Oh...that Blue bull......

Discussion in 'Livestock & Forage' started by GenuineRisk, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. AGN76

    AGN76 Member

    north Wales
    There must be more Newpole bulls in 'dairy' Ai studs, where calving ease is king than any other prefix, so it can't all be bad!
  2. liammogs

    liammogs Member

    Wether they carry out all c sections or none how is it your business if anyones, unfortunalty this day and age ET is becoming more popular than ever with big money invested on genetics so at the end of the day a live calf is paramount.....how many times have you thought i can pul this calf only needs a little pull.....you ge to the hips and its locked jammed etc......cows down for a week and calf is dead!! Now imagine that but on a oedigree scale where a calf is worth a lot more than a comercial calf? Where a VET can perform a routine operation csection.....live calf, live recipient/or cow? I know what id rather!!

    Well done on the op sticking there neck on the line id say!! They obviously must be doing somthing right bulls in AI companies etc
    Lovegoodstock likes this.
  3. PaulNix

    PaulNix Member

    Who on here thinks it is ok? unless I read it wrong even the ones you got such a hard on for don't think it is as they said that % was a bad year and abnormal for them.

    Good on them for saying what there % is as well in the bad year as it is none of our business and could of easily just mentioned the normal years C sections.
  4. Very few farmers run pedigree blues.

    I don’t see any issue with it. Where is the welfare problem? cows aren’t stressed, set up is A1 so reduces risk of infection and better chance of live healthy calf. They are at top of the pyramid if they have few extra c sections but dairy cows as a whole have easier calvings with a better valued calf at the end of it what’s the issue?

    Anyway, the general public is getting to be too posh to push, they probably think cows should have the same choices. I don’t think it is a massive negative for agriculture
    bob_01 likes this.
  5. unlacedgecko

    unlacedgecko Member

    The illusion of security brought about by the apparent anonymity of the internet has a lot to answer for...
    glensman, S J H, neilo and 3 others like this.
  6. M-J-G

    M-J-G Member

    Sunny Scotland
    It sure has.

    It fools a lot of people into thinking that they are immune from consequences.
    glensman and CharcoalWally like this.
  7. GenuineRisk

    GenuineRisk Member

    Let me clear something up here. Our pedigree cows have over an 85% natural calving success rate. Not every single one does, I am not going to lie about it and the very mild winter of 16/17 saw our cows out til January, which was absolutely unheard of and they had access to the harvested fodder beet fields! We got it wrong, there were too many fit cows calving in and so our rate went up.. I was honest enough to admit that..Stupid!. Our fault, they’d calved easily before and they’ve done so again this spring.

    Yes, we do sections in recips more commonly but not every time, we’ve had a 70% natural calving rate this year from recips - we always, always try and get them out the back. Why tf wouldn’t we?!? However, as I have said previously, ad nauseum, there is no welfare issue here for sections as our recips are too valuable to risk and, even if they weren’t, their treatment would be no different. We know what we’re doing, our vets know what they’re doing, we have a calm, organised routine and individual attention and housing post calving for mum and calf always. We don’t economise on drugs at any point and each is individually assessed as to their post section regime. No different from how human females are treated, as I know from my own experience!

    XXX whatever his name is - I did know it as I know several people who know him - could easily come up to us at shows, have it out with us or report us to the RSPCA if he thinks there’s a welfare issue here - good luck with that one! He obviously doesn’t understand Livestock farming at all because he just can’t grasp the fact we are not breeding commercials but pedigrees - it’s a whole different ball game! Just because a bull calf is born via a section from a recip will not automatically make him a cow killer! However, even assuming he could grasp that fact, if he and his friends feel so strongly about the issues here, report us to the British Blue Cattle Society as well. As I have also said before, we use recips that would otherwise, by the time they have had their first calf here, be on the hook by now had they been sold through the ring. Our recips will have two and it’s quite usual for the second to come out the back, btw. They are not potential suckler cow quality at all, or not that would make decent money in any store ring We use mainly LimxJersians these days, friendly sorts who happily come up and lick you mostly, they live alongside the peds and so pick up their calm attitude to life! I purchased a good amount of female sexed Saler straws earlier this year, which we’re using on our recips now, who have had two calves for us, as being high health, I want to breed our own recips and Salers are the obvious choice, as we’ve used them previously with great success. Such a programme takes time, though.and doesn’t make for a good breeder bashing story either....

