Another load of bull!

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8 years 6 months ago #515649 by Sue
Another load of bull! was created by Sue
Doing my rounds of the cows in the sunshine I had to stand and look for awhile! It is so nice to have the time, the weather, and no urgent matters to attend to, it does ones' soul good. Plus it allows time to ponder on the future.

Firstly I let the main mob of 19 cows and their calves plus their herd sire Steamroller, into a fresh paddock-oh the grass! Steamroller is standing in the centre at the top of the hill, Lord of all he surveys!



Next I went to visit the yearling heifers-well they are more like 15 months old, who are running (more like sitting!) with the 27 month old home bred bull Ilex. That is I for Ian and L for Lucy, the latin name for holly, but looks funny written Ilex!


As I pondered their future-some will have to be sold as in calf heifers as there are 13 and too many to keep- they gradually stood up and came to see me. Some of you may have seen, and I may have put it on here, that we had a bull photographed for a Farm Safety campaign October 2014. Apologies if I have written about this before-I can't remember!


Well it is a very valid point to watch out for dangerous farm animals, and perhaps even more so for 'tame' ones! Ilex is such a laid back lad, he wanders where you want him to go, gets on and off trucks with ease, was reared by his mother Dahlia to 8 months of age and has never had a halter on and yet has a wonderful temperament which goes to show you don't have to 'tame' them, feed them out of a bucket or start when they are just born (you probably might with some breeds-but not this guy!)







WE already have 5 calves on the ground by this guy, and many of these heifers are his half sisters, doing a touch of line breeding here to concentrate his good points! On paper he has excellent credentials to be used over dairy heifers using AI and I am investigating getting him 'collected' at one of the big artificial breeding centres, to make his genes available to a wider audience! The costs are looking a bit prohibitive, what with the ongoing storage and marketing costs for frozen semen-that is after the Vet checks and actual transport and collection costs-we'll have to see! In the meantime he will probably have a move to another small stud herd over Christmas for a 6 week lease. When I give my bulls a passing scratch I always have a quiet chuckle about some folks on here who always give dire warnings about keeping bulls! Yes, you do have to have experience and understand how they behave, but also it has a lot to do with genetics, we have been breeding for temperament for many years and feel satisfied to produce animals that we can pass on to others that are not dangerous-well no more so than any other large animal.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kalmara, little red digger

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8 years 6 months ago #515650 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Another load of bull!
Ooops I forgot to put his full length portrait up!

and some of his girlfriends!


Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.
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8 years 6 months ago #515656 by Kilmoon
Replied by Kilmoon on topic Another load of bull!
Very nice looking gals and guys there Sue.....I'm more envious of the sun....which implies warmth....which is what we're missing down here at the moment :( .

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8 years 6 months ago #515664 by hilldweller
Replied by hilldweller on topic Another load of bull!
Well who wouldn't be laid back with lots of lovely grass, pretty trees, sunshine and thirteen gorgeous heifers for company :) You are right to feel proud of it all.

hilldweller

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8 years 6 months ago #515671 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Another load of bull!

Sue wrote: ...WE already have 5 calves on the ground by this guy, and many of these heifers are his half sisters, doing a touch of line breeding here to concentrate his good points! On paper he has excellent credentials to be used over dairy heifers using AI and I am investigating getting him 'collected' at one of the big artificial breeding centres, to make his genes available to a wider audience! ...

When I first read this post earlier today, my first thought was, I want some of that!!! I haven't planned anything for this year's breeding and need to get on with it. You know I'm toying with some other colour possibilities... ;)

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8 years 6 months ago #515672 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Another load of bull!
"When I first read this post earlier today, my first thought was, I want some of that!!! I haven't planned anything for this year's breeding and need to get on with it. You know I'm toying with some other colour possibilities... ;)"

Perhaps next mating season Ruth!?

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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8 years 6 months ago #515813 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Another load of bull!
I just can't help but admire these handsome boys and hope they are all doing what bulls do with their respective harems.

Who says you can't keep 3 bulls on 50 acres! They are all just over 2 years old, born August/September 2013.

