Interesting observation.. Anyone else notice?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by JeffNY, May 18, 2005.

  1. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    Recently the previous owners of 4 of the holsteins we have came down, well atleast her husband and son. Her son is into showing animals, likes to win etc etc. Now aside from his observation, it is obvious there is a difference is conformation between theirs and the other 10 holsteins from another farm. Theirs are taller, have more of a show type in their bodys. Their udders aren't as developed as the other 10, and what I mean by that.. read on.


    Udders: Anyone ever compare a heifers udder that was bred for type? To a heifer that was bred for production? If you ever take a good look there is a difference. For example, those 4 have good development, but when you feel around the difference is as follows. The production heifer has a meaty udder, more to it, baggy like. Those heifers are younger as well, the type heifers are 13-15 months, one is 15, one is 14, and two are 13. Those other 10, range from 10 months to 8 months. The ones that are 10 months have more udder to them than the 14 month and 13 month old. Now this is not just because.. Because as I have been watching them since I bought them, the udders are developing more and more, baggyer, more meat to them, than the type animals. As the type heifers get bigger, sure the udders length, etc does have more to it. But the meatyness, nope. Now I forget who told me this, but rubens tend to be light in the bulk tank, they are good for show but not the best for production. It does make sence, because at their current stage the difference is big. The one farm where those 4 type heifers came from, breeds for type. They want nice udders, good legs etc etc, and it shows.


    Stature: Those type heifers are taller, yes they are older. But even one of their heifers up at their farm (born 9/1/04) is a little taller, wider thurls etc than the two I have. The topline is similar, depth is similar but that too shows a difference. I read somewhere an animal that is medium sized (not super tall), has a deep body generally produces more than something tall, with a so so body. The one animal featured in the select sires power that produced 200 some lbs a day, had just that. Large frame, short legs, huge udder. Those 10 production heifers I would bet dollars to donuts they will out produce those type heifers I have.


    So anyone else ever notice that with a heifer? Even the Jerseys we have, the 4 youngens have more to their udder at 6 months than our one Jersey @ 2 years, and even when she was their age. Where we got the 4, they don't breed for type, they are heavy grazers, so they like nice udders, good for grazing. They also have some damn good producers there, first calf Jerseys producing 65lbs/day, impresses me. Actually one of the heifers Dams was producing that, and her Dam is a first calf heifer. But I should take a picture sometime to show you what I mean, because the difference is big. Here ya have a 10 month old heifer, udder is a nice handfull. Now check the 14 month old, mostly skin, some meat to it. Interesting how the emphasis with those heifers development is the udder, their body's are growing along nicely, but the udder is quite a ways along.


    Now one other thing, from my understand Hoards Dairyman had a article in there recently. I guess they said something similar to what I am saying, those animals winning in the showring stink with production, compared to those who are bred for production. But I guess, if you want to win in the showring, ya gotta breed differently. This farm that I bought the 10 from, do not use hormones. Their production is around 28,000 average. The farm where the type came from, is about 17,000lbs average. Their peak lactation for any given animal at the farm who breeds for type, is about 90lbs or so, some touch 100. The other farm from my calculations is about 120lbs peak, or so for any one cow. Their diet is very similar, both farms feed corn silage/haylage.



    Jeff
     
  2. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,481
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    Jeff, that's my beef with animal shows in general. The idea in the beginning is to show the animals that are performing best. But, in every case you wind up with the animals going in two different directions. Those who perform (or produce as the case may be) can't win in the show ring and those who win in the ring can't produce.

    I remember a few years ago some friends of ours' son had a steer in the 4-H show at the county fair. Now, the judge is supposed to be choosing the steer that will cut the best carcass. This steer didn't even get a second look from the judge. He had a little brahma in him which was obvious from the ears, and he was red, not black. BUT, when the steers were slaughtered he was awarded the best carcass. I can never figure out why if the judges are supposed to pick the best carcass, the steer they pick never has the best carcass. Somebody 'splain that to me.
     

  3. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    256
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Both bring up good points about the showring versus the milk line. We breed what you would call "type bulls" and a little bit of production bulls. Now here is my beef with at least the dairy sector. What is the average lifespan of a Dairy cow. I believe it is somewhere around the three and a half years range. ( 2 lactations) This is horrible! The cow really hasn't even paid off her rearing cost and probably barely even had a replacement calf to take her place. Milk proofs are based on first lactation data, and parental averages. So a lot of my two year olds barely break the 10,000 # actual, however the next lactation is 12-15, then 15-18, and the older cows average 17K#. Speaking of older cows,we have as many or more 10 plus year old cows out of 75 as that neighbor milking 1500. OUr cull rate is at 42%, close to the national average. However 24 of the 39 cows culled went for dairy purposes, leaving 14% as involuntary. This was open cows, lame cows, 2 died, and mastitis. This allows for surplus money from the sale heifers and milk cows instead of the pound price. The funniest thing is that the animals bred to milk generally milk as well as the show type. The cows that win big shows are just freaks. Cows bred off indexes and paper are just freakin ugly. Milking cows for a living isn't fun or easy so why would I want to be a slave to a bunch of slop udder, ugly SOBs?? Just my 2cents
     
  4. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,481
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    Evermoor I absolutely agree that breeding for milk production above all else has the industry on a slippery slope as far as I'm concerned. And I agree that in a lot of dairies it's rare to see many cows over 5 years old.

