Breeding son to mom, and keeping bull with herd? (dexter) - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 12/13/06, 10:56 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Breeding son to mom, and keeping bull with herd? (dexter)

Very new to the idea of cattle here. I haven't yet taken a book out on cattle. Please be nice.
It seems every animal is different with inbreeding. Not that it is your ideal goal in any situation, but with dexters, is this asking for trouble?
I'm speaking with someone selling cow/calf pairs, with the cow also bred for spring. If the cow gives us a bull and I keep him intact for breeding, would this be alright (of course IF he is breeding quality)?
And.....another biggy. I have read here that the bull is usually fine in with the bred cow. Is this true? And can he always be left in or does he need to be removed at times?
Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 12/13/06, 11:08 PM
 
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Location: scott county, virginia
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dont think i would wanna cross him with his mother might get some messed up genes there, would be ok to breed the bull to his own heifers but i dont think i would breed his mother back to him, but dont make but one cross, and as far as leaving the bull with the cows thats fine some people take them out but some dont got the space to keep them apart and they all run together. but im no expert but have done this with a bull and his own heifers but never cross him with those calves.

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  #3  
Old 12/13/06, 11:22 PM
 
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Wouldn't the crosses you mentioned be exactly the same genetic outcome?

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  #4  
Old 12/14/06, 05:26 AM
 
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Yes, breeding son to dam is exactly the same level of inbreeding as breeding sire to daughter.

Inbreeding is not a bad thing in and of itself. BUT, you must know what you're doing to do extensively. Inbreeding intensifies traits by limiting the gene pool. The undesirable traits are made more apparent if they are there. Usually breeding son to dam or sire to daughter will not cause a problem, but if you notice anything undesirable in your bull you should not breed him to his dam.

As a general rule, inbreeding is best left to experienced breeders who know what to look for, and know what they're breeding to accomplish.

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  #5  
Old 12/14/06, 08:32 AM
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I did it, and I actually did it two fold. The son wasn't only bred to mom, the daughter was bred to moms son :P. But I did end up with a jersey looking animal that throws these really nice beef calves. It wasn't done on purpose, was young and didn't pay attention. They are inbreeding in the dairy industry on purpose now. This is how they are getting those extreme linears. Two bulls in the holstein breed are inbred, one is Erbacres Damion. The other one is Drake. I wouldn't use either, because of that.



Jeff

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  #6  
Old 12/14/06, 09:49 AM
 
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As my dad once described that breeding practice:

"If you get a good calf that is linebreeding; if you get a dud, well that's inbreeding"

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  #7  
Old 12/14/06, 10:50 AM
 
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Location: Arizona
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This is with goats, but I did breed a son to a mother - accidently (the son lived elsewhere, and I 'picked' him, liked the look of him best out of all the bucks. The resultant offspring was a single buck kid - and he was fabulous. If I hadn't seen that, after worrying for five months, I would probably never even have considered linebreeding on my own.

Niki

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  #8  
Old 12/14/06, 11:00 AM
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We keep Woody with the herd. Right now he's on a vacation breeding a couple of milk cows..lol. But when he comes back..he will be right back with the girls. He actually "babysits" the calves.

I wouldn't be scared to go son to mom..I prefer not to go sideways..brother to sister..but that's just me and hey..accidents happen.

If you are thinking of doing this with Dexters...just make sure you know about the bulldog gene. Woody carries the gene..if we put him with a girl that does also..we run the chance of a bulldog calf. It is helpful to know everyone's statis..although we are guessing on a couple here..there is a test now so you don't have to guess anymore.

Good luck!! Gotta love those Dexters.

As an afterthought...bulls don't usually run that high. I don't know where you live...but I bet we could find you a nice, reasonable bull not too far from you. Myself..if I have them on hand or know someone that does..I'd rather sell someone a bull/cow or bull/heifer pair so that they can start out that way. We sold a cow/calf pair, with the cow bred back..and a separate bull. Nice little package that has the ability to start a nice sized herd without everyone being linebred. Maybe you coul work something like that out with whoever you are talking to.

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  #9  
Old 12/14/06, 12:20 PM
 
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Great thanks!
The seller suggested cow/calf pairs, and suggested not getting a bull unless I had at least 6 cows for him. He has a couple dozen cows and I gather just 1 bull.
If I didn't get a bull calf I'd be interested in AI. I have found a source (I'm in Canada).

OK Bulldog gene- I have read about dexters that are guaranteed not to have this- what is it? I didn't ask him this.

Thanks again.

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  #10  
Old 12/14/06, 01:29 PM
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My suggestion is that you talk to some Dexter owners before breeding the son to the mother. If the cow is a carrier of the bulldog gene you could get an aborted or deformed calf. I believe there is a blood test to determine if an animal is a carrier. Try the New Dexter Bulletin Board at the following website:
http://www.dakodan.net/dexters/forum/
There is some great discussion there about Dexters. Good luck with your Dexters. I love my little cow.

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  #11  
Old 12/14/06, 01:37 PM
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Linebreeding is done to fix the characteristics of the animals involved. If they have all characteristics that you want, do it. If they have any characteristics that you don't want, don't do it.

