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 Post subject: balancer bulls
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:11 pm 
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Has anyone ever used a balancer bull in their operation?
I am just now starting to look at them and was wondering if they might be a good cross with some angus some charollais and a few gelbvieh cows?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:42 pm 
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Vance, BEEF is a Balancer fan...I think they would work fine; your color pattern may get a little varied.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 6:08 pm 
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Vance,

Where do you live?

How big is your cowherd?

Do you have a source of Balancer bulls near you?

Why are you considering Balancer bulls?

What do you expect to get from using Balancers?

Do you save replacement heifers or buy them?

Do you retain ownership of your calves?

At what weight do you sell your calves?

What is your current mature wt of your cows and what do you want it to be?

Do you have any carcass data?

Some of these question may not apply depending on how you market your calves.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 7:33 pm 
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Name: Matt Henley
Town: Mount Gilead, NC
BEEF:
i dont know much about Balancers other than composition. if you are a Balancer proponent, please educate me on why people should consider using Balancers (bulls and cows).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:47 pm 
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Balancer is the registered trademarked name for a Gelbvieh x Angus (red or black) hybrid. It must be registered with the American Gelbvieh Association. A Balancer can be 25-75% Angus (red or black) and 25-75% Gelbvieh. 3/4 of the pedigree must be documented and only 1/8th can be completely unknown.

Some will argue that forcing producers to register cattle only fills the coffers at the breed assoc. The truth is that breed assoc live and die according to the number of registration dollars they can get. So while some breed assoc are struggling, AAA probably has more money than they really know what to do with. If you support your breed assoc, you will need to register calves. If you don't care if they live or die, then simply don't register them. In a couple of cases, you can only get EPDs on registered cattle.

If a seedstock producer sells you a GV x AN without registration papers, they are selling you a hybrid but it cannot be legally called a Balancer. Many feel the days of selling undocumented hybrids will soon come to an end as enough documented genetics are produced.

Balancers can show more phenotypic consistency over using diverse biological types of Angus and Gelbvieh. The result of using hybrids can simplify management by reducing the number of breeding groups and having fewer groups in the grazing system.

Using Balancers on crossbred cows provides both maternal hybrid vigor and paternal hybrid vigor. While the amount of hybrid vigor will be less than that found in the F1, very acceptable levels of hybrid vigor can be captured which should result in more calves per cow exposed and greater lifetime productivity.

It is easier to capture hybrid vigor and breed complimentarity with Angus x Continental hybrids, especially in small herds, compared to using the purebreds, if reducing variation is important to you.

Aero,
The trend of the Continental Breed Assoc of promoting and creating hybrids as well as the use of Multi-breed evaluation is the reason AAA is interested in an MBE of their own. As stated before by an AAA staff member, "everybody is on the bus....the question is who is going to drive"?

Sorry this has gotten so long.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:07 pm 
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Name: Matt Henley
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that answered a few of my questions... and created some new ones.

since many people complain about the milk levels of Angus and Gelbviehs are (on average) considerably higher in milk production than Angus, will this be a problem with Balancers.

i never figured out why the AAA didnt do the MBE.

i keep playing with cross breeding schemes and i think i have read the answer before, but cant exactly remember.
if you have a Balancer bull with Balancer cows, do you get any sequential generation hybrid vigor?
    example: 50/50 Balancer bull X 50/50 Balancer cows for the 1st generation. will you get hybrid vigor in the 3rd generation?
other than more consistent offspring, are there any other traits of the breed? is it a breed or a cross or a composite?

what are the expected carcass traits?

