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 Title Page
 Summary
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Beef breeds of cattle
 Comparative experiment with grade...
 Small size largely due to insufficient...
 Young beef most profitable






Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Stations ; No. 110
Title: Native and grade cattle-breeding
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027215/00001
 Material Information
Title: Native and grade cattle-breeding
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: p. <59>-72 : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Scott, John M ( John Marcus )
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1912
 Subjects
Subject: Cattle -- Breeding -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by John M. Scott.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027215
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000921864
oclc - 18160425
notis - AEN2332

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 61
    Summary
        Page 62
    Table of Contents
        Page 62
    Introduction
        Page 63
    Beef breeds of cattle
        Page 64
    Comparative experiment with grade steers
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Small size largely due to insufficient feeding
        Page 69
    Young beef most profitable
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
Full Text

BULLETIN 110


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Agricultural Experiment Station





NATIVE AND GRADE CATTLE-BREEDING
BY

JOHN M. SCOTT


Fig. 32-Herd of native cows, and native bull.


The Station bulletins will be sent free upon application to the Experiment
Station, Gainesville, Florida.


E. O. Painter Printing Co., DeLand. Fla.


JUNE, 19t2






















SUMMARY

x. Native cows were bred to Hereford, Shorthorn, and native bulls.
2. At birth and at weaning the weight of the three lots of calves did not
differ much.
3. In dressed weight the two natives, at two and a half years old, made an
equally good showing with the grades.
4. The native cattle can be much increased in weight by good winter
feeding.
5. It would have paid better to have sold these calves at weaning, than to
have kept and fed them.



CONTENTS
PAGE
Introduction ........................................................... 63
Beef Breeds of Cattle ............... ...... ..................... 64
Comparative Experiment with Grade Steers ........................... 64
Small Size Largely Due to Insufficient Feeding ....................... 69
Young Beef Most Profitable .......................... ................. 70






















SUMMARY

x. Native cows were bred to Hereford, Shorthorn, and native bulls.
2. At birth and at weaning the weight of the three lots of calves did not
differ much.
3. In dressed weight the two natives, at two and a half years old, made an
equally good showing with the grades.
4. The native cattle can be much increased in weight by good winter
feeding.
5. It would have paid better to have sold these calves at weaning, than to
have kept and fed them.



CONTENTS
PAGE
Introduction ........................................................... 63
Beef Breeds of Cattle ............... ...... ..................... 64
Comparative Experiment with Grade Steers ........................... 64
Small Size Largely Due to Insufficient Feeding ....................... 69
Young Beef Most Profitable .......................... ................. 70









NATIVE AND GRADE CATTLE-BREEDING
BY
JOHN M. SCOTT


INTRODUCTION

At the present time there are about eight hundred thousand
head of cattle in Florida. Perhaps 95 per cent. of these are the
native Florida cattle, which no doubt are mostly descended from
the old Spanish stock, with little or no improvement. It is stated,
however, that many cattle were shipped into Florida from North
Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. This influx of
cattle from states farther north took place from 1840 to 1850, and
perhaps before then. At that time the cattle must have been similar
to our native cattle, as four- to six-year-old steers weighed from
350 to 500 pounds.
What were probably the first efforts toward improvement of
the native cattle took place about 1845. About this time Mr. Mc-
Kinnon of Walton County imported direct from Scotland a large
Shorthorn bull. This bull did good service for a number of years.
The improvement over the native cattle was noticeable. The size
of the grade cattle was larger, the four-year-old steers weighing
from 450 to 750 pounds. But little was done toward improvement
after this time, except to use grade bulls resulting from the use
of the pure-bred Shorthorn bull. The improvement brought about
by the use of this one bull made an impression on the cattle in that
part of the state which was evident for a number of years after
the old bull was dead. Had the good work started by Mr. McKin-
non been continued, Florida would to-day have as good a grade
of beef cattle as any other state in the Union.
At the present time, Florida is more of a live-stock statt
than many suppose. The following figures taken from the Elev-
enth Biennial Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture show
how the cattle industry of the state compares with other industries.
Value
Cattle (exclusive of cows kept for milk) -------------- $ 6,511,981
Dairy cows and Dairy products --------------- ----- 3,917,787
Poultry and Poultry products----------------------------- $ 2,413,940
Field crops --------- ----- ---------------------- $14,612,840
Vegetable and Garden products ------------------------ $ 6,825,912
Fruit products--------------------------- $ 5,905,727
(No value is given for the fruit trees.)





