondering why you would have a hard time with a type to type concept.

In my simple mind then, it seems to me that we must want a type to do more than it can consistently do at one time. Everyone seems to be searching for a simple quick black and white answer. So I am enjoying the discussions of Jbob's dilemma on "riddle me this" regarding his outlier bull....will he be or is he not to be,that is the question. While Bootheel and Jack are free at last from the circular whims, I particularly enjoyed Patb's post of the AAA's long range plan survey, they must be as confused as the rest of us looking for direction.....but my all time favorite topic thus far is Taylor Orr's solution to Angusology to better enjoy his retirement years. Smile

So as we swing and sway to the music of Danny Kaye, perhaps some lyrics of Ma for prolific reproduction and Pa for more precise production could be written to make for a romantic harmonius duo to produce better children.....I'm thinking about searching the internet on Facebook or E Harmony.com to find the perfect match. While Taylor feels like we're kickin a dead horse, Mike is an optimist practicing resurrection.

Mike's topic on "Inbred Selection" offers some excellent examples of the resurrection to a better place.....and population genetics. I hope the parallel genetic principles of cattle and corn as examples will help clarify the manifesto in addition to the ones with pigs, chickens, fish and sugarbeet seed. This is not just about increasing production, or measuring and marketing of parent stock, it is all about fixing types to improve both the efficiency and quantity/quality of hybrid production.....to gain more from less over time. And yes, that requires a lot of time and patient persistent dedication which we all seem to lack. But surely it is a worthwhile and possible direction one step at a time......Mike and I see our glasses as half full, not half empty. For those who cannot accept the concept, it is kickin a dead horse....but for those who do, they know their horses are just napping saving their energy for the big race in the survival of the fittest....what we lack are some trainers Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Reflections from LL---Condensed   Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:15 pm

[LEFT]Following the advice of an expert...by LL

Mike wrote:

Don’t tell me cattle breeding isn’t like a religion; it is to the cattle breeder who determines value by genetic
accomplishment ...it's only a business model to the marketer who measures his success with money...
I practice resurrection with every newborn calf, and Larry’s writing above is like an altar call to a promised land that I can
finally see...the fact I don’t have time to get there is a good reason to start the journey sooner...the trip requires no great
sacrifice; there’s beef aplenty to eat along the way... Smile .......if you don’t get conned, you don’t have to con...


When I contemplate breeding directions, any genetic accomplishment is measured by the success we have in organizing
genes that are already here for mankind’s benefit or detriment. During our journey to establish some genetic order out of
the chaos, I doubt the promised land that Mike sees has streets paved with gold leading to St. Anthony, ND, it's likely a place
more like Lead, SD where inhabitants adapt to make the best out of what they have, just enjoying the more important things
in life where they can "eat, drink, and be merry" despite their surroundings. Smile




We hear lots of talk about environmental adaptability, ecological balance and performance. The Arctic polar bears and the
Antarctica penguins each live in their own opposite yet similar worlds, places to visit but most of us wouldn't want to live there.....
we have all the space in between left for the rest of us to find a place to enjoy our lives. . Rather than be born again in order
to reach a promised land, in the cattle world our choices seem more like the different political philosophies.... the loud and boisterous
extreme radicals on both the left and right with their opposing polar views in an endless tug of war, each trying to attract the silent
majority.

Yesterday we received six inches of more new snow out of the north and this morning it's been snowing from the south, here we
sit in the middle catching hell from both directions, but the opposite winds must have reached a balance this afternoon cause now
it's snowing dollar sized flakes peacefully falling straight down......I wish I had a camera to substantiate that pictures do not lie.....looking
out my window it is gorgeous if you're not a cow in weather that's neither fit for man nor beast. Smile

Competition is a relentless adversary and people who make their living in grass roots agriculture are some of the more
independent creatures. To lighten our load in the breeding cattle world, there is nothing more humorous than reflecting back on all
the crazy things people have done and continue to do.....and I don't know of anyone with crazier humor available today than the flock of
coo-coo birds that hang out online canoodling at Keeney's Corner. Smile The rest of the birds in this big wide wonderful world enjoy
the thrill of riding on things that spin around the faster they go and chasing things that are different or unique. I suppose there are
at least a couple hundred different kinds of cattle from musk ox to wilderbeasts that hobbyists and clowns have mixed and matched
with an abundance of marketing schemes. Breeding cattle is but one of the many things people do that truly creates another con artist's
many promised lands.

