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Thread: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

  1. #1
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    Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    We have Welsh cross Aberdeen Angus calves and I was wondering if it were wise to do so, or better to have a pure breed?
    I have been thinking of keeping a Charolais cross Welsh before but was unsure, as I heard a farmer talk about it being too big
    and worse than keeping a pure one. I just want to know if it is done and would it be a better benefit?

  2. #2

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by milo View Post
    We have Welsh cross Aberdeen Angus calves and I was wondering if it were wise to do so, or better to have a pure breed?
    I have been thinking of keeping a Charolais cross Welsh before but was unsure, as I heard a farmer talk about it being too big
    and worse than keeping a pure one. I just want to know if it is done and would it be a better benefit?
    I see no benefits with this. Get a pedigree Angus and at least it will sire calves that can command a premium price with Waitrose etc.

  3. #3

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by milo View Post
    We have Welsh cross Aberdeen Angus calves and I was wondering if it were wise to do so, or better to have a pure breed?
    I have been thinking of keeping a Charolais cross Welsh before but was unsure, as I heard a farmer talk about it being too big
    and worse than keeping a pure one. I just want to know if it is done and would it be a better benefit?
    Don't ! As a breeder of pedigrees, it's hard enough knowing what your pure pedigree will be likely to throw, let alone then worrying about two different breeds throwing their genes into the mix! Hybrid vigour is all very well and why successful commercial suckler herds pick and change pedigree bulls but then add a cross bred bull as well and you could end up with real trouble come calving.

  4. #4

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    What are your females? I was reading something about breeding the other day, because I was looking at a cross bull (Limo/Dexter!!!), and it said that if your females were the same cross, that was a way of stabilising your herd. What worried me about using the cross bull I went to see n my Dexters and AA crosses, was that I might get a load of Dexter genes in some calves and a load of Limo in others, not half and half all the time. What I was after is a small bull with good muscling. Maybe I should look at a Lowline?
    Clive Tee

  5. #5

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by Songsheet View Post
    Don't ! As a breeder of pedigrees, it's hard enough knowing what your pure pedigree will be likely to throw, let alone then worrying about two different breeds throwing their genes into the mix! Hybrid vigour is all very well and why successful commercial suckler herds pick and change pedigree bulls but then add a cross bred bull as well and you could end up with real trouble come calving.
    Spot on!


    dont know why but come calving the ones we used where killers

  6. #6

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive Tee View Post
    What are your females? I was reading something about breeding the other day, because I was looking at a cross bull (Limo/Dexter!!!), and it said that if your females were the same cross, that was a way of stabilising your herd. What worried me about using the cross bull I went to see n my Dexters and AA crosses, was that I might get a load of Dexter genes in some calves and a load of Limo in others, not half and half all the time. What I was after is a small bull with good muscling. Maybe I should look at a Lowline?
    Yes that's right. Males and females the same cross: Statisically you would get 25% mostly breed A, 25% mostly breed B, and 50% of half A/half B. IMHO. That assumes your bulls and cows are 50/50 for all traits, which we know is never true. And genes do not split neatly in half so you sometimes get "grandparent" traits coming through, because each parent is 50/50 grandparent to your offspring. Known as "throwbacks" in my part of the world. Like the child with red hair that only great grandma had (think that's recessive so someone else muct have carried the gene too.) So bottom line you could get anything from nearly 100% breed A to 100% breed B.

    Stabilising your herd is a nice term for killing everything that isn't 50/50 and then in-breeding, and more selecting and a few decades later you have a new breed.

    +1 Get a good pure bred bull and you know that everything is (more or less) 50% him. Simples.

  7. #7
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    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    I was daft enough to try one once. Needed a bull in a hurry and saw a lim x BB in the cattle sale. The vendor was also selling his BB x holstien cows which were sporting some good calves. We put him with some BB x lim cows but he broke his rod after a couple of weeks and had to go.
    Calving from him was a nightmare and we had all sorts of colours, shapes and sizes with the ones that were still alive. He simply wasn't suitable for our cows and I wouldn't be tempted ever again.
    Stick with a pedigree every time. (Songsheet has some very nice British Blues)
    Don't itch for something if you're not prepared to scratch for it.

