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Thread: Starting suckler herd

  1. #1
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    Starting suckler herd

    As title says I'm looking to a suckler herd of 25/30 cows. Was thinking of buying Charolais cows and putting to a Limmy bull. And maybe couple of Herefords to keep wife happy.
    Would like some advice please on pros on cons of them and calving problems etc.
    was thinking of spring calving and selling as stores.


    thank in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    I would contact one or two marts and enquire about some Simmental cross heifer calves - ideally about 14-18 months and out of Limousin cross or
    Salers cross cows. Buy a good young Limousin bull - maybe one that's come home unsold from society sales and can cost about 200 more than the killing price
    if you know of a reliable dealer. Bull them from May/June onwards to calve in early spring.

    Charolais cross cows are not noted as good breeding cows and Herefords are purely ornamental. Your wife will certainly grow to like Simmental crosses,
    particularly when you eventually sell some good Limousin cross calves out of them.


    But whatever you do, you must ensure that all stock you buy are BVD and Johness (sp?) Disease accredited.

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    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Nothing wrong with a good charolais cross cow but you need the right ones not big white ones with no milk!
    Crossed with a muscular limousin will produce top quality, very saleable yellow stores if that's what you're after go for it.
    Lim or saler cows crossed with lim will be much easier calved but not the same weight gain or price when selling. Plenty of charolais cross herds over here managed commercially and doing well with a good heavy cow to sell if things don't work out. I'd forget the herefords and try for an even bunch to sell.

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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    I was wondering about salers and x to lim bull and sell all stores and buy in replacements. And use AI.

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    Senior Member grassmanman's Avatar
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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Quote Originally Posted by Nordvue View Post
    I was wondering about salers and x to lim bull and sell all stores and buy in replacements. And use AI.
    Would cross salers to Charolais as they can calve easily. Would give a big stretchy ch coloured calf to sell.
    Using Ai with sucklers ain't much fun especially in May/June when out at grass and doubtfull you'd get rewarded for it if just selling all as stores.

  6. #6
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    I would contact one or two marts and enquire about some Simmental cross heifer calves - ideally about 14-18 months and out of Limousin cross or
    Salers cross cows. Buy a good young Limousin bull - maybe one that's come home unsold from society sales and can cost about 200 more than the killing price
    if you know of a reliable dealer. Bull them from May/June onwards to calve in early spring.

    Charolais cross cows are not noted as good breeding cows and Herefords are purely ornamental. Your wife will certainly grow to like Simmental crosses,
    particularly when you eventually sell some good Limousin cross calves out of them.


    But whatever you do, you must ensure that all stock you buy are BVD and Johness (sp?) Disease accredited.
    And you must also never tag the calves until you have safely separated cow and calf.

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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Why why why would u want to do a thing like that? I mean going into Suckler farming? Why not go to Vegas with the money and without the wife!!! Yolo!

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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Investigate charolais bull crossed onto Salers cows. We breed purebred salers and farmers are going for the females. They produce a lovely yellow calf.

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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Last cow on earth to use is a Charolais.......been bred pedigree far to long.
    Sime type of cross is essential.
    How fast can you run and how high are your fences?
    Both of these are factors to consider before investing cash in Limmys!
    Just to chuck in a wild card what about a Beef Shorthorn based herd?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wee Dram's Avatar
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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Pick which ever breed or cross you like the look of as you are going to have to look at them every day for long time. None are perfect, they all have there faults and there isn't a magic bullet to profitable suckler farming that we all seem to be looking for. As has been said before what ever you go for try and get as high a health status cattle as you can. Diseases will come along but there is no point in buying them in at the start especially when you have a clean sheet to start with.

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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Go and buy yourself limmy xfresian heifers,AI them first to an Angus,then get a good CH bull,you will have cows to work with,and calves that any man will want to buy,and always remember,the best cow won't rear the best calf

  12. #12
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Quote Originally Posted by smallfarmer View Post
    Go and buy yourself limmy xfresian heifers,AI them first to an Angus,then get a good CH bull,you will have cows to work with,and calves that any man will want to buy,and always remember,the best cow won't rear the best calf
    Make sure they're Limousin X Friesian, and not Limousin x Holstein.

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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Quote Originally Posted by b slicker View Post
    Make sure they're Limousin X Friesian, and not Limousin x Holstein.
    That's the biggest problem with the dairy X suckler replacements at the moment, they're becoming really hard to find. On that note if anyone knows of Hereford X Friesian heifer calves (for bulling 2017) please PM me, they're a great cow and I'm interested in finding a long term supplier.
    Stay in Northamptonshire - meadowviewcottages.co.uk

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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    I would suggest going for cattle that will see your calves make big money is not always the way to go.

    There are a multitude of factors to take into account, but just a few are;

    - How much capital do you want to sink into the herd?
    -How much time have you to spend with the herd,( big continental cows will take up more of your time in my opinion)?
    -Whats your grazing like? ( rougher grazing will be utilized better by native bred cattle, lighter land means maybe outwintering and keeping costs low) the longer you have to keep cows in and the bigger they are the more its gonna cost you!!
    - Doing hard figures to realistically work out your profit from continentals against native bred?
    - Realistic life spans of different cow types, ( the more often you have to replace cows the more it costs)

    Its only my opinion but I have had big continental cows, and I have now gone for shorthorn crosses, producing more milk from grass. My calves still make around 700 at 8mths and all they get is mothers milk,grass, and abit of straw. I have read of people getting 1000 for stores at 12 mths old but some of these people are creep feeding from 3 weeks old because the cows don`t MILK, and how much hard feed are they eating till 12mths of age?? Don`t get me wrong these are some fantastic beasts but how much are they costing, what percentage of live calves are they getting?

    The majority of herds making the best returns are from smaller size cows.

  15. #15
    Senior Member b slicker's Avatar
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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Quote Originally Posted by GALCAM View Post
    Why why why would u want to do a thing like that? I mean going into Suckler farming? Why not go to Vegas with the money and without the wife!!! Yolo!
    A suckler herd or fattening cattle is a sound way of holding your money together.

    But neither is likely to produce enough cash surplus for a Gambling spree in Vegas - maybe a weekend in Blackpool, particularly
    with the weaker .

  16. #16
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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    I am now going to prove that I am yesterday's man!
    Years ago I ran suckler herds, sold them and went in to pigs!
    Biggest mistake of my life!
    However one suggestion I would like to make.
    Get the quality of the calf from the bull, and the ease of management from the cow.In my day the best cows were either Hereford Friesians or Angus friesians.
    Try to keep the cows in a hard condition, do not over feed.I am out of date with modern breeds, so probably my advice is irrelevant, but I do know one thing, there was never so much satisfaction in calving a good calf and making a good price at store auctions!
    Jack Caley

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    Re: Starting suckler herd

    Hi Nordvue, did you take a trip to Vegas or blow your money on cows?

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    Re: Starting suckler herd


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