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  #1  
Old 10/10/10, 04:17 PM
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Bull breeding

After another thread I got questions: (as usual)

how long do you keep the same bull on the same heifers?

When is enough, enough to avoid inbreeding issues with daughters?

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  #2  
Old 10/10/10, 04:44 PM
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You change bulls every 2 years to avoid breeding him back his daughters. If you don't need to keep heifers for replacements or to grow the herd, you could use the same bull longer.

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Old 10/10/10, 04:48 PM
 
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It really depends on your goals. Are breeding for meat? For sales of cattle that will be eaten? Or are you trying to produce breeding stock for other people to use in their breeding programs?

If you eat all the offspring, or sell all the offspring for other people to eat, you can use the same bull for ever - there is no inbreeding.

If you are keeping the offspring, and using the bull on his own daughters, there will be inbreeding. As to whether this is good or bad, depends on the quality of the bull and the quality of the cows in question. Inbreeding results in greater degree of homozygus gene pairs in the offspring.

Being homozygous can be good or bad, depending on the gene. If you breed animals that are homozygous for the same trait, the offspring will all have that trait. If you are pairing great genes, this can be good - the trait will breed true and the offspring will have the same trait as the parents. But if you are pairing bad genes you may get homozygous bad genes together, which can result in birth defects etc.

You will probably not have a problem in the offspring of a father daughter pairing, especially if that third generation is for food only, or if that third generation is bred to an unrelated bull or cow. Pushing beyond a father daughter pairings is probably ill advised.

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Old 10/10/10, 05:34 PM
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I'm thinking of building the herd size first, then sales ...

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Old 10/10/10, 06:13 PM
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every breed of every animal bird and fish has been developed by inbreeding to solidify the genetic material that makes that breed what it is, if you CULL responcibly and start out with the best possible breeding stock there is no reason not to breed the best and eat the rest regardless of who is related to who, InBreeding is NOT the devil, it is simply a tool to be used by someone who UNDERSTANDS the job they are trying to do, if you are building a house and have no idea what your doing and you pick up a hammer you can do some pretty good damage to your self or someone else swinging away,

breeding bulls should be the best available anyway, if you start out with feed lot quality stock you will not be able to improve much of anything, if you have a good group of cows and put the best quality bull with them and he produces a calf crop thats an improvement over the original stock there is no reason not to breed him again keeping only the best of his daughters, you could even keep the BEST of his sons as a replacement, if no major issues are seen and the best is getting better keep him again, but WATCH CLOSELY and be sure you really are getting the best possible, CULL CULL CULL and ONLY keep the absolute best, that goes for your cow herd too, if a cow is not produceing or if she doesnt perform as well as the rest of your starter herd cull her, watch her daughters, if they dont improve over her cull them,

bring in a new bull, depending on if your breeding pure stock or not will decide what type of bull you get, if your breeding pure stock find the BEST bull not only in the same breed but as close to the same line of animals available, this will help improve your stock while not adding too many wild cards to the equation, any time you bring in new blood its like shuffling in a whole new deck of playing cards you will have to sort thru, keeping the best cards and getting rid of a new set of jokers,

if your just breeding up a Meat Grade herd breed wont matter as much but you still will have the same issues with the playing deck.

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  #6  
Old 10/10/10, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrashTestRanch View Post
After another thread I got questions: (as usual)

how long do you keep the same bull on the same heifers?

When is enough, enough to avoid inbreeding issues with daughters?

Some people swear by inbreeding, but not too many of them breed bulls to daughters. It's usually half-sister to half-brother. And you have to deal with inbreeding depression. For every 10% in inbreeding, important production qualities are depressed. (See link)

If the bull and heifer/cow aren't otherwise related, you could probably get away with breeding a bull to his own daughter. But, considering the loss of pounds, fertility, etc., I wouldn't breed him to his own grandaughter. And we haven't talked about genetic disorders that might pop out with serious inbreeding.

You just have to manage bulls. You can sell all his daughters, trade them for heifers sired by a non-related bull, sell them as meat. Or you can do the more expensive thing and buy a replacement bull every two years. There's also the option to have those heifers AI-ed to a non-related bull. We use a lot of AI, will sell all the heifers out of this bull next year, and keep the AI-sired heifers for replacements. You'll just have to figure out what works best for you.

http://www.angusaustralia.com.au/Bre...ng_leaflet.pdf
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Old 10/10/10, 07:02 PM
 
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If your breeding related animals has positive results you were "Line breeding"
If your breeding related animals has negative results you were "In breeding"

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Old 10/10/10, 09:22 PM
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I agree with Cheryl. > Marc

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  #9  
Old 10/11/10, 05:33 AM
 
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Every breed of domestic animal we have today (not just cattle) was developed by utilizing "inbreeding" or "linebreeding" in some manner.

Inbreeding in not the problem. All inbreeding does is make the gene pool smaller and intensify the traits, good or bad. In the hands of a knowledgeable breeder, who is willing to ruthlessly cull undesirable traits, inbreeding will actually improve all the traits that are supposed to be hurt by inbreeding.

In the hands of a novice who does not know how, or is not willing, to cull much more stringently, inbreeding will result in disaster.

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Old 10/11/10, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tyusclan View Post
Every breed of domestic animal we have today (not just cattle) was developed by utilizing "inbreeding" or "linebreeding" in some manner.

Inbreeding in not the problem. All inbreeding does is make the gene pool smaller and intensify the traits, good or bad. In the hands of a knowledgeable breeder, who is willing to ruthlessly cull undesirable traits, inbreeding will actually improve all the traits that are supposed to be hurt by inbreeding.

In the hands of a novice who does not know how, or is not willing, to cull much more stringently, inbreeding will result in disaster.
thats it exactly, pretty well what i said, maybe i was too wordy lol,
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  #11  
Old 10/11/10, 02:20 PM
 
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I'm not quite sure I can explain this without having some sort of banjo music in the background...but here is my current situation:

My best herd cow was crossed with the family bull which gave my uncle his herd bull -MIA (part of the deal). Two years later, my cow was then bred back to her son and produced my herd bull. So, in theory, my herd bull is my cows son/grandson. That cross was made two other times which produced two heifers (daughter/granddaughter). I also have a few other cows that were bred to MIA and produced heifers. I have now bred my herd bull back to his mother/grandmother, full sisters, half sisters.

Results:
Mother X - calf died, born outside in early Feb. with terrible rain/cold. Crossed again for a calf in 2011. If that fails, the cross will not be done again.
Sister X (2) - one calf turned out fantastic and matches, almost exactly, it's mother and grandmother. Cross will be done again in hopes of creating more cows matching these genes. The second Sister X did not turn out as well. The bull calf is smaller than the rest. The mother doesn't look to be providing enough for both her and her calf. Her frame is dropping. The bull calf will be raised for food and the mother will most likely be used for food as well.
Half Sister X - Bull calf has turned out fantastic also. Very large for the age. I believe that my original herd cow's milk gene has passed onto her. I am contemplating keeping him intact to raise as my next herd bull. I may just use him for food and see how the next cossing will be.

In-breeding/Line-breeding: Shows you the genes that are available in your herd within a few short breeding seasons....both the genes you want, and the genes you don't want. Cull the bad genes and keep focusing on the good!

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  #12  
Old 10/11/10, 05:29 PM
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The level of experience the OP has to even pose the question makes a good case to avoid linebreeding or inbreeding, IMHO. Google Jim Lentz and buy his books if you want to understand the theory behind strategic linebreeding and what makes it different than inbreeding.

For a newbie who will be test driving their first set of commercial cattle, it makes no sense to me to give up any heterosis and do any "close breeding" at all. They are likely selling by the pound, so why give up any heterosis?

Suggestions-
1) Sell all your heifers at weaning. Buy bred replacements. Probably cheaper, and at first, your own genetics likely won't be any better than what you buy anyway. Once you have a couple year's production records on your cows, then you know best which ones to keep heifers from anyway.
2) Try to trade bulls with somebody else in the same situation. Consult your vet for the testing needed to safely breed with a "used" bull.
3) Find an alternate way to breed any heifers you keep. AI, a neighbor's bull, etc.

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