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Kent Powell



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Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : SW Kansas

PostSubject: Multiple Sire group behavior   Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:56 am

I turned one bull out before I left for Red Lodge. When I got home, Linda and I put in 7 more. Not the ideal situation for the first bull.

I had quite a few questions about multiple sire group breeding, so here is a little video of how the bulls were behaving early the next morning after walking a couple miles to the cows the afternoon before.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loj6FTzTG8I


I get along best if the bulls are kept together all year. This group of bulls are all 5 year olds, All ET's, born and raised together and kept together all their life. They know their place in the pecking order and there are few problems.

Taking bulls out of the group disrupts things about as much as adding some. If we add bulls, we prefer to do it in a big place with the cows.

This morning we are adding some yearling bulls as future prospects. I haven't used yearlings in a long time. The bull school idea makes sense to me, so here we go.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:26 am

Really enjoyed your multiple sire post. I have one for you now.
On the tour, when we finally got to the group that I pick my breeding stock from, there were 3 bulls in with about 120 head of cows. We had to hunt around to find the Embrook 106 bull. When we finally found him since the guys who bred him (Rich Embrook, Sam Wylie) really wanted to see him and I don't blame them, he was off to the side and very upset. The next day Ben Dimond and I went back out to look through some more cattle and when we got over in that area we see Embrook 106 walking the fence on the east end looking for a way out which we provided for him by opening the gate. Since then he has spent this breeding season walking the fence on the next breeding pasture trying to get in. This is another pasture of parent stock and various odds and ends. He would like to go in there because all I have in there are young bulls. But opportunity for this is fading fast. It doesn't look like Embrook 106 is going to contribute this year. Perhaps next year I will put him in a group either all of his own or with younger bulls, yearlings. The 2 bulls left are Shoshone/Horse Butte bred bulls content on dividing the cows up without much commotion. Shoshone bred bulls seem to get along better with their own kind than with outside blood. These 2 bulls made life hell for Embrook 106 and it finally cracked his ego. I go with the flow.
Also part of my bull school here is putting my yearling bulls out half way through the breeding season. I used to protect them by turning them out first and then kicking in older bulls behind them. Now I'm more interested in seeing who will survive and thrive in this new manner of bull school. Erica and I kicked out about 20 head of yearling bulls on the butte a couple days after the tour. These bulls will eventually be evaluated and some will be used in multiple sire groups with the parent stock herd. Because of the elevation and extra work navigating the butte, structural problems become apparent and bulls that start out up there very seldom end up sulking as older bulls. Young bulls that learn early to be thankful for what they get bred are very different from bulls that get pampered as yearlings in their own little utopia. Purebred breeders wishing to make progress for their commercial bull customers would be wise to use not only their own bulls, but multiple sires in their herd of cows for the reasons of structural, conformational and psychological evaluation.

Dennis Voss in the vicinity of needing to go to work.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:22 pm

Dennis Voss wrote:
It doesn't look like Embrook 106 is going to contribute this year. Perhaps next year I will put him in a group either all of his own or with younger bulls, yearlings.

It's interesting reading the multisire philosophy, something I don't practice as most of our rented pastures are size for 40-50 cows/single bull groups. I'm intrigued why you would cut this bull slack and give him a chance when he can't live with your system. Are his genetics so valuable that you will change your system to accomodate him?
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:51 pm

I wanted some sons to replace him, and I think I have that covered. My main reason for selecting him was feet, I want to borrow some Falloon blood to make excellent feet. I'm trying to select some of his daughters to use him on for next breeding season, so I may put him with this group alone, for this reason alone. THis animal was selected for the single trait-FEET, all else positive is a bonus, all else negative is a rip in progress. KEEP AFTER ME Grassfarmer. DV IN VICINITY OF LUNCH
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:11 pm

Great story Dennis.

I had never tried multiple sires until two years ago. It was a fascinating story, filled with sex, violence, blood, spit and ass. I turned in 6 bulls of varying ages from 7 to 1. The older bull was the big dog daddy for about a week, then the 5 year old put him on the outs. I first thought he was hurt, but it was mainly emotional, a broken ego. He became a real pain in the rear, never wanting to be near the herd again, and if I sent the dogs he would just high tail to the front to find an opening, or leave town altogether. I did as you are planning and used him by himself some this past winter, but he never really recovered, so I sent him packing.