64 FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

BEEF BREEDS OF CATTLE
From experimental work and observations, there seems to be
but little to choose between the standard beef breeds (including
Shorthorn, Hereford, Aberdeen-Angus and Galloway). The
choice would be very largely a matter of personal fancy. We
would, however, discourage as much as possible the use of dairy
breeds, such as Jerseys and Guernseys, in a beef herd. We find
that a certain number of stockmen in the state are using grade
Jerseys and grade Guernsey bulls in their beef herds. The use of
such bulls in a beef herd will not make the desired improvement.
The Jersey and Guernsey as breeds lack both the size and conforma-
tion desirable in the beef animal.
Good size in the beef animal is desired for the following reason.
One animal weighing 1200 pounds on foot will not require as much
feed for growth and maintenance as will two animals weighing 600
pounds each. Therefore, more pounds of beef will be produced
from the same amount of feed when fed to a large animal, making
the larger breeds of cattle more economical for beef production.

COMPARATIVE EXPERIMENT WITH GRADE STEERS
At the Experiment Station farm, during the spring of 19o8,
fifteen native cows were selected. These fifteen cows were
separated into three lots of five cows. The lots were arranged to
be as nearly equal in size and quality of the animals as possible.










Fig. 33.-Bulls used in the experiment. Shorthorn on right, native in center,
and Hereford on left.

The cows in Lot I were bred to a Hereford bull; those in Lot II
were bred to a Shorthorn bull; and the cows in Lot III were bred
to a native Florida bull.. Fig. 33 shows these three bulls. From
these fifteen cows, twelve calves were produced. (One cow failed
to breed; a second cow was found to be in calf when the experiment





64 FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

BEEF BREEDS OF CATTLE
From experimental work and observations, there seems to be
but little to choose between the standard beef breeds (including
Shorthorn, Hereford, Aberdeen-Angus and Galloway). The
choice would be very largely a matter of personal fancy. We
would, however, discourage as much as possible the use of dairy
breeds, such as Jerseys and Guernseys, in a beef herd. We find
that a certain number of stockmen in the state are using grade
Jerseys and grade Guernsey bulls in their beef herds. The use of
such bulls in a beef herd will not make the desired improvement.
The Jersey and Guernsey as breeds lack both the size and conforma-
tion desirable in the beef animal.
Good size in the beef animal is desired for the following reason.
One animal weighing 1200 pounds on foot will not require as much
feed for growth and maintenance as will two animals weighing 600
pounds each. Therefore, more pounds of beef will be produced
from the same amount of feed when fed to a large animal, making
the larger breeds of cattle more economical for beef production.

COMPARATIVE EXPERIMENT WITH GRADE STEERS
At the Experiment Station farm, during the spring of 19o8,
fifteen native cows were selected. These fifteen cows were
separated into three lots of five cows. The lots were arranged to
be as nearly equal in size and quality of the animals as possible.










Fig. 33.-Bulls used in the experiment. Shorthorn on right, native in center,
and Hereford on left.

The cows in Lot I were bred to a Hereford bull; those in Lot II
were bred to a Shorthorn bull; and the cows in Lot III were bred
to a native Florida bull.. Fig. 33 shows these three bulls. From
these fifteen cows, twelve calves were produced. (One cow failed
to breed; a second cow was found to be in calf when the experiment






BULLETIN 110


started and was discarded; while a third cow met with an accident
and aborted.) Each lot of cows and bull was kept in a separate
pen until every cow was known to be in calf.


Fig. 34-Native cow bred
to Hereford bull.


Fig. 35.-Native cow bred Fig. 36.-Native cow
to Shorthorn bull. bred to native bull.


The following table gives the date of breeding each cow, and
the date when each calf was dropped.

TABLE XII

Cow No. Date when cows were bred Date when calves were dropped

Cows Bred to Hereford Bull
1 April 18, 1908------------ January 6, 1909
2 April 24, 1908 -------- January 10, 1909
3 April 28, 1908 -------January 31, 1909
4 June 10, 1908 ------- March 20, 1909
5 August 23, 1908------ June 2, 1909
Cows Bred to Shorthorn Bull
6 May 5, 1908 --------- February 16, 1909
7 July 10, 1908--------- April 26, 1909
8 July 2, 1908--------- April 12, 1909
9 July 18, 1908------------- April 7, 1909


