The cattle are still gathered and worked on horseback. The commercial calves are still heeled with a rope and drug to the branding fire. The registered calves are run through a calf table.
The registered cattle are run under the exact same conditions as our commercial cows in order to prove that our registered cattle actually fit our environment and the commercial industry.
The cows must calve out on the range, get their calf up, nursing and often times fight off predators at the same time.
As a rule, the cows are not fed hay and must produce a good calf on grass and range cube supplementation.
There are no irrigated pastures here. Weaned heifer calves get to spend some time on wheat pasture and that is the only pampering they receive during their entire life on the ranch.
Too much milk can be a problem with breed back, tends to shorten cow udder life, and adds a lot to cow maintenance costs.
Fertility is our only maximum trait. All others traits must be in balance with the environment.
Percent live calves is more important than any other trait when it comes to making a profit.
All cows must produce a calf every year in a 60 day breeding season or they are culled.
Convenience traits are high priority.
-- Good teats and udders are one of the Hallmarks in our herd. We have no time to get cows in to get calves to nurse.
-- Bad dispositions are rare but not tolerated.
-- Good feet are a must because of the distance these cows are required to travel.
Our cattle are bred and selected from the ground up. If cattle are not structurally correct they self-eliminate in this rugged environment.
We utilize every tool available to help us select and produce better cattle. This includes performance records, EPDs, and feedlot testing. Also DNA technology specific to Herefords is evolving and we are most excited to start incorporating that into our selection process. We have not forgotten that the “Eye of the Master” is also essential to incorporate everything into a useable package.
We have always felt like performance cattle don’t have to be ugly!
As a rule we show our breeding cattle and don’t select for show cattle.
That being said we try to get to some of the major shows every year and see how our cattle stack up.
We sell heifers and steers to junior exhibitors and it is rare when we don’t have animals at Hereford Junior Nationals.
Our cattle seem to always be competitive, and have done quite well down through the years.