The dynamics of a herd of bulls is fascinating. I keep the pre-enlightenment bulls all together, and move them from farm to farm, away from the cows in the off season. Usually one or two panels, or none, and they go on the trailer readily with the dogs help. But, you have to know the pecking order and load them in the correct order, or Katy bar the door, they will hurt you or each other if in the wrong order. I usually don't split them in the trailer, as if they walk up nicely, they are usually in the order they prefer.

I have not let Sniffy and Sam in with the other bulls, partly at the request of Mike. Their dynamics are interesting. After each served their duties this winter, I stuck them back together with plenty of room. Actually I tried to put Sam in with Sniffy, but he would have no part of it. In two months time he had not forgotten his social standing. They never really fought, but Sam did have to defend himself, while trying to run away. The memory and intellegence of these animals never ceases to amaze me.

The buffalo in Yellowstone were a fine exhibit on multi sire behavorial as well. Lots of eager but lacking bulls hanging around the fringes, biding their time, and a few castoffs, to scared to get close, but still wanting to be in sight.




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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:54 pm

OK Dennis, so you are using him as a single trait feet fixer, I hope it works for you. I'd be concerned about the different environmental influences on the feet you are bringing in. I'm assuming the good feet were grown in New Zealand, brought to Pennsylvania and another generation produced there before moving to the Butte. I suppose you are at least diluting the outside influence by the time you have home raised bulls but you will also be diluting the foot improvement genes.

In our breed cattle in the original herd had very good feet, likely shaped by plenty rock on the land to wear them as well as rigorous selection. Once they started shipping bulls and semen to Canada the feet went to heck - primarily too much growth on them. I speculate that the mineral rich soils with no rock caused them to grow different to their homeland. They were not all bad - the breed founders came out to Canada and saw the feet and went back and culled out certain lines that were deemed responsible. In more recent times a lot of Luings went into SE Scotland - again an area of better soils with less rock and again the feet went to heck. Maybe this is of no relevence to what you are doing but I'm just wary of bringing in cattle with perfect feet developed in another area of the world.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:00 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
OK Dennis, so you are using him as a single trait feet fixer, I hope it works for you. I'd be concerned about the different environmental influences on the feet you are bringing in. I'm assuming the good feet were grown in New Zealand, brought to Pennsylvania and another generation produced there before moving to the Butte. I suppose you are at least diluting the outside influence by the time you have home raised bulls but you will also be diluting the foot improvement genes.

It seems to me Grassfarmer, that you're not understanding the genetic composition of feet period. I think I understand your notion of environment/feet/differences/wearing down with rock/wearing down with sand/mud/gumbo/whatever. Angus cattle over many years in this country have lost their credibility with regard to the genetic composition of their feet. I trust Gavin Falloon's New Zealand efforts to improve Angus feet. The bull I'm referring to, Embrook 106, has excellent feet as judged by me. Much better feet than most Angus in America. My herd has excellent feet as a whole. I just want to be 80 yrs old someday like Mr. Falloon and have young breeders like yourself who come visit my herd, comment about the quality of the feet in my cattle. I'm trying to decrease the amount of space between the toes, improve on the structure leading down to the feet, improve the hoof wall and the amount of solid heel. I like the feet on my Longhorn bulls although I've seen old Longhorn steers end up with kind of shabby feet mostly because they're big, fat and inactive.

We could transfer this foot discussion to the thread I have on feet if you would like so that I don't start repeating a alot of stuff I've already said. Just for discussions' sake, your concern versus my theory has a alot to offer in way of dialogue. My statement to you is this, good feet in New Zealand will be good feet in Montana. Not underestimating the environmental differences just emphasizing the genetic composition of well made feet. If 95% of Angus breeders in America would look at the feet on their cattle, it would be a huge step forward but feet are the last thing you look at when you have x-ray vision for marbling, yearling weight, beef value, cardboard cutout profiles etc. In America feet on Angus cattle only need to be good enough to get a profile photograph for an AAA ad. After that you just call the hoof trimmer. Once you get your photograph you're home free. I love the idea that a breeder can improve an animal's feet generation to generation. Environmental pressure will always be the key to improving feet. This pressure must be utilized by the breeder to select animals exhibiting the best feet given their environmental pressure. I'm out of here to put up hay.