When we reach a more serious state of mind, we all know that criticism seldom solves problems but when Mike says "if
you don’t get conned, you don’t have to con",
sometimes it is necessary to call a spade a spade by exposing some of the
shenanigans that go on in the cattle business. And we all should know that practical beef production is an entirely different proposition
than the opposite glittering excitement of the radical registered segment with their exorbitant monetary values and related fanfare.
My feeble efforts here are to disconnect the two so we can each go our separate ways without hindrance to one another, a difficult
proposition since the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.




Cons spinning yarn into gold reminds me of Bill O'Reilly's no spin zone.....during his pre-super bowl interview with President Obama,
as a news reporter he asked what he could do better in his job, and Obama replied "to just tell the truth".....inferring that so often
the whole truth is not known which leads to premature distorted views......and Rumsfeld has just written a book entitled the
"Known and Unknown" to provide the rest of the story. Reporters do like to be the first to report a breaking story without knowing
the whole story. To be first in something has always been a human condition that is considered an accomplishment with great
acclamation and rewards.

In cattle breeding, I have referred to the visible and how the invisible is the rest of story that comes later. Just telling the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth to seek justice while purveying breeding animals might be construed as being
a first....but this first would likely be without great acclamation and rewards . Some things in life never change - cows may come
and cows may go but the bull in the cow business goes on forever. Smile During my searches for nothing but the whole truth to
justify my breeding directions, I found it interesting how man's obsession with time is reflected in our selection methodology
measuring things by speed, quantity and distances. In racing, Tesio mixed different specific formulations of stayers and sprinters
to be successful in breeding horses to win races for different distances while Budweiser bred big strong horses to pull beer wagons.

Different horses for different purposes....In cattle breeding today, most of us would like our cows to be stayers and yet produce
sprinters who reach a given endpoint with the greatest speed on the least amount of energy.....huuummmm, just thinking out loud
to do this with one type of animal would be like magically turning salt into sugar. While both salt and sugar look alike, I laugh
imagining all the underlying messages from the phrase "pouring salt in the wound" to add more pain while factual research has
shown that coating a wound with sugar will help heal it faster......we do alot of mislabeling in the cattle business selling sugar and
spice and everything nice to heal our wounds faster while adding more salt to the wounds.

So in the cattle breeding world rather than developing formulated recipes for success in beef production, the search goes on for
"heavenly" miracles "hell" bent for leather racing in our progressive directions. Academia and breeders promote the mixing of
sprinters to win these races in our "pursuits of progress" with little regard for long distances. Quickly running out of high octane fuel,
we build bigger fuel tanks with more capacity. Stayability or continuity is out of fashion, speed is in fashion during these relay races,
the marathon racers require more endurance. Science has even developed across breed EPD to help us increase our speed by mixing
all these measured parts.....we've even found new names to identify these superior mongrelized thoroughbreds calling them purebreds
with more predictable EPD averages with little regard to the distance between those averages.

Doing what we do, Mike says he has grown weary of sorting through these mazes of progress, that he has practiced resurrection
with every newborn calf and finally sees the light at the end of the tunnel that leads to a promised land.....knowing Mike it's likely a less
crowded place where he can enjoy a more leisurely and relaxing place or pace playing golf while his cow's do all the work. Smile
Since we can't cross turtles with rabbits, the limitations of natural law mandates that we must make choices. Sticking his head
out of his shell, Mike saw how we all have different priorities in life but the primary common choice among pack rats seems to be
accumulating self wealth taking things from others.

