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Old 11/30/12, 02:24 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Central PA
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Question Hereford/Simmental cross

I have the opportunity to obtain a Hereford heifer, that is bred to a Simmental bull. I have read that Simmental's are known for small calves, is there anything I should be concerned about? Obviously the heifer is not proven, just looking for some input on what I should expect if I get her, and if there are any known problems going in. Thanks.

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Old 12/01/12, 06:01 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: sw virginia
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Should be an O.K. cross. I run Sim/Angus. Unless I knew the breeding on the Simmental Bull I wouldn't bet the farm on smaller calves.

fitz

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Old 12/02/12, 08:26 AM
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Location: Northern Michigan (U.P.)
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I would never breed a Simmental to a Hereford cow. breeding a Simmental to a Hereford heifer is IMHO irresponsable.

Check it out yourself. look at what weight Hereford calves are and what weight Simmental calves are.

About 30 years ago, a neighbor wanted to increase the size of his feeder calves. He used a Simmental bull. He had the Vet out many times, preforming C-sections to save the calf. He also lost several calves and a few cows.

These are my experiences. I hate calving problems. The advantage of a larger calf is offset by the chances of losing the calf, Vet costs to assist delivery, C-section surgery, and the possible distruction of the cow's reproductive tract or outright loss of the cow.

http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G2035

Note that while the birth weight difference is only about 10 pounds, calving difficulties for Simmental/Simmental is five times higher than either Angus or Hereford calving difficulties. Clearly, if Simmental/Simmental have a significantly higher calving problem, using a Simmental on a Hereford cow will surely increase calving dificulties above that rate. Breeding a Simmental to a Hereford heifer, pushes the odds of trouble even higher.

Give it a try. You might get lucky. But IMHO, you'd have better odds playing Russian Roulette.

A shot of Selinium a few weeks before birth increases the strength of the calf and might allow survival in the event of a prolonged difficult birth.

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Old 12/02/12, 09:13 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NE Michigan
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We have several Hereford/Simmental cows and have never had a problem calving. That is not to say they don't exist, just not here. The number of and reason for calving issues are many, selecting the right bull for you cows is imperative. If the person selling the cow is an experienced cattle owner it's a good bet they chose a bull that would work for their cows, that still doesn't guarantee anything but helps the odds. I would not hesitate to buy a Hereford bred to a Simmental, as long as the breeder was responsible with bull choice.

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Old 12/02/12, 10:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern Michigan (U.P.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Farmgirl View Post
We have several Hereford/Simmental cows and have never had a problem calving. That is not to say they don't exist, just not here. The number of and reason for calving issues are many, selecting the right bull for you cows is imperative. If the person selling the cow is an experienced cattle owner it's a good bet they chose a bull that would work for their cows, that still doesn't guarantee anything but helps the odds. I would not hesitate to buy a Hereford bred to a Simmental, as long as the breeder was responsible with bull choice.
That's good advice.

Beef prices are at record highs as are profits. When an experienced farmer markets something that would earn him more by not selling, i have to ask myself "Why?" Maybe it is because he is short on feed. Perhaps he is doing a favor. Perhaps he doesn't want to take the gamble associated with heifer calving problems.

I generally favor breeding Angus to Hereford and vice versa. I favor breeding Holstein heifers to Angus or Hereford. But as a rule, I oppose crossing breeds, because I feel it undermines hundreds of generations of carefull selective breeding within each breed. But, that's just me.
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