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Old 04-14-2013, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
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Black baldies for starters. Make your mistakes on them. Being out of dairy cows you may be able to breed them to a really good GROWTHY beef bull like Fullblood Charolais. I'd stay away from Simmental and Angus for handling/disposition reasons and Hereford for lack of milk and growth reasons. Can you buy a proven show bull that has been handled a lot (groomed, hand fed) and can you see his calves? Do the math. Even in a small herd it pays to have a calm, former show bull. Pay the extra money.

Since you're a small herd a group of mother cows will stay together and will learn to follow you. One will be the decision maker. You may not need equipment. However, springers can be like a group of wild teenagers on the loose.

I fully understand that black cattle are all the trend nowadays, even here in Alberta. But every Angus I had to handle
was a problem. A real problem, particularly in close quarters. Red Angus up here went to quality and took market away from other breeds. Flekvieh Simmental came to the fore (the German of the five Simm. "families", while Limousin were all around cows and entire herds are represented here. We use Texas Longhorn here on heifers and as a clean up bull, but the calves are very small and don't grow, and show dairy confirmation, heavily discounted at sale.

Having said all of that, there are exceptions everywhere. Cattle as ungulates have a tendency to "fit" their environment in amazing ways. Depending on where you are, there's a cow for you. I don't know anything about the southern states breeds, but Santa Gertrudis, Beefmaster, Brangus, Brahman, and Texas Longhorn all thrive in areas other breeds couldn't survive.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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im suprised nooens metioned Dexters as good beginner cows, there a naturlly small breed, great for a family beef cow/small acreage ect.
AMAING meat (some of the best beef ive ever had has comeoff pasture raised Dexters), nd great personalites, ive et may nd yetto meet a mean one.
plus the cows produce enough milk to make them a deacent family milker too!
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:35 AM
 
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I agree that Dexters tend to be nice as a breed. Can be a little pricey for someone starting out, though, since most available (at least here) are purebred.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
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Wow, great info. from everyone.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Oregon
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I've had both Angus and Hereford in the past. The Angus do have better marbling in the meat, and they don't get pink eye (at least none of mine ever did). I did prefer the calmer temperament of my Herefords though. Black baldies are great too.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Under the Redwoods
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I also think Dexters for beginners. Mostly because of size and temperament. But there are added benefits. Less space for more heads, more meat for the expense and better meat, it's more lean, plus they are good for both meat and dairy.
Plus they are so darn cute!
Dexter Cattle.wmv - YouTube
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:05 PM
 
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Since you mentioned that you have a choice of breeds to pick from, I would recommend the Gelbvieh cows. They are known for very quiet dispositions and if you have access to Angus bulls, that would be a great cross for your feeder cattle market. Gelbvieh x Angus cross calves are 50% British and 50% continental which would be the ideal cattle that feeders are looking to feed so you will have no problem getting a cattle buyer to purchase these calves for top $. Plus, by using an Angus bull on your Gelbvieh cows you get the benefit of heterosis (that's worth about 50 more pounds at weaning) compared to straight bred cattle. I would not recommend purebred / registered cattle until you figure out if you want to have them at all. If you can find them, Balancer females (1/2 Gelbvieh x 1/2 Angus) would be better than a straight bred cow because you get the best of both breeds just as you do with a black baldy.
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruckusa View Post
Since you mentioned that you have a choice of breeds to pick from, I would recommend the Gelbvieh cows. They are known for very quiet dispositions and if you have access to Angus bulls, that would be a great cross for your feeder cattle market. Gelbvieh x Angus cross calves are 50% British and 50% continental which would be the ideal cattle that feeders are looking to feed so you will have no problem getting a cattle buyer to purchase these calves for top $. Plus, by using an Angus bull on your Gelbvieh cows you get the benefit of heterosis (that's worth about 50 more pounds at weaning) compared to straight bred cattle. I would not recommend purebred / registered cattle until you figure out if you want to have them at all. If you can find them, Balancer females (1/2 Gelbvieh x 1/2 Angus) would be better than a straight bred cow because you get the best of both breeds just as you do with a black baldy.
We didn't get into registered cattle, just commercial. Unless you want to be a breeder, what is the benefit in having a registered herd? Does anyone know if there is a market for baldy bulls? Is it true that the first cross is the best, and then the mix becomes diluted too much and there is no benefit?
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:58 AM
 
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I have mostly angus cows but I run a limousin bull with them as angus calves don't command a good price at market , their ok if you bring them to slaughter however
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Old 06-01-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
I have mostly angus cows but I run a limousin bull with them as angus calves don't command a good price at market , their ok if you bring them to slaughter however
Do you think you get a better price at the sale barn if you have a larger number of calves to sell? We typically only have a few to sell (800 pounders), and they don't seem to bring as much as some that are sold on the same day, same size, but in larger groups. How does the limousin bull crossed with angus cows impact the calves?
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