Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 76

Thread: Suckler replacements

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Suckler replacements

    Obviously there is no definitive answer, but there are probably lots of breeds I have missed so I will allow you all to enlighten me.
    Anyway I need to restock.
    Im looking for small cows 550kg max, to spring calve with easy claving blonde bulls, I dont mind helping them tho, I finish all progeny and leave bulls whole. I inwinter for 6 months as its marshland grazing. I dont mind bad temprements. Dont have to be extra milky as I creep feed. Found Galloway to be the best fit so far, but have found replacements difficult to source. Used to like proper black hereford but very hard to find and getting too big now.
    But maybe you think I have it all wrong. I have been running a bit of everything size wise and think the little cows calves offer me the best return, as fats, but dont do proper costings. Perhaps I should be think something more milky or f1 cows for max hybrid vigour. All ideas welcome.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    7

    Re: Suckler replacements

    sim ling??

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    54

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by sep View Post
    sim ling??
    With fried rice!

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    South Wales
    Posts
    61

    Re: Suckler replacements

    You thought about some black baldies ? They'd do the job for you if you could source them ?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Clive Tee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    435

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Stabilisers? Maternal breed and not too big.
    Clive Tee

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    37

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Devons, traditional Hereford or Angus, Sussex, in fact most traditional breeds would do the job for you. Cheap to keep good temprement, cross well and live for a long time.

  7. #7
    Member Wooly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Romney Marsh
    Posts
    80

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by charlieboy View Post
    Im looking for small cows 550kg max, to spring calve with easy claving blonde bulls,
    I dont mind helping them tho.
    I dont mind bad temprements. Dont have to be extra milky as I creep feed.

    So why do you want a cow that you don't mind calving, have bad temprements and little milk so as to spend money and time on creep feeding?

    I want the complete opposite and therefor have a herd of Sussex.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Devon
    Posts
    57

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Devon x freisian good cow but might be too big for you

  9. #9
    Member stockslave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    53

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by Wooly View Post
    So why do you want a cow that you don't mind calving, have bad temprements and little milk so as to spend money and time on creep feeding?

    I want the complete opposite and therefor have a herd of Sussex.
    I couldn't agree more, Sussex every time.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by Wooly View Post
    So why do you want a cow that you don't mind calving, have bad temprements and little milk so as to spend money and time on creep feeding?

    I want the complete opposite and therefor have a herd of Sussex.
    Fine if you want me to explain more clearly, I dont mind calving heifers or odd cow, I would not exclude any breed for perceived temprement issues as I believe there are good and bad in all breeds, and Imv creep feeding always pays as I'm on a time limit with bulls, so dont need dairy cross levels of milkyness.

    Are you saying you never assist a calving or have an evil/lively one?

    I just wanted to stimulate some debate and realise now I didnt put enough thought into my initial post so that nobody could pick holes in it, and for this I apologise and realise why I never used to bother.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    West Northants
    Posts
    1,169

    Re: Suckler replacements

    That's what forums are about though I'm afraid, try not to take it personally as you will usually be wrong!!

    We are running a very similar system to you; the Blonde makes a good terminal sire and the finished bulls grade well through the slaughterhouses. Like you we are looking at the future options for replacements as we are currently running Hereford x dairy cows. My list of requirements is pretty similar to yours really, I also want a small cow that is cheap to keep (cheap to buy in the first place preferably too) but I also want to calve in March at 2 years old (or thereabouts). I think you definitely want a crossed cow; the hybrid vigour from a 3 way cross calf is far higher than from a two way and the crossed cow will also have more milk than a pure, it'll be more fertile too. Creep feeding is a good idea in the autumn, weaning stress will be reduced as the rumen will be prepared for the change in diet and often the grass is running out of steam at the same time as the cows milk supply is diminishing. We've had daft cows too at times, they usually show that behaviour once then get culled at the next opportunity.

    My list has got as far as I want a native x native cow, ideally from one single farm that I can establish a regular order with. I'm not sure there is a right or wrong combination of breeds, I've seen some very good South Devon x Hereford (none available this year from that farm though) heifers that look ideal, I've enquired about some black baldies (Hereford x Angus) but they are outside of my calving pattern. I suspect we will be back buying dairy x again this year but if anyone is selling spring born weaned calves that fit the description above in the autumn please PM me; I'm looking for about 20 - 25 a year and am happy to take them in October to house through the winter. I will PM you some details of black baldies charlieboy (see it is worth persevering!!).
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    57

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Angus, Hereford or any traditional breed, I'm thinking of putting a Bazadais bull on some of my Angus cows its supposed to be a good cross

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Thanks for all the replies, and the pm foxbox will reply to that later, and of course you are indeed correct. just depends on the frame of mind you read things in I guess.

    Should have made this a general suckler thread, as Im having a big rethink.

    Good point about regular replacement order with one place. How many calves do you expect from your black herefords?
    Does anyone cull/clear out on age regardless of output, I need to put a strict policy inplace for the future and stick to it perhaps replacing 25% per year and selling pd'd in calf at the end.

    Does pure hereford suffer from lack of milk.

