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We need to buy a couple of bulls this winter before our breeding season (June). We have all Angus-cross cows and have been using Angus bulls. I think we are getting pretty in-line angus and want to move in a different direction. I have been looking pretty hard at Simmental, Simmental composite, Gelbvieh, and Balancer bulls. Looking for feedback on success/horror stories.

We used to have a lot of Simmental influence in our herd and had trouble with rat tail calves.....we haven't had a rat tail for years. If I use a Simmi bull on our angus cross cows.....what is the probability of rat tails??

Thanks for the help.

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Brady
thanks for your reply, very interesting. i have been buying store cattle (9-12 months old) and putting them through my fattening yard and feeding to slaughter weights, now looking at starting a breeding herd using simmental cows to cross with lim or belgium blue bull, or thats the plan, the market over here is a bit strong at the moment with no signs of steadying so will start in a small way this summer, and hopefully breed into a bigger way
thanks again
Philip
I just bought 25 bred heifers and all the heifers are simmi angus. I have 4 that are bred to a charolais bull and i had to pull everyone of them. and its not that the heifers are to small because all of my heifers weigh over 1300 pounds and thats plenty big for most any calf. I have had 11 simmi calves and they are big boned and very nice looking, the thing i like the best is they get right up and start sucking. i have also had 7 angus calves and they are a little smaller but nice calves. the mothers are great milkers and i think they are raising some nice calves. if i was you i would go with a "meyer" semmental bull for your cows. meyer bulls have good birthweights and raise great calves. my boss has 8 meyer bulls and we have kept all the heifers out of them for cows. we have never had a rat tailed calf. The cows do take a little more feed but in return they produce a lot of milk and raise big calves. I bought a meyer bull to use on my heifers next year
We have raised Simmentals since their beginning and since returning to the ranch I have tried several crosses and haven't had any problems with rat tails. The biggest problem in crossbreeding common sense can overcome. Don't oversize your bull and watch your color combinations. I have been very impressed with the simmental and angus cross as well as a little but of maine added in. Weaning weights can be increased greatly. Good luck!
Thought this was an interesting discussion and felt I had to give my 2 cents! The way to avoid rat tails is to breed the same color ie..black to black or red to red. Black animals are always non-dilutors, so if you breed them to a black you will not get a grey. If you have some red cows, try a non-diluted red simmental. He will work on black and red cows. Also the comment about simmentals eating more or calving hard is a thing of the past, they are much more moderate, easy fleshing and easier calving than they have ever been. Alot of simmental bulls are used in my area because producers have a hard time finding something that will produce better steer calves or replacement heifers and the feedlots love the sim-influenced cattle. I say stick to simmentals!
Heres how I look at it. If you want milking ability, toss in a little simmental If you want the black hide,( it seems thats all that counts in a buyers eyes) toss in some angus, if you want tempermant toss in just a little hereford and if you want a total package go RED ANGUS
There is always probablity of it from Throwbacks, only thing you can do is try, I would not breed all of your cattle to a Simme. but just a few and see how you like it, but the syndrome is genetic so there is always a possiblity of it.

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