Dennis Voss in the vicinity of wondering what kind of coffee Mean Spirit's having right now. He is so mean.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:00 pm

OK Dennis, my experience on the feet issue is limited by inexperience. I'd just guessed with the circumstantial evidence I'd heard that environment maybe played a bigger role relative to genetics. As you say you have a good footed herd - I saw nothing to worry about among your cattle, Ben's or Larry's with regard to either feet or udders. I'll let the thread get back to Kent's original topic.

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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:09 am

I enjoyed your video Kent. Put antlers on those boys and stick them in Yellowstone park and people would drive for miles to watch that show. I love watching bulls be bulls. The bugling, the posturing, even the fighting (until someone gets hurt). There is something very primitive about the whole thing that I love. All those instincts that humans have tried to breed out or qiute caring about are still there and when they are put back into a natural setting they all come out again. As breeders I think we all believe at some point in our careers that we are making big changes in the cattle we breed but hundreds of years of survival and natural selection is not going to change in just one life time and there is something very reassuring to me in that. Nature will not allow me to screw up too much.

Multiple sire groups offer so many benifts that I can see. More cows bred the first cycle. I sell bulls out of bulls that are breeders, they are not breeders because they are the only bull out there, they are breeders because they have won the right to be. Because of the competions between bulls I believe you breed cattle with a structure that is more sound, they have to be to survive. Almost all my customers are commercial producers and they all breed multiple sire groups so the bulls they buy should be better if they were raised under the same type management. The only negitive I hear is too many crippled bulls but I pacify myself by believing I am only porpagating the most fit, structurly sound animal. I understand it is not for everyone for any number of reasons, but it fits us very well.

The Emrick bull at Voss's you could tell had been whipped off and I'm not trying to take anything away from him but his main challenger seemed to me to be the 7129 bull and my God that bull looked awesome. He looked like one of those UFC fighters. He was a top notch athlete at the top of his game in the prime of his life. That bull always impresses me so much when ever I see him. The picture of a virile, masculine bull. If I had to fight the human equivalent of that bull to get a little lovin I'd be looking to change pasture too. Just pastures Joe, not genders.

We run all of our bulls together when they are not with the cows and I think that helps alot. The pecking order is pretty well set so (knock on wood) we cripple very few bulls, but every year there is at least one old bull toppled and if they can't find a new pasture they just go off and sulk my themselves which follows natural law too. They are a bitch to gather usually because they just want to live alone. The more natural the setting for these cattle, the more interesting they are to observe.

Jack, watching my cattle watch me.

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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 2:06 am

Dennis do you feel the hip structure has any bearing on the depth of heel or lack there of, or to rephrase what extent do the angles have on the influence of the depth of heel on the hind legs. Do you think the thickness of the hoof wall is genetic or nutrition. IMO easy fleshing cattle have more problems than avg fleshing cattle . Do the easy fleshing founder when they get to good of grass? I have A lot of questions on this topic and I am all ear's. Posty legs are real problems IMO they usually have hock problems do you find this or not?
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larkota



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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:16 am

no expert but yes cattle can founder on grass.

been doing multi bulls for the last four years. crippled and killed some, but would never go back.
paddocks are not the same as range, cattle need room to be cattle not just harvesters.
fall breeding seems to be the biggest fallout, with the ice and snow in Nov. and Dec.

had two bulls out to cleanup the recips. should of had three. the 5 yr old bull hurt his tool and would not let the 2 yr old up to bat. pulled the hurt bull and put in a yearling, was fun to watch how sneaky he was.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:57 am

W.T wrote:
Dennis do you feel the hip structure has any bearing on the depth of heel or lack there of, or to rephrase what extent do the angles have on the influence of the depth of heel on the hind legs. Do you think the thickness of the hoof wall is genetic or nutrition. IMO easy fleshing cattle have more problems than avg fleshing cattle . Do the easy fleshing founder when they get to good of grass? I have A lot of questions on this topic and I am all ear's. Posty legs are real problems IMO they usually have hock problems do you find this or not?

