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Angus Bull for Suckler Herd

  • 08-12-2021 7:46pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 11 Pat2


    Hi

    Just wondering if any of you have any experience using an Aberdeen Angus bull on continental cows in a suckler herd. We have been breeding continentals for years and have used simmental, limo, charolais and sold as weanlings but I'm thinking of crossing my simmental/charolais cows with an angus bull and holding the offset spring to try and finish them at 20/22 months with just 1 winter in the shed. My reasoning is that they should calf easier, less maintenance (no de-horning), and with the angus bonus in the factory and possible reduction in slaughter age I think it might suit. Any comments are appreciated.

    Thanks



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Comments

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,186 Mod ✭✭✭✭ blue5000


    Doing it here, but more so to produce replacements in a closed herd. Heaviest aax bull we had was around 425 kg cw out of a blonde cow. Huge variation in aa bull quality now, getting harder to find a decent bull.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Pat2


    Thanks for replying. That was another reason I am considering it to have some replacements without Holstein breeding in them. How is it going for you? What age was the 425kg aax bull?



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


    Local man did it when he joined Organics, he’d great calves due to the continental cows, but as the cows were replaced the calves off the AAX daughters weren’t as good



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


    Agree with blue, Very hard to get a decent angus bull & you'll pay a handsome price. I changed back to 5 star limo bull that was half the price, if I need to sell before finishing I can whereas with the angus had to hold off & the cross of the ch was poor I found, crossed nicely with the blue



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    I often found Angus very flighty, especially when bulling. Possibly that was ones with fresian in them. Have had very few here in the last number of years



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,430 ✭✭✭ Barktastic


    It’s hard to get a beefy angus with a good growth rate. Probably cost around 3 k.

    Stabiliser could be an option as well.



  • Registered Users Posts: 942 ✭✭✭ Anto_Meath


    The reality with suckling is even with say 10 cows you need to use two types of bull. The Angus out of a Continental cow is a fine calf & very saleable at any stage. But once you start approaching 75% Angus the quality is well back and so too are your returns. Similar with a well bred continental cow, she can be lacking in milk. The ideal is to use an Angus bull on continental cow & a continental bull on Angus cows. This is possible with AI but not so simple with stock bulls. There is a lad beside me at it with a Hereford bull on Charolais cows & buying in replacement Charolais heifers. He is killing supper stock & getting the Hereford bonus on them all & is bull must be over 10 years old now as he keeps none of his daughters for breding.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,186 Mod ✭✭✭✭ blue5000


    23 months, general average for angus bulls was about 380 to 390. Make sure you look up any potential bull on icbf for milk, they need to be +5 kg and preferably +10. Bellview on here is a ped breeder, maybe drop him a PM for advice.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    I know a couple of men 3 off the top of my head that work hereford and charolais bulls. I took an odd walk through their cattle at times (with them, I’m not the owner of the one wellie from yon other thread!) and I was surprised how well the hereford cattle were doing. Very impressive. I thought the charolais end of it wouldn’t have enough milk to keep the calf but there you go. The lim bull is hard to beat for an all rounder. Would love something similar to the last fella we had but I wouldn’t be convinced that his heifers are good breeders. Only one round of them so far so next summer will tell a lot.



  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    I know a fella who is using a herford bull on continental cows and finishes all the stock.. He's doing very well. He's breeding great cattle that finish quickly and grade well. Add in the HE bonus and it's a real winner. When I saw his calves and cattle I was very impressed with the quality. However he has very good mainly LMX cows and a fine big, long HE bull. But like other posters said, the quality diminishes when he breeds from his heifers. I haven't been talking to him in a while, but I know he was planning to buy in some continental heifers to breed from.

    I think it's not a bad way to go. But to make the most of it , I think you need to go all the way and finish them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 942 ✭✭✭ Anto_Meath


    In fairness squinn I have seen a few photos you have put up of your cattle on here and they are first class stock.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,430 ✭✭✭ Barktastic


    Lmx are great cows for suckling. Limo crossed with British freisian cows.

    Growth rate of the limo and milk ability and decent frame of the British freisian.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    Thanks Anto you’re very decent to say that. Like everyone else good, bad and in the middle.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    Was that man better off with a quality bull and buy in the heifers? In my head he has it back to front. Better again pick x amount of his best cows and ai them for replacements?



