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 An update on our "line"

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Grassfarmer



Posts : 861
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: An update on our "line"   Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:53 pm

Had some down time in the last few days so looked back over our linebreeding program to date to provide a summary although I realize this will be of little interest to anyone but me. I also wanted to try posting pictures with imgbox (way easier than photobucket but still has sizing issues. If you click on these photos some will enlarge.)

Given what I was later told to be almost impossible odds due to a tiny starting population I'm quite encouraged by the speed at which things have progressed.
I bought a 15 year old cow in the fall of 2001 that was eventually to become the model I wanted to duplicate.


223U the foundation female. It was 2006 before I decided start a line breeding program based around her.

In total we bought in only 19 females, looking back 15 contributed almost nothing and 4 cows influence dominates the herd today. 223U has 23 direct female descendants in the herd now. A key purchase was 24P a double grand daughter of 223U pictured below in summer and winter coat. She has contributed greatly to the population with 34 female descendants in the herd by age 13.





24P's half sister 11T has contributed another 10 head so these 3 cows have given me a base of 70 females, all essentially descended from 223U, many of them showing 50% of her influence even when several generations removed as my main two sires initially were the 223U sons Warrior and Solomon pictured below and now their sons populate the herd. No outside bulls have been used which has speeded the concentration of bloodlines.






I have one different cow line that has contributed about 10 head and their origin goes all the way back to a herd in Scotland that probably had concentrated maternal genetics back in the 70s but no one seems to have recognized them as such, they were just seen as females that were generally smaller than average and paid the price for that in the marketplace.

We are getting more and more females like these from the core population, just good working cows under our conditions.





Apart from the 19 foundation cows I bought in I got around 10 cows that were the result of a calf share deal formulated in an attempt to capture some more "great old genetics" from 223Us era. The cows I have are 2 to 3 generations removed from the "great oldies" and any greatness there was appears to have disappeared somewhere along the line as they are contributing little of value.

The final component of my herd has been a number of females graded up from a commercial Red Angus type base. A couple of these families have contributed a considerable number of daughters, the rest less so. What is interesting about them is in the early generations they outperformed the "pure" purebreds. As time has gone on and more generations born these grade up origin lines seem to have less to offer than the tight bred core of my herd. I guess this is in part getting away from the heterosis of the initial cross but it surprises me that inbred regression of the tighter breds apparently isn't pulling their performance down relatively. The grade ups are often 6% to 14% IBC where the tighter breds are 20% to 30%.

Time moves on, I sold all my heifers this spring that didn't come from these 4 most successful cow lines to other breeders both purebred and commercial and will probably continue to do so as the core of the herd continues to expand. My aim is 200 females and it should take me less time to get from 70 to 200 than it did to get from 1 to 70. While I may be painting myself into a corner in terms of a tiny gene pool it seems to be working so why not continue with it? Given the experiences of LL and others posters on here it doesn't look like I'm going to run out of variation within this tight gene pool any time soon. The variation we are seeing seems to be constrained within certain parameters and we are seeing fewer and fewer outliers to the general population.

The results of our system are put to the test by customers like this running both Luing and Charolais bulls in a large, single breeding group, red Angus base herd. Heifer replacements are kept from the Luing bulls and everything else is sold.
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MKeeney
Admin


Posts : 4770
Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: An update on our "line"   Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:18 am

great honest story of success Iain...my latest visitor had bought a bull from Sansom, Coffelt, Pharo, and a second hand OCC..and then asked what I thought of Gerald Frye...yelp, I guess he thinks I`m one negative son of a bitch, but I don`t much time to deal with ignorance anymore...
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Mean Spirit



Posts : 342
Join date : 2010-09-26

PostSubject: Re: An update on our "line"   Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:30 am

Good story Grassy. I'm thinking, by the way, that if you're "painting yourself into a corner" with too much inbreeding, you're just one generation from fixing it, so I say keep painting. At least for now.
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EddieM



Posts : 916
Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: An update on our "line"   Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:05 am

An encouraging story. I was plotting up some ancestral grafts for a few sheep that a family bought a week or so ago. They have interest in linebreeding and so I did a little extra to send them going back 7 generations+. What is looks like to me as I review: I am too cheap to buy an outside ram!

But it confirms what Grassy found and what I have seen: the success is going to be in the minority of the individuals which we purchase. Take your losses early and linebreed the remainder. Or look to the mainstream or outside for a security blanket and give up any consistency.
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Grassfarmer



Posts : 861
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: An update on our "line"   Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:42 pm

Mean Spirit wrote:
Good story Grassy.  I'm thinking, by the way, that if you're "painting yourself into a corner" with too much inbreeding, you're just one generation from fixing it, so I say keep painting. At least for now.

I guess my problem remains the same as it did at the outset. There is no paint store selling my color (breed) on this continent if I did desire or need to outcross to fix in one generation. That's causes me to wonder if I should retain the less closely related segments of my herd but using the same bulls means they will be closer and closer with each generation.
Or I could go to Scotland for an outcross. Maybe to the herd advertising "Strong lines and Lasting results" except on examination their experience with the breed began with some animals they bought in about 3 years ago. Bought the breed record price bull at the first sale.  Rolling Eyes
I don't have much time for ignorance anymore either.....
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outsidethebox



Posts : 91
Join date : 2010-11-17
Age : 64
Location : Goessel, Kansas

PostSubject: Re: An update on our "line"   Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:11 pm

There are a lot of genes in them there animals Smile How many females are you up to...what is your target number at this time? What is your criteria for replacement bulls...both genotype and phenotype/performance?
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Grassfarmer



Posts : 861
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: An update on our "line"   Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:32 pm

We are running just shy of 200 cows and I want to get to 200 but all of the core group. I haven't done much selection period. If the females are big enough to breed and continue to turn in calves they stay. Culled 2 or 3 for turning in dink calves, the same for poor udders and none for feet or temperament.
Bull selection has largely been on paper, basically keeping one from all the various daughters of the 3 main cows in turn to try and spread their influence. Don't measure performance other than getting a birth weight on bull calves and that's to satisfy customer's curiosity not mine. Don't pick them on phenotype or "performance" other than selecting for quicker shedding types and solid red color.
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outsidethebox



Posts : 91
Join date : 2010-11-17
Age : 64
Location : Goessel, Kansas

PostSubject: Re: An update on our "line"   Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:11 am

Grassfarmer wrote:
We are running just shy of 200 cows and I want to get to 200 but all of the core group. I haven't done much selection period. If the females are big enough to breed and continue to turn in calves they stay. Culled 2 or 3 for turning in dink calves, the same for poor udders and none for feet or temperament.
Bull selection has largely been on paper, basically keeping one from all the various daughters of the 3 main cows in turn to try and spread their influence. Don't measure performance other than getting a birth weight on bull calves and that's to satisfy customer's curiosity not mine. Don't pick them on phenotype or "performance" other than selecting for quicker shedding types and solid red color.  

I think you have enough genetic material and work to be done to last you a lifetime.
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An update on our "line"
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