by Gearld Fry
Genetics are one of the most interesting creations that was dispersed to us humans to by our Creator to study, manipulate and use for our own food, health, clothing and monitary increase. Genetics are no harder to understand and use for our good than the working mechanics of any other profession, medical, chemistry, machinery, manufacturing or any other developing procedures. In most cases the owners of gene pools make light of themselves for having a so called lowly position in life. The livestock owner is the only person that can know the genetics in the herd or flock he owns and manages. That man is a geneticist and should accept that position with honor. He holds the health of the consumer in his grip.  There is little likelihood that some outsider could take over the mating responsibilities of a herd or flock with any degree of success until he has experienced the ability of that flock or herd to function genetically. It is not possible to out cross and cross breed too maintain a pure strain or have predictability, consistency or expect that strain to function as either of the parents. Each out crossing creates a different blood-line. Each crossbreeding creates another breed. Both are unstable and breed at random.

The owner (breeder) of the herd or flock is compelled to understand the working modus operandi of the gene pools within his herd or flock. He must educate himself to structural defects, functional inadequacies and glandular dysfunction. He must also know if the short fall is genetic, nutritional or management.  He must also know when the mating are correct and producing their intended purpose and function. He must eat some of the product himself on regular bases. He must produce a product the consumer enjoys and desires more.  The consumer tells his neighbor of this great eating experience.  This product is also good for their health. Now you are beginning to build a legacy for your children.

The gene pool of a herd or flock with the males is one big puzzle. With the use of out-crossing and cross breeding every individual in the system is a separate piece of a puzzle. That puzzle can never be put together with any consistency or predictability. These two methods of breeding are for producing only pounds with no consideration for quality of product or for sustainability for future generations. This breeding system of mixing and matching genetics (breeding) has filled our pastures and stores with a meat that is very unacceptable to the consumer. It has gone on so long now there are very few who remember what high quality eating is like or who remember how to get back to ground zero.

The gene pool of a herd or flock with the males in a managed selection process for glandular function, and the genetic makeup producing the desired phenotype with reasonable production on grass, will, by the third generation the herd, be stable and predictable. You are moving to the center of the puzzle where your target is. In reality the puzzle slowly goes away. You have not completely arrived but there is enough happening that it has your attention.  You are learning how the genetic makeup affects the performance of the animals. You will be experiencing cattle that do better on grass than on grain.  You will be producing all your bulls and selling or loaning them to your neighbors.

What does not need to happen is to let a great sire get out of your complete possession.
When you have that potential sire and he has performed well in your herd or flock, then loan him to your neighbor and see how well he does in another gene pool. Go by on a regular basis and watch the structural development of the progeny. When he proves himself to be great then you bring him back into the genetics he was developed in.  Use him very wisely. You would also need to mate his sire and dam regularly. Great sires only come along to the tune of about 1 out of a thousand bulls. You must remain sharp.  You will recognize him at weaning or maybe even earlier.
The ideal method of success in putting a program together of this nature is to recognize the 3-4 top female bloodlines in your herd or flock, including their daughters. You would A I breed each of them to the same recommended bull. When the progeny heifers are ready for service they would be breed to another recommended bull of the same bloodline, never outcross. The cows and daughters would continue to be bred the same way. You will be surprised at the quality of a few of the bull calves from these early mating. Use all you possibly can to began the concentrated gene pools. You will use them. In time, the entire herd of females that exist revolves around these 3-4 female lines. They are the blessing with genetics that was given to us in the creation.  The production, the reproduction, the level of maintenance, the body condition and the calving difficulties – all the issues that used to destroy us are no longer an issue. The cows become your servant instead of you serving them. I haven't said much about longevity which is the highest economic indicator of a top female line.
At any point you have segregated the females, especially at breeding time for proper genetic mating. Let us name the female blood lines A, B, C and D. If a usable bull calf is born in group A he would be used in B C D never back to his direct kin. If born in D he would be used in A B C again never on his direct kin (etc.). This way you would most likely not back yourself in a corner.

Maybe you and your neighbor or neighbors would want to work together in an undertaking such as this. Each of you take the best females bloodlines for the elite mating (including daughters). You may want to make a common herd with these females. You would start the herd with small numbers. What will be surprising is how big a percent of daughters from the beginning females will stay in the elite herd. What also will be surprising is how many sons are born from those elite females that will be usable herd sires. It also reveals to you how many bulls you may have castrated before you knew how to evaluate a bull – those are bulls you did not pay somebody hard earned or borrowed money for. You have no more than the cost of keeping a cow for a year against the bull. You must remember, I recommend leaving the calves with mom for 10 months given the grass supply is adequate. Also the type of cow I am describing will get fat and refuse to maintain pregnancy if she isn't kept busy giving milk and a baby in the incubator 10 out of each 12 months.

There are some issues involved in neighbors working together in a program as this. I believe we are at a point and time in history that we have no choice but to take the genetic matters in our own hands and mind and do the right and faithful thing for our families and community. In most cases all it would take is eat our pride, be a little submissive and work together for good of our family and community. Reality is, you and your neighbors will have a meeting at least once a month and the volume of stimulation and challenges that comes from those meetings is a community and relation builder. Do not wait for big brother to do this it for you.  He has lied for the past 50 years. Whatever big brother does will be all for big brother. No thought for you will be in the equation.

Enjoy your new adventure and remember that every thing you need to know and do is already in your brain. We receive not because we ask not. I refuse to cease asking for help and instruction. We all gain from each other.  It is important to be neighbors and communities. We must share with each other about our real success. After all you have already received the monitary blessing. Wouldn't you want your neighbors to receive a same blessing? Think what might happen if you withheld a blessing.

Enjoy your new thought process.


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