Schuler bull customers deserve access to all the genetic tools— including heterosis and breed complementarity.
That's why we're in our third decade of balancing the calving ease, docility, and quality grade traits of our Red Angus with increased conversion, yield, and cowherd longevity available through Schuler Reds.
Red Angus was the first breed to build tools for cow/calf producers’ most impactful traits: Heifer Pregnancy Rate, Mature Cow Maintenance Energy Requirement, Calving Ease, and Stayability. Success in these traits translates to profit through increased weaning rates, decreased feed costs, and reduced replacement rates.
Red Angus’ commitment to data quality through mandatory total herd reporting (THR) fits the Schuler philosophy of large, equal-opportunity contemporary groups that must produce on the same native range as our commercial customers.
Convenience Traits are a Necessity.
Red Angus is a natural cornerstone for any crossbreeding program building cowherds with these standard features:
- Solid Red Non-Diluter--no gray calves when mated to black breeds.
- Polled and Pigmented—no dehorning, sunburned udders, or cancer eye
- Red hides--stay cooler than their black counterparts, which translates into more hours grazing and more consistent intake and gains with less mortality in the feedyard during summer months.
- Docile—we guarantee disposition on the bulls we sell.
Market Topping Carcass Value:
Red Angus’ reputation was built on feedlot performance and carcass merit. Over the last decade, Red Angus has chipped away at other Angus’ claims as the most desired feeder cattle. Recently a study of 3.3 million head of feeder calves which sold through 16 different video auctions between 2010 and 2015 showed Red Angus-sired calves enjoyed the following calf price advantage:
• $1.92/CWT over Black Angus Sired calves
• $3.30/CWT over other British or British x British hybrids
• $3.61/CWT over British x Continental hybrids
• $7.38 /CWT over Brahman and Brahman influenced calves
Schuler Red Composites
Schuler Red Composites have been bred and selected to be solid red, uniform in type, and no larger in mature size than our purebred Red Angus. We want to be able to harvest heterosis and breed complements while maintaining the convenience traits of Red Angus.
25 years ago, our foundation composite cows were a duplicate of the MARC II cattle developed at Clay Center, Nebraska, which was 1/2 British and 1/2 Continental breeding. Since, we have used select Simmental and Gelbvieh genetics, along with Red Angus, to create Schuler Reds 71, 62, 53 and 44 which range from 1/8 to 1/2 Continental to British genetics.
Schuler Red 44 53 62 71 Eighths (1/8) Red Angus 4 5 6 7 Eighths (1/8) Continental 4 3 2 1
Crossbreeding yields advantages in both heterosis and the blending of desirable traits from two or more breeds. Effects of direct heterosis (crossbred calf) improve calving rate, survivability, and weaning weight. However, the largest economic benefit comes from the crossbred cow. Maternal heterosis likewise positively impacts calving rate, survivability, and weaning weight, but also significantly improves her longevity. Research at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center, NE reports a crossbred cow will stay in the herd over a year longer and wean an additional calf over her lifetime compared to a straight bred cow. These cumulative effects of maternal heterosis will yield an additional 600 lbs. of weaning weight per cow over her lifetime.
The Value of Heterosis in Cow Herds: Lessons From the Past That Apply to Today
Dr. Matt Spangler, UNL from the Range Beef Cow Symposium
Can you afford not to crossbreed?
Just three generations of straight breeding will result in an 87% loss of hybrid vigor for reproduction and production traits. Economically relevant traits of conception, survival, and fitness are hit the hardest because they are lowly heritable and respond slowly to selection pressure.
Why use composite bulls?
Composite bulls are an easy way to implement a crossbreeding system without rotational breeding pastures. Furthermore, if your desired genetic package is higher percentage British than Continental, use of composite bulls will reduce the generation interval and maximize the population of the desired breed mix and can maintain it without using multiple pastures and breeds of bulls. Composite cattle typically have longer cow life spans, higher conception rates, improved yield grade, and fewer structural problems than straight bred cattle.
Individual Heterosis: Advantage of the Crossbred Calf1 Trait Observed Improvement % Heterosis Calving rate, % 3.2 4.4 Survival to weaning, % 7 7 Survival to weaning, % 1.4 1.9 Birth weight, lb. 1.7 2.4 Weaning weight, lb. 16.3 3.9 ADG, lb./d .08 2.6 Yearling weight, lb. 29.1 3.8 1Adapted from Cundiff and Gregory, 1999.* Maternal Heterosis: Advantage of the Crossbred Cow1 Trait Observed Improvement % Heterosis Calving rate, % 3.5 3.7 Survival to weaning, % .8 1.5 Birth weight, lb. 1.6 1.8 Weaning weight, lb. 18 3.9 Longevity, yr. 1.36 16.2 Cow Lifetime Production: No. Calves .97 17.0 Cumulative Wean. Wt., lb. 600 25.3 1Adapted from Cundiff and Gregory, 1999.*