Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Find Replacement Heifers for your Herd - Drought Recovery

Replacement Heifers and Bulls

Replacement heifers and bulls available for re-stocking herds.We raise replacement heifers and bulls on request for farmers and ranchers wanting to either diversify their herd genetics or replace with smaller frame size to improve profitability.

These are being made available at this time as we know a lot of people have had to downsize their herds due to recent drought. 

We have recently just replaced all our older stock from our own saved-back heifers, so we now want to make our particular line available to others.

You can enjoy time-saving, low-maintenence farming and ranching with these healthy cattle.

The original stock was a combination of Black-Whiteface and Brangus/Angus-cross cows. These were and are bred to a registerd Galloway Bull from Sapp Farms in Columbia MO, named "Gene Autry".

Galloway bulls have no problem mounting full-size cows - our calves are proof of this.

These calves are composite, not registered or purebred. They can have more or less of Brangus or Hereford in their lineage. Right now, we can trace these back 3-4 generations and tell you general attibutes of any given calf. It's the hybrid vigor which we pay attention to - this gives us longer-lived and healthier cows and calves. More years producing more calves, with low cost in between. Less worries, more profit.

The offspring of this mix has a low birth weight, fast-gaining calf which tends to be a medium-frame size. The reason we did this is to import the qualities of a more tender beef and the Galloway ability to eat a wider variety of forage.  Galloways also put on an extra heavy coat in winter, so they do not add extra back fat. This makes for lean beef, but also gives a higher carcass weight with less loss on the cutting room floor. And that means more profit for everyone.

Our own observation of first and 2nd generation shows that this has been the outcome after some years of raising these.

Hybrid vigor with smaller frame size means more profits for more years.Smaller breeds have been found to be more efficient in grazing than the heavier weights, as you can get  more pounds of beef produced per acre, since they have proportionately longer backs and shorter legs than conventional Angus.

As well, our beef are grazed intensively in paddocks, so they quickly learn to eat everything available. We've found that our "weed" problem after these cattle have been through a paddock is remarkably less or non-existant, depending how intensively we stock them.

That added benefit (not having to clip or "brush-hog"  pastures) is another time and money savings.

Galloways are also remarkably docile and easy to herd. There is none of this "wildness" or spook-prone aspect more common these days with dairy bulls and conventional Angus.  All our calves are worked with daily to get them used to humans.  As their dams have been hand-raised as well, they quickly become adjusted to being checked at close range without shying easily. Our bull calves have not become "onery" or aggressive.

Easy working means less upsets for you, more weight gain for your cattle.

Our beef are all grass fed, so we are missing comparatives for raising them up in a feedlot setting.

The varying patterns assist in the situation of missing ear tags (which can be problematic with all-black cows.) As well, they are very pretty to look at and give remarks by any who come to see them. We tag all our calves when they are weaned, and give a complete set of shots against the common illnesses (whatever our vet recommends).

Low birth-weight, fast growing calfs with distinctive markings saves time and improves profits.They are not given growth hormones or feed additives. They are given plenty of grass, water, and sunshine (as well as shade). We keep salt and minerals available year-round, as well as protein tubs in winter to supplement hay.

Our heifers are kept to 14 months. Please contact us before the beginning of June, which is when I have to ship these. Unless specified and contracted for, they will not be bred. Obviously, the typical care with any first-time heifer must be taken.

Bulls will need special arrangements, as I generally make them into steers on weaning. However, this is under consideration if there is a demand for such.

(Last year, I had a particularly good bull calf which is making a remarkable steer, but would have been choice genetics otherwise. And this particular year, I have a set of twin bull calves I am saving back just for that line of genes. If contacted soon enough, I might be able to match with heifers who have twins in their history.)

There's a joy and satisfaction to raising quality beef you can be proud of - and fatten your bottom line as they fatten on grass.

Again, we want to make this available to the industry and plan to keep our prices competitive with the state auction average so that herd restocking can be made affordable.

Contact us for more information.