Belties on a Budget?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by savinggrace, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

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    Hi,

    How likely is it to find Belties for a reasonable price? I understand registered stock is going to be in theory more valuable. But when I called a farm *somewhat* nearby (3hrs away) they had one bred cow available, mid way through a normal beltie lifespan, at a price about three times what I am willing to spend.

    I just want 'starter' stock. A bred cow with last years calf would be ideal. Registered not necessary. Under $2,000 for the 'trio'. Am I totally and completely out of line with my price range? :grump:
     
  2. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    I purchased bred, 4 year old cow and her year old heifer calf for 1,000 each. They are both registered (although they are not full blood, as I found out afterwards...history in the appendix herd book....would rather have had "clean" registered stock......She was asking 1,200 each.....but her other option was to send to the sale barn which would have been a huge hit.

    Look at beltie.org and check out the hotline page.....several animals for sale there and you can get an idea of what the going prices are around the nation.......not lots for sale, but several advertised.

    I think your expectation for a "trio" for under 2,000 might be reasonable in some parts.
     

  3. arcticow

    arcticow Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I worry a little that folks are so adamant about 100% pure blood in "heritage" breeds. Is that not what has happened to so many dog breeds w/AKC? If you are really worried about saving a breed, expanding numbers, etc. that's what appendix books are for. Take that good % stock & breed UP TO pure. (The truth is every breed has had fence jumper calves registered , some of whom became breed leaders.) I would have considered using Milking Devon, but ALBC will only let semen go to Milking Devon cows. So it will be Shorthorn for me. Good or bad genes only dilute, not vanish. MHO>
     
  4. genebo

    genebo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I respect your thinking, but in fact, letting outside blood into a breed changes the resulting calf. It's different, in some degree. Once this happens, if the resulting calf is accepted back into the breed, then the rate at which it disseminates can be amazing. I tracked a particular bull from it's inception through 15 years and found that it had appeared in the pedigrees of 16% of the population of that breed. That particular breed could be forever changed by it.

    Something similar happened in the dairy industry. It became commonplace to cross-breed to improve the milk and butterfat production of one's herd. At some point, a strange gene was introduced that went unnoticed for years. Recently a connection was found between diabetes in humans and drinking dairy milk. The incidence was much higher than in people who drank their own milk. It was discovered that a certain enzyme was present in a lot of commercial dairy cattle's milk that wasn't in the milk from homestead cows. Now there is a movement to DNA test for cattle that don't have this enzyme and try to repair the damage that was done. It has been estimated that up to 90% of all commercial dairy cattle are affected. All because of allowing the introduction of outside genes.

    How many years will it take to repair the damage?

    On a good note: Belties will probably not be affected. Almost all of the "primitive" breeds, meaning those that weren't "improved", didn't get exposed to the gene that causes this.
     
  5. LMonty

    LMonty Well-Known Member

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    genbo- i would really, really love to see the research on this- do you recall any details that might help me look it up? ive never heard a thing about it, and would very much like to learn more.
    TIA
     
  6. arcticow

    arcticow Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the caution but I was refering to "grading up", not willy-nilly or even rotational crossbreeding. I was dairying during those years. Looking at bad genes, where did all those come from like blad in Holsteins, weaver in Swiss, etc. These are more pronounced in 100% purebloods. Can anyone, without genetically testing EVERY animal in EVERY heritage breed guarantee that there has NEVER been any outside blood introduced? My point was, if you want more people breeding & raising heritage breeds, don't lock things up so tight that you simply shrink what genetic diversity there is within these breeds. Allow folks w/ less money or access to brood stock to grade up to fullblood standards . We in AK use AI or nothing, cause there is no way to bring in stock short of flying calves in.
     
  7. NWMO

    NWMO Well-Known Member

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    My only thoughts on the Appendix Registry was that I thought I was buying "full blood" stock .....realizing that the price for them would naturally be higher.

    Of course, the calves off of the appendix cows are mismarked.....
    ai'ed from a very good bull......so will not know if the mismarks come from teh momma or if it is something from the bull.....if I hope to sell any registered stock it will be imperative that the cattle are marked clearly.
     
  8. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

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    What I like to do when getting into something new is to get healthy, decent stock to get my foot in the door. And then over the next few years see how I like being around them and the results, continually do research on what else is out there, and buy new/improved stock as I go along.

    Of course breed orginizations and private owners with stock for sale are going to make them out to be the best thing since sliced bread; I hate to invest great amounts of capital and effort only to discover it's not the breed for me.
     
  9. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    Buy what you can afford, or want to now. When it is time for them to be bred, rather than bull or AI, go with embryo transfers.

    If that is what you care to do, look for a cow(s) that are easy breeding and good mothering instints.

    I would recommend against heifers in this setting.