Mike and I have reached the age where we are worried more about our health than wealth so we chose to breed some stayers
for more endurance. Mike calls these more functionally athletic, marathon type cattle with longevity timesavers......I
call them timesaviours.....ones that save us from danger or destruction. So when Mike said "Don’t tell
me cattle breeding isn’t like a religion",
I figure timesaviours would also allow me to have a lot more time to spread the gospel
of my philosophical ramblings describing our promised land.

A couple of other innovative and more charitable pragmatics like Dr. Voss and Dr. McNamee have opened a FREE RBPS clinic
donating their newly found spare time just to support the needy....no dues, rules or membership like AAA, its more like the
anonymity of AA. Having been there and suffered from the addictions of modern progress, Dr. McNamee is breeding a herd
of timesaviours as functionally self-sufficient as Dr. Voss's 1500 pronghorn antelope; who must either win in their race for life on
their own or perish. Being Irish, I doubt Dr. McNamee is a leprechaun hiding his treasures nor related to Dr. Kevorkian since Jack
is trying to prolong the life of his pronghorn type cattle in his treeless western arid region. Dr. Voss attributes much of his
doctorate to studying both his pronghorns and longhorns so I doubt neither one of these doctors are related to
Dr. Hitler's SS (scientific society) who's ambitious objectives are to develop a super race to rule the world.....surely we need
some timesaviours to save us from danger or destruction. Smile

On the other hand, science uses DNA to study the origins of the surviving species, they worry alot about extinction if we lose
variation and describes evolutionary change as mutations. Some people have tried to breed beefalos, others have decided to
breed deer and buffalo and science is worried that some of these more domesticated registered and DNA'd animals will escape
and intermix with the wild ones causing ecological chaos. Ecology, Natural, Bio-Tech.....on the one hand science is promoting
variation and on the other trying to prevent it.....lots of different opinions on these subjects to consider trying to make
better choices.

So Mike says - Talk is easy; talk sells and improves nothing...applying the principles is the difficult and quiet work...
the Work has begun......A rather sobering search result for "when all’s been said, and nothing done"
...."what
has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."
Nothing new under the sun going round and
round sounds disparaging. In our philosophies of life, we worry alot about what others do and Mother Shoshone worries too
about her survival but has consoled me that her Mother will take care of all our worries and concerns over time and that there
is no greater sacrifice than for one to give up their life for another. Not wanting to hear any part of how bigger fish eat littler fish,
the "rather sobering search result when all's been said" is that it is a sacrificial world where everything lives
off something else. Being at the top of the food chain, man's biggest enemy is himself and the smallest things he cannot see
with the naked eye.

So, now that I've identified all the problems in the world, when we have to choose between what we can and cannot have or do,
it presents dilemmas measuring things by dollars. Some men choose to walk with wolves down paths filled with danger or
destruction while Dennis rides his Longhorn steer enjoying the serenity he sees among his cows. If all's been said and nothing done,
my refuge is when I walk my talk from what my cows tell me. My one regret is that there wasn't a RBPS clinic available when
I needed it. I needed someone to convince me that breeding cattle for a more contented and efficient way of transformating
energy to human food is distinctly different than breeding cattle to win races.
As I muddle through all my thoughts, the need
for therapy is readily apparent.

