Calf sizes from different bulls

WillHFF

Member
Mixed Farmer
Hi everyone, my first post.

I have recently started assembling a suckler herd, and I have the opportunity to buy a bull from a neighbour who has some unfortunate health issues and is packing the job in.
The bull is a cross between a pure breed BB heifer sired by a pedigree AA bull.
we all know AA bulls throw small calves but I am slightly worried at the BB genetics from the mother.
has anyone ever used a AAxBB bull to serve their cows or heifers and what are the calves like at birthing?
Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks
 

Blaithin

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Alberta
You won’t know until you use him. That’s the lotto with cross breeds, they can cherry pick any genetics from either breed. You won’t know what he tends to throw unless you have a calf crop of his on the ground that you can look at.

Then you’ll also run into the calf having genetics from any breeds involved and have throwbacks pop up.
 

wrenbird

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
HR2
Not all AA bulls throw small calves, and whatever cows you use him on will chuck their own genetics into the mix. What are your breeding aims? Where are you going to sell what you produce, does this bull meet the requirements for the market you are aiming for?
 

milkloss

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
East Sussex
You don’t tell us about your level of experience with sucklers but I would say no. My experience with cross bred bulls is that they can throw some massive calves every now and again. This is manageable at a cost but the calves never seem to go on an do better than the average calf so not worth the hassle.

On the other hand he may be a fantastic bull but it’s more of a gamble than a pure bred.
 

JSmith

Member
Livestock Farmer
I’ve got one, BB x Welsh black, bought in desperation because I had a bull go wrong on me when he was needed! Lovely looking bull, got the shape, nice an quiet, but as above, can throw a lot of variation in the calves, some small but plenty big enough, did have to help a lot at calving but they were heifers, put with cows this time but I’ll probably weigh him in this time!! Just get a lim an they should spit them out and you’ll have a desirable product, if your around them regularly they’ll be nice an quiet, mine are any way!! Beef shorthorn cows
 

Vader

Member
Hi everyone, my first post.

I have recently started assembling a suckler herd, and I have the opportunity to buy a bull from a neighbour who has some unfortunate health issues and is packing the job in.
The bull is a cross between a pure breed BB heifer sired by a pedigree AA bull.
we all know AA bulls throw small calves but I am slightly worried at the BB genetics from the mother.
has anyone ever used a AAxBB bull to serve their cows or heifers and what are the calves like at birthing?
Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks
We used pure bb onto x bred cows now and again to boost the muscle genes.

But our cows are all beef crossed, big units. Blonde / limo/ bb mix.
Few pure blondes.
 

Vader

Member
20211005_102445.jpg

Couple of limo/bb x cows
 

WillHFF

Member
Mixed Farmer
Thanks for all the responses, after reading all of them I’ve opted not to buy my friends bull. Looking at everyone’s pictures of their livestock Vader and Optimus fine looking cattle. I’ve got some catching up to do!

while we are on the subject has anyone ever used a Simmental bull? What are they like for calving?
 

Optimus

Member
Thanks for all the responses, after reading all of them I’ve opted not to buy my friends bull. Looking at everyone’s pictures of their livestock Vader and Optimus fine looking cattle. I’ve got some catching up to do!

while we are on the subject has anyone ever used a Simmental bull? What are they like for calving?
I use sim,lim,AA and BB bulls across our sucklers.sim for me is the cow you want for sucklers.would say 70% of our cows have simmy in them somewhere along the lines.
Calving wise they are usually OK not unknown for a few to need a pull.bought a new bull last year an the calves off him are pretty big.possibly not the most popular calves if selling store but we finish all ours so makes no difference to us.
 

WillHFF

Member
Mixed Farmer
I use sim,lim,AA and BB bulls across our sucklers.sim for me is the cow you want for sucklers.would say 70% of our cows have simmy in them somewhere along the lines.
Calving wise they are usually OK not unknown for a few to need a pull.bought a new bull last year an the calves off him are pretty big.possibly not the most popular calves if selling store but we finish all ours so makes no difference to us.
Thankyou for the response. The reason I ask is they are my favourite breed so this is good news to me!
it’s strange you say they’re not the most popular if you are selling them as stores, the blondes and sims around here are crazy expensive. Thanks for the info.
 

David1968

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
SW Scotland
Use both Charolais and Simmental here. Don't really see any difference in calving between the two, but feeding the cow is half the story as well.

I would say the Simmy born calves generally have more get up and go about them though.
 

Uggman

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thankyou for the response. The reason I ask is they are my favourite breed so this is good news to me!
it’s strange you say they’re not the most popular if you are selling them as stores, the blondes and sims around here are crazy expensive. Thanks for the info.
I think it's because you don't get the colour uniformity of the calves some will have white heads some won't so they don't all look the same when you sell them in groups in the store ring.
If you can get the bull or right cows that carry the milk gene they should be some good cows .there used to be quiet a few herd of milking sims!
 

nails

Member
Location
East Dorset
Not all AA bulls throw small calves, and whatever cows you use him on will chuck their own genetics into the mix. What are your breeding aims? Where are you going to sell what you produce, does this bull meet the requirements for the market you are aiming for?
Some of the biggest calves i have seen came from a Canadian Aberdeen Angus back in the late 70,s . They were out of Friesian heifers. Absolute bloody carnage
 

Blaithin

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Alberta
Some of the biggest calves i have seen came from a Canadian Aberdeen Angus back in the late 70,s . They were out of Friesian heifers. Absolute bloody carnage
I would not call Angus tiny calves.

They have improved their calving ease but Angus here definitely throw bigger calves.

It can be frustrating when looking for smaller calving bulls. “I’d like a bull for my heifers” (to me this would be a 70-80 lb calf max) All the replies I get are like “here’s my great Angus heifer bull. He throws 90-110”

Get bent. I don’t know who decided 90 lbers are small :ROFLMAO:
 

Optimus

Member
I would not call Angus tiny calves.

They have improved their calving ease but Angus here definitely throw bigger calves.

It can be frustrating when looking for smaller calving bulls. “I’d like a bull for my heifers” (to me this would be a 70-80 lb calf max) All the replies I get are like “here’s my great Angus heifer bull. He throws 90-110”

Get bent. I don’t know who decided 90 lbers are small :ROFLMAO:
Sounds like you need a shot of the Angus bull I use on my heifers.my other Angus bulls on the other hand do throw the odd monster.:eek:
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
my uncle asked me to find a 'traditional' AA bull, which l did, but wouldn't buy it, until he had a look, l knew exactly what he would say, bulls not big enough, to serve my dairy hfrs. That is an example of how the breed has altered, he had had trouble calving, with an AA bull, and remembered what he used to use. leant him my trad hfrd bull, which he kept !
Xbred bulls, can basically chuck out anything, especially if cow is xbred as well. big hard calvings are no good to anybody, they can end up, costing a lot of money. Any reputable breeder, should be able to sort out a bull, for you to use, or know somebody that can, stress reputable.
 

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