Cows Bred to Native Bull


10 May 18, 1908--------- February 24, 1909
11 June 24, 1908----------- Aborted January 18, 1909
12 July 14, 1908------------- April 18, 1909
13 July 20, 1908-------------. April 28, 1909
The cows were all kept on the same range until the calves were
weaned. Under these conditions all calves had the same chance
so far as range conditions were concerned. After the calves were
weaned, observations were continued on only two calves from
each lot of cows. After weaning time the calves were all kept on the
same pasture in summer, while during the winter season they were
given the range of a velvet-bean and Japanese-cane field. So that
each calf was given as nearly equal a chance as was possible. Figs.
34, 35 and 36 show three of the native cows (Nos. I, 4 and 5 of
Table XII). Figs. 37, 38 and 39 are the calves of these three cows
respectively (Nos. 5, 7 and 12 of Table XIII).





66 FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION -


W
GRADE HE
Time of
Weighing 7


Ai Birth --- ---52 52
At Weaning Time- 265 340
Oct. 28, 1909
At One Year Old-- 442 368
May 1, 1910_- -. 410 442
June 1, 1910--.. 442 475
July 1, 1910---- 486 510
Aug. 1, 1910----- 505 530
Sept. 1, 1910----- 500 525
Oct. 1, 1910 ---- 505 545
.Nov. 1, 1910---- 495 535
Dec. 1, 1910----- 490 535
Jan. 1, 1911 ---- 460 515
Feb. 1, 1911 ---- 462 542
Mar. 1, 1911 ---- 482 560
April 1, 1911 ---- 507 580
May 1, 1911 --- 5 535 625
June 1, 1911 ---- 540 630
July 1, 1911 ---- 595 635
Aug. 1, 1911----- 640 695
Sept. 1, 1911----- 715 730
Oct. 1, 1911---- 680 710
Nov. 1, 1911 ---- 697 727
Dec. 1, 1911 66 660 672
*Average of five calves.
tAverage or four calves.
$Average of three calves.


TABLE XIII
EIGHTS OF CALVES
REFORMS GRADE SHORTHORNS NATIVE
U I U

z'V z z 4 Z 41
1> 0* 0 t> 0 0 S


*47.9
*352

405
426
458
498
517
512
525
515
512
487
502
521
543
580
585
615
667
722
695
712
666


$48.6
$305

447
477
502
537
545
556
557
557
555
532
549
579
610
641
635
670
695
776
722
747
716


Table XIII shows that at birth the grade Herefords averaged
47.9 pounds; the grade Shorthorns, 56 pounds; and the natvies,
48.6 pounds. At weaning time, October 28, 1909, when the calves
were about seven and a half months old, the grade Herefords av-
eraged 35.1.6 pounds; the grade Shorthorns, 342.5 pounds; and the
natives, 305 pounds. Thus there is only a slight difference in
weight at birth and weaning time. This difference in weight is
not more than one would expect to find in weighing up three differ-
ent selections of young cattle, taken from the same range.
The weights when the animals were one year old were quite
uniform. The grade Herefords averaged 405 pounds; and the
grade Shorthorns and natives averaged exactly the same, 447.5
pounds. For the first year the Herefords made an average daily
gain of 0.97 pounds; the Shorthorns, an average daily gain of
1.07 pounds; and the natives an average daily gain of I.o9 pounds.
Thus there is only a slight difference in the average daily gain of
the three lots.





BULLETIN 110


The weights at one year of age were not great for good yearling
steers. But when we compare these weights with that of the aver-
age native cattle, we find that at one year these animals were about
twice as heavy as the av-
erage native steers of the
same age. In a slaughter
test, conducted four years
ago, ten native three-
year-old steers averaged
only 516 pounds per head.
If the calves in the -
foregoing experiment had
been turned out on the
open range to hustle for
themselves, they would Fig. 37.-Grade Steer: native by Hereford.
doubtless on March I,
i9io, have been from 25
to 50 per cent. lighter
than when weaned on Oc-
tober 28, 1909. This
heavy loss in weight
would be due to the fact
that during the winter
season the pastures are
very poor, and if forage
of some kind is not sup-
plied (which is not done
by the majority of stock-
Fig. 38.-Grade Steer: native by Shorthorn. raisers), the animals are

almost starved. Under
these adverse conditions
our native cattle never
grow and develop as they
should, or as they would
if supplied liberally with
forage during the season
when the pastures do not
afford sufficient grazing.
Although this experi-
ment shows that the na-
tive cattle made as good Fig 39.-Native Steer: calf No. 5 of Table
gains from birth until XIII.






