Introducing continental crossbred cows (Limousin and Simmental crosses) to Cow Heart Shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater create three-dimensional crossbred cows is helping to improve the lactation capacity of heifers at a beef farm in Scotland.
Cow Heart Shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater
Furthermore, the calves are growing at 0.8 kg per day, mostly grass-fed, comparable to the offspring on the continent.
About 20 years ago, the rancher, David Nicol, the farm manager, David Nicol, bought a crossbreed cow and used it for his Limousin and Simmental crosses.
The three-dimensional crossbred cows were said to be easier to milk and to lay, so when his daughter Pamela Nicol took over the farm 14 years ago, they decided to start breeding Cows by themselves.
The farm consisted of 120 cows – 20 of which were purebred beef cattle and the rest for trade – a closed herd that only bought bulls.
Each year about 12 surrogates are kept – four of which are triathletes.
Alternative calves are selected based on ease of delivery, plenty of milk and ability to produce a firm, easy-to-feed calf.
100 commercial cows – a mixture of Limousin and Simmental (continental) and Limousin and Simmental (three-way)
cows 20 cows of the shortened cow line for bull production for use in herds and sale
Cows add docility to a herd of
1,000 black-faced Scottish ewes
Farms from 820ft to 1,200ft
Use EBV and configuration when selecting bulls
Currently, about 30% of the herd is made up of three breeds such as Limousin, Simmental and Beef Shorthorn, only cows are crossbred with Shorthorn cows because they are easy to breed and milk.
“We have had some problems with continental heifers not producing enough milk and even having to destroy some because the cost is too high because we have to use replacement milk.
“Beef Shorthorn is milky white, so that has eliminated that problem,” explains Ms. Nicol.
This year, however, Nicol is using the Shorthorn Bull in part of the herd with a plan to eventually have a three-dimensional crossbreeding for at least half of the herd.
Pamela Nicol with Pamela Nicol Dwarfs
She said: “We would love to continue to reduce costs and Beef Shorthorn is hard and can be raised only on forage.
“It will be interesting to see how the Calves, in addition to the crossbred cows, will perform.
“If they continue to be shaped, easy to meat and grow as fast as animal feed, then we could be able to turn 100% of the Cow Heart Shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater herd to be triathletes.”
Raising their own bulls not only saves them £ 6,000-8,000 a year, but also means they are reducing their risk of buying diseases.
“The commercial bulls are getting more expensive and we will buy a commercial bull most of the year to use it for the cows.
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“Instead, we can use bulls from our herd of Bulls, and we know exactly what they have been treated for, as well as their breeding performance.”
The Shorthorn, Limousin and Simmental crossbreeds are suitable for hill farming because they are medium-sized cows weighing around 650-700kg.
They are also sturdy and lower maintenance than the Cow Heart Shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater continents.
Cows and heifers eat grass on the mainland until January when they are locked up and fed silage until they leave the barn in May (depending on weather).
Cows and gilts are farrowed in March and April with almost all triplets laying on their own and 75% calving within the Cow Heart Shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater first nine weeks.
Cows can wean a calf about 50% of its body weight.
Crossbred cows were bred at 12 months of age, weighing about 450 kg, until 24 months of age. They are keeping about 98% of their calves.
Ms. Nicol is choosing bulls based on estimated livestock production (EBV) and shape. She wants an average bull of all traits, so they don’t have any extreme points.