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 Too small.--How small.

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mikejd4020



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Join date : 2011-12-31
Location : Bainville, MT

PostSubject: Too small.--How small.   Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:18 am

Is it possible to have cattle that are too small. What would be the warning signs to having cattle that are too small, if there is such a thing. When I say too small, I mean. To small of framed, to light. Like an 1000 lb mature cow in good BSC 5-6. Back in the day before all the crazy breeding what was the average wieght of an Angus cow. Like the typical 1950 1960's cow.

Mike
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:48 am

mikejd4020 wrote:
Is it possible to have cattle that are too small. What would be the warning signs to having cattle that are too small, if there is such a thing. When I say too small, I mean. To small of framed, to light. Like an 1000 lb mature cow in good BSC 5-6. Back in the day before all the crazy breeding what was the average wieght of an Angus cow. Like the typical 1950 1960's cow.

Mike
Mike, I think the 50`s for sure and most of the 60`s were the "craziest breeding" period of my lifetime...the rule of thumb still applies...to maintain a desired slaughter weight = mature cow weight x mature bull weight 150% of the cow weight...in practice, a 1200 lb cow bred to an 1800 lb bull creates finish weight of 1200 lb and reproduces the 1200 lb female mate...not specific, but still a good rule of thumb...
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Lucky_P



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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:07 am

Reckon if you could find one of those chondrodysplastic Dexter bulls to cross on your cows, you could probably make some smaller short-legged cows in one generation.
http://www.dextercattle.org/genetics/CDChondroArticle.pdf
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:17 am

Lucky_P wrote:
Reckon if you could find one of those chondrodysplastic Dexter bulls to cross on your cows, you could probably make some smaller short-legged cows in one generation.
http://www.dextercattle.org/genetics/CDChondroArticle.pdf
thanks Lucky; enjoyed the interesting piece in layman`s terms... ahhh, the webs we weave, trying to breed Smile
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mikejd4020



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PostSubject: Very interesting read LuckyP   Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:42 pm

That was a pretty interesting read Lucky P. The Dexter Cattle are not exactly what I was thinking of. Although somewhere in the middle wouldn't be to bad.
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:46 pm

mikejd4020 wrote:
That was a pretty interesting read Lucky P. The Dexter Cattle are not exactly what I was thinking of. Although somewhere in the middle wouldn't be to bad.

i have tried the small cattle only to be disappointed IMO the 4 frame to 5.5 is just right any smaller than a 4 and you get PUD"S and they take quite a hit at the sale.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:11 pm

Quote :
That was a pretty interesting read Lucky P. The Dexter Cattle are not exactly what I was thinking of. Although somewhere in the middle wouldn't be to bad.

Sounds "average"!
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mikejd4020



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PostSubject: Thanks WT   Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:24 pm

That is kind of what I was looking for. How small can you go before you.

1. Start getting nailed at the sale.

2. Start getting no growth. Don't get me wrong. I wanted small cattle, but I want lots of growth.

3. Start getting too frail boned.

4. This sounds dumb. I don't want to winter a large animal. However, the question I have is? Can I have like a 1000- to 1150 lb cow that has a frame say 4-5.5. Yet produces quite a bit of milk say plus 30-35 if you were to jump into the epd side of things. How bad will milk affect my rebreeding. Imagine the range is in decent to above average condition. I would guess that i can get a 4-5 frame cow through the winter in better condition than a 6-7 frame cow. Would this better condition make her more likely rebreed.

Basically can I make better calves with a 1000-1150 pound cow in good shape with lots of milk. Than a 6-7 frame cow in half decent shape with average milk. I think I know the answer what is yours.

Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:33 pm

mikejd4020 wrote:
That is kind of what I was looking for. How small can you go before you.

1. Start getting nailed at the sale.

2. Start getting no growth. Don't get me wrong. I wanted small cattle, but I want lots of growth.

3. Start getting too frail boned.

4. This sounds dumb. I don't want to winter a large animal. However, the question I have is? Can I have like a 1000- to 1150 lb cow that has a frame say 4-5.5. Yet produces quite a bit of milk say plus 30-35 if you were to jump into the epd side of things. How bad will milk affect my rebreeding. Imagine the range is in decent to above average condition. I would guess that i can get a 4-5 frame cow through the winter in better condition than a 6-7 frame cow. Would this better condition make her more likely rebreed.

Basically can I make better calves with a 1000-1150 pound cow in good shape with lots of milk. Than a 6-7 frame cow in half decent shape with average milk. I think I know the answer what is yours.

Mike


General rules can generally be broken, but, generally you have to own the larger framed-lower milk cow's calves longer to realize any benefit. The smaller-milkier cows may give more payweight at weaning, but the growth curves will diverge over time.

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Lucky_P



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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:05 pm

I drank the 'cows are too big' koolaid, and used a 4.0 frame AI sire for 2-3 years. Made 'em TOO small, in one generation. It was a mistake; my cows were not too big - I don't need 900 lb cows, or 450 lb steers at weaning.
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mikejd4020



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PostSubject: Lucky _P   Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:09 pm

Lucky,

Since you have drank the kool-aid. What is now the size of the cow that your are looking for? Both in frame and mature wieght.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:17 pm

mikejd4020 wrote:
That is kind of what I was looking for. How small can you go before you.

1. Start getting nailed at the sale.

2. Start getting no growth. Don't get me wrong. I wanted small cattle, but I want lots of growth.

3. Start getting too frail boned.

4. This sounds dumb. I don't want to winter a large animal. However, the question I have is? Can I have like a 1000- to 1150 lb cow that has a frame say 4-5.5. Yet produces quite a bit of milk say plus 30-35 if you were to jump into the epd side of things. How bad will milk affect my rebreeding. Imagine the range is in decent to above average condition. I would guess that i can get a 4-5 frame cow through the winter in better condition than a 6-7 frame cow. Would this better condition make her more likely rebreed.

Basically can I make better calves with a 1000-1150 pound cow in good shape with lots of milk. Than a 6-7 frame cow in half decent shape with average milk. I think I know the answer what is yours.

Mike

I would think if your small cows are of extreme milk capacity e.g. 30-35 they would not winter better than a 6-7 frame cow with average milk. More likely to come through winter leaner and be harder to rebreed. We have found higher milking ability to be antagonistic to maintaining condition under tough winter grazing conditions - the higher milkers culled themselves out by breeding back later and later until they came in open. We still have some fat cows that don't milk real well so I guess you get what you select for.
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:23 pm

In my experience the milk EPD is the most useless EPD of all i have cows with 5 that out produce cows with 25. And why on earth would you want a cow with 30-35 scratch scratch scratch
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Angus 62



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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:58 pm

Also the most ignored EPD as a lot of popular bulls are over 40. Upward the current poster bull for shitty ideas is a +44 - a real cowmaker though Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:57 am

You can have whatever you are willing to support. I guess we are not willing to support higher milking type cattle here as they drop like flys at preg test time as coming 3's. The cows that seem to be making it to old age here are pretty good sized 1250 to 1350 and are average producers. I can think of only one exception what I call my little Blythe cow she brings in one of the biggest calves every year and weighs maybe only 1050 and never gets better than maybe a BCS of 4. She has never produced a daughter that has stayed in the herd. While my other old cows that are more average in their production all have left daughters. All I know is being milky as a young cow is a death sentence here. Afterall there are trade-offs for everything in cattle breeding and in life.

Ben, in the vicinity of a nasty flu bug.
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:18 am

And if you feed those +30 milk cows enough to keep them bred they will not stay at 1000-1100 pound cows. Not past the first generation anyway and you'll turn that first generation pretty fast. I'm being told that the packer doesn't want 1200 lb fat cattle. They want them to weigh 1400. Thats where they make the most money. An old cow buyer told me once to keep my drys until the first of July and on an ave. year what they weigh around July 1st is what your steers will weigh when they are ready to kill.

For me the 1250-1350 pd range fits me the best. They raise a good 5-6 weight calf, rebreed on time, and are always in good shape and they last. I never go out in the winter and look at this wt cow and say I need to start feeding. It's always those 11 wt cows that seem to need it and they always look poor but at least they don't last very long.

Jack, looking for my camera in all the wrong places.
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mikejd4020



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PostSubject: That is what   Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:46 am

That is what I was wondering. Thank you all for your insight and experiences.

Mike
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:59 am

One of the best things LL ever told me was "form follows function" and that is so true. If your function is going to be high milk than your form will follow a milk breed looking animal.