    Finally should I continue with blonde, go for all out growth with charolais, possibly moving to selling stores, or go for premium with an Angus?

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    37

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Charlie, go to the Norfolk show and have a chat with some of the Sussex breeders there. One of the biggest show teams comes from a farm that also runs Sims and they do cross a lot. All bull calves are kept entire and are sold to a butcher from ten to fourteen months, exept for replacements all heifers are sold for breeding which will include Sussex, Sim, SussexSim and SimxSussex. They wont bite your head off, they are there to promote the breed. You never know, you might like what you see. By the way i have seven young cows due March and two two year old heifers for sale, come to the sale in Ashford on 20th April and have a bid.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Hi Martin, tbh I have never noticed them at the show, I do keep about a dozen red poll and they are passable but nothing special, and they really kick, think there is a fair bit of limi in some lines to improve shape, but there is plenty of them around which is probably why I have never noticed the Sussex. There are also a few Lincoln Red getting about locally, wonder how much difference between the three there is. I take it sussex are heavier set, would they not be near the top end of my weight limit. I never believe anything the breed societys websites tell me. Hope the sale goes well for you, I'm travel adverse for anything really but I will have to travel for the quality I want I accept.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    West Northants
    Posts
    1,169

    Re: Suckler replacements

    I ws talking to someone who has done a lot of signet recording (muscle depth scores etc) in the past and her favourite cross was a Simm x Lincoln Red.

    From a bull point of view I'd stick with Blondes personally, we get on very well with them and they are cheaper to buy than some. If you are tempted to try another breed I'd synchronise the replacement heifers then AI them to whatever you fancy trying, it's a system we've used in the past and it has worked well. In fact if you are looking to condense your calving pattern this route will give you an extra service to work with (one on first day, then 3 more for example in a 9 week block) but it would require careful management. Our experience with hereford x dairy calves is that Charolais and BB produce bigger calves at slightly heavier weights at slaughter, however the Blonde has kept the edge with a higher killing out % meaning that they have yielded almost identical meat yields. The Blondes have also been off farm slightly earlier due to the lower live-weight so cost less to get killing.

    As I said earlier I'd stay away from pure cattle unless you have a big enough herd to absorb a nucleus herd within it, the compromise with lack of hybrid vigour is too much in my opinion for a commercial suckler herd.

    I'm going to post some analysis of my weaning weights done with excel in a few days, it's a good example of the cost of the later cycling cows to a herd and how software can do a lot more than most of us currently use it for. By the way, if you thought the reaction to your opening post was a bit harsh wait until folks have some real figures posted, I'm expecting a bit of grief!
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Yes I do like the blonde if I finish the progeny, but think Charolais sell better as stores, still think finishing pays but its not easy to cost without regularly weighing cattle and grub which I dont. I may also like to save the straw and time for a b and b pig enterprise in the near future. Im not in a big way with sucklers so like a calving spread really so I can sell a few each week or fortnight, but I always keep heifers in till they calve, and it does get difficult to find something non fattening to feed them on when I get down to a handful indoors. I have lusted after a pure blonde herd for a few years but they are lower value ped cattle so might as well keep commercial as you say. Looking forward to seeing the figures, you wont get any grief from me

    After last week I am also effectivley bull-less, my young one turned up and died with chronic liver fluke, despite being properly covered, will never use closamectin again as long as I live and will sell 6l to anyone that wants it for 320, and my older one has slow swimmers.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    157

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Hi charlieboy

    I'd happily sell you a few galloways as you know but I'd also agree with those that recommend sussex. I've seen some cracking cows on the Ouse marshes with charolais calves at foot.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Hybrid vigour wise, would a crossed sire and pure females acheive the same result as f1 females and terminal sire?
    Why are there not more people using say bluexlim bulls or bluexblonde?
    Stuck with blonde again this time for the time being only 16 months tho. good job calving is spread out.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Songsheet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    147

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Because using any cross bred bull, be it Bluexblonde, BluexLim whatever means you really, really won't know what you'll get across a mixed suckler herd! People have been breeding these breeds for decade upon decade to get a stable end product and then a few others decide to cross them and sell them and all of a sudden, they're the answer ! If there are problems, one or other breed gets the blame anyway. It's just not progress.

    Same goes for this latest craze to cross purebred dogs - cockerpoos, labradoodles, sproodles - what's that all about? Half of em end up with folk who have no idea what they'll actually end up with, temperament is an utter lottery as is size, coat and just about every other attribute.

    We sold a bull a couple of years ago to a purebred Lincoln Red herd. They started calving last June, no problems at all and have the prized objective, a red heifer calf than can go on the upgrade list.

    However, the main advice from me is get what you enjoy looking at and dealing with. You're the one who will have to deal with them everyday and you may as well go through the grind for summat that gives you pleasure and a decent return, surely?

  21. #21
    Senior Member skoda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Ruthin ,Denbighshire,N Wales
    Posts
    1,064

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by Songsheet View Post
    Because using any cross bred bull, be it Bluexblonde, BluexLim whatever means you really, really won't know what you'll get across a mixed suckler herd! People have been breeding these breeds for decade upon decade to get a stable end product and then a few others decide to cross them and sell them and all of a sudden, they're the answer ! If there are problems, one or other breed gets the blame anyway. It's just not progress.