  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    Separating cows for ai is hassle and time consuming. This lad also works. His system is less complicated the way it is. Using the HE bull gives him the bonus in the factory. Crossing the other way would have similar quality cattle without the bonus.

    I use ai a small bit, most cows repeat at least once from it. It's a much higher repeat rate than with my bulls. Is this the norm?



  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭ Easten


    If you have to go down the road of an Angus Bull for Suckling then why even stay in Suckling. You are only breeding dairy type stock at that stage. Why not go into forestry instead? It pays a lot more, it's Tax free and you have very little work involved



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


    You can chop and change livestock breeding as much as you like but when you plant you’ve destroyed the farm forever for keeping livestock. Each to their own



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    It is a pain. We would tend to try the earliest calvers with ai before going with the bull. They’re still inside or not long out and usually handy to a yard. Would get a few but in truth I was happier with our own Lim calves so kinda got out of that system. That man must be fair and good at picking the heifers I like to know the story with them hence why I prefer our own. I suppose if he;s for the factory then the bonus matters but I’m not a beliver in that being much good - factory will usually do you some other way - so almost all of our cattle go to mart as forward stores or fat cows etc.

    On the repeats yea pretty much. You can be lucky in a mild early spring etc but I suppose it’s about 6-7 out of 10.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    I have recently changed from selling forward heifirs and cows in the mart to killing them myself. I used to have the same opinion as you on the factories. However after selling forward types and having them make less per kg because they were too fleshy for a number of years. I've started keeping them a little longer and killing them. So far I'm happy enough. A lot of the time there are only a few buyers in the mart for forward types and those lads like to get their margin.

    However this year, they are going well everywhere, so it mightn't make much difference.

    I killed 2 cows on wed, they both graded r and killed 54%. One was 13 yo and looked an o to me. They got 10lb of nuts since 1st November, which is not a lot imo. But I think if the feeding is in them, you're better off in the factory



  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭ Neo Sanders


    Candain Angus on a chx cow will leave a great animal, as good as any. There's no comparison with the fairy's coming from the dairy herd. AA cattle are selling really well in marts at the moment. The suckler ones even more so.

    There is more variation within any breed than there is across the breeds.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    All I know is any time we’ve been closed up with tb had forced to go with factory we’ve not got the value of our animals. The marts here that’s what the buyers are looking for, a farmer couldnt get a look in except for smaller cattle. Maybe it’s different where you are but from what I know I’d have to disagree with you. Dealers are getting 20-30p plus for factory and so they can give 10-15p plus in mart.

    I’d often hear the older lads talking about some man ‘he always kept great cattle and then he went and he bought an angus bull and that put him away to hell.’



  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭ Easten


    That's different. Canadian or US Angus are much bigger and several hundred Kgs heavier than the easy calving Angus breed that is used in Ireland/UK and many parts of Europe. You might as well use the Charolais or Limousine Bull at that stage.

    Goes back to my original point that if you are going down the easy calving angus route for Sucklers than its a waste of time and effort as the returns are poor and don't believe what they are saying about great prices for Angus type cattle now, there isn't, it's ok for Angus but doesn't even come near to the prices of good Continental type cattle.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,082 ✭✭✭✭ Base price


    +1

    IMO the introduction of US and Canadian bloodlines into the "traditional" breeds has made them more commercially viable. For too long Irish Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn breeders got caught up trying to chase the easy calving/short gestation route to suit dairy farmers but to detriment of their respective breeds. Thankfully some pedigree breeders have embraced these new bloodlines and I think they will suit the earlier slaughter ages in the Governments climate action plan.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,170 ✭✭✭ Jjameson


    A thread like this and all threads relating to the intensive production single suck suckler cow concept can be summarised here




  • Registered Users Posts: 10,082 ✭✭✭✭ Base price


    So what do you reckon is the alternative for many farmers - mostly older full time but some are young and part time throughout the Country on smaller farms and in some cases marginal land.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭ squinn2912


    HA!! Very good, we’ll all have to stop commenting now. I think if you have good quality you can do ok at it but each to their own if you’ve found a better system to suit you then fair play.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,170 ✭✭✭ Jjameson




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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,082 ✭✭✭✭ Base price




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