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A Living Legend

(c) George Ulrich 1992
nelson.jpg Nelson is an import bull from Switzerland.  He was born in Mettmenstetten at Paul Capt's place. Nelson's mother is the cow Gaba, she goes back to the bull Markus (1076-716 Fallanden).

Mother's Genetics

Markus is one of the bulls which transmits his characteristics most consistently to his offspring, especially his size and length.  Markus has exceptional milking potential and fertility.  Markus' offspring showed a consistency in their proportional appearance. If a cow is taller, she also has to be longer, depth and width, thus producing a larger bone structure.  Indeed Markus was able to produce this.  Here is some documented proof of Markus' tremendous influence in the Braunvieh breed.  For instance, the cow Wirginia (4134-358 Inner Domleschg), was classified with perfection in size and conformation, with perfect feet and legs, perfect udder, attachments, and nearly perfect in teats, shape and placement.  Over 15 lactations, she produced an average of 6329 kg of milk and a total of 94,935 kg of milk.   She had 3.9 percent fat and 3.3 percent protein.  Another cow is Urania (1756-1065 Lenzerheide), she was classified as perfect in size, nearly perfect in feet and legs and a perfect udder.  Urania finished 13 lactations with an average of 5626 kg with 4.2 percent fat and 3.4 percent protein.  These are only two examples of Markus daughters, which show clearly the potential of Markus cows.  Markus did not only have a tremendous influence on the females but also on the male offspring. One can see that on the bull Winetou (3830-8 Fehraltorf), which is one of the most wide spread A.I. bulls in Switzerland of the past.  Winetou turned out to be, not only perfect in his conformation but also 996 kg positive on his female offspring in milk production.  Winetou's mother was a Markus daughter.  Another bull is Marco (21014-54 Luzern-Emmen) a Markus son, Marco is proof that Markus offspring produce the same kind of cattle as their father.  At this time, in Switzerland one of the best bulls is Hektor (5098-120 Uetenbach) who is a son of Munot, Marco, Markus, thus a fourth generation Markus bull.  In fact the four popular bulls in Switzerland are all descendants of Markus, they are Ringo (2771 Fallanden), Reto (25070 Luzern-Emmen), Munot (6058-131 Beckenried) and Hektor (5698-120 Uetenbach). The fact that Nelson has such proven heritage on his mother's side, is only half of the story.

Father's Genetics

Nelson was sired by the famous bull, Gold (7175-23 Oberamt).  Gold was the bull which produced the most perfectly scoring cows.  Gold came from the bloodline that is most wanted. He was sired by Gino (8004-262 Sevelen).  Gino was a son of Gallus (4548-23 Oberamt).  These are all proven positive bulls in every way, milk production, conformation, and fertility.  One of the best bulls, Gral (4697-106 Steinerberg), in Switzerland at the moment comes out of this bloodline, he is a half brother to Nelson through Gold.  Gral's mother side goes back to Munot (6058-131 Beckenried), therefore he also has Markus blood in him, just like Nelson.  Gral is the most positive bull in Switzerland at the moment.  Gold is one of the very few bulls who transmitted his characteristics both to the male and female offspring evenly.   Here is some proof that Gold cows can produce.  Two famous cows in Switzerland at the moment are Gerda (10369-84 Arth) and Doris (6882-95 Ingenbohl) who are both classified as perfect in conformation and udder.  Gerda has produced the following kilograms of milk: 4755, 7141, 8132, 8055, 7945 with more then 4 percent fat and over 3.5 percent protein.  Doris has produced the following kilograms of milk: 5896, 7867, 8797, 9973 with more then 3.7 percent fat and over 3 percent protein.  Both of these cows are half sisters to Nelson.


So far I have tried to give you some insight in the heritage of Nelson's family on both his mother's side and his fathers side.  One can see the same consistency in Nelson's offspring as one was able to see in Nelson's ancestors in Switzerland.  One can not say that Nelson was an accident but rather he is a result of selective breeding.   Nelson's breeder brought together two different bloodlines with the same dominant characteristics.  As a breeder one has the opportunity to mix unknown, different bloodlines and wait until something outstanding appears, or one can use two animals from two different bloodlines which have the same dominant characteristics in their genes and then expect what one has aimed for, a superior animal, like Nelson.  As a cattle breeder, one can be either a cattle multiplier or a cattle improver, the latter is what a breeder should be.  The opportunity to use a legendary bull like Nelson should be appreciated and be used as long as possible to produce a foundation herd based on his superior characteristics.  This then can be used as a base for the improvement of the Breed.  Proof of Nelson's transmitting power can be seen in the Braunvieh bull, Sullivan, a Nelson son, which has arguably been spread the farthest over the globe.   As well one need only look at the show results in Mexico to consistently see Nelson offspring in the top honour positions.  It is unusual to see a bull at Nelson's age at shows.  Nelson's measurements are all above breed average.  His temperament and disposition are still excellent.  

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Nelson in Mexico.

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