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Stabiliser Cattle

Last post Mon, Sep 20 2010 18:24 by Kol. 12 replies.
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  • Wed, Jul 28 2010 22:03

    • topdog
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    • Joined on Sat, Jul 24 2010
    • Lancaster

    Stabiliser Cattle

    Hi All,

    I run a hill farm with my Dad and on it we run 550 ewes and 60 suckler cows. In the suckler herd we used to run Angus cross cows until around 10 years ago when we decided to go for something a little bigger and hopefully with more shape so went for Lim x cows instead. It seems to have helped with the conformation of the calves (we run Charolais bulls) but we got a problem added which is the the cows seemingly not being as fertile as when we were on Angus x and the calving block is dropping back slowly from being a Feb/March calving herd to a March/April calving herd which isn't good as we lamb in April so are busy enough then as it is.

    We both read the article on stabiliser cows in the latest issue of FW and I was wondering if anyone had any experience of working with Stabilisers and what they are like in temperament, milk, ease of calving, and fertility?

    Thanks

    "There is no good flock without a good shepherd and no good shepherd without a good dog"
  • Tue, Aug 10 2010 22:15 In reply to

    • jabers
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    • Joined on Wed, Oct 15 2008

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    Hi topdog, i was in exactly the same position as you about 3 years ago, we also had angus x then moved onto limousin X cows. We used a variety of continental bulls including charolais, the calves were great the only problem was we weren't producing enough calves, either from loses through calving or from the poor fertility of the cows. I sold all my charolais bulls and invested in 5 stabiliser bulls and have also bought some bulling heifers, in the 3 years i have had them i have hardly lost a calf, the fertility of the herd has risen dramatically and i'm weaning far more calves than ever. Having been a little skeptical about the breed to begin with i am now a complete convert, they do everything they claim to do and more. The temperament is excellent, they are a very milky breed with excellent udders,the ease of calving is excellent which is partly due to the stabiliser selecting for low birth weight and the fertility is extremely high due to them maintaining 75% of Hybrid vigor. One of the biggest surprises is the performance of the male calves, the growth rates are equal or if not better than any continental!This isn't supposed to sound like a sales pitch but i've dramatically improved my herd output and the only thing i've done differently is switch breeds, and before anyone asks ,no i don't work for the stabiliser cattle company. If you want to discuss anything further i'm sure we can swap contact details somehow.
  • Thu, Aug 19 2010 17:04 In reply to

    • corky
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    • Joined on Mon, Sep 24 2007
    • Shropshire

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    Top dog,I also went into stabilisers three years ago, and they do exactly as it says on the tin!I also have more cattle to sell every year, keep more cows per acre all summer and use less silage during the winter, whilst having the cows in better condition. This spring I calved 62 cows(including 16 heifers) in six weeks having 63 live calves. I only had to pull one calf and that was during lambing and I wanted to get back to bed. I agree with all jabers has said above,now with Morrisons wanting to buy all the steer and heifer beef, we also have a guaranteed market . I find that fattening Bull calves easy to as they put on more cover Quicker than continental X bulls. Try some and see!!! Look on the Stabiliser web site for contact . Like jabers I am a commercial farmer not working for Stabiliser Cattle CO. Good luck. Corky
    trying to live on fresh air and good views
  • Fri, Aug 20 2010 15:21 In reply to

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    Was thinking of getting into a few myself - just to see if there are as good (calving & economical) as has being made out. What are to like to cross breed to say AI BB&Blonde & limo bulls (calving and growth/weights etc??) - these are the type of bulls I currently use on a mix of Sim/Limo , Limo/BB & Blonde/Limo cows. are are the better using pure lines on them?????

    Is there any differnece between stabilisers and salers??????

    What sort of weights are weanlings achieving at 10-12 months???

     any info would be great

    Thanks

  • Fri, Aug 20 2010 19:11 In reply to

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    keep her rev'ed:
    Is there any differnece between stabilisers and salers??????

     

    I've always wondered about that. I have hear'd rumours that both breeds (if they are different breeds) are pretty wild to handle, anyone care to comment ? I'm getting quite interested in them, I too wonder if they're as good as everyone say's ?

    http://www.holidaycambriancoast.co.uk/

  • Fri, Aug 20 2010 19:30 In reply to

    • jabers
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Oct 15 2008

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    Yes there is a great deal of difference between Stabilisers and Salers, the main one being the temperament. Stabilisers have been specifically bred for their docility, they are so quiet, almost to the extent they are a bit of a pain to push through a race or move out of a field, they definitely do it at there own pace, but its not a bad thing compared to the other extreme of of Limo's and Salers. To answer your question on weaning weights, i've recently weaned my autumn born calves and the bulls averaged 410kg off grass and the heifers 370kg off grass with no creep, they were all about 9 months old. The best of the spring born bulls did a lifetime gain of 1.8kg/day weighing 720 kg at 400 days which is surely as good as any continental! And as far as the cross breeding goes nearly everyone involved in stabilisers initially went into them to breed replacement heifers and then put a continental across them but they become so impressed with the male calves they don't bother to cross back to anything else!
  • Fri, Aug 20 2010 21:11 In reply to

