Jeff O, here are my thoughts on your cattle situation. With free advice, you get what you pay for, so don't worry too much if your ideas don't coincide with mine.
You mention that your cowherd has plenty of variety, but is predominantly Angus X, Hereford X, and Limousin X. It would be easy to take this bunch of cows, breed them straight Angus for a few years, keep the good black and black white-faced uniform looking heifers for replacements, and in no time you would have a nice uniform cowherd of predominantly Angus looking females. What could be wrong with that? The steer mates to these heifers would also be uniform and very saleable.
My experience with Gelbvieh-Angus cross cows is that a quarter Gelbvieh makes a nice cow, 3/8 isn't bad, and half Gelbvieh is too much of a good thing as far as a commercial brood cow is concerned. The F1s get too big, big birthweights can come into play, and they have a tendency of giving too much milk so bad bags can become a problem. As far as using Braunvieh instead of Gelbvieh, personally I don't like the dairy look and creamy color of that breed. I know they perform well in feedlots, but I don't care for the big eared look and color inconsistency of the crosses.
Angus are easy cattle to ranch with. The calves have ambition and vigor at birth, calving problems are usually minimal, and the offspring have uniformity and saleability. Breed everything Angus, and you don't have to keep track of F1 and terminal crosses. Another distinct advantage is the fact that Angus have no horns, and that problem will be bred out of your herd. By going the way you are talking, with several breeds and crosses involved, it gets hard to come up with replacements, and there is a lot of color and variety in your herd. It becomes difficult to come up with load lots of any group of cattle.
These are just my thoughts. My philosophy is to try to operate as easily as I can and still raise the best cattle possible. Not liking individual chores, my goal is to run the most numbers of cattle with the least amount of individual attention per head.
Last edited by Soapweed
on Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.