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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Possibility


I have been searching for Red Brangus everywhere. Most people around here run Black Angus or Brangus. We are looking to establish a closed herd, using our calves for replacement heifers for ourselves or feed out our steers and heifers for 100% grass fed beef.

When it comes to grass fed beef, you don't want what almost all commercial or registered breeders are genetically looking for. In a time when size is everything, genetics is allowing for taller, longer legged cows that are large boned and weighing in excess of 1500#'s. Thats for cows while bulls are weighing in excess of 2000#'s. Well, we don't want that. I'm looking for a medium to short frame cow, smaller boned, wide body with easy fleshing. I think I finally found the place that will start us off close, but it will take us years of breeding down before we get where we need to be.

The farm we are looking at is Triangle K Farm located in Chappell Hill TX. This is awesome because it is only 25 minutes from our farm. These cows are living in the exact conditions as our farm with summers of high temperatures and high humidity. Conditions that really keep the Black Angus/Brangus from doing well. Also, another benefit of buying from this farm is that they have daily contact with the animals because they do rotational grazing, they are use to electric fencing, and they predominately produce forage based cattle. Meaning that these cows very rarely ever eat grain. Our calves of course will not be allowed to consume grain at any time so they will truly be grass fed, grass finished beeves.

Here is a few picks of the prospective cattle. They have two smaller, compact, full bodied bulls that I think may be a possibility, and then they have 50 commercial Brangus heifers to choose from. These are all 3/8 Brahman, 5/8 Angus.

My favorite bull...You can see how much shorter he is than the same age bull next to him. I liked his fullness, coat, and color.
This guy is like a pit bull. I liked him too, he was even shorter legged than the top bull but his birthing weights were on the heavy side which makes me worry about ease of calving for the heifers.

She is about 12 mos old...Medium framed.

I like them because the have heifer/cow heads on them. Some of the cows I was looking at you couldn't tell if they were steers or heifers.

These cows have been supplemented with very little through the winter. They are all full bodied. Granted this place has awesome winter grasses

Its going to be hard picking 10 out of the 50.

I like the darker red color...

I may try some light colored and dark colored to see which perform better.

Please pick me...

We are looking at getting around 10 or so with a bull. That way we can start breeding in May, June. Then that will give us spring calves, born in March, April, giving them good milk from the spring grasses. I can't wait.

7 comments:

karl said...

exciting. i hope you choose well. why is the current owner selling? that is always one of my main questions when buying livestock--or on a smaller scale bees.

i'll watch your progress with great interest.

Kramer said...

They produce bulls and heifers two times a year. Fall and Spring calves. They have those that they sale as registered bulls and heifers and those they produce for commercial. We are not going to be selling registered replacement heifers from our herds, we will be producing beef. So we are buying from their commercial heifers.

I want to buy from them now because next month, they will be sticking a bull with them so then they will be bred heifers. I want a short bull to breed to them so we will need to get them before that. This way the short bulls I am looking at will be able to hopefully pass that gene down.

Thanks.

hillbilly2be said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ethan Book said...

I think it is great that you are going with a closed herd, and specifically selecting animals that fit your needs and desires. If small scale marketing of grassfed animals is your game I think a closed herd is an ideal fit ... especially for a diversified farm like yours!

Rich said...

I don't know if you are aware of this website:
http://www.bovineengineering.com/linear.html
but it explains one method of choosing grass based cattle. I don't know how valid it is, but I know that I have looked at bulls and cows, had an unexplainable gut feeling about which ones looked the best to my eye, and they seem to be similar to the ideal described by Gerald Fry.

texasmcvays said...

Even though we are not planning on purchasing cows. I find your post to be very intersting. I hope you guys find the right ones for the herd.Do you know when you will be selling some beef? ...BTW the coop has chickens in it, thanks for all of your help. Especially the late night emergency nest call!
Kyle

Brock said...

For years and years, I hated having to go help my dad on the farm.

Now, reading about yours is absolutely fascinating. I really want to come out there and check things out some day.

I look forward to seeing the cow/calf you get going.

Best of luck with all the chicks you'll be getting this week :)