    I guess I was mostly ranting about shows in general. Of any animal. Our friends steer that I mentioned in the previous post is just one example. I think shows are the reason we have Irish setters and pointers that couldn't smell a bird if it was sitting on their noses. The premise of shows of performance breeds is that the judges are supposed to pick the animals that would perform best according to what's written down in some book. When in reality the only way to pick the one that performs best is to let them perform. Most performance animals can't win in a show ring and vice versa.
     
  5. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    The judge part of things varies a lot from what I am learning. You have the Judge who likes an animal that flows nicely, streamlined, good conformation, dairy like. Then you have the Judge who likes an animal with rib, not super dairy, tall etc. Some seem to judge for size, vs an animal that might have excellent legs, etc etc. From my understanding, the Judge is looking for the best animal, not the animal that is bigger than others, not as dairy, or more dairy. They seem to throw out what seems to "matter", and are the ones who are pushing for these animals that get huge at a young age, and perhaps not produce worth a darn. The bias of a Judge IMO is not true judgeing. What I like to see, is an animal with a wide udder, level teats, fullness, nice strong cleft, above the hocks, or at the hocks. Not a super tall animal, level topline (no special tinkering needed), fairly level rump. Straight legs, fairly posty rear, straight front. Clean neck, open ribbed, angled back towards the udder. Is this too much to ask for? That IMO would make for an ideal cow, not super tall, less leg problems. Also, think about this one. What does standing the hair on the topline proove? That is covering up flaws, and those flaws you want to correct. Doing the tricks to cover up flaws, is like buffing a car to cover up the scratch marks...



    Jeff
     
  6. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    717
    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Michiana
    DH and FIL used to show cattle in a small way ... we had one cow family that looked pretty good, conformation-wise (very open ribs, good udders and good feet and legs) but FIL would always lament that they were just a little too short. However, the cows in that family were good producers and lasted a long time. Our most productive cow family had one good-looking daughter that classified 86 or 87 but none of her progeny looked as good as she did. They were all big and tall but rough looking (except for their udders) but were very productive. Teh original dam was a Logic daughter. DH wanted to name DD after this cow but I balked at that. I liked the cows, but not that well!

    ann
     
  7. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    256
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    [ Also, think about this one. What does standing the hair on the topline proove? That is covering up flaws, and those flaws you want to correct. Doing the tricks to cover up flaws, is like buffing a car to cover up the scratch marks...



    Jeff[/QUOTE]
    Now say your are looking to buy a car and see the polished one next to a just clean car. With little variation, in cars animals or whatever the first impression usually sticks with you. When you get close you can see the differences easily.
    For other traits such as stature, which actually has a negative correlation to herdlife, it is only a matter of opinion. When a prominent breeder was asked why he bred for stature he merely stated it is always easier to sell a big cow for big money
    As for the beefers the blackhided cattle get favored for the Angus heritage. Which are generally known for carcass traits from way back in the day. Brahma, even if showing just a little ear are severly penalized because of the same misconception. Just a different type of Racial profileing except every breed seems to be black hided now.
     
  8. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    DAMN RACIST JUDGES! k.. At any rate, even though that shiny car is polished up, and was buffed to cover the flaws, the flaws will come out later on. You can pick out the flaws with an animal, when its not fitted. Their legs will never be straight with fitting, they will always be as is. Say the topline of an animal was covered so well by raising the hair, it's topline without the doctored look sucks. It's a contradiction, here the Judge is looking for the best animal, but how do you pick the best animal that has been fitted to look good? The good animal is shown when two unfitted animals, out in the pasture are put side by side. Figure it this way, when you pick one out for the show, are they fitted? No.