Ignite- home bred


Ilex-home bred


Steamroller-bought from Cromwell

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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8 years 6 months ago #515814 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Another load of bull!
I just can't help but take photos of my handsome boys!
Who says you can't keep 3 bulls on 50 acres. I hope they are all doing what bulls do, they only have about 3 weeks left before they come out from their ladies, a couple to move on to pastures new, as lease bulls.
They are all just over 2 years old, born July and September 2013, the first two home bred and have the same sire and the last a recent purchase from Cromwell, Otago.

Ignite


Ilex


Steamroller

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.
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8 years 6 months ago #515825 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Another load of bull!

Sue wrote: ...Who says you can't keep 3 bulls on 50 acres?...

Excellent, that makes my six on 240 look much more reasonable. :lol:
Looking good, Sue.

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8 years 6 months ago #515889 by Remrem
Replied by Remrem on topic Another load of bull!
Looking lovely Sue! I am a complete sucker for a pic of a MG Bull these days! I really should get organized with the camera and take some more shots of the 3 on our place - Charlie - son of Ignite, Chief - son of Ilex, and of course my boy Highness. 3 Bulls on 15 acres sounds impressive until you see that 2 of them are still on Mum :P

Farming on The Main Drag in the Rangitikei since Feb 2013

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8 years 5 months ago #515919 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Another load of bull!
Yes please post pictures of your boys, I would especially like to see how Highness has grown up! Has Janice sent you photos of his twin daughters?

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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8 years 5 months ago - 8 years 5 months ago #515934 by morioka
Replied by morioka on topic Another load of bull!
Talking of twins, it seems young Mr Ilex has twin boys :ohmy: . It took a while to work out where the spare calf came from as they were born when we were away, and none of the 3 cows left to calve showed any interest in it or any sign of having calved. Very confusing! The penny dropped when Miss Damsel was seen suckling both of them :) we are keeping a bit of an eye on them as the she does seem a little confused about 2 calves wanting to feed.
Last edit: 8 years 5 months ago by morioka.

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8 years 5 months ago #515942 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Another load of bull!
Great to hear of the twin arrival morioka, and both boys too-a bonus!
Always nice to hear how the grandchildren are doing!

That makes 7 calves in 5 years, what a productive young matron.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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8 years 5 months ago - 8 years 5 months ago #515979 by Inger
Replied by Inger on topic Another load of bull!
To be honest Sue, I actually like the look of your home grown bulls, better than the bull you bought in. But I guess you can't 'line breed' forever eh. ;)

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.
Last edit: 8 years 5 months ago by Inger.

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8 years 5 months ago - 8 years 5 months ago #515985 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Another load of bull!
Inger, I would tend to agree with you in terms of 'eye appeal' ;)

However the beauty having a fully recorded breed is that one can predict to a certain extent how an animal is going to perform, according to all the records of its relations around the world, and the more relations the more accurate the prediction will be. In the beef cattle case it predicts, ease of calving of the animal, and his daughters when they calve, the birth weight of those calves, how well they grow to weaning or 200 days, based on their growth and their mothers milking ability, how well they grow to 400 days-or about yearling weight and how well they grow to 600 days, which is when the progeny would be ready for the works/processing/home kill or whatever their end use. In addition when the animal is scanned for muscle size, fat depth on the back and intramuscular fat, it gives a prediction on what the quality of the beef from that animal-and in turn his progeny-or at least the half which he contributes, is going to be like.

So breeding a better animal isn't just how nice he looks and how it compares to breed standard, it is also about is his progeny going to be an improvement on what you already have?

In the case of Steamroller, not only is he a new bloodline for us, but his figures indicate that he will contribute more muscling where it counts. His sire is a Western Australian bull which has 121 recorded progeny in Australia and another 62 in New Zealand. He is a trait leader (in the top 5%) of Murray Greys for 200, 400 and 600 day weights plus scrotal size and carcase weight and retail beef yield.-so if he passes some of that on to his grandchildren in our herd we will be quite pleased!

The other attribute of Steamroller is his eye muscle size, as measured in sq cms-now that is eye fillet steak-as measured by ultrasound scanning-not his actual eye- and is better than all our cows, except one, so here's hoping he passes those genes on as well.

Any questions, for those who have managed to read so far!?

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.
Last edit: 8 years 5 months ago by Sue. Reason: I attached a pdf file but it didn't show so I've deleted the explanation!

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