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Keeping a crossbred stock bull

  • 19-06-2020 8:51am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    I'm thinking of keeping one of my own calves on as a bull to breed future replacement heifirs.

    He's by ai bull curaheen gunshot. He's polled, a twin, very docile, 5 star replacement. His ma and grandma tick all the boxes.

    The red one in the pictures attached.

    Any opinions?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    I'm thinking of keeping one of my own calves on as a bull to breed future replacement heifirs.

    He's by ai bull curaheen gunshot. He's polled, a twin, very docile, 5 star replacement. His ma and grandma tick all the boxes.

    The red one in the pictures attached.

    Any opinions?

    pic is there now
    516989.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭ carrollsno1


    Hopefully the pic is there now

    Id nearly give it a go myself if i had a lad like it


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    Just noticed they’re 2 bulls. Great calves. You will likely have a lot of different colours but if you’re keeping on heifers yourself you’ll not mind


  • Registered Users Posts: 771 ✭✭✭ minerleague


    I'm thinking of keeping one of my own calves on as a bull to breed future replacement heifirs.

    He's by ai bull curaheen gunshot. He's polled, a twin, very docile, 5 star replacement. His ma and grandma tick all the boxes.

    The red one in the pictures attached.

    Any opinions?

    calves from "speakeasy" ( term used round here !) wont be consistent like pedigree . dunno if its hybrid vigour but you could end up with monsters or poor calves


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    calves from "speakeasy" ( term used round here !) wont be consistent like pedigree . dunno if its hybrid vigour but you could end up with monsters or poor calves

    Yeah, I'm a bit concerned about calving, but I plan using on mature cows


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,912 ✭✭✭ Say my name


    I'd have no issue with being crossbred.

    But why would you want to be using a twin as a sire?
    Surely twins in bovine genetics are more trouble than it's worth?
    Harder calvings, more risk of mortality for cow and calf, longer open times for cows to go back in calf.
    Why would you want that risk?


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    I'd have no issue with being crossbred.

    But why would you want to be using a twin as a sire?
    Surely twins in bovine genetics are more trouble than it's worth?
    Harder calvings, more risk of mortality for cow and calf, longer open times for cows to go back in calf.
    Why would you want that risk?

    I'm surprised by the number of people who see it this way. To me twins are a bonus, and mostly work out well.

    I had 5 sets last year, one calf was born dead. So I have 4 extra calves. The only cow of the 5 that needed assistance was the one with the dead calf. Twin calves are never massive, so once they're coming right they pop out.

    No issues with the cows going back in calf. The one in the picture is due to calve 6 weeks earlier this year. I gave her a few nuts 3 days a week over the winter, when rearing the two.

    If the cow is under pressure, one calf can be weaned early. It'll still be better than a bucket reared dairy cross.

    So to me it's a risk wort taking to double the output from a cow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    squinn2912 wrote: »
    Just noticed they’re 2 bulls. Great calves. You will likely have a lot of different colours but if you’re keeping on heifers yourself you’ll not mind

    I've mostly red and yellow cows, so should be fine on them.

    I think a lot of different colours is a feature of simmentals in general


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    You have it well thought through ill give you that. How many cows are you running? I’m guessing that his mum isn’t related to many if any. I love your attitude on twins. I’m trying to think back now but my experience definitely isn’t as positive as yours. Over the last few years I think one cow managed to rear both calves, nearly always lose one of them and it takes an awful work to get the other one going (you could have that with any calf I know). You’re a twin factory as it is that’s some amount of them for one year. I bought a bulling heifer last year and she is springing now, her mother had twins since and she is scanned with twins. I dread it. Milk shouldn’t be a problem though if we can get her calved ok. They normally come early and she is the first to calve so well need to be on the ball.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,267 ✭✭✭✭ Bass Reeves


    I'm surprised by the number of people who see it this way. To me twins are a bonus, and mostly work out well.

    I had 5 sets last year, one calf was born dead. So I have 4 extra calves. The only cow of the 5 that needed assistance was the one with the dead calf. Twin calves are never massive, so once they're coming right they pop out.

    No issues with the cows going back in calf. The one in the picture is due to calve 6 weeks earlier this year. I gave her a few nuts 3 days a week over the winter, when rearing the two.

    If the cow is under pressure, one calf can be weaned early. It'll still be better than a bucket reared dairy cross.

    So to me it's a risk wort taking to double the output from a cow.

