Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cattle Decisions

I was able to move out several mature cows yesterday, a yearling heifer who somehow got pregnant at 5 months of age and calved full term (she did lose the calf however) and 6 bull calves, all from my spotted/yellow/traditional marked herd. Last year I had tried to AI the lot of the spotted/traditional marked cows, and each time the day would come to inseminate, the yellow spotted bull kept getting out (archive my blog to read about those terrible days). He, in jest I assume, gave me all bull calves this year! The only two heifers that will go to the spotted program this fall are out of AI and from some of the original imported bulls from Switzerland. *sigh*

Years like this, make you wonder what you are doing, if you are going in the right direction and if you are making any progress.

I punched numbers (EPDs) looked at pedigrees and compared the bull calves standing side by side, etc and decided to keep two bull calves from this year..A yellow spotted bull and a red spotted bull. The red one is out of AI, the yellow spotted out of that bull from last year. The two cows I sold that were mature...well. Caitlyn M25 (yes they are named and registered) was my #1 cow in the herd, however her udder would swell to unproportionate sizes before cavling due in part to her age, her pedigree and genetics. I could no longer hope to have more calves from her with the extra extra large teats she had. I have kept two of her daughters to carry on her line, with smaller teats. The other cow, Cayenne R18, was a yellow blaze cow that I had hoped would throw me yellow spots. Unfortunately she was also part Charolais (about 1/8) and that yellow gene wasn't coming from the Simmental, but from the Charolais. She was AI'ed this past week to a yellow bull, but I decided I didn't want the 'fake' kind of yellow, I wanted it pure, so back to the drawing board on that one.

Overall I think that I did the right thing. I feel good about my decisions and moving forward from this point.

I am however moving out all of my solid red Simmental and my dad is selling off his solid black and goggle faced black cattle......the entire herd.......as he is refocusing what he wants to do after work and on weekends (and its not farming!)

If you know of anyone who would like an amazing group of girls (with herd bulls inclueded) that has had 20+ years of hard work, lots of AI, performance data, registered animals, this is their lucky day.

1 comment:

Rayna said...

I'll talk to Larry when he gets back from his Elk hunting trip to Wyoming...He might be interested, I think he only has one or two black girls. :)

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