Hip structure is huge W.T. I think as generations of the same type march on with whatever hip structure they have, the implications get quite apparent. I talk about the Embrook 106 bull a lot right now with regards to foot quality and one thing I can't get enough of is watching him move through space. He puts every foot down solid on all four corners in a very fluid manner. Even though this year he's been marching out of his breeding pasture, he's just having a tough year with his ego. I'll be spending a great part of the winter consoling him and getting him ready for next year. I think the thickness of the hoof wall is genetic, aided by nutrition. I arrive at this by studying a lot of horses feet because with horses a guy is always trimming and shoeing and the hoof wall is always right there to look at. I have noticed some of the old linebred Hancock horses in my family's various horse programs over the years have a lot of dark hoof wall, which probably comes from the Percheron influence way back in this line of horses. Contrast this with some of the chop-chop cutting bred horses and you've got 2 very distinctive differences in hoof wall. Also I never pass up an opportunity to look at feet whether the animal is dead or alive as long as the bones don't smell too bad. Studying feet at that level is pretty revealing. Cracks in feet come from environmental conditions a lot of the time. Loco weed can cause cracks, any array of environmental conditions can cause odd cracks. I had a cow with what I thought were horrible cracked front feet who had been running down on soft river country and when I forced her to live up on the rocks I expected her to have a hell of a time surviving. Instead, as time went on her feet got better and now they look great. She damn near went from being a canner cow to a high priced donor cow. Ha! You can have all the posty legs there are out there - no shock absorbers. Lots of fluid retention on the hocks. And here's another nightmare for you W.T, these high tailhead, posty legged, modern Angus with poor muscle structure on the top break right in front of the hips. A lot of them come apart crossing a steep draw. They just break in half and lay there squirming like dying bugs. Don't let that turn into a nightmare but it's sure going to be for the industry if they don't start putting some top on their cattle, and strength in their stifle and hocks. But they don't breed for this, they just breed for marbling, beef value, yearling weight, cardboard cutout profiles. What a sock-it-to-me-baby business.

Dennis Voss in the vicinity of wondering how W.T's going to handle the bugs squirming in the draw.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:57 am

Dennis Voss wrote:
W.T wrote:
Dennis do you feel the hip structure has any bearing on the depth of heel or lack there of, or to rephrase what extent do the angles have on the influence of the depth of heel on the hind legs. Do you think the thickness of the hoof wall is genetic or nutrition. IMO easy fleshing cattle have more problems than avg fleshing cattle . Do the easy fleshing founder when they get to good of grass? I have A lot of questions on this topic and I am all ear's. Posty legs are real problems IMO they usually have hock problems do you find this or not?

Hip structure is huge W.T. I think as generations of the same type march on with whatever hip structure they have, the implications get quite apparent. I talk about the Embrook 106 bull a lot right now with regards to foot quality and one thing I can't get enough of is watching him move through space. He puts every foot down solid on all four corners in a very fluid manner. Even though this year he's been marching out of his breeding pasture, he's just having a tough year with his ego. I'll be spending a great part of the winter consoling him and getting him ready for next year. I think the thickness of the hoof wall is genetic, aided by nutrition. I arrive at this by studying a lot of horses feet because with horses a guy is always trimming and shoeing and the hoof wall is always right there to look at. I have noticed some of the old linebred Hancock horses in my family's various horse programs over the years have a lot of dark hoof wall, which probably comes from the Percheron influence way back in this line of horses. Contrast this with some of the chop-chop cutting bred horses and you've got 2 very distinctive differences in hoof wall. Also I never pass up an opportunity to look at feet whether the animal is dead or alive as long as the bones don't smell too bad. Studying feet at that level is pretty revealing. Cracks in feet come from environmental conditions a lot of the time. Loco weed can cause cracks, any array of environmental conditions can cause odd cracks. I had a cow with what I thought were horrible cracked front feet who had been running down on soft river country and when I forced her to live up on the rocks I expected her to have a hell of a time surviving. Instead, as time went on her feet got better and now they look great. She damn near went from being a canner cow to a high priced donor cow. Ha! You can have all the posty legs there are out there - no shock absorbers. Lots of fluid retention on the hocks. And here's another nightmare for you W.T, these high tailhead, posty legged, modern Angus with poor muscle structure on the top break right in front of the hips. A lot of them come apart crossing a steep draw. They just break in half and lay there squirming like dying bugs. Don't let that turn into a nightmare but it's sure going to be for the industry if they don't start putting some top on their cattle, and strength in their stifle and hocks. But they don't breed for this, they just breed for marbling, beef value, yearling weight, cardboard cutout profiles. What a sock-it-to-me-baby business.