    Same goes for this latest craze to cross purebred dogs - cockerpoos, labradoodles, sproodles - what's that all about? Half of em end up with folk who have no idea what they'll actually end up with, temperament is an utter lottery as is size, coat and just about every other attribute.
    This the point Myself & Andybk have been making about cross bred rams on here .I have had the missfortune of buying a couple of Lleyn rams that that have looked pure but their progeny had should we say a continental look about them ,topping lambs at the topend but for every good one you would get 2 crabby lambs ,and overall they where a poor average .
    IMO cross breds are over rated.
    Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sunny Newcastle upon Tyne
    Posts
    117

    Re: Suckler replacements

    We use Blonde x Angus with good results. It is a closed herd so requires a bit of juggling with bulls and good record keeping, but it works well. I calve all year round, which keeps the cashflow moving. The heifers are bulled at 15 months or 430kg, but do need looking after once they have had their first calf. One thing that I have found is that the conception rate in this system is good. Many cows now have a calving interval down to around 320 - 340 days, and it feels like a failure if I go over 365. Out of 100 cows/heifers calving I have only had 4 go over the 365 day interval in the last year.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    West Northants
    Posts
    1,169

    Re: Suckler replacements

    The general consensus above is about right but there is another aspect not fully covered. Generally speaking a cross bred cow will have higher fertility, more milk and a higher ability to convert feed. I've seen several herds running pure cattle alongside crossbreds (pure Hereford alongside Hereford x South Devon being the most marked) and despite cow size being very similar and calving date/grazing identical the crossed cows were all far fatter than the pures. This gave scope to pull weight off over winter and reduce feed costs.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Thanks for the replies, I take on board what you are all saying, would not use a x sire myself after a young feeder bull caused problems, and all the worst traits came out, but just interested. Interesting figures nick k how do they grade.
    Things have gone down hill since I moved away from black hereford, but equally it was not good dealing with the off spring of the poor end of the dairy herd.

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lincolnshire Wolds
    Posts
    81

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Hi,
    My first post! I have lurked for a long while! My user name should give a bit of a clue!! But it does not give the whole story.
    Having farmed in a family partnership and now on my own. I have used Lincoln Reds and many different crosses for many years before being persuaded to grade up. As a partnership we crossed lincoln with charolais,limousin,hereford and lately South Devon. The best of these crosses was the South devon. But now all pedigree Lincoln as the South devon Pedigree animal struggled on our system. The lincoln Cow lives cheaply, calves easily and crosses well as shown above. At the moment there is a bull test taking place at Brackenhurst(Notts UNI) with the results on the website of the breed society.
    The Spring sale is in Late March at Newark. Or Look at LOUTH (Lincs) Market website as they have Spring store sales with Often Lincoln Heifers entered. Or simply ring the Secretary , She will point you to Breeders who have surplus animals and we are a friendly bunch Just ask.

    LR

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Hi, come on sell it to me then why should I choose LR over Red Poll? I know a couple of people with them and they are very pleased, one thinks its the next big/fashion breed.

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Ceredigion
    Posts
    317

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Forget dairy cross cows their day has gone

  28. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    West Northants
    Posts
    1,169

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by Forage Trader View Post
    Forget dairy cross cows their day has gone
    Come on FT, it's a new forum and statements as simple and unjustified as that deserve some expanding upon, otherwise it is just a wasted post. So why has their day gone, are we talking all dairy cross cows or just the extreme end, and what is offered by other breeds that doesn't come from them?
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    West Northants
    Posts
    1,169

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Quote Originally Posted by LINCS RED View Post
    Hi,
    My first post! I have lurked for a long while! My user name should give a bit of a clue!! But it does not give the whole story.
    Having farmed in a family partnership and now on my own. I have used Lincoln Reds and many different crosses for many years before being persuaded to grade up. As a partnership we crossed lincoln with charolais,limousin,hereford and lately South Devon. The best of these crosses was the South devon. But now all pedigree Lincoln as the South devon Pedigree animal struggled on our system. The lincoln Cow lives cheaply, calves easily and crosses well as shown above. At the moment there is a bull test taking place at Brackenhurst(Notts UNI) with the results on the website of the breed society.
    The Spring sale is in Late March at Newark. Or Look at LOUTH (Lincs) Market website as they have Spring store sales with Often Lincoln Heifers entered. Or simply ring the Secretary , She will point you to Breeders who have surplus animals and we are a friendly bunch Just ask.

    LR
    I with Charlieboy on this, we are both in the market for replacements so sell us the benefits please! I will certainly look at the sales you've listed and I will get in touch with the Secretary too but feel free to post pictures and give us an idea of the pros and cons of the crosses you have experience of.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Norfick Broads
    Posts
    753

    Re: Suckler replacements

    Getting a weekly Newark report as I'm sure you do foxbox, does make me wonder, and highlights the gap between me and top quality herds
    Anyway found this on my google travels http://www.jalexherd.com/meet-the-girls they seem to have got it right

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •