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  #1  
Old 10/24/12, 07:40 AM
 
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Jersey/Simmental cross...would you do it?

Have access to a Simmental bull that was bred for calving ease and neighbor says he does throw the small calves like he's supposed to. He typically winters in the pasture right next to ours and in the interest of stopping my fence jumping jersey/angus cross heifer we're having him stay with us for a bit Mocha's biggest tell that she's in heat is bawling and heading for the neighbors pasture anyway. Was wondering what you all think of allowing the cross with my full jersey?


Sam (Mocha there behind him)


Mama J. (jersey age 6)


Mocha (jersey/angus age 2)

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  #2  
Old 10/24/12, 08:53 AM
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It certainly isn't the ideal choice, especially for a FF.
I understand the convenience of it though.

Have you ever pulled a calf before?

Good luck.

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  #3  
Old 10/24/12, 09:01 AM
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If you are speaking of breeding her to your full Jersey six year old cow, I'd be for the idea. I've never had a beef bull sire a calf on a Jersey cow that caused any problems. We just freshened out several Jerseys bred to a Hereford bull this past spring. No calving issues except the one who had dead twins. No calves were too big.

But, if you are speaking of breeding him to your heifer, I'd be against it.

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  #4  
Old 10/24/12, 09:39 AM
Dariy Calf Raiser
 
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yes on cow no on heifer if you sell the calf..do not keep as a milker...

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  #5  
Old 10/24/12, 09:42 AM
 
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Location: south central KY 75 miles SSE of Louisville
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Jersey typical calf 35 to 65 lbs.
Simmental typical 65 to 100 lbs.
And there have been records showing the cow prolapses with the Jersey cow Simmental bull cross and that was cows not heifers. And a normally small calving bull is not a guarantee he can still throw a big calf. So I say no if was my cow.

http://familycow.proboards.com/index...t&thread=19743

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  #6  
Old 10/24/12, 10:05 AM
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Absoloutely not.

Jersy is a wonderful breed. Please put every effort in to increasing the quslity of your jersy offspring, by proper selection of a jersy bull.

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  #7  
Old 10/24/12, 11:28 AM
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Hay point is correct you are taking a BIG chance of loseing your jersey the semital is a big breed of cattle .the few pounds of beef extra if she does have a trouble free calf isn't worth the worry the angus jersey cross usally works better

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  #8  
Old 10/24/12, 12:09 PM
 
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well crud. AI seems like it will be a pain to catch the girls "just right" and no angus or jersey bulls that I know of in our area

Haypoint, I would LOVE to breed her straight jersey from now to forever but will only get away with that if I could guarantee hubby heifer calves. We only have 14 acres so we're not looking to increase to more than 3 ladies at this time so it just doesn't seem worth the expense for sexed semen. This bull throws the smallest calves in our area and just thought it was an added bonus that he was right across the fence.

I wouldn't trust either of the girls bred straight up jersey even to not need a calf pulled so yes, we have a puller and OB chains. I've pulled many goat kids but never been the one actually pulling on the calf (seen it done and been the one standing back with the towels many times).

Is there measurements that can be done on my girls that are similar to the measurements they do for pregnant women at first OB to see how big of a kid could be vaginally delivered?

He is in the pasture now but I think we have a couple of weeks before the girls cycle back around. I'll double check with Sam's owner regarding the sizes thrown.

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  #9  
Old 10/24/12, 12:16 PM
 
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Oh, and pic of Sam at the top, that is Mocha (the heifer) behind him and downhill. Side by on flat ground and he's maybe only 3 inches or so taller than her at the shoulders but she won't stand still for weigh tape...scratches and belly rubs yes, the tape no apparently it is evil somehow

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  #10  
Old 10/24/12, 12:20 PM
 
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Location: south central KY 75 miles SSE of Louisville
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Yes a ultrasound can be done. But I still would not do the cross. You can also give them shots to bring them into heat and then A.I. them together which is a much better choice.
I have seen a few lowline jersey crosses it don't look bad. A beefier look but still small.

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  #11  
Old 10/24/12, 12:55 PM
 
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I work with a lady that does AI and we discussed those injections. Natural heat works better and those shots are more expensive than the breeding would be and without a guarantee. My plan before that was to inject and force a cycle when she had time to AI my girls. I've tried calling AI folks several times over the summer and still no one is bred so while I would love to have my pick of the registries it doesn't seem to be working out for us this year.

Myersfarm, just curious as to why not to keep as a milker? but then I never did grow out of the "why" phase

I'm also curious, just pure curiosity, why OK for the smaller frame cow and not the larger frame heifer? speculating at a few answers myself but want to know for sure

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  #12  
Old 10/24/12, 01:23 PM
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Also talk to a dairy they usually have a bull bring them by. Or ask if they AI if they can AI yours at the same time for a fee. They sometimes have a AI tech. or one come every so often to breed cows. If they have their own bull he will be of a good quality and you pay a little to breed yours.

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  #13  
Old 10/24/12, 03:59 PM
 
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You can have a vet come out and do a pelvic measurement on the heifer (and older cow also if you wanted). It is not the same as an ultrasound. They will measure the actual size of the pelvic opening (bone structure). Vet can help you determine safe calving size for the animal but I have heard is you take the square inches of pelvic area and divide by 2, that will give you pounds of calf the cow can safely deliver.

Another thing to consider, is since the heifer is already a cross bred female, the end result could still be a large calf. What do you know about the Angus side of her. Some Angus have great calving ease numbers, but that does not always translate into great maternal calving ease numbers. A full blood jersey will have really good calving ease numbers.

I can understand why you would want to do it - it would be easy.

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  #14  
Old 10/24/12, 04:35 PM
 
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I've still got the number for the man I bought her from. I'll call him and see if I can get her sire's registration number. The measurement of the bony structures is the one I was wondering about...they do that at the very first OB appointment for women to make sure the gal can deliver an average size baby

Another thing on Mocha, I took my great uncle's advice...she is 2 years old right now and will be 3 years old when she calves. He said she'd have an easier time of it and would make a better mother if I let her grow up first.

I've also spoken to the bull's owner. He says 70 pounds for a bull calf without taking the jersey genetics into consideration. His lineage is heavy on the dual purpose aspect of the breed which makes me curious about potential calves produced from the cross. I've also spoken to the local co-op and they say my girls will be fine with him. I'm still looking at forms and tables in research articles regarding simmentals and calving ease and haven't been finding much difference between them and angus but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of data out there.

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  #15  
Old 10/24/12, 05:24 PM
Dariy Calf Raiser
 
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Myersfarm, just curious as to why not to keep as a milker? but then I never did grow out of the "why" phase

do not think the cross would give much milk just MHO

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  #16  
Old 10/24/12, 06:30 PM
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His daddy threw small calves, too. Do you want this mess in your pasture and memory?


Breed her AI Jersy steers are tasty.
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  #17  
Old 10/24/12, 08:16 PM
 
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@myersfarms...thank you so much was curious because I understand some folks will actually milk a beef breed as the family cow so wasn't sure I'd come to the right conclusion there.

Haypoint, I haven't managed to get AI to work for us this year. I am away from the house at 15-16 hours at a time 4 days per week right now and either I can't catch the girls in heat or I can't get someone out here to AI when they are. The prices of the injections to force a heat increase the cost to 250ish per girl. My husband's hours are more demanding than mine as he drives his own truck and then works on 3 different fleets of trucks when he is not driving. To cut it short, he's either at work or asleep. I have no access to a jersey bull and no jersey dairy close enough but again, if there were, I would still have the issue of catching my girls coming around. I have a bull calf in my pasture that is purebred who was too big for his mama too. Should we blame the crossing with someone too big there. Or perhaps we can consider that if the bull throws small calves but once in a while you get a big calf, that maybe the trouble was with the cow? Humans with gestational diabetes and numerous other disorders of pregnancy will throw a big baby too no matter what sizes the daddy had before and I'm pretty sure your everyday cow doesn't get nearly the same prenatal care as humans do to prevent it. Also humans can have disorders with one pregnancy but not the next and so on. ANY time I have my animals bred it is a gamble, just sometimes we have managed to count the cards, less of a gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.

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  #18  
Old 10/24/12, 08:47 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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: I HAVE THE BREED WRONG ON THE POST! I have a bad habit of only correctly remembering the first letter of a word right even when I repeat it back a couple of times....He's a Salers! that explains so soooo much in the conflicting recommendations I'm getting. It also explains why I've been thinking he doesn't look nearly so big as what everything says he should be. I'm such a dork! So now with the correct breed and salers being listed as more jersey sized...now what would we think of the offspring of the cross?
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  #19  
Old 10/24/12, 09:18 PM
 
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From what I find avg BW of Salers is 85 to 105 lbs. Not good for the jersey.

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  #20  
Old 10/24/12, 09:23 PM
 
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spacecadet, do you have a link for the calving weights? I've been looking and looking all day. I would love to print it out and have it on hand around here for future reference

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  #21  
Old 10/24/12, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haypoint View Post

His daddy threw small calves, too. Do you want this mess in your pasture and memory?


Breed her AI Jersy steers are tasty.
It looks like the biggest problem in this pic is there are no feet presenting. Head first with no feet easing the way is almost impossible to deliver alone. Even small calves. That sure doesn't look comfortable.

I agree though, Jersey steers make awesome beef.

Beef crossbreds with Jerseys also make very fine small-family milk cows. And if you do get a bull calf, you get a beefier freezer calf. All depends on what you want.

I personally want milk, so I'd stay with pure Jersey. But then, I need lots of milk.
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  #22  
Old 10/24/12, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DroppedAtBirth View Post
I'm also curious, just pure curiosity, why OK for the smaller frame cow and not the larger frame heifer?
An experienced healthy cow of any breed is likely to have better odds at calving time than an inexperienced heifer. The first calves are the hardest deliveries, *usually*. This is of course, assuming both cow and heifer are presenting properly positioned calves.

Jerseys are also known for being easy calvers, no matter the breed of bull they are bred too. This is assuming that the Jerseys in question have the good frame of a healthy Jersey.

I have calved out Jerseys bred to Angus(NOT one known for small calves!), Shorthorn, Brown Swiss and Hereford. All known for bigger than Jersey-size calves. Never have I had one problem.

Not that problems never happen.......

There is one breed I've had experience with, that I'd *never* breed a Jersey cow to. That is Charolais. Seen too many calving problems with big beef cows bred to those bulls.
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  #23  
Old 10/25/12, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ozark_jewels View Post
It looks like the biggest problem in this pic is there are no feet presenting. Head first with no feet easing the way is almost impossible to deliver alone. Even small calves. That sure doesn't look comfortable.

I agree though, Jersey steers make awesome beef.

Beef crossbreds with Jerseys also make very fine small-family milk cows. And if you do get a bull calf, you get a beefier freezer calf. All depends on what you want.

I personally want milk, so I'd stay with pure Jersey. But then, I need lots of milk.
Correct. But with an oversized calf there often isn't enough room to get the legs up into position. What you see is just the beginning of a bad day. Once the feet were brought into position, the calf's hips wouldn't pass. It isn't uncommon for the cow's nerves to be pinched in a hip locked delivery rendering the cow unable to recover and stand. Eventually the calf was pulled in two pieces aand then the remaining half was cut up and removed. The cow recovered and had a calf the following year. Lucky.
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  #24  
Old 10/25/12, 07:10 AM
 
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Ugh...Not to say Dexters never have problems, but if I was going to be away from the farm as much as you and your husband are and not able to intervene at calving if necessary, I'd rather have one of our little 34 lb. avg. birthweight calves out of our Dexter bull popping out sideways if necessary.

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  #25  
Old 10/25/12, 07:37 AM
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Correct. But with an oversized calf there often isn't enough room to get the legs up into position. What you see is just the beginning of a bad day. Once the feet were brought into position, the calf's hips wouldn't pass. It isn't uncommon for the cow's nerves to be pinched in a hip locked delivery rendering the cow unable to recover and stand. Eventually the calf was pulled in two pieces aand then the remaining half was cut up and removed. The cow recovered and had a calf the following year. Lucky.
Yep, sure sounds like fun. I've had to cut out one goat kid, but never a calf.
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  #26  
Old 10/25/12, 08:19 AM
 
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Ugh...Not to say Dexters never have problems, but if I was going to be away from the farm as much as you and your husband are and not able to intervene at calving if necessary, I'd rather have one of our little 34 lb. avg. birthweight calves out of our Dexter bull popping out sideways if necessary.

Excellent suggestion, lakeport. Dropped at Birth, there are many Dexters in Oregon, so with a little luck, you might find someone willing to share a bull? Just use caution when using someone else's bull though. Check member list and/or pedigree finder here:

Dexter Cattle For Sale Dexter Cattle Breeder
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  #27  
Old 10/25/12, 09:34 AM
 
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Saler makes sense. I didn't think that bull looked like a Simmental. The curly hair was throwing me off. Salers are usually red - is he full saler or crossbred? You need to be very careful with crossbred bulls. They are generally not consistent or predictable.

Salers are generally known for calving ease. I don't think I would be afraid to use a Saler bull, especially if he were proven to throw smaller calves (at least 20 or so calves on the ground). Salers normally have horns as well, so the resulting calves will probably have horns (just one of the things I try to avoid, since I hate dehorning animals). I don't think Salers are known to be heavy milkers, so I doubt the resulting cross would make a good milk cow, but should make a good beef cow. They are known to be somewhat wild (a generalization for sure) and they are known to be very long lived. They generally have great feet. They also have very long tail switches (which I see in the picture that bull does have).

I am sure you realize after reading all the other replies that you COULD have calving problems - but then again, anytime a cow has a calf you can have calving problems. Regardless of the bull you use there are no guarantees! I think you understand the risk associated as far as calving. I don't think the older Jersey would have any problems. The heifer you will need to watch, as with all first calf heifers. One downside to waiting until 2 to breed a heifer is that the pelvic bones are more completely fused together, so if the calf gets stuck, the bones have no give. There can also be fat deposits in the pelvic opening if the heifer is too old and fat. However, I understand your great uncles advice - it will be easier on her now since she is not growing, getting adult teeth and raising a calf all at the same time (and then trying to breed back). The first calf is normally very hard on a cow. Most of us accept that as a fact of life and use it to weed out the less productive animals.

Good luck with whatever you decide. In my post I am contemplating using Gelbvieh, which is probably a higher chance of calving problems than a Saler. So keep in mind, my sanity is in question

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  #28  
Old 10/25/12, 12:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lakeportfarms View Post
Ugh...Not to say Dexters never have problems, but if I was going to be away from the farm as much as you and your husband are and not able to intervene at calving if necessary, I'd rather have one of our little 34 lb. avg. birthweight calves out of our Dexter bull popping out sideways if necessary.

It's how I'm planning to spend my vacation. I'm saving the whole month of paid time off I get for calving no matter who my first timer is bred to
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  #29  
Old 10/27/12, 07:04 AM
 
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Although you dont have any jersey dairy herds nearby, could you approach any local dairy farmer? For a 'fee' you may be able to purchase your own semen straw(s) and store it/them in the farmers tank, perhaps pay for grazing and leave her there for 3/6 weeks to be AI'd.

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  #30  
Old 10/27/12, 12:08 PM
 
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I'm overly apprehensive about leaving my animals with other folks. I've seen too many people that don't care about how other folks stuff is treated. If I personally knew the dairy owner, I would love to, without that, it would be like leaving one of my kids with an unknown daycare provider.

I thought about asking to let my girls stay with my co worker that does AI but that's not a guarantee either. She's been so busy with her own stuff here lately that it took her more than a year to get her son's heifer settled. We did talk about the injections to bring on heat cycles and they push the breeding up too high for us atm.

I'm scared about breeding to something other than jersey period (and honestly, even then to a lesser degree). I'd love to breed to a dexter and I'll be looking into that for any future first time fresheners and might just get our own dexter bull. This year, crossing is my best option, but again, it scares me. I was hoping for reassurance with the would you do it It has helped me look into numbers for myself and not just blindly trust what I've been told by folks around the little town I live in.

Crossing for beef was decided on because, if a heifer were produced, we would love to hopefully have a beefier girl with lower milk production. Genetics are cute that way though I do understand dominant/recessive alleles and 50 percent of genetics contributed from each parent so I understand the "rolling the dice"

Thank you everybody for all of your input. I have some great ideas for next year

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