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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:53 am 
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As threatened elsewhere in another thread ;-) I have started this one to put up a bit of an outline about what Greg Rhodes is doing with his Linebred Erica Project and how he is going about it. Now I know best placed to do that but he won't go anywhere near a keyboard. Now that he has moved to Flinders Island I get hand-written letters and a phone call every now and then to tell me I'm wrong ;-)

I haven't told him I am starting this thread (it is easier to seek forgiveness than permission) but when I do, I'll tell him that he can write the responses to any questions or queries you may have.

"Why run this discussion thread when you have a perfectly good website for your propaganda?" I don't hear you ask, but will answer anyway :-)

The Linebred Erica Project is Greg's vehicle for recreating the type of Angus cattle developed by Hugh Watson. He is doing this by eliminating what he calls the 'Aberdeen-types' more typified by William M'Combie's breeding.

In doing this, he is working with a select line of cattle - a sub-set of what is commonly known as "Australian Lowline" - and applying a three pronged approach based on based on their genotype, their phenotype (including performance) and visual confirmation of their conformation, or something like that - he'll tell me if I have gotten it wrong ;-)

The cattle he is working with descend from about 24 animals (12 cows & 12 bulls) brought into the New South Wales Department of Agriculture's Experimental farm at Trangie, NSW over a 36 year period. Of these 24, he is trying to eliminate or minimise the impact of 16 of these cattle (6 cows and 10 bulls).

I have asked Greg to provide some photos/images of the cattle he is working with to give you an idea of the 'product' he is developing, and I will post them here when they arrive.

The cattle Greg is developing have a close affinity with the Wye Angus in as much as Gaird of Dalmeny, the maternal grand-sire of Fabron of Wye, was by Erison of Harviestoun - a bull that was one of the cattle imported by the aforementioned NSW Dept. of Agriculture (Trangie).

My intent is to copy this off and email it to Greg's brother who can pass it on to him, as her is far better placed to answer any comments or questions you may have.

Kind regards

Jack Russell @ 4AM
Gotta love insomnia ;-)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 7:26 pm 
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Ozraptor wrote:
In doing this, he is working with a select line of cattle - a sub-set of what is commonly known as "Australian Lowline" - ...

The cattle he is working with descend from about 24 animals (12 cows & 12 bulls) brought into the New South Wales Department of Agriculture's Experimental farm at Trangie, NSW over a 36 year period. Of these 24, he is trying to eliminate or minimise the impact of 16 of these cattle (6 cows and 10 bulls).

...
The cattle Greg is developing have a close affinity with the Wye Angus in as much as Gaird of Dalmeny, the maternal grand-sire of Fabron of Wye, was by Erison of Harviestoun - a bull that was one of the cattle imported by the aforementioned NSW Dept. of Agriculture (Trangie).

My intent is to copy this off and email it to Greg's brother who can pass it on to him, as her is far better placed to answer any comments or questions you may have.

Kind regards

Jack Russell @ 4AM
Gotta love insomnia ;-)


Let me see if I have this clear. He is producing low lines from the Fabron of Wye's grandsire?

How small are these low lines?

Are all of them descendants of Gaird? Interesting that he was apparently known for his small offspring when Wye was breeding for very large animals of their time period.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:19 am 
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Name: Matt Henley
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the only thing i dont understand is a real world reason to raise Lowlines. as far as i can tell, they are the same as the Alpaca, Emu, etc game. where people buy them to have them. if they dont serve the beef market why are they considered beef animals by some?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:08 am 
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I'm not a lowline breeder (as you can see from my highline cows! 8) ); however, I think that they do it because some people like different.

They find something that is cute, or different, and they decide that breeding it is unique. So they create pets.

I was very bothered by the teacup poodles (they are 1.5 pounds on average from what I know). They are often sickly, nervous, and nearly impossible to breed without heroic efforts. Why would anyone want to breed them? I think people just like different. Mine are different, and that make them better. I can't compete with the real reason to have a dog (and I guess I'm prejudiced from working dogs) so I will breed the best of the unique.

The rest of us can't appreciate that because we believe functional is valuable. They don't. They believe unique is valuable.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:33 am 
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Actually I have talked to some folks that have some pretty good explanations for low lines and Dexters...One of the best is for taxes...Some states (Texas is one) have much lower tax rates on agricultural land in production- than that sitting idle, used for recreation, or being held for speculation...And in some states they require so much usage- or so many animals per the area to qualify-- so these smaller cattle give them the numbers....Also some I talked to find them handier for home slaughter- as they don't have as much carcass for freezer usage- and the meat cuts better fit their situations....