Cow therapy helped me recognize why I have been so stupid for so long thinking winning races was beef improvement when in
actuality it is a burden beef producers must overcome. Being a grass roots farmer all my life, I should've known better. I am
grateful that I couldn't afford to get a PHD in animal breeding. I would have been even more handicapped by the traditional
brainwashing process which started with my 4-H extension leader and a Chester White gilt when I was 9 years old. I was
49 years old before I began the cleansing process away from traditional mindsets. Spending 20 years in rehab, I was 69 years
old when I was finally released, cured and free from the shackles of all the traditonal bullcrap that clogs the beef pipelines.
Not many of you know how difficult it was to spend those 20 years in rehab trying to design a stainless steel beef pipeline that
fits together to flow more smoothly....nor the last 7 years looking for investors with the materials available in order to construct it.
The longer I go, the more I smoke, and where there's smoke, there's fire to keep burning the Kentucky tobacco.. Smile

The primary difficulty in all this is that the mainstream RB's seem to believe in the trickle down theory, starting at the top
and working backwards where going downhill is more profitable and easier for them. Qualified engineers know a house with a
poor foundation will crumble, that the strength of anything is in the foundation. The foundation of the beef industry is the working
cow herds and my cows have told me the trickle up theory would be better beginning with a stronger foundation in harmony with
nature. We don't hear much about harmony in this business but we hear a lot about applying selection pressures....increasing
stress and pressure on the foundation until it implodes. I have to laugh reminded of when someone from FL recently told me
he put so much selection pressure on fertility, he didn't have those troubles anymore, they're extinct.....true story.

Having been a lemming chasing sprinters to win races, disappointed and weary from all the hyperbole and pressures, being wimpy
and simple-minded, I just couldn't take it anymore. Without doubt, I believe reproduction and longevity are the most important
economic traits. So, when I decided that I needed some stayers to reduce stress for my own well being as well as my cattle, trying
to regain some sanity from the insanities of the world, much to my chagrin I found it to be a lonely place, kinda like
Mike's promised land.

Always questioning my sanity for breeding more contented ordinary cattle for ordinary more contented people, with no therapist
to talk to, I've discussed some of my mental problems with Mother Shoshone for reassurance,.someone who has no self-created
delusions of grandeur.....just doing the best of what she can while she can. Mother Shoshone is of a universal faith who believes in
being fruitful to feed the multitudes. In memoriam, I'll just introduce one of my many therapeutic aids over the years as MS, sold
for slaughter at age 19..... snapped a picture of her for this obituary while she was answering one of my questions I posed to her
a dozen years ago - her kind......and kind spirit live on through her descendants and relatives.

MS 1991 - 2010



On that one summer day leisurely walking through my pastures, the first question I asked her was, "Why did she seem so content
while I still remained so discontented ?". MS responded, "Well, it's all attitude sonny, why shouldn't I be content,
what more could I want? I'm just a cow enjoying life, look at all this grass around me, I have more than enough to eat, I am a
very healthy, wealthy and a wiser cow after ten years..... and I have a healthy, wealthy calf..... but he is not too wise yet..... see
him over there sniffing the wind trying to do what the big boys do....he's thinking how someday he wants to be king of the hill......
.Look, he's walking over here now to tell me all about where he's been, he is getting to that inquisitive stage, asking lots of questions
.....he'll wise up in time ..... "


When he stopped about 15 feet away, I snapped a picture of her approaching calf , he looked at me, then his mom, she made
a soft 'mmmmm' sound, the calf looked back at me, then ran over and started nursing. Standing there looking at MS, I hesitated
for a moment, then said to her, "I'm wondering how can you consider yourself wealthy.... you are an ordinary cow, an
extra-ordinarily nice looking ordinary cow..... but your ordinary calf isn't as big and growing as fast as some of the other calves
in this pasture." , and with a teasing smile I said, " your calf would be worth more money for me if he was the biggest, fattest
calf in the pasture."




MS looked me squarely in the eyes saying with despair, "Ahhh, now you have answered your own question
of why you remain discontented. You humans are so handicapped, you measure wealth by dollars.....cows know life is swell
when we keep well....cows measure wealth by their health .... by the good genes they and their offspring have for our
continued well-being."
Raising her voice she exclaimed, "Just look at how fit my calf and I are... it is a
survival of the FITTEST you know, not the GREATEST .....we're so lucky to be so fit.