    Looking at the two calves above you be at 100% weight weaned to cow weight in cases like that

    Slava Ukrainii



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,136 ✭✭✭ jfh


    I've had two sets of twins in the last 24hrs, both were brought inside as the mothers needs a bit of extra feeding, so more work but worth it


  • Registered Users Posts: 771 ✭✭✭ minerleague


    I'm surprised by the number of people who see it this way. To me twins are a bonus, and mostly work out well.

    I had 5 sets last year, one calf was born dead. So I have 4 extra calves. The only cow of the 5 that needed assistance was the one with the dead calf. Twin calves are never massive, so once they're coming right they pop out.

    No issues with the cows going back in calf. The one in the picture is due to calve 6 weeks earlier this year. I gave her a few nuts 3 days a week over the winter, when rearing the two.

    If the cow is under pressure, one calf can be weaned early. It'll still be better than a bucket reared dairy cross.

    So to me it's a risk wort taking to double the output from a cow.
    would worry about twin aspect here but if u scanned cows and knew they were coming u could prepare. most twin sets here have had 1 coming backwards or some other delay but as u say not overly big


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    squinn2912 wrote: »
    You have it well thought through ill give you that. How many cows are you running? I’m guessing that his mum isn’t related to many if any. I love your attitude on twins. I’m trying to think back now but my experience definitely isn’t as positive as yours. Over the last few years I think one cow managed to rear both calves, nearly always lose one of them and it takes an awful work to get the other one going (you could have that with any calf I know). You’re a twin factory as it is that’s some amount of them for one year. I bought a bulling heifer last year and she is springing now, her mother had twins since and she is scanned with twins. I dread it. Milk shouldn’t be a problem though if we can get her calved ok. They normally come early and she is the first to calve so well need to be on the ball.

    'twin factory' lol.... Up until last year I only had a set every 2 or 3 years. I have over 60 cows.

    I've never had a situation where I lost both calves and any that were born alive have survived.

    I think the trick is, to keep a close eye on them. Which I try and do with all cows. So watch them at calving, give the cow a shake of nuts if she needs it after calving. Make sure both calves get beastings. Sometimes a twin calf will suck a bit elsewhere when they get going , but I'm fine with that.

    If there's a bull and heifir I normally wean the heifir early and then sell her as a yearling. She'll have caught up by then.

    The dam has a fair few half sisters in the herd. I didn't think crossing back on a half-aunt would be a problem????


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    Looking at the two calves above you be at 100% weight weaned to cow weight in cases like that

    I'd say fairly close, she's a big cow and heavy in calf, she's over 900 kg I'd say.

    I'll be weighing them in a few days for the scheme.... So I'll let you know..


  • Registered Users Posts: 840 ✭✭✭ Neddyusa


    I'd have no issue with being crossbred.

    But why would you want to be using a twin as a sire?
    Surely twins in bovine genetics are more trouble than it's worth?
    Harder calvings, more risk of mortality for cow and calf, longer open times for cows to go back in calf.
    Why would you want that risk?

    Doesn't the twinning come down from the maternal line rather than from the sire of the cow though?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,912 ✭✭✭ Say my name


    Neddyusa wrote: »
    Doesn't the twinning come down from the maternal line rather than from the sire of the cow though?

    Have to be both.
    Look at the Belclares.

    Look at twins in humans.

    Obviously the male won't give birth to twins. But his daughter will have that preposition.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,027 ✭✭✭ 148multi


    calves from "speakeasy" ( term used round here !) wont be consistent like pedigree . dunno if its hybrid vigour but you could end up with monsters or poor calves

    Calves from crossbreed bulls will be smaller


  • Registered Users Posts: 771 ✭✭✭ minerleague


    148multi wrote: »
    Calves from crossbreed bulls will be smaller

    have no direct knowledge myself but older generation (father ) always insisted you could get a huge calf as easy as a small one with crossbred bull. have ye any concern for the poor pedigree breeders out there at all and they practically giving them away:p


  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    have no direct knowledge myself but older generation (father ) always insisted you could get a huge calf as easy as a small one with crossbred bull. have ye any concern for the poor pedigree breeders out there at all and they practically giving them away:p

    Ha ha, I've given plenty to the pedigree lads over the years.... Its so hard to get a bull that ticks all the boxes, that's why I'm thinking of keeping an animal that I know something about him.

    I've had one bull pinning the calves against the wall as they came through the creep gate in the shed. Another nearly killed a cow because she jumped on another one that was bulling. Bulls that start growing their feet at 3yo. You don't want to be breeding heifers with that. These are all things that you can't know about at the time of purchase.