Dennis Voss in the vicinity of wondering how W.T's going to handle the bugs squirming in the draw.

I as well have had cows with horrible cracks on wet lush pastures, and have sent them to the hills and they have healed and look good today, I have wondered if fever caused the problem, and yes i believe that the thin walled hoof is a real problem and is genetic. As with a horse the hoof grows from the top down and a I look at feet i can see the horizontal ridges indicating the different level of nutrition from the seasons of the year. My biggest problem has been the feet on easy fleshing cattle, Do they founder? Do they get to heavy for there feet? I have found that when they move to rougher dryer country they clear up. This is a pet peeve of mine with the feet as I believe the hip structure and the angles as well as the thickness is genetic. You mentioned the foot placement of the 106 bull this is a big deal to me as the angles allow this foot placement to occur, IMO this is a complete structure correctness that allows this to happen. We have a lot of AKA Mustang's in this area Or feral horses as I see them. When you observe them they put there feet down with the whole foot making contact all at once, as you have described the 106 bull as doing, this allows the foot to wear very evenly with no requirement of trimming the feet. and these horses have excellent feet. Our cattle are a work in progress and the top line and hip structure are getting there as well as the feet.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:30 pm

W.T wrote:

I as well have had cows with horrible cracks on wet lush pastures, and have sent them to the hills and they have healed and look good today, I have wondered if fever caused the problem, and yes i believe that the thin walled hoof is a real problem and is genetic. As with a horse the hoof grows from the top down and a I look at feet i can see the horizontal ridges indicating the different level of nutrition from the seasons of the year. My biggest problem has been the feet on easy fleshing cattle, Do they founder? Do they get to heavy for there feet? I have found that when they move to rougher dryer country they clear up.

So how would you guys deal with cows like this in situations like mine where we essentially always have lush pastures (apart from when it's snow covered) don't have any hills to turn them out on, aren't near any rocky soil to wear them on and don't need cows or bulls to ever travel great distances?
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Hilly



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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:51 pm

Jack McNamee wrote:


Multiple sire groups offer so many benifts that I can see. More cows bred the first cycle. I sell bulls out of bulls that are breeders, they are not breeders because they are the only bull out there, they are breeders because they have won the right to be. Because of the competions between bulls I believe you breed cattle with a structure that is more sound, they have to be to survive. Almost all my customers are commercial producers and they all breed multiple sire groups so the bulls they buy should be better if they were raised under the same type management. The only negitive I hear is too many crippled bulls but I pacify myself by believing I am only porpagating the most fit, structurly sound animal. I understand it is not for everyone for any number of reasons, but it fits us very well.

Jack, watching my cattle watch me.


I would echo what Jack has stated about increasing functionality of structure through multiple sire groups. Another benefit that I hold quite highly is the strength of mind this type of schooling imposes...

I have had best luck with keeping the different mobs together year round, but I wonder what other people think about the best ratio of different age bulls may be... In my very limited experience I have never regretted having to many yearlings in school but it appears to me that the longer a group of contemporaries are together they seem to form a odd bond and if you still have a number of them together at around three or four they will gang up and snuff out the dominant bulls not just run him off.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:40 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
W.T wrote:

I as well have had cows with horrible cracks on wet lush pastures, and have sent them to the hills and they have healed and look good today, I have wondered if fever caused the problem, and yes i believe that the thin walled hoof is a real problem and is genetic. As with a horse the hoof grows from the top down and a I look at feet i can see the horizontal ridges indicating the different level of nutrition from the seasons of the year. My biggest problem has been the feet on easy fleshing cattle, Do they founder? Do they get to heavy for there feet? I have found that when they move to rougher dryer country they clear up.

So how would you guys deal with cows like this in situations like mine where we essentially always have lush pastures (apart from when it's snow covered) don't have any hills to turn them out on, aren't near any rocky soil to wear them on and don't need cows or bulls to ever travel great distances?