  8. #8

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    One that is slightly annoyed is bad enough but a cross one

  9. #9

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    But say, just for example, that you have a herd of pedigree AA females and use a cross bull, how does that differ from the more usual situation of having a herd of cross cows and using a pedigree AA bull?
    Clive Tee

  10. #10

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    A lot off people here using limo cross blue bulls with great success
    a neighbour has a charolais bull cross blue and he is producing fantastic calves to black whiteheads(holstein hereford) most need a helping hand to calf though not REALLY difficult however this would be the same if you used a pedigree charolais
    alit depends on your cows and as clive tee says if your cows are pure its the same as running a pure bull of various types of suckler cow
    RUMMOR has it a little limo blood was put into the angus to impove tthem

  11. #11

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive Tee View Post
    But say, just for example, that you have a herd of pedigree AA females and use a cross bull, how does that differ from the more usual situation of having a herd of cross cows and using a pedigree AA bull?
    It doesn't ive done it for years with no more problems than anyother bull, limxbb on Angus cows, key is in bull selection but that is the same with any bull x or pure.

  12. #12

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Have had a 50/50 Lim cross BB sire about 20 calves to holstein fresian dairy cows.

    Great calves, massive variation in colouration though.
    Some all black
    Some all red/brown
    One black and white!
    Some blue and white
    Some kind a of blue grey roan
    Some kind of a red white roan

  13. #13

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    It doesn't ive done it for years with no more problems than anyother bull, limxbb on Angus cows, key is in bull selection but that is the same with any bull x or pure.

    surprising as most genetic gain comes from sires used . a cow might have 10 calves , a bull will sire 100-200 offspring. with the right pedigree bull you can improve the genetics of your herd by up to 80%. i dont see how you can use a crooss bred for trying to get certain traits into a herd

  14. #14

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by WILF View Post
    It doesn't ive done it for years with no more problems than anyother bull, limxbb on Angus cows, key is in bull selection but that is the same with any bull x or pure.

    surprising as most genetic gain comes from sires used . a cow might have 10 calves , a bull will sire 100-200 offspring. with the right pedigree bull you can improve the genetics of your herd by up to 80%. i dont see how you can use a crooss bred for trying to get certain traits into a herd
    I use them as a terminal sire, this has been done to death on here before, ive noticed the only ones who write posts condemning cross bulls are mostly those who have not tried them, the chap I buy them off has a thriving customer base for cross bulls and a lot of repeat business so they can't be all bad.

  15. #15

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    I use them as a terminal sire, this has been done to death on here before, ive noticed the only ones who write posts condemning cross bulls are mostly those who have not tried them,

    oh right as a terminal sire. . no i have not used cross breds , but i know my neighbour tried for a while and he went back to using pedigree angus and simmentals he said it was a big mistake and he is nobodies fool . still if it works for you stick with it.

  16. #16

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    The way I look at lim x bb bulls is this, they are half the price of a good quality ped lim bull but better calves. Without the calving probs of a pure BB.

  17. #17

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    good quality ped lim bull but better calves.

    now you are trying to upset the lim breeders

  18. #18
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    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    ok, Thanks everyone for your opinions! very much appreciated

  19. #19

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by milo View Post
    We have Welsh cross Aberdeen Angus calves and I was wondering if it were wise to do so, or better to have a pure breed?
    I have been thinking of keeping a Charolais cross Welsh before but was unsure, as I heard a farmer talk about it being too big
    and worse than keeping a pure one. I just want to know if it is done and would it be a better benefit?
    Don't think a Charolais cross would make sense but can't see any reason that a AAxWB would'nt be suitable. Both breeds are roughly similar in type so calf variation wouldn't be any different to a pure bred, they're both black so color will be black. As long as you've a good eye for stock you'll get as good an animal as buying a pedigree anaimal with no figures.
    A bull with good figures is always the best way to go mind.