Jack still trying to understand what my function is/was.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:25 pm

Jack, why do you think the 11wt cows are poorer doing in winter? Is it just because there isn't enough volume to keep warm in a cold climate or if you graze more of the time in winter are they just not harvesting enough forage relative to the bigger cows?

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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:13 pm

Here is the reality on our place.

This is a 1000-1100 pound cow on winter grass and about 8 pounds of cake every other day.


This is a 1250-1350 pound cow on the same feed.


The bigger cow is 9 and the thinner cow is 7. Both raise about the same weight calf. The youger cow will be gone before the older cow I'd bet the ranch on it.

Jack, right here.
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:21 pm

Grassfarmer wrote:
Jack, why do you think the 11wt cows are poorer doing in winter? Is it just because there isn't enough volume to keep warm in a cold climate or if you graze more of the time in winter are they just not harvesting enough forage relative to the bigger cows?


I don't really know Ian. Thats my guess, is that those bigger cows can eat more volume and thats fine with me. Thats what I have the most of (grass) and what I have the least amount of $s in harvesting. Maybe the bigger cows just have a slower metabolism or maybe it's faster. I don't know. I'm kinda like Forest Gump, I am not a smart man. I just know what works here.

Jack, right here.
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PatB



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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:34 pm

Jack do the lighter cows daughters have a higher failure rate in your system then the 1250 to 1350 (ideal weight) Very Happy cows? I have found the 1250 to 1400 lb cow works best for me under my management style.
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:23 pm

Wow;..this is a toughie for me...going to have to be smarter than I to ask a meaningful question, but here goes anyway...is the lighter cow lighter because she was bred{genetics} to be lighter/smaller or because she was bred{genetics} to be bigger?
Does the heavier cow milk as much as the light cow?
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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:13 pm

I miss spoke. These two cows are the same age. Both 9 year olds. Sorry Embarassed

These two cows have very similar pedigrees. The thinner cow is double bred EXT but this whole cow family has a tendency to be a little harder keeping so yes Pat thinner cows heifers tend to follow their mothers here anyway. The bigger cow comes from a cow family that has always been fleshy, easy keeping and yes lower milk cows but... these two cows have very similar birth weight calves and very similar wt calves at weaning so I'd say their milk is about the same. The one really glaring difference to me about these two cows is their sires. The sire of the bigger cow was a real Bonsma looking bull. Very masculine. Big fronted, lighter made in the ass end, not the best bull by todays visual comparisons. The thinner cow was out of a bull that I used at the time to increase volume in my cows. He was a fat 4-H steer looking thing with nuts. Big middle, deep flank, fine hair, he reminds me of Final Answer 0035's picture and most of his daughters were very similar to this cow. I about pulled my hair out I was so sick. How could a bull with that much volume produce a cow with that little? Then I started reading LL and Bonsma and slowly the light is coming on. I'm glad I used both bulls though because it was one helluva lesson in what masculinity looks like and breeds like. It was text book.

I say I like the 1250-1350 because they take less supplement through the winter but I really don't have an ideal size cow in mind. I have big cows that don't work and I have little cows that seem to do just fine. Some work better on good years and some work better on dry years. I think we get too caught up on what the ideal wt or epd or what ever it may be but the bottom line is some just work and some don't. You just have to be honest about your cows and when that cow that has all the right cows in her pedigree and all and all the right sires and all the stars are lined up just right, falls flat on her ass, you have to can her and move forward with what is left and it's very interesting how things work if you stick with it long enough.

Jack, and I'm only part way there, wherever there may be.
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: Too small.--How small.   Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:38 pm

Maybe going to say something dumb here (not for the first time I hear you all say Smile ), not knowing your cows, but that first cows looks to be more different than a little less weight/flesh than the other. There appears to be a "frailty" about her that I have seen in some of my poorer doing cows. I sometimes wonder if it's an organ issue? I notice when we get the organs back on our fat cattle that there can be a considerable difference in size of heart particularly. How big a difference does that make to an animals constitution? Quite a bit I'd guess. Is that related to the healthy endocrine system people talk about? I've also had a couple of cows over the years with shot livers - they always have that frailty too. I have seen way leaner cows that don't look frail - they just look lean.
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