Jan. 14, 2023
How do we choose?
While thinking toward the future of our herd and possible A.I.ing a few head I find myself indecisive. There are many nice bulls out there!
EPDs are important but I also need to like the look of a bull.
Questions arise of who to A.I. and to who.
What areas of our herd need improvement?
Which are our best cows, and do we save them for our herd bull or A.I.?
Is the most popular in the showring the best bull to go with.
I see one bull in particular that has calves in the winner's circle for several years now without slowing down. We have 2 of his calves (A.I.ed 2 of our cows) and 2 by one of his sons. Those calves rank from us being exceptionally please with to yep, I like them I do know this bull is probably not the best bull for some of our cows but worked well for us on those we did breed.
Do we stick with that combo? Or try something new, whether that be another long used and proven bull or the new and exciting young bull?
Then the question arises, what is our end goal? Show cattle, seed stock....
Do you choose a bull with terminal traits, i.e. good beef production? Or a bull with great maternal traits, that produces great mama cows?
Can it be both?
I tend to worry when we get a calf that doesn't grow as big as the others. Take Gingersnap for instance. She isn't ever going to be as big as her full sister Finny, but lo and behold, Gingersnap is raising a bigger calf than Finny. AND its Gingersnap's first, which 1st calves tend to be smaller.
So, I guess I need to not worry about those that don't grow to be 1400#+ cows and listen to what my friend Cathy told me years ago, if the smaller ones can raise as good a calf as a larger cow and eat less doing it....
Plus, there are many people now raising cattle a bit smaller than larger modern framed cattle. That opens up a niche for our lower framed cattle like Home Brew, whose mama was a lower framed cow and liked her babies like herself.
I've gained an interest in the lower frame numbered cattle and have done a little research, asked some opinions, and now I just read the article in the link (Ozark Farm, below).
These farmers raise grass-fed beef and like their brood cows between 1000 and 1100 pounds.
That's a lot smaller than most of our girls.
Maybe we can have it both ways and fulfill a couple different type customers' needs.
I'm going for it!
Nov. 13, 2021
While we would like to do more A.I.ing of our cattle it just seems time doesn't allow for us to do it as often as we want. That being the case we decided a second bull is in order to service the nice Aces Power Play daughters we are holding onto.
At this point Power Play is not going anywhere. He will continue to produce awesome hipped, pretty calves with us.
Corks Essential Quality is our new bull. Still very young. We will be breeding him to a few head this Fall. He is sired by Churchill Pilgrim and out of a cow who has produced extremely well for Cork Cattle Company.
Kevin from Cork Cattle delivered "Pilgrim" earlier this week. Of course I gave him the tour and introduced him to the herd. He was very complimentary on our stock. He loves the hips the Power Play calves have, liked our females, and the fact that they were doing their jobs well on grass and mineral only.
When you work hard to build a herd and truly are still learning, there is nothing sweeter than having an experienced cattleman praise your stock.
Fall 2021 has given us some outstanding calves! Commercial cow Lacy had a drop dead gorgeous heifer named Jazzy. She already has been claimed by a repeat customer in Tennessee who recently bought Flower, also a Lacy daughter.
Our old Angus cow Beauty had a great mottle-faced heifer, Jinx. If she is anything like past Beauty calves, look out!
Gem had her first, a nice bull calf names Jasper. She has been a great mom from the birth on!
Another first time mama, Rosa, also out did herself with Rosa Juliet. I think this heifer will be a keeper!
Ebbie had the cutest little funny-face heifer Juniper.
Annie had a spectacular bull calf names Jacked up Chevy. I do believe he will be the one to watch!
Miss Felton also had a bull calf. Powerplay Jackpot. Dark red with pigment, NICE!
Still hoping Wine comes thru for us and has a November calf. Time will tell. She showed heat in August but then nothing when put with the bull. So hoping it was a false heat.
Stay tuned ;)