Only recently did I decide to add this page to our website, but, if you are considering buying registered Braunvieh cattle, I suggest this may be the most important page you will read.
I have done so, because it is my OPINION there is much confusion out there about what a “seedstock breeder” is, AND perhaps more importantly, what sets registered cattle apart. I want to share my thoughts with you on the subject, and if you are serious about building a herd of quality cattle (and I believe you are or you would not be here in the first place), I think there are some information that follows is worth considering. I am sure this will be controversial and make some breeders mad. Let me say again….it is my opinion and there is (from my point of view) plenty of room for disagreement and we can still be friends! So, I applaud the fact you are taking the time to read this…and here I go….
First on Registered Cattle. My opinion is registered cattle are worth more than non registered. The why, is documentation of genetics via pedigree, AND predictability of outcome due to documented performance data. That data includes annual calving results, and the recording of performance data such as birth and wean weights. In the cattle business, both historical and phenotype outcomes often repeat themselves genetically. The ability to see that is valuable to an industry that operates on narrow margins. Remember, a cow or bull is a 8 to 14 year investment, so one expects that the increased cost of a registered animal is offset by the ability to predict the outcome. In English…if you know the cow your are buying has never been open and has weaned a heavy calf every year, she is worth more than one you buy from the sale or your neighbors buddy, that you have no idea about. So a breed as massive as Angus with the amount of data they have are able to provide a EPD number with an accuracy of 80% or more, for different catagories (birth, wean, etc). Even if you don’t understand them, you can use them to compare one animal to another. Smaller breeds such as ours don’t have the data to build dependable EPD’s, BUT, you can look at the animals personal production history. In the case of a herdbull, you can research how many herds he has been used in, how many calves he has sired, and what average BW or wean weight. WOW! Here’s the confusion….. I have only recently learned that it is possible in some breeds, (Braunvieh) to register an animal without providing either birth or weaning weights. The animal has the genetic documentation, but no performance. I would suggest that animal is of lesser value than one that has the performance data. I am aware that many of my fellow breeders disagree with me….that is fine, that is their opinion and I respect it, just don’t agree with it!
WHAT IS A SEEDSTOCK BREEDER? Basically a breeder in the business of providing replacement genetics for both registered and commercial breeders. I believe a seedstock producer, ipso facto, has a higher standard of production in the quality of their animals. That includes several areas that I believe any serious seedstock breeder should take extremely seriously. While quality shows in the animal, there is MUCH that goes into the background of the animal that does not show up in the genetics (but should show up in the price). While my “quality statement” above may sound OBVIOUS, I have seen many that do not communicate that in their breeding nor selling practices. Here are a few of the things we do that set us apart.
So here are some things that we think we do that carry alot of value:
We weigh every calf, dead or alive. We turn in wean weights for every calf, whether it is registered or just performance data only. EVERY CALF, EVERY YEAR! We think it is important, and we believe our customer does (or at least should) too!
We vaccinate 30 to 60 days before weaning and again at weaning. Every calf gets a modified live vaccine, 2 doses of an 8 way, two doses of Pasturella, and a dose of multimin. Each calf is weighed at birth and again at weaning with Tru test scales, dehorned if necessary, and freeze branded. At vaccination, we pull hair for DNA and test the majority for: color, horned/polled, and Leptin gene. Additionally, THE SIRE OF EVERY CALF IS PROVEN BY DNA!…we don’t just say “that is the breeding”, we PROVE it! Hey, bulls jump fences!
We performance test all but a very few of all the bulls that we sell. We document their ADG, RFI (efficiency) and ultrasound for Ribeye, Marbling and Back Fat. The data helps us find the very best to put back into the herd, and it gives our buyer very important feedback and takes the guesswork out of buying a bull!
BVD is a disease that cost’s producers lots of money…few even realize it, they just lose embryos in their cows, and produce “poor doers”. Many times, they are BVD PI cattle. We have tested every cow for BVD-PI and all are negative. We will not sell you a carrier..