At What Age Can a Young Bull Start Breeding?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Honeybee, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    We've got a Dexter/Angus cow and her bull calf. He's 9 months old and we were hoping we could use him to breed her back and then band him. (he's small enough and yet big enough to reach his dam)

    We're going this route because finding a bull small enough in our area has been hard. She's about 35 inches and even though he's only a quarter Dexter he's just about he size at 9 months.

    See any flaws in this plan? Any suggeestions?

    Next year I hope to get another cow and maybe a bull of our own to keep. :goodjob:
     
  2. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    Sounds like an adequate plan, if he suits you conformation-wise and his parents are GOOD breeding stock as well, then yeah, go ahead and use him. You'll have to beef him up a bit though, if you're not already doing so, to get him ready for the breeding season.

    Most bulls reach puberty between 10 and 14 months of age, though it does vary widely between and within breeds. It is not uncommon either to have a bull start getting libido at 7 months of age.

    Hope that helps.
     

  3. cowkeeper

    cowkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Your bull calf is probably fertile now, or will certainly be in the next few months. If your part Dexter cow, even though crossed with a larger breed, is only 35 inches, she is probably a carrier of the chondrodysplasia gene (dwarfism). If her calf has inherited her dwarf gene, and is used to breed a carrier cow, there is a small possibility of a non-viable calf (bulldog).
    It is also possible that he is not a carrier of the defective gene, in which case the mating would not produce a bulldog calf.
     
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  4. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    wont know till you try,
     
  5. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My bull Brenn bred a small herd of mixed cattle when he was 7 months old.

    Genebo
    Paradise Farm
     
  6. vg60

    vg60 Active Member

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    You are going to breed son to mother? Not a good idea.
     
  7. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    My only other option is a smaller/young Jersey bull a few miles away. Other than that no smaller cattle close by.
     
  8. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for the replies, I really appreciate it. From what I've read here she may be bred already and off we go. If not I may consider the Jersey bull down the road. I think if she can successfully cross with a short horn, a smaller Jersey should be OK.

    What do you think?
     
  9. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    To give you an idea of how small she is and what the bull looks like here are a couple of photos. Apparently her genes for color are strong too.

    In the pics she is 4 yrs and her calf 5 months, we had just gotten them and I think she was thin. For size reference the black cow is a Buelingo/Dutch Belted yearling heifer. Sunshine the dexter cow is about 35 inches. Now a few months later her bull calf is as big as she is.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. G. Seddon

    G. Seddon Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Honeybee, you say your cow is a Dexter/Angus? Angus are black, as are most Dexters (also red and dun). Your cow appears to be almost white. I am puzzled! How long have you had her?
     
  11. vg60

    vg60 Active Member

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    Angus can also be red :)

    Is she the one in the halter?
     
  12. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    vg60 what makes you think breeding Mother to Son is a bad idea? that is actually a COMMON breeding practice in alot of breeding programs
     
  13. vg60

    vg60 Active Member

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    In this part of the country it is not. Beef cattle are not bred back like that.

    That is why there are 2 headed 4 eyed calves.
     
  14. copperhead46

    copperhead46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good breeding practices encourage line-breeding, if both parties have the qualities you really want in your herd. This is a very common practice, a lot of breeders breed the bull back to his daughters, and if you have a good bull calf, breeding him back to his mother can get you some excellant results.
    As for your Dexter cow, I would wonder about her breeding though. I can't see an Angus and Dexter throwing that color calf. But, I sure don't know it all. She may be Dun, because I've seen some dun Dexters that were really light colored like that. Usually though the Angus is dominate and would get a black calf. Your bull calf is probably ready to use, Dexters mature pretty early, and it would get you a good small calf. The Jersey bull would also get you a good small calf, and with the other breeds crossed in, would be a good heifer to keep or bull to eat.
    Sorry, I seem to be going off in too many directions.............
    P.J.
     
  15. Sher

    Sher Well-Known Member

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    LOL..you're kidding .. right?
     
  16. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    vg60 i am not being ugly but that is a laughable old wives tale that needs to be corrected, breeding mother to son or Father to daughter (which actually IS done in beef herds) does not cause the freaks you claim, bad genetics and genetic anomolys cause these issues, not Linebreeding related stock,

    Line breeding and In breeding does not CAUSE anything, it REVEALS what is hidden in your blood line, then you can cull it out and not continue to breed it.

    you would be surprised to know how many top produceing beef operations breed their top bulls to the best of their daughters, i have a degree in Animal Science from a Farming university that ran a beef herd, so i am not just spouting off here.

    ALL and i do mean ALL of the pure breeds known today were developed useing these same techniques,
     
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  17. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    We've had her for about 4 months or so. The people we got her from had her mother and her father and her grandfather over the years. I know Angus are black, but they were absolutely certain her father only could have been their Angus. She's actually a dun (creamy tan color) and if I remember correctly her skin is dark, but it was a nice bright sunny day when I took the pic so she might just look lighter. I'm not very experienced with cows and their colors, but I'm guessing basic genetics applies and I know black is generally dominant. :confused:
     
  18. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    Yes :goodjob:
     
  19. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    I asked my friend who's dad is a vet and raises beef cattle about line breeding. He said things like ... it is standard practice in many herds, he doesn't do it often, but does on occasion, they said it was a fairly quick way to improve your herd if you have GREAT cattle already and the one thing they said to remember was that you should make sure both parent and offspring have the best traits possible because both positive traits and negative traits are amplified in a line breeding. Oh and that offpring of the two HAS TO BE bred out of that line, breeding them back in is where you'd get the defects.

    It's OK to breed father/daughter, mother/son or half brother half sister, but offspring from those breedings must be bred out of that line for one generation, then that offspring can be bred back in. In other words at least half the genetic pool of the parents needs to be unrelated.

    For you folks who do line breed, am I understand this correctly?

    For my small homestead needs of raising milk and meat for feeding the family I think this line breeding would work OK. I'm still tempted by the Jersey prospect, but that would only be helpful to me if she produced a heifer out of the crossing. If she produces a little bull we wouldn't be as far ahead as if she is bred to her son who is more of a beef breed. And a heifer calf from breeding her to her son would be OK.

    I really appreciate the input everyone, I'm learning a lot and really enjoying the process. I can't wait until next spring no matter what we breed her to. Thank you.

    I did not know Angus could be red. Does anyone know, when you breed a red to a dunn which is dominant?
     
  20. tailwagging

    tailwagging Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem.
    My cow is 42 inches, my close to 2 year old bull is 32 inches too small or too young (for his breed,mini zebu) right now. Since I milk I HAD to get her settled and bought a "zebu" bull yesterday that is also 42 inches. I am not sure he is pure but he is the only one around old enough yet not too big or too small.