Stabiliser bull?

JSmith

Member
Livestock Farmer
Got the chance of a stabiliser bull to put on some simx heifers, I’ve not seen any in the flesh, what are people’s thoughts on them? I haven’t got to have him it’s just a thought so what’s your experience of them, good/bad? Heard they aren’t the best sellers? Suppose to be easy calvers
 

Hilly

Member
Got the chance of a stabiliser bull to put on some simx heifers, I’ve not seen any in the flesh, what are people’s thoughts on them? I haven’t got to have him it’s just a thought so what’s your experience of them, good/bad? Heard they aren’t the best sellers? Suppose to be easy calvers
How will you intend to sell the progeny ?
 

JSmith

Member
Livestock Farmer
Off the cow in the autumn, don’t finish anything ourselves, all cows an retained heifers winter outside
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I really like the stabiliser. They do as they claim ime, easy calving (I assist 2-3% on average ), fast growing, easy fleshing, medium sized cow. They are also generally pretty quiet - maybe not quite so as the blue x dairy cows I started with, but I dont recognise ploughman61's experience. Certainly been on various breeder's farms and cows are quiet to walk amongst. As are mine. No doubt there will be exceptions, as with any breed.

However, if you intend to sell through the sale ring, I would be hesitant to recommend. They're just not known enough. And they aren't flashy, showy types to catch attention. I know some buyers like them and will seek them out for their growth rate, but I'm always nervous to encourage anyone selling store to go the stabiliser route.
Using stabiliser to breed replacements is a different thing of course, and I'd say give some a go from that point of view.

What's the bull's breeding?
 

Agrivator

Member
Got the chance of a stabiliser bull to put on some simx heifers, I’ve not seen any in the flesh, what are people’s thoughts on them? I haven’t got to have him it’s just a thought so what’s your experience of them, good/bad? Heard they aren’t the best sellers? Suppose to be easy calvers

You might be very disappointed with the price/demand for Stabiliser cross weaned calves.

Why not just use a good Angus bull, and if possible keep the heifer calves for replacements. And then a Limousin on second and older calvers, by AI if you don't have the have the numbers to justify your own bull.
 

Old Spot

Member
Location
Glos
In my experience they are very easy calving, calves get up and suck quick.
i was carting muck yesterday next to calving paddock. Cow checked 5 mins before thought she might do something in 24hrs. Within 3 mins calved and another 2 calf licked off and sucking.
grow like weeds, but as said before not as flashy as others as stores
if the Euro grid gets changed and we go for taste and tenderness, and we want medium size dams and the animals must convert feed efficiently they are a good breed.
i have found my bulls to be absolute pussycats.
 

JSmith

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thanks for the replies, currently calving 120 Beef shorthorn cows to BSH bull, an either put first timers to a simx bull for easy calving or a lim! Had a very bad experience calving heifers to an Angus bull a few years ago and it totally put me off them which is a shame because I do like the off spring off that cross as my old man used to breed them an keep the slate grey heifers! Out of twenty five heifer put to the Angus had to assist over half of them which is totally out of character for the BSH which is why I ended up with a little simx bull an he has left lovely calves which are up an sucking in minutes an very saleable! I kept some heifers back because I liked the look of them just to see how they go an was gonna put the lim on them but that leaves an opening for another bull an the stabiliser was offered up when a friend went buying cattle privately! Thought I’d ask TFF as can’t remember seeing any in the flesh myself, glad I did because as we sell all the calves store through market in one go mainly to repeat customers don’t want to turn up with something unsaleable thrown on the end of the catalogue! Like the sound of the easy calving an get up an go of the calves mind but maybe I should just get another shorthorn as you get all that with them! Am I trying to fix something that isn’t broken
 

Bill dog

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
I ran stabilisers for a number of years and don’t now. They are easy to calf, with great get up and go. If you were a breeder finisher they would be fine for you. But you will get hammered selling them store. Also I found some ( too many for my liking) of the cows and hfrs to be nasty to the point of evil at calving . Find a genuine AA breeder ( there are some out there ;)), and get an easy calving bull. Much better all round !!(y)
 

digger64

Member
I ran stabilthat's about for a number of years and don’t now. They are easy to calf, with great get up and go. If you were a breeder finisher they would be fine for you. But you will get hammered selling them store. Also I found some ( too many for my liking) of the cows and hfrs to be nasty to the point of evil at calving . Find a genuine AA breeder ( there are some out there ;)), and get an easy calving bull. Much better all round !!(y)
Whatever did you do to them ? , they do kick out sometimes but thats about it , just tagged about 90 outside day old ,no gates etc (sheep leg crook ) ,pulled one backwards in the field no jack , suckled one , tubed one , 4 sets of twins and one dead twin (deformed ) don't go out at night , yes they don't top the market but we are growing them at 2.2 kgs a day , but I suppose can't have everything .
 