I think you do what Dennis is doing by finding the correct structure and this in its self will fix a lot of problems in the herd. I want to hear Dennis answer this, what i have found is there are ones that don't have any problems and these are the ones that i leave in the wet areas. Dennis has some thoughts on the complete structure that have me thinking of what i have observed over the years. And the economic relevance is a big deal. Energy is required to move from grass to water and the easy moving cattle require less energy to travel and this will increase longevity and adaptability, the easy traveling cattle travel longer distance's utilizing areas the other cattle don't get to. Dennis is in rare air here with his thoughts and we all can learn from it.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:47 pm

This is good stuff. I also believe that by doing this and not selling bulls because of their age we will produce cows that will last longer with more libido.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:35 pm

We have been turning out the yearling bulls with the old bulls before turning all the bulls out and you will see the yrl's move from group to group, We have bulls that stay around quite a while and others that don't make it at all. The age range in our bulls is 9 to 1 in age and the older bulls all have the same type. We have not bought a outside bull in 4 years and the results are starting to show.
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Kent Powell



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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:17 pm

Dennis,

We had our biggest wrecks came from turning out big groups of yearling bulls with lots of cows on big pastures. Up to half of them at times were put out of commission through being crippled or penis issues. It seems to be working well to turn the yearlings out after the older bulls and a month after first exposure. The old bulls were always aware of where the other bulls were and what they were doing. The youngsters are uninterested in the big bulls and are constantly going from cow to cow checking their smell. The old bulls are being forced to follow the yearlings around and make sure they don't find a cow to breed. An added element which has the whole group at a heightened level of awareness, yet perhaps less posturing and sparring.

I have had three bulls who caused problems after being whipped. One Emulous bull, who was the boss, left the pasture on his own and spent the summer in a half section of big sorghum, after he lost his position. He never got the chip off his shoulder, so I sold him.

Another Emulous bull who lost his position at the top was chased out of the herd by a group of bulls. He decided it was the world against him, so he got a ticket out.

The third was a linebred EXT. An aggressive breeding machine who was ousted by younger bulls. His bruised ego made him a sneaky cheap shot artist. He broke at least one leg, crippled another bull, and hit Franson of Wickwire broadside (resulting in his death), before I realized what was happening and I removed him.

I try to keep the bulls together and undisturbed in the off season, as much as possible. When the boss loses his throne, I have just been removing them. Every year or two we have a grumpy old bull to sell.





Dennis Voss wrote:
Really enjoyed your multiple sire post. I have one for you now.
On the tour, when we finally got to the group that I pick my breeding stock from, there were 3 bulls in with about 120 head of cows. We had to hunt around to find the Embrook 106 bull. When we finally found him since the guys who bred him (Rich Embrook, Sam Wylie) really wanted to see him and I don't blame them, he was off to the side and very upset. The next day Ben Dimond and I went back out to look through some more cattle and when we got over in that area we see Embrook 106 walking the fence on the east end looking for a way out which we provided for him by opening the gate. Since then he has spent this breeding season walking the fence on the next breeding pasture trying to get in. This is another pasture of parent stock and various odds and ends. He would like to go in there because all I have in there are young bulls. But opportunity for this is fading fast. It doesn't look like Embrook 106 is going to contribute this year. Perhaps next year I will put him in a group either all of his own or with younger bulls, yearlings. The 2 bulls left are Shoshone/Horse Butte bred bulls content on dividing the cows up without much commotion. Shoshone bred bulls seem to get along better with their own kind than with outside blood. These 2 bulls made life hell for Embrook 106 and it finally cracked his ego. I go with the flow.
Also part of my bull school here is putting my yearling bulls out half way through the breeding season. I used to protect them by turning them out first and then kicking in older bulls behind them. Now I'm more interested in seeing who will survive and thrive in this new manner of bull school. Erica and I kicked out about 20 head of yearling bulls on the butte a couple days after the tour. These bulls will eventually be evaluated and some will be used in multiple sire groups with the parent stock herd. Because of the elevation and extra work navigating the butte, structural problems become apparent and bulls that start out up there very seldom end up sulking as older bulls. Young bulls that learn early to be thankful for what they get bred are very different from bulls that get pampered as yearlings in their own little utopia. Purebred breeders wishing to make progress for their commercial bull customers would be wise to use not only their own bulls, but multiple sires in their herd of cows for the reasons of structural, conformational and psychological evaluation.