    I know there are no guarantees with any animal, but breeding from a proven line in your own herd should be given more consideration imo.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    'twin factory' lol.... Up until last year I only had a set every 2 or 3 years. I have over 60 cows.

    I've never had a situation where I lost both calves and any that were born alive have survived.

    I think the trick is, to keep a close eye on them. Which I try and do with all cows. So watch them at calving, give the cow a shake of nuts if she needs it after calving. Make sure both calves get beastings. Sometimes a twin calf will suck a bit elsewhere when they get going , but I'm fine with that.

    If there's a bull and heifir I normally wean the heifir early and then sell her as a yearling. She'll have caught up by then.

    The dam has a fair few half sisters in the herd. I didn't think crossing back on a half-aunt would be a problem????

    Twin boom last year then lol! Em yea we’ve rarely lost both unless once or twice born in the pen. Good herd of cows you know yourself then 45-50 here.

    Hmm I dunno I’m not that keen on them being related at all but once or twice the bull here would have got at daughters. They’ve worked out fine but we don’t breed them


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  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    There seem to be a few people interested in how this experiment works out. So I'll give an update every 6 months or so to keep you posted on progress.

    The calf has been named Barney (by the kids, but I may as well start calling him this also !!).... Barney was weighed yesterday, he was 395kg, his twin brother was 350Kg and mammy was 900kg.

    The twin brother was castrated a few weeks ago, so I think this knocked him back a little.

    They were born on 14/10/19. No creep was fed since turnout at the start of April. The calves got 0.5 lb/day of nuts over the winter. Mammy got 5lb 3days/week over the winter.

    The mother is due to calve again 28/8/20.

    Assuming birth weight of 40kg, that's a daily gain of 1.4KG/day, for Barney.

    I hoping he'll be ready to work (for a few cows) by mid-Oct (when he's 1 yo), as I think I'll run him with a bunch of dairy cross calves that I have, so he'll get 2lb nuts/day over the summer.

    His ICBF figures are attached and another pic of himself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    There seem to be a few people interested in how this experiment works out. So I'll give an update every 6 months or so to keep you posted on progress.

    The calf has been named Barney (by the kids, but I may as well start calling him this also !!).... Barney was weighed yesterday, he was 395kg, his twin brother was 350Kg and mammy was 900kg.

    The twin brother was castrated a few weeks ago, so I think this knocked him back a little.

    They were born on 14/10/19. No creep was fed since turnout at the start of April. The calves got 0.5 lb/day of nuts over the winter. Mammy got 5lb 3days/week over the winter.

    The mother is due to calve again 28/8/20.

    Assuming birth weight of 40kg, that's a daily gain of 1.4KG/day, for Barney.

    I hoping he'll be ready to work (for a few cows) by mid-Oct (when he's 1 yo), as I think I'll run him with a bunch of dairy cross calves that I have, so he'll get 2lb nuts/day over the summer.

    His ICBF figures are attached and another pic of himself.

    Fantastic detail and performance!! I bought a pb sim bull to run with heifers and hopefully some cows next year. Thinking of a pb heifer to breed a bull. I’ll look forward to the updates and discussion about barney!


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 smallcows


    I have to agree with you, I like to get twins. It might be a different story if I was milking


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,380 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler


    A bull puts enough semen into a cow to breeds loads of calves, it's the cow that decides the number of calves



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,267 ✭✭✭✭ Bass Reeves


    You are correct its the cow that directly decides whether she has one or multiple calves. But her gene to do that can come from either her sire or dam. The gene allows her to deposit one or multiple eggs into her womb, or to split an egg after fertilization(identical twins).

    Slava Ukrainii



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ funkey_monkey


    We've an older cow here that has just put out its second set of twins in 2 years. Two bulls last year and one of each this year. Just need to keep the food in front of them to keep the milk flowing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 853 ✭✭✭ DukeCaboom


    My bull got very lame one year so I decided to put the very best white Ch bull weanling from the previous year with the cows. Awful idea I'd literally had no two calves the same and the calves were rubbish. It would have paid to buy or hire a bull for the month.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,380 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler


    My suckler quota was 15 higher because of an unplanned crossbred yearling bull in the reference year, all perfect calve out of his half sisters



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,307 ✭✭✭ Hard Knocks


    Cross bred bulls can do a job, but you’d want to be fairly sure of the bull

    Like the example of the 18k heifer, some have been using BBxLM E grade calf to get the super muscle calves, but not all come as good as the 18k heifer



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