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 pinebank newsletter jan 2013

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PatB



Posts : 335
Join date : 2010-09-25
Age : 54
Location : Turner, Maine

PostSubject: pinebank newsletter jan 2013   Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:56 pm

What began as a potential servere drought has temporally eased as we have just had close too an inch of the most perfect gentle steady rain. All the supplementary feed crops have greened up and it looks as though they will survive. The grassland farmers will pull through another year although it depends on whether the drought returns which it has in our district.
Most product prices are abysmally low due to our steadily climbing dollar
It is estimated that many of both dairy and beef farmers will run at a losses this year.

This month I am going to identify those factors that make for efficient beef production and what you can do too improve yours.

The first factor must be fertility. No live calf. no profit. The cost of running an empty cow through the Winter is high and cannot be justified even if she is a pure bred cow. In fact the pure breeding industry which supplies the commercial industry with bulls , certainly must not tolerate dry cows.

Fertility in cows appears to have no heritability. I do not know about repeatability.
This was the finding of a scientist out here who collected cows that had twinned and mated them to a twin bull. After 10 years of selection he had not succeeded in raising the calving percentage by even one percent so the trial was abandoned.

There are however some things that you can do to raise the number of calves born in your herd :
1) Cull every cow that fails to conceive i.e. pregnancy test after the bulls come out.
2) Cull every cow that does not walk in at weaning with a live calf.
3) Mate and calve yearling heifers. This allows for the early identification of any sexually malformed heifers.
4) Overmate at turnout time to allow for those cows which fail to conceive to be culled and you will end up with the number of cows you intend to Winter
We have been using these suggestions since 1965 and are now averaging 98% calving.

Our herd of cows has a high twinning rate depending on the season. If our cows have a mating season of abundant grass and are flushed during mating then we get a number of twins. To our mind these are of doubtful value because we find that the cow will wander off with the strongest calf leaving the weakest behind. We then have some difficult identifying the calf’s mother. If the cow mothers both calves then she will fail to conceive the following year. This is due to the biological stress of supplying both calves with a full supply of milk. Milk production is far harder on any animal than gestation as it drains all the minerals and proteins from her system.

Some cows are more efficient then others namely they consume less dry matter per conception and lactation .. The problem is how do you identify and breed these more efficient cows into your herd so that your herd is on a steady rising plane of efficiency.
If you are selling all your best bulls then you are giving all your bull buyers the benefit of all your best cows, and you are going backwards. Admitedly the bull you purchase from some other breeder could be out of his best cow, but do you check to make sure, and how do you know that it is better then your cows who are bred under your environment and farming conditions. Chances are that they are out of a cow that has been under considerably higher feeding and could even be foster mothered or the cow could have been of low fertility.

To my mind raising efficiency in your cow herd is one of the major improvement possible to lower your cost of production and steadily improve your herds over all performance.

In a breeding programme such as ours the more efficient cows are automatically used and make their contribution to progress. As I have stated many times our stud herd is run under commercial conditions. We consider this to be important because the bulls that we produce must perform in the industry under the conditions that the farmer runs his farm. Certainly I have seen a marked improvement in the cows ability to conceive under drought stresses and come through rearing a good calf.

According to the research I have studied and the period we have been in the programme, I consider that our cows at the moment are at leased 20% better than when we began. I also consider that the National herd has not improved at all because there has been no selection on cow efficiency and the present system that the stud cattle breeds under selection for female efficiency could not be applied anyway

One of the measures that makes me confident about the superiority of our cows is that we have at various times purchased cows often from dispursals. None of these cows have lasted more that one year they just calve and then are gone they just do not compare. We do not sell cows as we consider them to be unique.

I have not succeeded in getting a heritability for efficiency in cows from any scientist world wide that I have applied too but have seen a quote of 40% in an American Forum. If this quote is correct then it is high and plenty of progress is available when correct methods are used.

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MKeeney
Admin


Posts : 3816
Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: pinebank newsletter jan 2013   Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:45 pm

PatB wrote:
What began as a potential servere drought has temporally eased as we have just had close too an inch of the most perfect gentle steady rain. All the supplementary feed crops have greened up and it looks as though they will survive. The grassland farmers will pull through another year although it depends on whether the drought returns which it has in our district.
Most product prices are abysmally low due to our steadily climbing dollar
It is estimated that many of both dairy and beef farmers will run at a losses this year.

This month I am going to identify those factors that make for efficient beef production and what you can do too improve yours.

The first factor must be fertility. No live calf. no profit. The cost of running an empty cow through the Winter is high and cannot be justified even if she is a pure bred cow. In fact the pure breeding industry which supplies the commercial industry with bulls , certainly must not tolerate dry cows.

Fertility in cows appears to have no heritability. I do not know about repeatability.
This was the finding of a scientist out here who collected cows that had twinned and mated them to a twin bull. After 10 years of selection he had not succeeded in raising the calving percentage by even one percent so the trial was abandoned.

There are however some things that you can do to raise the number of calves born in your herd :
1) Cull every cow that fails to conceive i.e. pregnancy test after the bulls come out.
2) Cull every cow that does not walk in at weaning with a live calf.
3) Mate and calve yearling heifers. This allows for the early identification of any sexually malformed heifers.
4) Overmate at turnout time to allow for those cows which fail to conceive to be culled and you will end up with the number of cows you intend to Winter
We have been using these suggestions since 1965 and are now averaging 98% calving.