Dennis Voss in the vicinity of needing to go to work.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:32 pm

Good stuff. Here is a great example of less wok equals better results. Let them sort it out instead of me and a pencil and hours of chicken scratch. I like it. Another nightly lesson for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:28 pm

fascinating info and ideas guys... not sure how to apply it to 20 acre/60 cow pastures...maybe just do it and see...lost one bull so far; lost meaning death...a bull going to the stockyards because of injury, ain`t a loss, just a $50,000 tax deduction...right DV? Smile
though when my "preferred" get wacked, it does injure my ego...
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:37 pm

MKeeney wrote:
fascinating info and ideas guys... not sure how to apply it to 20 acre/60 cow pastures...maybe just do it and see...lost one bull so far; lost meaning death...a bull going to the stockyards because of injury, ain`t a loss, just a $50,000 tax deduction...right DV? Smile
though when my "preferred" get wacked, it does injure my ego...

Same here our biggest pasture handles 65 pair so we can run one bull with them all the rest are 45,30,25,20,15 and 10 pair pastures.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:05 pm

Keystone i apologizes for getting carried away with the feet on your thread. and thank you for the info on the multi sire problems with large groups of yearling's. So far we have only turned out 4 each year with the older bulls and have not had any problems. We put all the bulls together in march and turn them with the cows in July and we have not had any problems so far with bulls getting hurt we have 12 bulls in one 25000 acre pasture and they scatter pretty well. we have had a few bulls get demoted and they seem to leave the herd and we find them in the neighbors pasture sulking. we are just getting started at this and we will have some wrecks.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:29 pm

My first year for multiple sires. 2 materal half brothers, one is 2 the other is 3 yrs old, running with 56 cows in 40 to 60 acre rotational grazing pastures. These bulls have split up the cowherd, the 2 yr old has about 18 cows. The 3 yr old has the rest, and they keep their respective cows seperate and at opposite ends or sides of the pasture. The bulls keep their cows herded up like a bull elk. Very interesting to watch.
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PostSubject: Re: Multiple Sire group behavior   Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:54 pm

[quote="Keystone"

We had our biggest wrecks came from turning out big groups of yearling bulls with lots of cows on big pastures. Up to half of them at times were put out of commission through being crippled or penis issues. It seems to be working well to turn the yearlings out after the older bulls and a month after first exposure. The old bulls were always aware of where the other bulls were and what they were doing. The youngsters are uninterested in the big bulls and are constantly going from cow to cow checking their smell. The old bulls are being forced to follow the yearlings around and make sure they don't find a cow to breed. An added element which has the whole group at a heightened level of awareness, yet perhaps less posturing and sparring.

I have had three bulls who caused problems after being whipped. One Emulous bull, who was the boss, left the pasture on his own and spent the summer in a half section of big sorghum, after he lost his position. He never got the chip off his shoulder, so I sold him.

Another Emulous bull who lost his position at the top was chased out of the herd by a group of bulls. He decided it was the world against him, so he got a ticket out.

The third was a linebred EXT. An aggressive breeding machine who was ousted by younger bulls. His bruised ego made him a sneaky cheap shot artist. He broke at least one leg, crippled another bull, and hit Franson of Wickwire broadside (resulting in his death), before I realized what was happening and I removed him.

I try to keep the bulls together and undisturbed in the off season, as much as possible. When the boss loses his throne, I have just been removing them. Every year or two we have a grumpy old bull to sell.

quote]

We've seen alot of the same things here too Kent. I too think having a bunch of yearling bulls out with the old bulls keeps them from fighting so much. Especially in the spring before turn out. Every time a couple of old bulls get fighting, a bunch of yearlings go join in and the old bulls can't tell who is going to hit them or ride them next. After a while they tend to give it up.

We've had those cheap shot bulls too. As much as I hate them they are still a natural phenomenon but one can sure cripple a lot of bulls for you. They wait until the fighting bulls are really pushing hard against each other then they go in and go right for the hock. It snaps like kindling. Haven't had one in several years, knock on wood.

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