JSmith

Member
Livestock Farmer
I thought my question might start a debate! I suppose it what suits your system at the end of the day, if I wanted to be selling real flashy cattle I could be using Charolais, BB, Blonde etc but then you might encounter calving difficulties an such like which wouldn’t suit our out door system really, would rather have a little live calf that’s up an about without any hassle that goes on to grow into a decent saleable animal, don’t need to top the market just need live calves that appeal! Doesn’t sound like a stabiliser would suit the way we sell our cattle but can appreciate it’s other attributes
 

Bill dog

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
Whatever did you do to them ? , they do kick out sometimes but thats about it , just tagged about 90 outside day old ,no gates etc (sheep leg crook ) ,pulled one backwards in the field no jack , suckled one , tubed one , 4 sets of twins and one dead twin (deformed ) don't go out at night , yes they don't top the market but we are growing them at 2.2 kgs a day , but I suppose can't have everything .
The first mob of in calf hfrs I bought (20 ), were sparky. I put it down to moving farm , new location etc. My brother got a hammering from one of them when tagging its calf. It bellowed , and mammy went for him.
He was fecking lucky to not get seriously hurt.
Anyway they didn’t improve much temperament wise, and as I was getting butchered at the store sales, I changed back to Angus and Hereford. With much improved temperament, and store prices !
 

Old Spot

Member
Location
Glos
Interesting isn’t it? I am not trying to promote any particular breed and by the sound of it there is a wide variation within breeds(I also include cross breeds in this).
docility is top of my list, followed by calving ease, growth rate, PROFIT.
god help us if we all went for the same breed/type for a multitude of reasons
 

tinsheet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Somerset
Interesting isn’t it? I am not trying to promote any particular breed and by the sound of it there is a wide variation within breeds(I also include cross breeds in this).
docility is top of my list, followed by calving ease, growth rate, PROFIT.
god help us if we all went for the same breed/type for a multitude of reasons
To many pedigree breeders just interested in the show ring, in my experience. Hence variety within breeds.
 

digger64

Member
The first mob of in calf hfrs I bought (20 ), were Lim x xrky. I put it down to moving farm , new location etc. My brother got a hammering from one of them when tagging its calf. It bellowed , and mammy went for him.
He was fecking lucky to not get seriously hurt.
Anyway they didn’t improve much temperament wise, and as I was getting butchered at the store sales, I changed back to Angus and Hereford. With much improved temperament, and store prices !
When we 1st got them I had a 1st calver , 1st cross attack me at calving when spraying the navel and never calmed couldn't even go in the yard with her, she would come out of the bunch, had to be slaughtered , out of a lim x cow ,later had her mother killed too after weaning to as a consequence even though she never attacked me , but ever since no real issues that was 7 years ago .Except when I bought a small herd of AA as they came with some grass didn't really want them , they had been pampered , moved with a bag and where effectively running the show , they where dangerous at calving and made every handleing job hard and unpleasant , everything stressed them alot didn't get in calf after 24 months 10 out of 13 had been sold ! I think I still have 2 .But I have had other AA and they have been fine .
One thing I have learned is that 1 highly strung cow will wind up the whole herd and cause panic /aggression or defence behaviour
stress seems to be both inherited and contagious to me .
 

Ted M

Member
I really like the stabiliser. They do as they claim ime, easy calving (I assist 2-3% on average ), fast growing, easy fleshing, medium sized cow. They are also generally pretty quiet - maybe not quite so as the blue x dairy cows I started with, but I dont recognise ploughman61's experience. Certainly been on various breeder's farms and cows are quiet to walk amongst. As are mine. No doubt there will be exceptions, as with any breed.

However, if you intend to sell through the sale ring, I would be hesitant to recommend. They're just not known enough. And they aren't flashy, showy types to catch attention. I know some buyers like them and will seek them out for their growth rate, but I'm always nervous to encourage anyone selling store to go the stabiliser route.
Using stabiliser to breed replacements is a different thing of course, and I'd say give some a go from that point of view.

What's the bull's breeding?
I'd totally agree with you. We got into stabilisers 5 years ago and retained the heifers to build up numbers.
When we lost some rented land a couple of years ago it was the continental crosses we already had that went when we had to reduce numbers.
We've had a couple of bull's, both been fine but our current one is daft as a brush and I'd be sorry to ever see him go.
As for cow temperament we find if we do get the odd narky one it's always the lighter sandier coloured ones rather than the deep red coloured.
Generally though found them to be quiet and easy to handle.
We finish the bulls, last years are going now. Killing out so far at 56%, around 400kg dead and grading u minus.
I don't think from memory we've ever had to assist anything calving that has presented normally. Just a couple which were coming backwards.
 

Bob the beef

Member
Location
Scot Borders
Be very careful of the temperament. Next door neighbour bought 15 hfrs ready for bulling from a well known breeder, and 2 years later none of them are on the farm. 3 never even made it to the bull, remaining 12 were calved and sold as soon as he could get them near a trailer. Maddest animals I ve ever set eyes on.
 

LIVE - DEFRA SFI Janet Hughes “ask me anything” 19:00-20:00 20th September (Today)

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Hello, I’m Janet Hughes. I’m the Programme Director for the Future Farming and Countryside Programme in Defra – the programme that’s phasing out the Common Agricultural Policy and introducing new schemes and services for farmers.



Today (20 September) between 7pm-8pm, I and some of my colleagues will be answering your questions about our work including the Sustainable Farming Incentive, Farming in Protected Landscapes, and our test and trials.



We’ll try to answer at least 15 of your top voted questions, so please vote on the questions you’d most like me to answer.



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