58 FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

two and a half years of age as did the grade Hereford and grade
Shorthorn, it does not indicate that the native cattle are more
profitable than grades. There is no doubt, however, that by the
proper selection, and the supplying of an abundance of good for-
age during the winter season, we can increase the size of our na-
tive stock as much as 30 or 40 per cent.
On December 2, 1911, the six animals were put in a small
yard and fed for ninety days on a ration of shelled corn, cottonseed
meal and Japanese cane. Table XIV gives the daily ration fed,
also the total feed consumed by the six animals during the ninety
days while on feed. At the beginning of the feeding test they were
started on a light ration, and the feed was gradually increased,
until at the end of the fifth week they were eating the full ration.
Table XV gives the weights at the beginning of the feeding test,
the weights at thirty-day intervals, the total gain and the average
daily gain per head.

TABLE XIV
DAILY RATION
Corn ------------------------------------------ 8 pounds
Cottonseed meal -------------_------- ----------- 4.6 pounds
Japanese-cane forage ----------------------------------- 21.6 pounds
TOTAL FEED CONSUMED
Corn ----- -------------------------___------- 3935 pounds
Cottonseed meal ----------------------------- 2253 pounds
Japanese-cane forage ----------------------------------11502 pounds
TABLE XV
WEIGHT AND GAINS





0 m 0

December 2, 1911. Beginning of
feeding test --------- 660 672 667 710 713 719
Jan. 1, 1912. End of 30 days- 710 723 717 769 772 785
Jan. 31, 1912. End of 60 days- 722 757 766 827 846 813
March 1, 1912. End of 90 days 773 784 831 886 856 893
Total gain in 90 days ---- 113 112 164 176 147 174
Average daily gain ---- 1.26 1.24 1.82 1.96 1.63 1.93

Table XVI shows the live weight at the time of slaughtering,
the dressed weight and the percentage of dressed weight.
The live weights were taken just a few minutes before slaught-
ering. The dressed weights were taken immediately after slaught-






BULLETIN 110


ering. (The dressed weight is the weight of carcass with the head
and feet taken off and liver and heart taken out, but kidneys not
removed.)
Fig. 40 shows these six animals just before slaughtering.


Fig. 40.-The six animals of Table XIII. Grade Shorthorns on right; grade
Herefords on left; and natives in center.

TABLE XVI
LIVE AND DRESSED WEIGHTS
Live Dressed Percentage
weight weight dressed
Pounds Pounds weight
Grade Hereford, No. 1-----------i 800 398.5 49.81
Grade Hereford, (heifer) No. 2--- 780 408 52.30
Grade Shorthorn, No. 3 ------- 800 408.5 51.00
Grade Shorthorn, No. 4---------- 830 440.5 53.00
Native, No. 5-------------------- 850 458 53.88
Native, No. 6--.------ ----- 830 436.5 52.59


SMALL SIZE LARGELY DUE TO
FEEDING


INSUFFICIENT


It is the opinion of some that the small size of our native cattle
is due to our climatic conditions. This opinion, however, is not
well founded. For large breeds of cattle live in the tropics, as in
India.
Another opinion is that the small size is a character of our
native cattle. Breeding no doubt has its influence, but we find that
even when thorough-bred animals are reared under the same condi-
tions as our native cattle they, too, are small. We must therefore
look for some other reason than that of climate or lack of care in
breeding for the small size of our native stock. In-breeding, and
breeding at a young age, both of which are sure to occur on the
open range, may have some influence in reducing size. But the
reduced size will be found to be due largely to the lack of nutritious
forage during the winter season.





FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION


In a slaughter test of twenty head of native cattle, the average
dressed weight was found to be 280.6 pounds. These animals were
three years old and over. They were about mature, as far as size
.s concerned. These cattle were slaughtered during the latter part
of September, and their light weight was not due to lack of flesh,
as the animals were in good condition. The lack of size was due
to the animals not having been supplied with sufficient nutritious
feed to keep them in a healthy growing condition from the time
they were weaned until they were ready for the market.
As already mentioned, at the Experiment Station farm, during
the spring of 1908, a number of native cows were bred to a native
bull. The calves from these cows were dropped during the spring
of 1909. At weaning time (October 28, 1909) these calves av-
eraged 305 pounds per head. At one year of age they averaged
447.5 pounds. This is almost as heavy as many of our range
cattle are at three years of age. On October I, 1911, when
these calves were about two and a half years of age, they averaged
722.5 pounds per head. They were given no better care and feed
than the average farmer could readily supply. The summer pas-
cure was similar to the ordinary pine-wood pasture. During the
winters they were given the run of a velvet-bean and Japanese-
cane field. This supply of winter forage kept the animals in a
growing condition, so that they did not become stunted.
This shows that the small size of our native cattle is not due to
heredity, but largely to the lack of feed. We do not mean that the
animals must be kept fat enough for market at all times, but we do
mean that they should be kept in a healthy growing condition..
When an animal becomes so emaciated that it can hardly get up
when it lies down, it is certainly not in a healthy condition. Neither
is it in a condition to grow and develop, but rather all development
will be stopped. When the development of a young animal is once
stopped or checked, the animal will never make the growth that it
would otherwise have done.
It is now the time of year when we should give some thought
to growing supplies of feed for our cattle during the coming winter.
An abundance of good forage can be had by planting such crops
as sorghum, German millet and, later in the season, cowpeas and
sweet potatoes.
YOUNG BEEF MOST PROFITABLE
Almost every stockman has to consider at what age he should
sell his cattle so as to obtain the largest profit from the investment.
This is a question that should. receive due attention. The results





BULLETIN 110


of the experiment given in this bulletin would show that, in this
case, the greatest profit would be obtained by selling the calves at
weaning time.
The calves were born from January 6 to June 2, 1909. Three
of them were born in January, two in February, one in March,
five in April and one in June. This variation in age covered about
the entire breeding season as practised by Florida stockmen. Had
the calves all come in January or February, one might form the
erroneous opinion that only the calves that come in January or
February could be put on the market at a young age. The fact of
the matter is that the calves dropped in April made nearly as good
gains, and were nearly as heavy at weaning time, as were the Janu-
ary calves.
The birth-'weights of these calves varied from 41.5 to 61 pounds,
with an average of 50.8 pounds per head. The birth-weight does
not seem to have much to do with the growth of the individual up
to weaning time. Some of those that weighed the least at birth
were among the heaviest at weaning time. The figures seem to
show that the birth-weights of the calves dropped in January are
less than those dropped in April. However, before we can make
any definite statement regarding this, it would be necessary to
gather like data on a large number of animals.
From birth until weaning time the cows and calves were all
given the same care; that is, they were all kept on the same range,
so that all calves had the same chance so far as range conditions
were concerned. The calves were all weaned on October 28, 1909.
At this time the oldest calf in the lot was not the heaviest. But,
as would be expected, the youngest calf in the lot was the smallest.
The heaviest calf at weaning time was born on January 31. Its
birth-weight was 51 pounds, and at weaning time it weighed 398
pounds. The youngest calf was five months old when weaned, its
birth-weight was 52 pounds, and at weaning time it weighed 265
pounds. The average weight of the twelve head at weaning time
was 338 pounds.
The average age at weaning time was about seven and one-half
months. The market value of these calves at weaning time was
$3.75 per hundred. At this time the heaviest calf weighed 398
pounds, which, at $3.75 per hundred, gives it a value of $14.92.
At weaning time the smallest calf weighed 265 pounds, and at $3.75
per hundred, was worth $9.94. Since they averaged 338 pounds
per head, a price of $3.75 per hundred gives them an average value
of $12.66 per head. From $Io to $14 per head may well be consid-





72 FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

ered a good price for calves at weaning time. There have been
several thousand head of two- and three-year-old steers sold in
Florida in the past few years at from $o1 to $14 per head. These
same animals, had they been given reasonable attention, could have
been sold at weaning time for the same price, and the net profit
per head would have been a great deal more.
The profits derived by selling calves at weaning time are much
greater than by keeping them until two or three years of age. The
calf up to this time eats but little grass, as it depends largely upon
the milk of its mother for nourishment. The cost of keeping the
cow is the same whether the calf is ;old at weaning time or kept
until three years of age. When sold at weaning time, the cost of
keeping the calf through the winter is eliminated. The winter
season is the critical period for the calf. It is also the season of
the year when the cost of keeping the animal is largest. Another
point that must be considered is that when the crop of calves is
sold at weaning time a much larger number of breeding cows can be
kept on the same range than it is possible to do when the beef herd
is not sold until two or three years of age. This is an important
consideration, since the overstocking of the range is a serious mis-
take in the production of live stock.




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