Dexters are a primitive breed. American Dexter associations go to great pains to keep the herd pure. Therefore, there are very few hidden characteristics in the herd. The danger of exposing an undesirable trait in the offspring, that wasn't apparent in the parents, is low. You can't say that about many modern breeds that were developed by outcrossing.

Genebo
Paradise Farm
Church Road, VA

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  #12  
Old 12/21/06, 08:45 AM
 
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This actually how you get a purebred....In the beginning of the breeding program...You have a 50% chance of getting a good one or a dud....

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  #13  
Old 12/21/06, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountaineer
Great thanks!
The seller suggested cow/calf pairs, and suggested not getting a bull unless I had at least 6 cows for him. He has a couple dozen cows and I gather just 1 bull.
If I didn't get a bull calf I'd be interested in AI. I have found a source (I'm in Canada).

OK Bulldog gene- I have read about dexters that are guaranteed not to have this- what is it? I didn't ask him this.

Thanks again.
Here's a pic of a bulldog calf:


Bulldog gene is just a mutated gene (missing or otherwise) that results in the calf getting a snubnose when it's born. Of course, the calf doesn't survive (I don't know, but I think it's dead when it's born because of the blockage of the airways in its nose.)
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  #14  
Old 12/21/06, 11:06 AM
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I don't think this is simply a dexter issue but something that relates to all breeds. I feel that if one is going to explore line breeding, it may be wise to be sure you know as much as possible about genetics, the specific lines you would be using and the traits you'd be seeking from such a program. It's not impossible but even experienced breeders have some dismal failures from line breeding and the inexperienced lack the expertise to hedge their bets. I've done some line breeding and it's important to realize that with every posative trait you want you have an equal chance of amplifying a negative trait. In this particular case, I think you're looking for the convenience but it might be wiser and easier to consider AI or selling your bull calf to purchase a replacement.

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  #15  
Old 12/21/06, 11:21 AM
 
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Very good advice wr....And thanks for the picture, I have been around livestock all my life and raised everything from pheasants/rabbits/goats sheep/lamma's but mostly horses, Black Baldies and now Highlands for cattle....And never once saw bulldog....Maybe because we never inbreed, always castrate a bull calf if he is a grade animal, or trade or sell for replacement....

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  #16  
Old 12/21/06, 11:37 AM
 
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A lot of people think if they do not get a three headed calf, they did good. It is not that simple.

The biggest thing that is affected by linebreeding is fertility. That does not show on the outside, but linebred animals are less fertile. If you end up with a herd bull that is less fertile, but adequate, then use him on your less fertile cows, you will eventually end up with a herd suffering from fertility issues, which will not make you any money.

I also think that if anyone is a breeder, they ought to make decisions based on what is good for the breed, not just what is good for me. Of course, people (being people) aren't usually that self-sacrificing.

Jena

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  #17  
Old 12/21/06, 12:09 PM
 
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Very true Jenna, I was always taught that the Bull or Ram etc. is 50% of your herd and always get the very best that you can afford whether you are breeding for commercial or purebred....That way you always improve your stock and the breed....And you will put more money in your pocket as well....The price you paid for that good purebred bull to put on your grade cows will be paid back many times over in better calves more beef for market and better quality replacement heifers, and thus improve your stock for long term value....

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  #18  
Old 12/21/06, 12:09 PM
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There was a question about how to guarantee that you won't get a bulldog calf. It's easy: just make sure that one of the breeding pair is long legged. That means that it doesn't carry the chondro gene and a bulldog calf must carry two of the genes. Some breeders are having their breeders DNA tested for the chondro gene, just in case one that appears to be long legged still might carry the gene.

You can have yours tested through one of the Dexter associations for $35. Then you can have total peace of mind that you'll never have a bulldog calf. Not as long as at least one of the parents you're breeding together is not a carrier.

Testing is easy: you pull 20 hairs from the tail switch, put them in a envelope with the testing forms and mail them away with a check. The results come back in the mail.

If both parents are not carriers, then all the calves will not be carriers, either. If either parent is a carrier, then half the calves will be carriers and half will not be.

Don't breed two carrier parents together. You run the risk of a bulldog calf in 25% of those breedings. 25% of the calves will not be carriers and 50% will be carriers.

Genebo
Paradise Farm
Church Road, VA

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  #19  
Old 12/21/06, 03:50 PM
 
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Thanks! Very interesting, and creepy pic!
I have just heard that the bulldog issue only comes with the short dexters, not the taller form. So if you stick with the taller variety or breed using the tall variety, you shouldn't have any trouble.

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  #20  
Old 12/22/06, 05:23 PM
 
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Location: Western NY
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The pic of the bulldog is tame compared to some of the ones I have, many times the calf has no legs, just hoofs stuck on it's body, and many times the stomach contents are outside the body.
The last one sent to me this week was from a Dexter breeder that didn't plan the breeding. The cow had to have a C section and the breeder is hoping that he can save her.

Carol

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