One of the things I like the most about the cattle business are the people you get to meet. Seems like most all of them are nice folks. Many have become life-long (we hope) friends. A few of them, some of whom we have never met face to face, most whom we have met as a result of a cow deal, have been kind enough to say a few words about our cattle, or maybe the experience of buying Braunvieh cattle from us, or both. We wanted to share a few with you.
“We bought a Ranger son from the Diamond H. The bull was turned out as and 18 month old immediately after leaving the test gain facility. He was turned out on 29 Brangus commercial cows, for 30 days before a bigger mature bull was turned in with them. The Braunvieh bull bred 27 of the 29 cows. All his calves were born within 3 weeks of each other. There were no calving issues, and were the largest calves weaned on record at our ranch. The bull bred the entire herd by himself the second year in the same amount of time.”
Tony Dean Whitaker Ranch Henrieta, Texas
There is a post script to this story. Tony’s wife has wanted to raise red cattle for several years…they have chosen to do so I liked their bull enough to buy him back and use him in our herd! Tony wrote us a letter….I am posting it here in its entirety. Tony was a NRCS agent all his career life..He is a smart guy!
I enjoyed our visit yesterday about the ranching industry. You and Karra have developed an outstanding Braunvieh operation in West Texas, both in quality of cattle and also in taking care of the land. I want to take a few minutes to briefly reiterate to you my experience with a bull that you raised, DHR Andrew, and I owned for 3 ½ years. I happened to be visiting the Genetic Development Center near Navasota, Texas, in the spring of 2013 about two weeks before the center was to sponsor a sale of young Braunvieh bulls. I was very interested in seeing the bulls because at the time I needed to purchase a bull for a very specific reason. We had a set of 30 mixed commercial black cows on our ranch, some with ear and some more of an Angus type, that were spring calving and needed to be bred in the coming weeks.
As I viewed the set of Braunvieh bulls, I was amazed at the muscling, thickness, and overall quality of the animals. We have not been backgrounding our calves, but simply selling pounds of beef right off the cows. It appeared to me that one of these bulls would definitely give me lots of pounds. My son, who worked at the Center at the time, agreed. I returned on the day of the sale and viewed the bulls before the sale started, picking out eight bulls that I would be interested in. My first choice that day was DHR Isaac, one of your bulls and the first bull in the sale. Isaac got too expensive for me to buy. My second choice was another of your bulls, DHR Andrew, which was the fourth lot to sell. Andrew had amazing conformation and I liked his attitude. I was fortunate to be able to buy him.
Andrew was 17 months old when I bought him. When he was 19 months old, I put him on 29 of the black cows by himself. He must have gone right to work, because when the calves started hitting the ground in late February, he had 24 out of the 29, or 83%, on the ground in 22 days and soon had 100%. I thought this was amazing. We sold those calves at 8 months old straight off the cows, and the steers weighed 660 and heifers 645.
The next year, 2015, he was on the same set of cows by himself and had almost identical statistics in his calving time and percentage, calving 24 in 23 days. In 2016, we moved the calving date to late in the summer, so Andrew had to work during the heat of August. Therefore, the third set of calves was not quite as condensed as the first two, but he produced a 100% calf crop in a very respectable time. In addition to his extremely rapid breeding time, Andrew created another very important benefit on this particular set of cows. The cows are of respectable quality, but due to the different genetic types of cows in the herd and the type of bulls we used, the calves previously had very little consistency in their appearance. Andrew’s calves were born looking like clones of each other, almost all of them dark brown and sporting the huge hind quarters that Andrew contributed. Andrew is homozygous black and his calves all turned very dark, mostly black, at about 400 pounds. The very obvious added consistency in the group of calves made them more appealing and marketable. I know a local buyer who purchases many loads of calves each year and he told me that he recognized the calves as they came through the sale ring and they were always some of the best to be offered.
This bull, DHR Andrew, has simply been the best herd bull we have ever used on our ranch (emphasis mine-TH). We have been using a spring calving herd and a smaller fall calving herd and have been just moving him back and forth between the groups of cattle. At first we followed up with another bull, but I think Andrew had them all bred by the time we put the second bull in, so we sold the other bull. We had a BSE run on him each year and he was always in great breeding shape. Another benefit of Andrew has been that he stays on the ranch. I also like the fact that he is polled.
Even before we bought Andrew, we had considered switching our group of black and black baldy cows to Red Angus. We got to the point this year that we needed to started replacing some of the cows, so we made a business decision to get into the Red Angus business and completely convert the herd over the next three years. Part of our Red Angus business will be to sell some pregnant heifers, so we are purchasing Red Angus bulls.