And then in a more subdued tone, MS added, "I've been around here for quite awhile looking deep into the eyes
and with my big ears listening to all your visitors walking these pastures.... my keen sense of smell can detect when something's
rotten in Denmark, she laughed, they are all confused, , always searching for what they think are the best calves, bulls or cows....
.most of your registered visitors are never satisfied,..... their priorities are out of whack as they go around handcuffed to popular
fashions whether practical or not ..... cows dressed in their ordinary working clothes suffer immensely from human egos
you know",
and with a stern look, she said, "they always want us to be all primped up looking our best,
to be admirable displays for their egotism and pride of ownership ....how can we work and look like a queen sitting in her throne
all dressed up in her fancy robes......and you know more than anyone how most slavemasters can't afford to lavish us with things
that royalty can."


"Well, I certainly got your dander up", I interrupted, MS stammered, "...It... it.... it is just that humans love contests
and only idolize winners....they have these big egos..."
, and then sighed, "We ordinary cows are stuck out
here in the real world having to do all the work......we can't all be queens. I know you understand that I am a work and wear kind
of cow, you see me at my best and worst, but I get as upset as you do from the expectations of most humans. And another thing,
I'm not at all attracted to the big butted, fat potted, sway back bulls that most of your visitors prefer today, they are just not my
type. If humans had to walk in my hooves, they'd soon change their minds about what's more important in life than trophies
and money. For Pete’s sake, cows never know what kind of bull their masters will bring them next".

MS paused, then added, "I suppose you won't believe this, but working mother cows will always choose a bull by his
charisma and stalwartness over some perceived new human fashion model",
and she paused, then shyly looking upward
rolling her eyes, "I like my bulls in trim, athletic condition with lean muscular butts .....your visitors would learn much
if they just looked at other things in nature, how wise females choose their mates for the betterment of the species.....females have
all the power, yet you call us the weaker sex......there is nothing that gets me more upset than when us working cows are considered
to be merely incubators for so-called blue blooded royalty with fancy pedigrees.....too many males are tyrants to females, I suppose
Queen Mother made them that way to keep things in balance as they spend most of their life fighting..


I just stood there, not knowing what to say, embarrassed of my ignorance thinking back how many dollars my big high performing,
trophy winning bulls once brought me along with more problems, and now here is MS unloading all her frustrations on me. Staring
at me she said with confidence, "All animals know that eyes reveal our true intent, our feelings, even exposing deceit....
humans do not think that cows can understand, but the guilt in your eyes reflect what you're thinking. I hope you learned from
your mistakes. Cows don't waste a lot of time talking, we mostly depend on body language, I hear humans say actions always
speak louder than words. But, humans seldom practice what they preach, they're always too busy thinking about themselves to ever
stop and listen to what we cows have to say....I'm sure glad you learned to listen".


In a more sarcastic tone, she said, " We have no choice but to pass down from generation to generation human's
ruthless, merciless and demanding actions, and then they blame us for being what or who most of us are.... they pick our mates
based on their own wants, disregarding our needs.....and then they wonder why so many of us cows are open at the end of the
breeding season.....and why some of us get downright mean from all the stress."


"I know", nodding my head slowly in agreement, beginning to think this nice gentle cow really despises most humans, a fleeting
thought ran across my mind that she is sounding more like my wife who can be not so nice when she starts bitching about what
men do wrong. Quickly remembering that MS might sense what I'm thinking, I blurted out "Are you claiming cows are smarter
and wiser than humans and we should let cows pick their own mates ?"

