We have some recent updates from the Ranch that we think are newsworthy!
First, in keeping with our commitment to deliver the highest quality of cattle possible, we have tested OUR ENTIRE HERD for BVD-PI. We also test all calves at weaning for BVD PI. In addition we quarantine any animals arriving on the ranch prior to testing to insure that the Diamond H is TESTED BVD PI FREE HERD!
Another exciting bit of news is that the US Meat Animal Research Center has purchased semen from both Ranger and James for use in their upcoming Germplasm Evaluation Project. The study will involve bulls from many different breeds crossed to different breeds of cows. They will be looking for results in all areas meaningful to the beef producer. They will study results in areas that include: Gestation length, unassisted calving percentage, perinatal mortality, percentage of calves that survive until weaning, birth weights, etc.. Then upon slaughter, yield grades, marbling, rib eye size, etc, will be recorded and will be made available for breeders to compare. This will be invaluable for those producers that are looking to be profitable. Using the top performing breeds is integral to profitibility and such a study will provide the tools the astute breeder needs to be successful. We are honored, and excited, that MARC chose two of our bulls to be used in the study. AND…..while it will be several years until we know the results, I feel confident that the Braunvieh will be found out…..to be in the top performers across the board!
As part of documenting our calving/weaning results, we weigh our cows to make sure that we are reaching our goal of weaning a minimum of 50% body weight of the cow. That is, of course, a key milestone in analyzing whether or not the cow is efficient in producing beef. In doing so, we learned that our spring cows weigh an average of 1138 pounds. The average cow weaned 53% of her body weight. We are pleased with such results in the conditions we had during the time these calves were nursing their mommas!
Here are two GREAT Performing Braunvieh Bulls!
(and will be used in the upcoming MARC Germplasm Evaluation Project)
Ranger 11R – Two time winner “Herd Sire Award” Midland Bull Test. Homozygous Black and Homozygous Polled
October 2015 We purchased Xerox X002 from Mystic Hills Farms
I look at breeding great cattle like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You need lots of different pieces to finish the puzzle. Additionally, all bulls have strengths and weakness’. I saw several Xerox females at seed stock sales. Two things kept popping up.. First they were phenotypically correct….beautiful in fact. I loved them…pretty much all of them. Then the second thing(related to the first)….they seemed to top the sales in price! When he came up for sale, I knew I wanted him and I knew he wouldn’t be cheap! I called a partner on a couple of other bulls, and we agreed to make a run at him. We won the war (although it was a bit bloody). For more of the story, check out this link…he is in the middle of the page. Xerox discussion
NEW PENS ON THE WAY!!
This is a video of what the area looked like after we tore down the old barn and pens. As it turns out, we dropped the elevation where I was standing 14 feet!
I have had it in my mind (and heart) to build a new set of pens at headquarters for a while. I knew it would be a huge undertaking…..and it has been. First we had to do a MAJOR amount of dirt work and build 4 walls to hold dirt back. That required 500 railroad ties, with each one having 2 14 inch screws holding them together….then the steel….lots of it. The area these pens occupy is 400 feet by 105 feet! I bought the best working equipment I could afford….we will have over 15 pens to sort to, 6 pens with water, CCTV to check heifers calving, fully lighted, fully covered working area, and climate controlled AI room……THE WORKS! My hand is on every piece of steel, and it took me a month to design them on paper. We started this project July 2016. As of December 2017 (!) we are essentially through with only a few details to be finished. The final pics are below. We are very happy, that we did this (and that we are through!)