Probably a Stupid Question...

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. But I don't know the answer so I'll ask it.
    Say you have a milk cow and she has a bull calf. Is there any reason you couldn't keep this calf till it's a full grown bull, breed it back to the cow in hopes of getting another bull calf, then slaughter grown bull for beef and start over again? Would this cause horrible deformities or something from inbreeding? Obviously endless generations of it would, but how long would that take?
    I know people inbreed other animals, just wondering if it's done in the bovine world.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

    Messages:
    6,844
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    The problem here isn't inbreeding, but rather efficiency. To put a bull on a cow he needs to normally be at least 18-months of age, and still would be considered of prime slaughter age at that time. However, there are those who say a mature bull's meat isn't as tasty as one which was either steered or not allowed to breed. You are only going to get a bull calf 50% of the time on the average. What happens when you get a heifer? The bull would then have to be kept for another year. Keeping one bull to breed one cow isn't cost effective as you have to keep feed the hummer, plus they can be dangerous to be around.

    My recommendation would be to make some other arrangement to have her bred.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     

  3. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    16,435
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I'll add a bit more to Ken's statement. Line breeding is usually something you see when a breeder is trying to isolate specific traits within a breed. As a purebred breeder, I can tell you that we don't do it without a lot of thought and planning and it's usually not as close as breeding son to mother. We study pedigree and extended pedigree on both animals quite carefully before such a decision would be made and there are still risks. Ken is very right though, the economics of the whole thing would make it more of a problem and you'd need a bull long before your bull calf was mature enough to breed your cow.