  20. #20

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by hillybill View Post
    ive noticed the only ones who write posts condemning cross bulls are mostly those who have not tried them.
    Or pedigree breeders with a vested interest, maybe.....

  21. #21

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Ruminant View Post
    Or pedigree breeders with a vested interest, maybe.....

    Oh believe me, if we wanted to produce Lim/Blue bulls or x anything else, it wouldn't be a problem - Have ped Lims here as well as Blues! Of course, having invested a lot of time and money in a reasonably decent pedigree herd, I indeed do have a vested interest but as those who know us will confirm, we stand behind our stock but ain't no way I am standing behind a cross bred anything being used on commercial sucklers - that really is Russian roulette.

  22. #22

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by Songsheet View Post
    Oh believe me, if we wanted to produce Lim/Blue bulls or x anything else, it wouldn't be a problem - Have ped Lims here as well as Blues! Of course, having invested a lot of time and money in a reasonably decent pedigree herd, I indeed do have a vested interest but as those who know us will confirm, we stand behind our stock but ain't no way I am standing behind a cross bred anything being used on commercial sucklers - that really is Russian roulette.
    Have you used a cross bull on a decent number of cows then ?? because I totally disagree with that statement.

  23. #23

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Plenty of people using crossbreed rams ,and majority of people use crossbreed cows, what's the difference between using a crossbreed bull on cows to using a pure breed bull on crossbreed cows......if from easy calving lines I can't see the problem personally.

  24. #24

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Maybe some of the different experiences depend on the actual genetics and breeds used for the cross. If you've got a cross between two breeds and one has very special genes, like double-muscling, then I'm guessing that any offspring will either get that gene or won't, there'll be no halfway measure, so you'll get a mixed bag of big bums and normal ones?
    Clive Tee

  25. #25

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    hillybill, I was wondering how you select your cross bred bulls and what type of cows do you use them on?

  26. #26

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by choochter View Post
    hillybill, I was wondering how you select your cross bred bulls and what type of cows do you use them on?
    Angus cows, I like a black one if I can get one as they tend to leave black calves or mostly black calves, cant be done with the blue ones ,not to wide at the front for calving, good legs etc well conformed and good size for age etc etc etc same way as you would select any bull.

  27. #27

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Do you just buy them out of the fat pen?

  28. #28
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    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by Songsheet View Post
    Oh believe me, if we wanted to produce Lim/Blue bulls or x anything else, it wouldn't be a problem - Have ped Lims here as well as Blues! Of course, having invested a lot of time and money in a reasonably decent pedigree herd, I indeed do have a vested interest but as those who know us will confirm, we stand behind our stock but ain't no way I am standing behind a cross bred anything being used on commercial sucklers - that really is Russian roulette.
    If your cows are cross bred what would be the difference?

  29. #29

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by choochter View Post
    Do you just buy them out of the fat pen?
    Yes but the chap I buy them off has a very good fat pen, they out of pure lim cows with bb sire.

  30. #30

    Re: Keeping a cross bred bull what are your views?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigw View Post
    If your cows are cross bred what would be the difference?
    Er.. because genetically you are using a cross bred on a cross bred and not a purebred on a cross bred - with a pure bred, genetically you 'know' better what you will end up with when using that bull on your cross bred cows. Using a cross bred bull, you add in the uncertainty of what might be dominant in that bull's genetic make up and add that to the 'uncertainty' of the cow. And, presumably, you already have had a couple of calves from your commercial sucklers, so have an idea what type of calf they're going to breed you. Or would you use him on heifers ?!?!

    Of course, if you're using a cross bred bull on a herd of pure cows of whatever breed, than genetically, it's no different to using a pure bull on cross bred cows... The main difference is that you have an environmental control over your cows of course, so management will play a huge part in the outcome.

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