Beefmaster cattle

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Phil - MO, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Phil - MO

    Phil - MO Active Member

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    After reading some of the postings and their problems, I might talk about the trouble I had this year.

    I bought 8 heifers and a bull (all registered beefmasters) and bred them at 12-14 months of age. I lost one cow/calf calving because I didn't find it in time, one calf born defective and died, and one calf was coming breach and I had to pull it and it was dead. One heifer did not have a calf or aborted.

    I guess the bottom line is I wound up with 7 cows, 3 bull calves and 1 heifer calf. and the bull.

    They are bred back (I think) to start calving in March of next year, and I hope I do better.

    Did I breed too young, or just had bad luck?
     
  2. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it's just that you had all first time cows. Very rarely do all first timers in a herd succeed, it's just nature. The ones that did fine shouldn't have any more problems, statistically speaking of course... but watch the others. They may have trouble again and you might want to consider selling them off if they do.

    Jan
     

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    we breed heifers at 15 months so that they calve at 24 months. We usually only have to assist in about 10% of births and maybe that much in motherhood issues (calf born ok, but mom doesn't know what to do).

    Your losses are pretty high. I'd check the EPD's on that bull if he has them. If the surviving calves are big, you might consider a different bull. If the same ones lose their calf next year...ship them. I'd check on the defective calf to make sure you didn't have something genetic going on that would require culling the cow.

    If it really matters, you can have them all preg checked and can any that didn't breed back, particularly if they were problems this year.

    Jena
     
  4. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'd recomend checking the makeup of the Beefmaster breed, I'm a bit short on time today but it seems to me that there's some big boned breed in their background that might not cotribute to calving ease. We like to breed heifer to something known for easy calving, not just an immature bull but a bull known for smaller birth weights. I'm like Jena and like to see heifers calve closer to 24 months and a bit over that doesn't hurt my feelings, it gives them time to mature a bit physicall and emotionally.
     
  5. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    I would look at bulls background for sure as the most likely part of the problem seriously, but first time calvers can have problems, but looks like you got more than your fair share for sure.
    Beefmasters are made of the following:
    Just under 1/2 Brahma
    Just over 1/4 Hereford
    And 1/4 Shorthorn
     
  6. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just switching over to an angus bull will up the price of your calves when you sell them. Also could help with calving problems.
     
  7. Phil - MO

    Phil - MO Active Member

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    Thanks everybody for the advice. I joined the Beefmaster organization and was hoping to stick to registered Beefmasters. I'll probably just raise feeder calves so switching to an Angus bull might be an excellent idea. I'll see how the calves are this year. I do have some unregistered cattle also.

    I have a black beefmaster bull calf which seems to be the going thing in the Beefmaster breed now, and since I only have one heifer to keep this year, I was hoping to make this calf my next bull. I hope to retire this spring and I'll have more time to work with EPD's, etc.

    For some reason I like each cow to look a little different from the others. Makes them easier to recognize. I registered them under family names and it is surprising how they seem to take on the personality of the person they ae named for. The bossy cow is named after my daughter-in-law, the loner is named after my granddaughter, the easy going one after my wife (boy did I goof there), etc. My wife said I had to stop doing this since the one I named after the mother-in-law was the one that died.
     
  8. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Black is the going thing in any breed! Remember your black bull calf will not throw all black calves, where an angus should.

    My cows don't have names, just numbers. The number stays, even when they lose their tags...that's what I call them. There are a few generic names I use for the cows, but I can't print them here. They are work for all of them and are interchangeable :)

    Jena
     
  9. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    I have never been fond of Beefmaster bulls. Just look too feminine to me. I like a bull to look like a bull, not an oversized cow. I have been told at the time the Lasaster family developed the Beefmaster they had a large Jersey dairy. No one knows for sure the exact make-up and some suspect there is Jersey in it.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  10. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Just another thought on this matter, sometimes new breeders feel they are doing a great service to their cattle by just pounding the feed into them, usually with the thought that it will help millk production. In reality, with the larger breeds that huge quanities of feed doesn't all go to milk production, it goes to the calf in the last term and results in a lot of calving problems.
     
  11. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    If your heifers are small or first timers, you can run them with an Angus bull. They will throw the black hide that buyers want as well as small calves that will be easier for the cow. If you are a memeber of Beefmaster Breeders United, you can certify them in the E6 program. They only require the offspring to be 50% beefmaster and at least one of the parents to be a registered animal.

    Ken - What makes the beefmaster bulls look feminine? I'm not trying to start anything, just looking at different breeds myself and would like the input. From the bulls that I have seen...they look pretty masculine. Is there something that I'm missing while looking at them?