Thursday, July 7, 2016

Southern Excellence Bull Development Group Bull Sale

 Save the Date
Southern Excellence Bull Development Group Bull Sale

November 19, 2016
Whelan Farms
15418 AL Hwy 77
Wadley, AL 36276

On behalf of the Southern Excellence Bull Development Group we would like to invite you to save the date for our 4th annual Southern Excellence Simmental, SimAngus and Angus bull sale on November 19th.  You read that right this year the sale will offer purebred Angus genetics.  

Ronnie and Debbie Gilmore
Gizmo Angus Farm
Ronnie and I are excited to be a part of this elite sale.  We delivered five stout young bulls to Rick Whelan on June 30th.  Rick and his wife Lisa work very hard to insure the health and welfare of these animals.

The focus of the Southern Excellence is to DEVELOP bulls that are in optimum condition to be released into your herd and go straight to work.  All will have passed a breeding soundness exam and will have complete ultrasound data collected.  All bulls will sell with a 100% guarantee.

The sale management will be in the hands of Ruble Cattle Services.  Jeremie Ruble personally viewed each calf that will be included in this program.  Every effort is made to insure each bull delivered will have excellent EPD's as well as excellent structure.

The five calves representing Gizmo Angus genetics in this years sale will be:

Gizmo CC7 C2 324 327 Reg# 18472511 - This young bull is out of a first calf heifer that we purchased at the Southeast Classic from Bannister Farms in 2015.  She is everything we had hoped for.  She bred back AI the first time through the chute.  C2 had a actual birth weight of 74 pounds and an adjusted weaning weight of 623 pounds and a weaning ratio of 111.
SAV Pioneer 7301 sire of C17

Gizmo Pioneer C17 1120 7301 Reg# 18472508 We have been very pleased with the Pioneer calves, the daughters are making superior cows and the bulls are stout.  This calf had a actual birth weight of 74 pounds with an adjusted weaning weight of 680 pounds and a weaning ratio of 108.
Coleman Donna 6143
Flush Sister to the sire of C21

Gizmo EXT C21 0524 6149 Reg# 18490328 -This ET calf is out of a mating we are pretty excited about.  The Coleman EXT bull just didn't have any holes in him, his progeny are deep with plenty of muscle and stand on excellent feet and legs, his daughters have picture perfect udders. the SAV Blackcap May cow is a powerhouse of a cow, she is thick, deep with a beautiful udder. We only got four eggs out of the flush but they all stuck so we were tickled.  In addition to the C21 calf we are sending one of flush brothers to the Florida Bull Test the other will be developed at our farm.  The one heifer will be bred in the fall, all four calves are like peas in a pod.  C21 had a actual birth weight of 80 pounds and an adjusted weaning weight of 616 pounds and a weaning ratio of 98.
SAV Blackcap may 6097 Grand Dam of C21

Gizmo Charlo C32 744P 0256 Reg# 18472520 - This bull was purchased as an embryo from the Coleman program in Montana.  This calf should make a heifer bull.  His sire Coleman Charlo is a meat wagon. C32 had a actual birth weight of 78 pounds and an adjusted weaning weight of 642 pounds and a weaning ratio of 102
Coleman Charlo 0256

Giz Rainmaker C41 7009 6169 - 18472528 -Another ET calf out of the Coleman program in Montana.  We have two bull calves out of this flush and both are stout little suckers.  We have retained C41's flush brother to use in our herd this coming year. C41 had a actual birth weight of 90 pounds with an adjusted weaning weight of 694 pounds and a weaning ratio of 111

We will be posting updates as the bulls develop.  For more information on this program check out Southeast Excellence on Facebook or Whelan Farms we hope to see you on sale day!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Foot Issues in the Angus Breed

If you Google foot issues in the Angus Breed, you’re not going to find much.  Following are the top three articles I found when I googled "Foot Issues in the Angus Breed".  The first is a newsletter published by VDAR or the Van Dyke family.  Seven years ago Ronnie and I had the pleasure of meeting both Lee and Keith Van Dyke and touring their farm.  You don't have to spend much time with either of them to know that they know their cattle.  When you walk through their cow herd you’re going to see structurally correct cattle that are deep with picture perfect udders.  When you read their newsletter you will see that they have been concerned about the foot issues in the Angus breed for several years.  

The second article I found on Google was the foot score brochure that has been developed by the American Angus Association.  I don't know when this was originally published but am glad to see that steps are being taken to address the issue.

The third article was considering structural integrity; this article was published back in 2010, so foot issues have been around for awhile.

I also did a search through yahoo and found solid footing an article printed in the Angus Journal in 2014.  This article talks about the steps being taken to develop a foot scoring EPD

The good news is that some folks are talking about foot issues, the bad news is at this point and time it is still just talk.  The Association is requesting breeders to turn in foot scores, but the question is how many breeders are actually doing it?  I confess we haven't turned in the first score; time seems to be the main issue. 

