FAQ - Rubia Gallega
Frequently Asked Questions
How did you find out about Rubia Gallega?
Where is the market for the Rubia Gallega beef?
Where can I find restaurants to market my Rubia Gallega?
How can I ship my beef to those cities?
How much is a carcass worth?
What kind of feed ration is needed?
How long will I need to feed steers out?
How much will a steer weigh at finish?
How old will the steers be at finish?
Is it true Rubia Gallega are harvested at 5-15 years old in Spain?
Do they harvest cows or heifers in Spain?
What does the beef taste like?
How is the marbling?
Are Rubia Gallega heat tolerant?
Are Rubia Gallega adaptable to cold climates?
Are Rubia Gallega docile?
What are the birth weights like?
Are birthweights an issue in embryo recipients?
How are embryo recipients selected?
How well do the cows milk?
What are their udders like?
How are embryo recipients selected?
Are cesarean sections required for embryo recipients?
Do all calves need to be pulled when using Angus recipients?
How does calving Rubia Gallega compare to Club calves?
What other breeds could be used as embryo recipients?
Why use Angus recipients?
What is calving like for Rubia Gallega within the breed?
Is semen from low birth weight bulls available?
Is Rubia Gallega semen available?
How much will the semen cost?
What do you suggest to breed heifers to for the first calf?
What we learned using Angus recipients for Rubia Gallega embryos.
Yes, the birth weights are higher and the calves rumps are double muscled and that could make growing a herd using Angus recipients challenging but we knew that going in. We also knew once we started breeding Rubia Gallega calving issues became less of a factor, simply because the breed can handle large birth weights. We had to develop a standard protocol that worked for us. We knew this wasn’t the first double muscled breed nor the only breed with higher birth weights in North America but it was very different for us. Someone who’s involved in Club calves or any of the larger breeds might not see any reason for the extra precautions but that’s not the world we know or come from and we will take any extra precaution we can.
The first thing we did was have our vets select Angus cows with large frame and lots of pelvic room. We used Angus because they are readily available, an ideal recipient as stated above would be a Gelbvieh or maybe even Holstein cows.
Now with the selection of cows we felt could have these with minimal help we started implanting embryos. We took note of the due dates including the age of the embryos so we knew exactly when they should be calving.
Once we got a little over a month from calving we had our vet palp the cow and gauge the diameter of calves feet so we could estimate the size. That way we could put a cow on a watch list and be prepared if we estimated it was going to be a larger calf for the cow. We were also able to see if any calves were backwards and we could notate that as well.
Rubia Gallega gestation is longer than what we would normally see. We want to get that embryo calf out of that cow safe, all our calves born at Trans Ova were induced between day 286-290. The calves we had on our farm we induced all at day 287 going from what Trans Ova pioneered for the breed in Angus recipients.
When it came time for calving we purchased a product called “MooCall” it’s a device that will strap to a cows tail and once the cow starts labor the device will send a message to your phone. It was by far one of the best purchases we have ever made. The first message would come after an hour of labor, the next message would come at 2 hours of labor. Generally we were able to get to the farm before the second message and the majority of the time we would see two feet and the water bag out between the first and second alert.
While under observation we would let the cow push a little longer and dilate more. Then when it was time we would put her in the chute and prepare to help. Not all cows needed help but we helped them anyways. Some cows were able to have the calves on their own before we arrived to the barn but we really need to be there assisting them.
Now we’ve got calves on the ground what to expect next?
After the calves were born most would attempt to stand in about 30 minutes. Most that stood attempted to nurse right away. We did have some that were lethargic and in the worst case would lay around until the next day. Because of that we decided all calves would get tubed colostrum even if they appeared to nurse. (Please have your vet do that, they do have larger wind pipes and it’s easy to get the tube in the wrong spot.)
Trans Ova noted the calves they birthed they could find no correlation between weight, suckle reflex, vigor score and days of gestation or weight. That is the same conclusion we observed. Calves with difficult births will be lethargic obviously but the breed seems to be a little slower after birth. I believe it’s because they’ve got bigger muscles to get stimulated and responding. The suckle reflex wasn’t a problem for most of the calves, even though some were lethargic we only had a couple we had to work with for more than a couple days.
We will keep updating this page as we gain more knowledge.
Reserve Cattle Company
32819 Highway PP
Warsaw, MO 65355
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