Our herd of cows has a high twinning rate depending on the season. If our cows have a mating season of abundant grass and are flushed during mating then we get a number of twins. To our mind these are of doubtful value because we find that the cow will wander off with the strongest calf leaving the weakest behind. We then have some difficult identifying the calf’s mother. If the cow mothers both calves then she will fail to conceive the following year. This is due to the biological stress of supplying both calves with a full supply of milk. Milk production is far harder on any animal than gestation as it drains all the minerals and proteins from her system.

Some cows are more efficient then others namely they consume less dry matter per conception and lactation .. The problem is how do you identify and breed these more efficient cows into your herd so that your herd is on a steady rising plane of efficiency.
If you are selling all your best bulls then you are giving all your bull buyers the benefit of all your best cows, and you are going backwards. Admitedly the bull you purchase from some other breeder could be out of his best cow, but do you check to make sure, and how do you know that it is better then your cows who are bred under your environment and farming conditions. Chances are that they are out of a cow that has been under considerably higher feeding and could even be foster mothered or the cow could have been of low fertility.

To my mind raising efficiency in your cow herd is one of the major improvement possible to lower your cost of production and steadily improve your herds over all performance.

In a breeding programme such as ours the more efficient cows are automatically used and make their contribution to progress. As I have stated many times our stud herd is run under commercial conditions. We consider this to be important because the bulls that we produce must perform in the industry under the conditions that the farmer runs his farm. Certainly I have seen a marked improvement in the cows ability to conceive under drought stresses and come through rearing a good calf.

According to the research I have studied and the period we have been in the programme, I consider that our cows at the moment are at leased 20% better than when we began. I also consider that the National herd has not improved at all because there has been no selection on cow efficiency and the present system that the stud cattle breeds under selection for female efficiency could not be applied anyway

One of the measures that makes me confident about the superiority of our cows is that we have at various times purchased cows often from dispursals. None of these cows have lasted more that one year they just calve and then are gone they just do not compare. We do not sell cows as we consider them to be unique.

I have not succeeded in getting a heritability for efficiency in cows from any scientist world wide that I have applied too but have seen a quote of 40% in an American Forum. If this quote is correct then it is high and plenty of progress is available when correct methods are used.


falloon
Fertility in cows appears to have no heritability. I do not know about repeatability.
This was the finding of a scientist out here who collected cows that had twinned and mated them to a twin bull. After 10 years of selection he had not succeeded in raising the calving percentage by even one percent so the trial was abandoned.

There are however some things that you can do to raise the number of calves born in your herd :
1) Cull every cow that fails to conceive i.e. pregnancy test after the bulls come out.
2) Cull every cow that does not walk in at weaning with a live calf.
3) Mate and calve yearling heifers. This allows for the early identification of any sexually malformed heifers.
4) Overmate at turnout time to allow for those cows which fail to conceive to be culled and you will end up with the number of cows you intend to Winter
We have been using these suggestions since 1965 and are now averaging 98% calving.






Teichert
Some tips on cow culling

With these ideas in mind, let’s first talk about culling cows and then selecting bulls. Every person’s cull list looks a little different, but I cull the following:
• Any cow or heifer open at pregnancy check. For market purposes, I may re-expose some cows, but they will be sold.
• Late-bred or late-calving cows. I’ve discussed the marketing of late-bred or late-calving cows in previous articles.
• Dry cows at the end of calving season and at weaning. They either aborted after pregnancy checking or lost a calf during or after calving.
• Cows that wean unacceptable calves. The calves could be too small or have other problems.
• Any cow that requires handling beyond routine procedures, such as pregnancy diagnosis, immunizations, etc. This includes such things as doctoring, calf delivery, prolapse, etc.
• Poor disposition. Wild cattle get wild three ways – they inherit it, learn it from herd mates, or learn it from their handlers. Removing the wild ones eliminates the first two options.
• Bad udders, bad eyes, lame, etc.

Most geneticists will tell you that most of these traits aren’t highly heritable and genetic progress will be negligible. I agree but all progress isn’t genetic. If retained, some of these cows will repeat the same problem.
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PatB



Posts : 335
Join date : 2010-09-25
Age : 54
Location : Turner, Maine

PostSubject: Re: pinebank newsletter jan 2013   Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:04 am

The newsletters have taken on a different quality from when I started reading them. The latest ideas seem to go against convential thinking.
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MKeeney
Admin


Posts : 3816
Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: pinebank newsletter jan 2013   Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:57 am

scratch scratch not so sure Pat...selection for more...and have even opened the herd to the outside??
and my DF side won`t let me accept their defintion of the methods of increased "efficiency"...
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df



Posts : 521
Join date : 2010-09-28

PostSubject: Re: pinebank newsletter jan 2013   Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:29 pm

Smile
MKeeney wrote:
scratch scratch not so sure Pat...selection for more...and have even opened the herd to the outside??
and my DF side won`t let me accept their defintion of the methods of increased "efficiency"...
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