    But, even more relevant, is the fact that, for some reason I haven’t got a clue about, this internet tirade is obviously personal. There are several other pedigree Blue herds in the SW (and other breeds, come to that) who would do more sections than we do, yet they don’t get referred to or clearly identified, so why us? I didn’t start this, remember, it was GUTH who did so. I apologise for the repetitive nature of this post but to make allegations about the welfare of our cattle crosses a line.

    We’ll be at Mid Devon Show, pre movement tests permitting, which is GUTH’s local, so please do come and see us - and anyone else who has a problem with us, come to that. Those that don’t - hospitality is always available and early mornings we have bacon butties on the go !

    Oh, and our vets are Mount Veterinary in Wellington (senior partner in charge is Alistair Caygill) if anyone wants to take it up with them. I’m sure they’ll be interested to know there are welfare issues here that they are directly responsible for .....
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2018
    Angus77, glensman, Jerry and 10 others like this.
  8. 6290

    6290 Member

    North Wales
    Exactly, but probably thousands of them use Newpole genetics in there herds. I think @GenuineRisk and co. have invested heavily to get to where they have got and are right at the top of the game now, and rightly so. So what if they have a higher number of c sections than the average farmer, they are not average farmers. They are producing top quality bulls that are used on a lot of dairy cows to produce a salable, and more importantly, profitable calf. If you asked the general public there opinion on cows having c sections or dairy farmers going back to using dairy bulls and then shooting every bull calf born because it is worthless, I doubt one of them would have an issue with cows having c sections.
    I think the real issue here is that the op of this thread is doing really well at what they are doing and the one doing all the blue bashing is incredibly jealous of the fact.


    I agree, though the number of c sections doesn't appear in the cross bred off spring apparently. Having said that the welfare of the pure breds needs to be considered as well, so it's certainly a dilemma that needs to be debated properly......my vet is beltex breeder ( yes I know, back to sheep!) and we were standing over a pen at the auction looking some ped beltex (his actually!) Bow legged, short necked, snorting and snotting at the nose and I asked a leading question if that should be of concern to a buyer. He said no, that's just the way They're bred. I said I thought it was a disgrace that anyone should breed an animal like that (whilst pretending I Didn't know they were his!.. though implying, especially as a vet!) He said "well......that's just what the buyer wants...!!!!". Too be fair that was about ten years ago, I think things are certainly improving now and that seems to be the case with the BB cattle as well. Ultimately breeders breed the animals they are asked for, it just might take a while for buyers to figure out what they want and the sellers to respond, though again compromises will always have to be made. The debate is where to make that compromise.
  10. neilo

    neilo Member

    I’m almost tempted to come down. Should I bring some popcorn?:D

    (I suspect he’ll have something on that day though)
    Jerry and GenuineRisk like this.
  11. JP1

    JP1 Moderator


    Debated properly from all sides please. "More light, less heat"

    No naming of folks on here either, no matter what the provocation elsewhere.
  12. JP1

    JP1 Moderator

    Speaking personally, I look at a bull's locomotion and the breeds ability to calve naturally as paramount. I don't think it's fair that non-farming buyers downgrade native breeds that achieve this over ones that need high levels of assistance or c-section intervention and it's an open goal to the NGO lobbies that will inevitably affect all of us
    Cowgirl likes this.
  13. GenuineRisk

    GenuineRisk Member

    But you’re comparing apples with pears and I’d also ask just how many pure native cattle breeders do so on a commercial scale to make a living? There are plenty doing it either as part of their income pot or as a hobby and there’s inherently nothing wrong with that but it’s a different scale. Same applies to anyone breeding two or three pedigree anythings per year - I find it difficult to understand how you can make generalisations about a breed when you’re experience of it is so limited.

    Phil also runs a dairy herd, I can assure you that c-sections are just unheard of over there and he runs, being totally honest, the cast off blues from here! Having the Blues, after having run everything from Hereford to Lim bulls, has literally kept the wolf from their doors during times of negative milk prices. He doesn’t run white or white blue bulls either any more, because he can’t afford them Frequently, he’ll take up stirks or stores, all black or black and white and drovers at Sedgemoor just say ‘nice to seek you’re bringing decent suckler breds up, Phil’ . So while it’s a pretty picture visualising everything being a native crossbred, all pasture fed and with minimal input from the livestock keeper, it just isn’t practical, especially when you consider the geographical impact in certain parts of the UK. Weather and land prices, sheer numbers of the human population, all are huge factors on the practicality of everyone going native breeds. I do believe eventually, the general population will wake up to the fact that we don’t pay enough for our food but it’s not coming anytime soon. So do I consider I should subsidise those of you who want higher prices for your chosen farming practice ? Quite frankly, no, I don’t - while the product we are producing is reliable, healthy and can give the average dairy farmer a better return on their calf, stirk or stores, encouraging all the while the use of sexed dairy semen on their heifers for replacements and removing the, to me, heartbreaking practice of shooting a live, healthy dairy bull calf, then both me and Phil know we’re on the right track.

