Adding a new breed to a suckler herd

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I think this thread proves the old adage that there's as much variation within a breed as between them. And different cattle suit different farms.

Guess you have to pick a breed that suits you, and your farm, and find a breeder with the type you want.
Oh, and be open minded enough to try something else, and see that what works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa.
 

Grahamc94

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scotland
I think this thread proves the old adage that there's as much variation within a breed as between them. And different cattle suit different farms.

Guess you have to pick a breed that suits you, and your farm, and find a breeder with the type you want.
Oh, and be open minded enough to try something else, and see that what works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa.
We consider ourselves to be open minded. Some of the buyers though aren’t. I was once told I was wasting my time with breeding Angus even though they are similar weight and size to the continental’s that will have had more feeding. They work well for us but we want another breed for replacements
 

Grahamc94

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scotland
Know a boy like that, he loved the idea of salers, kept them for a year then got rid of them, back to the breed he started with now
Some people I know try a different breed every year and never settle on one.

I think they are the problem, not the breed of cattle.
What was their reasons for constantly changing? Difficult calving? Stock not as good as they expected? Or were they just indecisive?
 

Grahamc94

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scotland
The salers were bad tempered, difficult to handle
We’ve found that to be a big problem with salers, they were either one way or the other. Our oldest cow is a saler, she’ll be 10 this year, had 11 calves (3 sets of twins) and she’s still as fresh as she was when we bought her but bad strains have ruined the breed
 

Weasel

Member
Location
in the hills
We’ve found that to be a big problem with salers, they were either one way or the other. Our oldest cow is a saler, she’ll be 10 this year, had 11 calves (3 sets of twins) and she’s still as fresh as she was when we bought her but bad strains have ruined the breed

I've never had anything to do with the breed, just heard horror stories.
A lot of them salers will have other blood in them
 

Grahamc94

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scotland
I've never had anything to do with the breed, just heard horror stories.
A lot of them salers will have other blood in them
As I said earlier most breeds have a bad strain somewhere. We’ve bought angus that have smashed through fences for fun and had shorthorns that could clear a high fence without touching it. A lot is to do with they way they are managed from the calf stage, they remember bad experiences
 

Chae1

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
What was their reasons for constantly changing? Difficult calving? Stock not as good as they expected? Or were they just indecisive?
I think there looking for some kind of breed utopia that doesn't exist. Probably not as good as they expected, everytime.

We've a few salers and get on fine with them. Just cull anything with temperament issues.
 
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Weasel

Member
Location
in the hills
As I said earlier most breeds have a bad strain somewhere. We’ve bought angus that have smashed through fences for fun and had shorthorns that could clear a high fence without touching it. A lot is to do with they way they are managed from the calf stage, they remember bad experiences

Totally agree, although I find simmental x very docile, get the odd nutter but they don't last long
 

egbert

Member
As I said earlier most breeds have a bad strain somewhere. We’ve bought angus that have smashed through fences for fun and had shorthorns that could clear a high fence without touching it. A lot is to do with they way they are managed from the calf stage, they remember bad experiences
very much so.
I could (well, have) write/written books on it.

After FMD I bought (Galloway) cows from various sources.
One group-the largest group of course- had been shunted before they came here, after a marriage breakup.
I'd say they hadn't heard many kind words.
They were very difficult, and the first crop of calves were so bad they were all killed....just when I NEEDED home bred replacements.
but....They leered (hefted) very well on the hill, and performed well....but remained grumpy a55holes in every respect.

Then, as time went on -and I'd killed one or two of the worst, they started to settle.
Subsequent calves became increasingly quiet.
By the time the last one left here in her mid teens, they were no worse than any other of my Galloways. Many of the progeny have been sold onto smallholders, been shown, and become much loved beasts.
It's in em....I still get the occasional wrong'un turn up. but generally, quiet handling has made all the difference.

and then....
I wanted some genetics off a pal, whose cattle I much admired.
He doesn't normally breed bulls, but kept a selection of calves entire for me.
A group of us went to see the cows in question, and they stood in a ring in front of a gaggle of calves, pawing the ground like beserkers.
The oldest/lead cow stood stock still in the middle of the group, pretty much in charge of operations....their owner clearly warned us 'she's the one to watch'.
@JP1 was there, and will attest how bad they were.

Now the family concerned are league division 1 stockmen, hardcore hill livestock men of the highest calibre.
But they do everything off quads with dogs, and bed cattle with a blower......and it shows in the cattle's behaviour.

I bought the bull calf off that lead cow, along with the rest of the batch.
Unsurprisingly, they arrived no quieter than a trailer load of red deer calves straight off the mountain.
but they settled, and the bull went on to become the dopiest chap you ever met.
One of his daughters is currently being coo'ed over like a pet by the 2 y/o granddaughter of a friend.
 

Grahamc94

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scotland
Totally agree, although I find simmental x very docile, get the odd nutter but they don't last long
What are they crossed with? We’ve got quite a few now off friesian’s. They’ve only been introduced into our herd in the last 2 years. They’re very docile and often want their heads scratched. We’ve also got one that’s off a hill farm locally, it’s certainly more energetic but still easy enough to handle.
 

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