My sister in Texas has some of the old line smaller framed herefords- and she says the tax officials come out every so often to check and make sure they are actually using the land...She calls them the cow turd counters...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:46 pm 
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Of course! That makes total sense, Old Timer.

The government wants us to use inefficient means to get them to accept us as compliant. Why would I think that the government would do anything else?

I wonder now if the government is planning on doing this with all cattle and that's why the suggestion of the 'cattle tax" idea.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:52 pm 
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Jack,

Looking forward to pictures and any more info you can post here.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:51 am 
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Don't know how my "Erica" family relates to this family but this is the line that I am breeding intensely on at this time. I have a heifer that is a fifth generation Erica from our place who will calve to her sire this Spring...sire (by E161) is also from the grand dam (6807 X EXT) of the heifer. I am hoping for a sound bull calf who will take over as the sire of the next Erica layer to build upon from the sire side.

This family excels in fertility...number one, has outstanding udder quality and are terrific mothers. I have never had a calf from this family ratio below 100... and, even after all the discussion here, I do not assess this as being a fault. I appreciate their conformation greatly...they are very sound...nicely balanced and good footed. They are frame 5 cattle with a lot of guts to them. I am guessing that my almost 5 year old bull is in the 18-1900 range and the females from this family mature to the 13-1400 pound range.They can be faulted a bit on disposition but we have been able to make progress through selection, in this regard.

My only regret is that I did not think of doing this many years ago. Some of you will raise your eyebrows at my genetic choices-especially going to E161. However, year after year when I walked through the WCC pasture and looked at their calves the prepotency of E161 was obvious-and I liked it. I liked the cross on my 6807 X EXT cow and that is what I am choosing to include in my efforts to propagate and solidify a sounds set of genetic beings.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:04 am 
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As for Lowlines, I am going to breed my regular Angus heifers the first time to a Lowline bull, probably Doc Holliday. I visited Cross Creek Farms in IN this fall and saw some of the best "little" cows that were 1/2 Lowline, 1/2 Angus. They weighed about 900 lbs, but had raised calves nearly equal to full size cattle. Calves weaned about 500 lbs. I believe there is a market for these type of cattle even if it is for hobbyists/small landowners. Doc is a 48 lb BW, should be extreme calving ease on the heifers. I have been reading Greg Judy, his holistic buddy Ian Mitchell-Innes reports on a purely scientific basis that 880 lbs is the ideal size for cows............
Appalch


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:20 am 
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What is the source for your inefficiency conclusion?

Foxx wrote:
Of course! That makes total sense, Old Timer.

The government wants us to use inefficient means to get them to accept us as compliant. Why would I think that the government would do anything else?

I wonder now if the government is planning on doing this with all cattle and that's why the suggestion of the 'cattle tax" idea.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:59 am 
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I used a combination of things reading their websites. From my understanding, 38" is not going to fit the box. And where I come from, 38" is not going to be able to outrun the cougar but make a great meal for him. They don't come into heat until later in life, and I'm betting that they also don't breed every year as a general rule.

It seems to me that they also would not be mature enough to kill and eat at 14 months, so how much longer must they be raised? I'm betting quite a while longer. I don't see the point of a 70% size in ribeye (as they lowliners claim).

I am sure that they are cute, but I'm not sure that cute is what most cattlemen in my area would want. So that means they have a limited market.

Also, there is probably far less choices for semen. I am inclined to like choices.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:54 am 
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When I was showing 1450 pound Chianina cross steers the angus folks were yelling they don't fit the box. Remember the Elephant ads. Remember what Angus looked like then?

I really see nothing about efficiency in your argument, but then if you rank sires like 323 in the top 5, I guess you can say you just don't like them and all is well.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:20 am 
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angus2 wrote:
When I was showing 1450 pound Chianina cross steers the angus folks were yelling they don't fit the box. Remember the Elephant ads. Remember what Angus looked like then?

I really see nothing about efficiency in your argument, but then if you rank sires like 323 in the top 5, I guess you can say you just don't like them and all is well.


What is efficiency? For what segment of the industry? How can it be truly measured? Can cattle be balanced to efficiently work for all segments of the industry?

Angus, the convenience breed.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:14 pm 
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Quote:
Can cattle be balanced to efficiently work for all segments of the industry
?

no


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:18 pm 
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mikek wrote:
Quote:
Can cattle be balanced to efficiently work for all segments of the industry
?

no


Mike, sometimes you are too verbose. excellent.


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