Right from the beginning we have focused on calving ease with calf vigor at birth, good udders with small teats, milk production, good feet, and polled without sacrificing performance.
We strive to have a percentage of fleckvieh in our cow herd to maintain milk and doability. These cows are normally bred to a solid red or solid black bull for calving ease and calf vigor at birth. We find that this breeding program gives us the traits that we are focused on achieving.
We only keep the very top end of our bull calves which are sold as yearlings with the exception of a few late born that are kept over and sold as 2 year olds. The bull calves are:
- solid colored red or black
white blaze face
- with birth weights between 90 and 100 lbs.
The bull calves get weaned around the middle of October, and then get fed a 13% steam rolled oat based ration and free choice grass hay. The grain ration is pail fed starting with just a few lbs per day and gradually being increased to 14lbs per day by the middle to the end of January.
Around the middle to the end of March when the weather warms up and the bulls growth rate is tapering off we start decreasing the grain ration. Our belief is that breeding bulls should not be overfat, as excess fat will affect their mobility and longevity. Also fat in the scrotal slows down the cooling of the testicles which is needed for sperm production during the breeding season.
We strive / aim to have our bulls grown out by April of the following year and for them to be in good working condition without carrying excess fat.
We do not brush, clip or trim the hair on our bulls which allows our customer to assess the bulls in their everyday clothes, which is the way they will always look after a customer buys them. We also think that the bulls are glad to have all their hair on when the windchill is -40 degrees celcius.
We also do not handle or halter break our bulls, so that when a potential buyer is assessing the bull's disposition what the buyer is visualizing is the true genetic disposition of the bull which can be passed on to his offspring. A bull's disposition that is after acquired through handling and halter breaking can not be passed on to his offspring; it is only the disposition that is acquired genetically that can be passed on to the offspring.
We sell our bulls off the farm (eliminating the middle man) which allows us to reduce the price for our customer. Our bulls are very reasonably priced and represent a great value when taking into consideration the total package that our customer receives.
We keep our heifer calves and sell any excess that we don't need for replacements as bred yearlings in the fall of the following year.