Our primary regret in making this breed change is that DHR Andrew will no longer fit in our breeding program. We have purchased three Red Angus bulls, buying the best we can afford, and none of them match Andrew’s overall quality. Our first set of calves from these red bulls will, in a way, be disappointing, but we will eventually be able to produce some high quality red calves.We want to tell you what an outstanding job you have done in breeding cattle like DHR Andrew. I always had a lot of fun as I checked on his calves from day to day and got to observe the quality and consistency in the group. This bull really made a difference in our whole operation.
Tony and Cindy Dean
21Y is now standing on the Diamond H. We are very happy to have him…Proof we sell herd sire quality bulls!!
The 21Y and 24Y bull below were contemporaries growing up and at the bull test. Y was a good year for us….also developed two other sires…Y47 and Y34!
A coming 3 year old son out of a Ranger Daughter (U09) at work on the Arapaho Ranch in the mountains of Colorado
~~ Michael Schallot Arapaho Ranch ~Coalmont Colorado
Mike and Jamie Schallot (with future foreman son) of the Arapaho Ranch
Michael & Jamie Schallot
Editors note: Michael commented that breeding at 12000+ feet altitude is very hard on bulls. They do not last long there. His oldest Ranger 11R son is on his 4th (or was it 5th) year and tested 95% in motility. He declared this very rare….most bulls do not make it that long…That is another IN THE PASTURE proof of the fertility and longevity of these cattle!
Thank You Todd and Kara, for everything. May God continue to bless and prosper you. Well done!
San Antonio, Tx.
Mitzi and Pat Daniels
When we decided to embark on a cattle raising endeavor & chose Braunvieh we found the Diamond H to have similar views and goals. We purchased our initial seedstock from Todd and have since purchased more as well as some sexed semen. We just had the small herd pregnancy checked and all were successfully AI’d.
Our farm is situated in central Texas with similar harsh, dry weather conditions. We find these cattle to be hardy, fertile and docile as advertised. We appreciate the product, support, honesty, integrity and friendship from the Hills. Good Lord willing, we’ll be back for more.
Pat & Mitzi Daniel – Star D Farms – Granbury / Goldthwaite, Texas
and purchased several Angus and BWF cows but still weren’t satisfied. After a lot of research and hundreds of hours of calls Todd talked me in to buying a Braunvieh bull and few bred heifers. Well needless to say we wasted a lot of time and money to get to where we are today. Braunvieh cows carry a very nice udder and bone structure through out and make great mommas. We have purchased several heifers since. Cattle are an investment and quality from our experience is the only way to go. From weaning weights to replacement heifers our Braunvieh cattle have out performed our black and BWF cattle. January of 2015 we had our fall 2015 black cows bred to our Braunvieh bull and what a difference in their calves it has made, we consider this the GOLDEN CROSS, as our steers average over 625lb at weaning and heifers over 540lbs. This year we have bred all our cows to braunvieh bulls, Y34 CHA CHA AND OUR RANGER LOTTO Bull, so we cant wait for spring 2017. Our goal was to put together a quality grass fed beef herd and I think we are well on our way. We strongly believe that if we would have began with a quality herd we would have the same quantity 9 years later from where we started. We could have saved and profited thousands of dollars as of today. We look forward to working with Diamond H and for the friends you and yours have become.
A visit at the Diamond H Ranch was filled with Southern hospitality and greetings.
The tour of the cattle, experiencing Todd’s commitment to quality cattle and believing in the Braunvieh breed was such a treat. I know we have the best cattle in the world, but to hear Todd talk about his cattle and see his breeding program that supported the belief, really made buying a herd sire from his bull pen an easy choice. I felt the Texas ranch become a safe haven to provide my new genetic base that I was looking for.
Editors Note: As you can see from the cattle in the background, Dwight has a very nice Braunvieh herd (some would argue they are better looking than he is). Also, I will tell you that, at one time, his family had the largest herd of Brown Swiss in the United States (sounds like a lot of work to me!). Dwight has bought a herd sire, and a VERY fancy heifer from us and has also partnered on some of our top herd sires. I can tell you….this guy knows cattle
The Diamond H Ranch has some of the finest Braunvieh cattle we have found. The Braunvieh is a sweet natured, lovely looking bovine that produces tender and delicious meat. For twenty years we raised Longhorn cattle and, therefore, did quite a bit of research before making the decision to change cattle breeds.
Todd and Karra Hill run a first class operation on a beautiful and expansive ranch. They produce high quality, award winning Braunvieh. What is particularly impressive is the care given to each animal by the Hills and their staff.
We appreciate their continuing willingness to share knowledge about herd development, including artificial insemination, after the purchase.
The Diamond H Ranch sells prime quality cattle. We are very pleased with the results and expect to continue to do business with them. Great folks! Great cattle!
George and Chris Harrison
Rocking H Ranch Childress, Texas