    Jeff
     
  9. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,174
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    I've only been showing Jerseys from our herd for two years now. My family used to show big time when I was much younger. My father had strings he would show when he was about my age.
    I have a heifer named Crucible. She is a Paramount by Indian, I believe. Her mother was an outstanding animal all around. Beautiful animal and the top producer at times in our herd. Sadly, she tested positive to Johne's after Fanfare died and we had to sell her.
    Crucible, her only daughter (born before she was exposed to Fanfare), took first place the first year and last place last year in her class. Admittedly when the class rarely has more than 3 animals you aren't talking a very good selection to chose from. She took first that first year because she was the largest healthiest looking creature there and the judge preferred the bigger animals. This past year we got a stinking NorthCoast group judge in here. :no: So of course, Crucible was not going to do as well because she is tall. This is what I didn't understand about this judge.
    There were four heifers in the Senior Yearling class. Wont (ours) was due to calve in a month at 23 months old. Tiffany (the schools) was due to calve in January. The other two heifers, there was no way of telling if they were very bred or not because they were not forming much udder yet. Tiffany was a fabulous animal. I thought she looked the best. Great topline, not too strong looking but not too dainty. Her udder was beautiful, etc. etc. Well, the judge put both heifers with no udder in front of her and claimed it was because the first heifer was going to have more cleft? There was no udder to look at. I know why Wont went last. She had her dam's spraddled udder. She was the only animal out of 14 heifers I could take (the rest are crosses). When I entered in August she didn't look so bad. She doesn't look very bad now either. He udder is far from perfect but it looks a lot better than it did and she most likely outproduces all those heifers. We'll see what the Classifier thinks in June. She was too recently fresh last time the classifier was here.
    As for Tiffany, she calved with a beautiful udder! She still looked great. Then she got mastitis and lost two quarters and was shipped last Tuesday. Of course, that was a management issue and not an issue with her body structure because it still was wonderful. The school ended up losing a large portion of last winter's first calf heifers. Tiffany was still gorgeous and i still think the judge was off his rocker...but hey, if you are looking for low producers he wwent with the right farm.
    I know Jeff M. sits on the other side of this argument every year. Since he breeds to NorthCoast group. I just wish they could find a judge without preferences for a certain size. Give me a judge that will weigh each individual animal and then pick the one that is the best but that doesn't necesarilly conform to one breeding style standard...unless we can get a one breed standard that we all agree on. Dad keeps reminding me that Classification scores mean nothing when it comes to the showring, which seems off to me.
    As long as that judge is there he will always fault our cows for being larger...but we breed for production and looks are also important to us as well...but looks don't put the money in pocket with only 15 milking.
    Also, if you consider we only have 45 animals total and close to half are ineligable as of right now due to being crossbreeds we don't do too shabby with the ones we have.
    I'll be taking around 5 or 6 at the most this coming year. I wish our 10 year old Mamba still had her fourth quarter and wasn't nearly so much of a heavyweight. lol She still outproduces and makes more money than anyone would ever think she would. Her granddaughter is Crucible and I will be showing her daughter Gadget if I can get her traiend soon enough.
     
  10. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    From what I understand, a Judge shouldn't ask you untill after the show who the Dam is, and Sire. If in fact they ask you "whats the sire" as they look over the animal, and you say "X". The bias could kill you. Funny, you can get some damn good daughters from some bulls (those are the ones in the breeding books). Perhaps that heifer or cow is one of the good ones. If the animal looks good, it should be judged based on that, not based on the sire. Then you have that size thing as you mentioned, they have that bias. But what if that heifer looks awesome, she has good feet and legs etc etc. But the judge says, baaa its smaller than the others, looks better but still smaller, so ill place that person 5th. While 5th is good, perhaps the heifer was a 1st place contender, but the judge's bias for size kills its chances. It is going to be a learning experience, and I might breed a couple that would be old enough, to calf out so I can get in on the real competition (dairy cows).



    Jeff
     
  11. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,174
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    They don't ask the parentage, but you can tell the NorthCoast cows from animals out of the larger breeding animals available.
    In this case, size was not a good thing for the judge. He wanted the smaller animals. If I am remembering correct they are pleased if their cows average around 25 pounds of milk a day. We want fifty out of our cows and most of them can do that easily.
    One thing I really dislike is that I have to shave the entire animal. I really wish they would go back to how it was, when all you really needed to do was the ears and the head. You shave at the wrong time and your animal looks bad.
    I'm hoping to be able to take three cows in milk this year. Loren is 6 years old and ahs a very distinct look to her. Not sure what the judge will do with her. Classifiers love ehr look and so does another person who shows, but dad doesn't really like her looks. :rolleyes: She's due in late July which is good timing since our fair is the beginning of September.
    Also have Crucible due with her first calf in early August. She'll be a Junior two year old, as will Gadget who is due in mid July. Gadget is the tricky one. She is a Jersey afterall and she plays dead when you put a halter on her. Lots of work ahead of me on her.
     