    No commercial suckler should need strong intervention calving btw but what yourˆre omitting from your comments @JP1, is fact that easy, stress free calving is down to cow management in the main, not the choice of bull!

    We simply cannot meet the demand for white bulls right now and we do have to use embryo transfer to achieve fulfilling just some of our orders. This is a commercial outfit!

    I’ll tell you what bugs me about native breeds is that most of them were pretty grateful to introduce same coloured continentals when it suited them, because genetically they were in a deep hole and realised it was useless to keep digging! I also don’t get the desire to produce a beast with a certain coat pattern either - they’re all red when they’re dead, you know! Having bred dogs to a pretty high level and also horses commercially, one thing I’ve learned along the way is breeding for one particular characteristic, especially colour pattern or shade, is the road to perdition for a breed viz trying to breed for s pale silver colour in my own canine breed, Weimaraners, has led to overly fine bone, allergies and god knows what else. We certainly don’t breed just white Blues, again, that is too restrictive genetically and I could see eventually If you went down that route, health issues also occurring. Weirdly, it’s now really only the SW that are totally insistent on white Blues for dairy.

    One of the biggest ares of improvement in the Blue is that of locomotion - they were quite rightly pilloried for bad mobility back in the day. That is not so much the case now - anyone coming to Three Counties, we have two senior bulls there - the infamous Lomu and Lorenzo, a very different type of bull. Lorenzo was one half of the Burke Trophy winning pair at Devon County, judged by a gentleman who has always held the same view, that Blues have suffered from poor mobility and never been a fan but he was happy to say in his critique how good their mobility was and it was the clinching reason for them winning. Improving any breed characteristic takes generations, many, many wrong turns, a few risky decisions and a passion for that breed. We are ruthlessly culling non profitable pedigree females - one section should it occur is always forgiven because that’s us getting the bull choice wrong or it was mal presented etc etc, two isn’t and they go. I can’t speak for anyone else’s livestock breeding practices and wouldn’t want to. We all have our own consciences after all.
    TALDLONKTUP2 likes this.
  14. GenuineRisk

    GenuineRisk Member


    Sure you can’t ? Not even for a legendary bacon sarnie as well as popcorn ?
  15. juke

    juke Member

    the demand for white blues must be whats helping sell so many easy calving Charolais at the moment perhaps..
  16. unlacedgecko

    unlacedgecko Member

    I like bacon and looking at cattle. You may well see me there...
    GenuineRisk likes this.
  17. JP1

    JP1 Moderator

    A long reply but not exactly summarising what I was saying

    So to be clear. I worry that "zippergate" will affect the market for all beef. Pedigree, commercial, native, continental.

    Second. Just like supermarkets want to supply strawberries or lamb year round, it's seasonal and requires finish or additional inputs. If extreme conformation types are regarded as mainstream, things that take longer to finish at grass and will never match the same conformation will be disadvantaged.

    Your point about coat colour is neither relevant to the subject in hand with this thread.

    I'm pleased we agree about locomotion.
  18. M-J-G

    M-J-G Member

    Sunny Scotland
    I'd guess you'll be safe enough. :)
    GenuineRisk, neilo and unlacedgecko like this.
  19. The Ruminant

    The Ruminant Member

    My view is that if you’ve ever bought a BB-cross animal or have used BB semen then you’re a supporter of the breed and haven’t got any right to criticise it.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    unlacedgecko likes this.
  20. M-J-G

    M-J-G Member

    Sunny Scotland
    Yes and no.
    Yes, to buy semen etc. is in theory supporting a breed.
    However, I don't think using a breed means that you can't criticise it, if anything you are probably in a better place to offer comments, as you have results from within your system to base your opinion on.
    Treg, czechmate, dogjon and 1 other person like this.

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