"I'm glad you brought that up." she said, " I've been meaning to have a heart to heart talk
with you about this for a very long time....I could feel your perplexed mood today, I'm beginning to worry that you might revert
back into your old habits again. Usually you are too busy to pay any attention to me"
sounding alot like my wife,
MS continued, "You seem bewildered, torn between trying to decide whether to breed us to what humans want or
what us cows need. I sensed the hour was here to have a frank discussion about what you're fretting about, especially about
PICKING OUR MATES. Queen Mother figured this out long ago. "


Nodding my head knowing she was right, I was beginning to think that what I am doing was a hopeless effort, that I would be much
better off financially picking bulls the same as everyone else in order to sell my cattle for more money.
MS continued, "I want to encourage you to stay the course. To begin with, cows are definitely wiser. I know
humans think we're just dumb animals" ..... "Most humans think they are smarter and wiser than our Queen Mother"

she scoffed, and then frowning she said, "Humans think I cannot understand their incessant criticism of me, I hear
them say I am not thick enough, not deep enough, or tall enough, or short enough, or milky enough, or grow fast enough.......
always trying to pick extreme bulls to fix what they think us ordinary cows lack.....and you, why you even inferred my calf wasn't
big enough....."


"But you don't understand - just calm down", I interrupted, now realizing why man refers to Mother Nature in the female gender.
I quickly tried to pass blame by saying, "It's actually not all our fault, it is in our human nature.....we're taught to pick the best
of the best outliers....."

"Oh, but I do understand" MS interrupted, and then said "But humans confuse best with
fittest....if outliers were Queen Mother's favorites, ask your expert cohorts why does she produce such a few of them"
,
she laughed.

"Humans often don't have time to stop and think", she added, "I've seen and heard your
frustrations when you tell your visitors that too much of anything can be as bad as too little for the good of my own well-being....
naturally, I care very much about my own well-being and even more so for those who come after me when I am gone..... I have
seen how most men just will not listen, I suspect they also have herds of discontented cows",
smiling she said
" this is a common trait in males."


Hesitating for a moment, looking deep into my eyes, MS said, "Now about picking our mates, I want to remind
you of the time you mated me to your big hot shot high performing bull, how your visitors really liked my nice big daughter
I gave you from him.....they thought she was the best calf in the pasture. My goodness, I heard you tell someone she did ratio
21% more than the average of all her herdmates....how you marveled at the idea that such a mating would give me the ability
to produce one extra calf in weight every five years.....but...she never became a good mother, did she...."

"I felt so sorry for my daughter because she took after that big lummox of a dad",
laughing MS said, "there is a lesson to be learned here if only humans would listen to what we cows have to say.
Queen Mother allows you to use her magic powers but over the long term she'll have her way."
Smiling, MS said,
"After all, she governs you too you know.. I suppose most humans think Queen Mother wasn't aware that my
daughter wasn't needed to replace me,..... that's why I'm so lucky she designed me to last for 15 to 20 years."
Laughing,
she said, "I can guarantee that if you had sold me and kept my daughter, and kept at it.... as you already know,
Queen Mother would start handing you more troubles than you would care to deal with..... my daughter made a great sacrifice
for you and I know you appreciated it. "


"I did......OK, so you're wiser and smarter" I conceded, "but humans have a lot more pressure on them than cows do.....I didn't
know cow's were such deep and simple thinkers...I've seen them stop and take time to deliberate what choices lie ahead of them,
I thought cows were just slow minded."

MS stared at me awhile looking puzzled, then said "Well, first of all, no one is smarter than anyone else, being wise
is being smart. Arrogance is strictly a human trait, humans who think they know everything always brag . Experience has humbled
you, I knew you would listen, that you believe, but you must be prepared to talk about what I'm telling you .....and continue to learn
more about our Queen Mother's rules."


"I will....but I must go now to do other things, I certainly enjoyed talking to you and you have given me so many things to re-think .
I'll be talking to you on a regular basis".

"Thank you for listening, I hope you find the contentment that I have", MS said smiling, "I'm glad
I'm not a human.....Sayonara"


In lieu of flowers, the Shoshone Family requests that any gifts be sent to the RBPS,
in care of the Keeney Corner Foundation Trust Fund, Nancy, KY




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