This year the foot issue really hit home for me, and here is why.  We had two first calf heifers that we had to send to the sale barn because of bad feet.  I am not talking about marginally bad I am talking about claw set 9 on the scoring sheet.  The really disappointing thing about these two cows is that we purchased both of them as embryos from a very well known breeder out west. Embryos are not cheap, not only do you have the cost of the embryo itself but you also have the cost of an embryologist to put the embryo in, in the case of these two first calf heifers we had raising them to breeding age, AI breeding then kaboom cull for feet!   Do we blame the breeder?  Should we blame the breeder?  Should a breeder be flushing a cow and selling embryos if the cow has bad feet?  Did the cow that produced these heifers have bad feet?  Did the bull?  The answer is I don't know.  I can tell you it has made me realize that I don't want to purchase anymore embryos at least not without seeing the cow and the bull.

If I feel this way about purchasing embryos, then I sure understand how commercial cattlemen would feel about bulls that came up unsound at 30 months old.  If we don't get a handle on this issue the commercial cattlemen are going to start looking at other breeds, and heck I can't blame them.  It is our responsibility as breeders to provide our customer with a product that works, cows find enough ways to hurt or kill themselves.  We sure don't need to give them another way through bad feet or structure to get culled.

An excerpt from the Consider Structural Integrity article explains what the Australian Angus Association is doing about this issue.

Scoring in Australia Attempting to aid cattle producers in genetic selection for structural integrity, Angus Australia has produced trial estimated breeding values (EBVs) for five foot and leg traits. The five traits include front feet claw set, front feet angle, rear feet angle, correctness of rear legs from a side view and correctness of rear legs from a rear view. Carel Teseling, Angus Australia’s breed development and information manager, says data from 9,000 animals representing 40 Angus herds were used to generate structure EBVs. Structure scores are accepted only for animals assessed by technicians accredited by the Performance Beef Breeders Association. Teseling emphasizes that the new EBVs have been produced as a trial only, but the information is available on the Angus Australia website. Posted structure EBVs have accuracies of 40% or greater. The assessment system uses a 1-to-9 scoring system for feetand-leg structure, with a 5 being ideal (see Figs. 1-4). Scores 4 and 6 show slight variations from ideal, but would include most animals and would be acceptable in any breeding program. Scores 3 and 7 represent greater variation, but would be acceptable in most commercial breeding programs, but seedstock producers should be wary. Scores 2 and 8 are low-scoring animals and should be looked at carefully before purchasing, according to the Australian scoring system. Scores 1 and 9 should not be catalogued and are considered culls.

Keep in mind the above was from an article in 2011 here we are the middle of 2016 and were still talking about it!  I sent an email to the Angus Association Board of Directors concerning foot issues in May.  Folks we need to put this issue on the forefront not on the back burner.  Ask yourself, what can I do to to help?

If you haven't done it already make 2016 the year you do foot scoring on your herd!  That is what we intend to do, we will never solve a problem if we aren't willing to take the first step needed to start solving it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall 2015

It has to be Fall, even if we didn't have a little nip in the air it would be hard to miss.  The Fall sale season has arrived!  I needed to eat some Wheaties just to drag the September Angus Journal out of the mail box.  I imagine the October issue will be the same, sale book after sale book.  I love going through the sale books seeing what direction other breeders are traveling genetically. 

Fall is also calving season for us at Gizmo Angus Farm.  Time to find out if those heifers we like so much are going to become the cows we want them to be.  Fall is also a time of great excitement and at times great disappointment.  There is nothing more exciting than finding your favorite heifer standing over her first calf and a cherry on top its a heifer!
Gizmo Eriskay 1336 2N1 972 Reg# 17844679
  But nothing sadder than finding one of your favorite old cows in trouble, you get her up check her and find a dead calf in her.  You go to work get the calf pulled doctor her up then watch her looking for that lost baby for several days.  It is just heart breaking.

Gizmo Beauty 0707 201 4132 lost her calf this year
Fall is the culmination of so much planning, bull selection, breeding then waiting nine months in anticipation of a live calf.  Watching the calves develop and hoping we have done all we can to insure they are healthy.  If we aren't busy enough keeping up with all the new babies.

 It is also time to get our winter pastures planted, plan for the next breeding season, freeze brand,  give herd health vaccination not to mention it is sale season!  We have 7 bulls consigned to the Alabama BCIA Fall Round Up Sale in Uniontown Alabama on Friday November 13th.  This means we have to get BSE's scheduled and add hauling bulls to the schedule.  With all we have to get done, it doesn't look like we are going to have much time to go to many of the sales being advertised, but we are sure going to try to get to a few.  We love attending sales when we get the opportunity, seeing old friends meeting new ones.