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 Post subject: balancer bulls
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 10:54 pm 
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BEEF,
I live in tn, I have about 33 cows,I have used a angus bull for the past few years and have kept some heifers from him.
I do not want to go just straight angus,so I fugured the balancer may be a good cross?? no balancer breeders are real close to me. probaly about 2 hrs away, a UT experiment station in crosville has some balancer bulls in their sale in the spring.thanks for you comments


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 Post subject: balancer bulls
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:17 pm 
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BEEF..to answer some more of you questions.
why am I using a bal bull ? to have more hybyrd vigor.
do you save replacement heifers? yes
what weight do you sale? 650 to 750
current mature weight of cows? 1000 to 1300
do you have any carcass data? no


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:57 am 
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Vance, since you live in nearby TN, I might as well plug an unregistered Balancer Bull I have selling March 4...black, polled, very thick, 5 frame, excellent teats/udders on dam...75% Angus, 25% Gelbvieh


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:16 am 
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Yes, there is hybrid vigor in the following generations as long as some unrelated pedigrees are used.

I know milk is an issue and is why MBE is important to determine the level in the hybrids. I personally don't think this is a big issue if you do some homework when you buy the bull. The concern can be poor udders and I would demand the dams of the bulls had a good udder. Most Balancer breeders are pretty critical of udder quality and use GV and AN inputs that reflect this concern.

I think your small herd is ideal for the use of hybrid bulls.

Contact the American Gelbvieh Association or go to their website and search for breeders in your area. There may be a good one real close. 303-465-2333

As far as carcass traits, GV will contribute retail product while AN will be better in marbling. One of the reasons for the word "Balancer" is that the two breeds create a balance of these two traits. While single trait selection is usually considered a disaster, the use of hybrids is about balancing many traits and simplifying the breeding (and grazing) program.

Let's say your straight Angus would go 80% CH and higher with about 40% YG 1s and 2s. Adding 25% GV to your calves (by using a 50:50 Balancer on the cows) will result in about 70% CH and higher and 50% YG 1s and 2s. You will also reduce the number of YG 4s, if that is an issue. This is a broad generalization and indicates using the average Balancer, not specifically looking for one that has been created by using above average GV and AN for carcass traits. Many of the Balancers being produced are the use of GV cows with the "best" AN bulls. Usually these AN bulls are ranked pretty high for grid value.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:38 am 
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Beef,

Just talking in generalizations: Does a 10% increase in yield grade and a 10% drop in quality grade put money in your pocket? Is YG worth more than QG on grids, or are you just saying it's a trade-off and you'll get your extra money because you'll have more pounds to sell from the heterosis?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 7:33 pm 
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As you know, profitability is more complicated than just getting more Choice or more whatever. As you alluded to, by having leaner cattle and adding Continental genetics, this usually allow feeders to take the cattle to heavier weights. (Although the only breed that MARC says has reduced mature cow size in 30 years is GV.)

In your case of selling feeder calves, I think the real benefit comes from selling more weight and that the calves should have a nice balance of Angus and Continental genetics.

I think that the premiums for having better quality grades has always been higher than having better yield grades. We may see less difference as the supply increases and packers are able to pick and choose which cattle they want to a greater degree. However, with a $13/cwt ch-se spread, I would rather have some 75% Angus steers to feed vs. high percent Continentals.

The better Yield Grades could give more money in a producers pocket IF they have a lot of YG 4s and 5s. If YG discounts are not a problem, then you are (hopefully) looking at more weight to sell.

I would certainly encourage you to buy hybrid bulls. I think your case is perfect for their use.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:36 pm 
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We use predominately Balancer bulls at home on mom's cows in MT.

Still have a few pure Gelbvieh bulls. Here is a picture of a Gelbvieh bull we used on heifers for several years.



Image

He topped out at 1850-1875 pounds. FS 4.5-4.75.

Bought him for terminal use on heifers. Calves to be born same time as cows' calves, rather than before, to shorten season. Worked great.

Dave K.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:42 pm 
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Name: Matt Henley
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Dave:
is it just me or is his tail about 6 inches in front of where it should be?

maybe i am just not used to seeing a full, round quarter. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:57 pm 
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You are correct.

He wasn't perfect, that is for sure. We bought him for terminal use, realizing that obvious flaw.

I discouraged his use for female selection for the reason you mentioned.

His did pass it on to his progeny pretty regularly.

Yes, Aero, he does have a quarter on him. I like them thick, if you didn't notice :D .

Notice the smooth hair on his rear end, but the curl to it on the front end?

Dave K.


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