  12. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    I agree with shaving, the "natural" look should be desired. You can pick the good out from the bad. A heifer or cow will either have a straight topline or will not. So they say "fix it so it looks straight". Here is one option, how about have the regular open class, then have a seperate class where you can fit the animal so they judge based on your job. From what I am told, the fitting has to be good. But they don't judge based on the fitting job. Interesting what kind of tricks you can do. Perhaps trim the tail head, make the rump loook level, and square. Perhaps leave the muzzle alone, make it look wider. The Judge should be looking at what most look at when they look at a sire book (Select sires, ABS, Alta etc). I look at things I want to improve, or perhaps gain. I might want to fix their feet for proper feet. Maybe both feet and legs. After reading the bias Judges have, that whole judgeing handbook is thrown out the door. Because if that topline is tweaked by standing the hair, then the actual score is not representing the animal, especially if standing the hair does fix the topline. Also as I said before, some Judges will go in order based on animal size, even if the smaller heifer is better!


    Halter breaking (your playing dead Jersey) is interesting, especially when they don't want to move. The Brown Swiss we have grinds her teeth, plants her feet and thats that. There is no twisting the tail with her, she isn't fazed. Slap her grits, naaa prob feels like a bug. How about a rope behind her grits? no. I'm not taking her, if my mother wants to lead her, then so be it. I'm going to be leading a couple as it is (one or two holsteins, and one crossbred beef heifer, the heifer is for the fun of it). It's almost June, pretty soon August 22nd will be here..


    Jeff
     
  13. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    256
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    As with any competition, there must be a desire to win or say beat someone. This leads you to try harder and get the peak performance. If peak performance doesn't get the job done, than maybe try another sport that more suits the ability. AS for us we breed for it, feed for it, clip for it, and practice for it and play the politics game. Why Bother is what we here a lot??? Because we want to win, have the ability, and are willing to take a few knocks if need be. I have stood last enuf times to know that losing sucks. Grewing up we would never have the kind to win so I went and found someone who did and suddenly started to win. I am stilll learning the ropes as it probably is a lifelong education. As a judge sometimes I just shake my head because of the poor quality of an animal or the fact that they didn't take the time to get an animal ready. I'm not talking about toplines or fitting jobs, were talking dirty cows with bad clip job (PLEASE WAASH A DIRTY ANIMAL BEFORE CLIPPING), dirty ears, manure balls in the tail, ect. Some kids just don't seem to care, while other really try with mediocre calves. Cow shows are just another form of beaty pagents and come on would you want to see a Miss America contestants in the rough????
     
  14. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,174
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    Gadget doesn't just not move. She flung herself on her side and rolled over the edge of the platform the day we caught her to AI. But she settled to that service. I'll put a halter on her and let her get used to it. I've gaiend some more experience in breaking them in and our animals don't show too poorly.
    I agree that taking pride in the animals you bring and making it a point to keep them clean is the best way to show that. Our animals are not near the best looking, but they are not ugly either. I don't take animals that I am not proud of or taht will be scoffed at by others. This will be the first year I body clip everyone. We had two (the two youngest) that were body clipped last year (done within two days of the show because i didn't know how to do it). When everyone else is body clipping I better do it or my animals look "scruffy." Our County Fair is tiny. There are about five Jersey farms that show and this year it may be fewer. I will only take animals I am happy to put in the ring. In the case of Wont I really figured she would look better at that point but she looked pretty bad. Looks better udder wise now but she will not be going back this year.
    I work hard to get our animals clean and presentable but I am mostly there for the people. I love sitting there and letting the kids pet the girls and talking to them about cows. That is what I go for. I know our animals perform well when it comes to putting milk in the bucket and that is what we breed for first. If they look good it is a bonus. :) I've been everywhere from first to last place. The largest class last year had 7 entires. We had two of them and they were third and fifth. Those two are going back this year and both will be clipped. One of ours was clipped last year and she went fifth.

    I saw a most beuatiful 10 year old Jersey there two years ago. She looked fabulous and took top of the whole show, over the top Holstein. She was marvelous.
     
  15. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

    Messages:
    14,609
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction
    Don't I know it!

    I have been at the farm for 1-1/2 years now and it is very hard seeing the girls who were there when I started begin to go downhill. Sore feet, mastitis, infertility, etc.

    I wish I could bring them all home to live out their days in green pastures with their calves by their sides ... :waa:
     
  16. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

    Messages:
    2,102
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    When I go, I am not going to win, I am going to have fun and thats that. I am taking animals that have a shot. But if I don't do well, oh well. The biggest thing it is, is advertisement. That farm name is what people will see, and perhaps ask more. That red holstein I have if she does well (depending on the Judge), might get some questions. From what I understand red genetics is in demand, so you never know what might become of it. You get the word out you have good genetics, people will perk up and look. So if I get last or 1st, I will gain experience and perhaps a reputation.

    That's one of the reasons some farms do it, some it's the kids pushing to do it. That week gets me away from the farm, and I can sit there. I can watch the cows make a mess I have to clean, but in between those times I can relax. Of course the first few days before show it will be work work work, but bring it on. Cleaning up after 8 or so animals is nothing compared to cleaning up after 14 once a day. It is easier cleaning as you go, not as much build up.

    Jeff