    • rotary50
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    • Joined on Sun, Jul 12 2009
    • west wales

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    hi i'm a dairy farmer but if they are anything like them salers then stay away from them they are nuts used to help a guy tb test around 250 of them no gate was high enough to keep them in
  • Sun, Aug 22 2010 21:34 In reply to

    • topdog
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    • Joined on Sat, Jul 24 2010
    • Lancaster

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

     

    On the Saler issue, we kept a couple of them a few years ago after we bought them as calves with a cow and had heard they were quite good for sucklers. We started off calving them outside which was fine as the calves were up on their feet and suckled quickly (tagging was a quick job!) but then we moved the August calvers back to Feb calvers and only calved one once inside. When it calved the calf wouldnt suck and we ended up milking a different cow to tube it for a week. To tube it we had to take half a ring feeder in with us to hide behind from the cow. After a week we left it to the Gods to decide what happened and it did start sucking. The milking ability of them was poor as well but the calves were normally quite decent.

    Thanks for the respones on Stabilizers, they do sound like good Sucklers.

    "There is no good flock without a good shepherd and no good shepherd without a good dog"
  • Mon, Aug 23 2010 15:18 In reply to

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    Jabers

    Those are impressive weights off grass without creep. I was thinking of buying 10-20 heifers and using them to provide stabiliser replacement heifiers for the herd, while still using AI BB, Blonde, Limo and Ch/Sim to cross breed on the cows??? although with with your figures I might have to reconcider - and go purely stabiliser???. my weanlins bulls average approx 450kgs & heifers approx 400-420Kgs at roughly 9 1/2 - 10 months with 1kg of meal a day for 2 weeks prior to weaning. I'm lucky to have good quailty (young) grass ( I reseed some ground every year) - I think it's the secrect to good daily weight gains, plus not being too overly stocked helps too!!!

     I was thinking/ looking into stabilisers for a few reasons a) to increase docility into the herd - even though my continental cross breeds are relatively quite and easy to handle - but who doesn't need a easier life???????????

    b) to reduce costs i.e. vets, meal etc

    c) to increase milk supply to calves and get weight gain from milk rather than meal - although I don't use much at the moment plus I don't think young calves can develope much more then 450kgs for 10 months of age????

    jabers - what are the stabilisers like to milk ?????????? What do you think??????

         

  • Mon, Aug 23 2010 23:05 In reply to

    • jabers
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    • Joined on Wed, Oct 15 2008

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    As I've mentioned in an earlier post, i've been involved in stabiliser's for just over 3 years and have never had an issue with the milk. The udders on the cows are very neat and compact so the calf never has a problem finding the teat, some people would assume that this means she can't provide enough milk for their calf but this is obviously not true judging by the weight gained off grass. I think as long as the cow is providing optimum milk for her calf she will last a lot longer. My previous cows which were lim x holstein had far too much milk which lead to huge problems with big bags, huge teats and a large amount of mastitis! One of the biggest bonus's to the stabiliser breeding program is that it is the only breed that is totally recording all its breeding stock. This has many advantages in that it is possible to change the genetic direction of the breed in a certain way if desired, also very easy to select specific traits from a bull that would suit your herd, so if you need to put more milk into your heifers this can easily be achieved. I Hope this answered your question !
  • Sat, Sep 18 2010 8:17 In reply to

    • Kol
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    • Joined on Sun, Sep 12 2010

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    How do you go about finding a Stabiliser bull? I've looked on the internet, couldn't find a society. I found a company that appears to be the one that started the breed and they have a link for sales, but that just lists a very small number! Thanks
  • Mon, Sep 20 2010 16:26 In reply to

    • jabers
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Oct 15 2008

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    Hi Kol, i am also from shropshire and if you want to contact me you can send me a direct e-mail. Or if you contact the Stabiliser Cattle company and speak to Ursula Taylor 07790018637 she will put you in touch with the a breeder who has a bull in your area. All cattle are sold off farms so the purchaser can see all the cattle and the parents from  the bull they are buying, there is no stabiliser breed society just a breed company, this is done so only the very best can be sold for breding as oppossed to other breeds where as long as it is pedigree it is deemed fit for sale, this is not the case with stabiliser cattle! Hope this helps

  • Mon, Sep 20 2010 18:24 In reply to

    • Kol
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    • Joined on Sun, Sep 12 2010

    Re: Stabiliser Cattle

    Thanks jabers, interesting.
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