The Diamond H Braunvieh Breeding Program
The Diamond H has a two prong breeding strategy. The majority of our herd is registered. We have a portion of the herd that remains full blood. We use them for both full blood and purebred matings. We AI most every female every year, to bring in the finest genetics available, then turn out the females to the bull we believe will help us reach our goal the quickest. Our main focus is the production of purebred seed stock that will assist the astute commercial cattleman to increase his profit margin per head. The emphasis on the Diamond H is polled, black, and calving ease in a package that will perform in all aspects of the beef business.
Braunvieh Heifer Development
Prior to the third year of the drought, we did not feed animals other than protein supplement and heifers headed to the show ring. We believe cattle should perform under the same conditions they will on any ranch. Feeders are not usually in that mix. However, the drought caused us to do some things we had not done prior. One of those things is putting our developing heifers on a feeder during winter. Since we breed at 12 months, we need to give the heifers every opportunity to succeed. Prior to the drought (and in January 2019 we are still feeling the effects of drought that started in 2011), they had to do that on their own. However, it became clear that our our pastures could not deliver the nutrition needed to get these females ready to breed at that age. So beginning with Fall 2012 heifers, we put them on a feeder using a 14% grower ration from weaning until breeding. Using salt as a limiter and closing the feeder doors, our goals is a 15 pound day consumption. The results have been very good. Still, we look forward to the day we don’t have to use the feeder….God willing!
The Diamond H Braunvieh Cow
We have historically had a fall calving program and in 2010 began a spring program as well. To stay in our program, cattle are required to breed in a 60 day window and wean a calf at least 50% of her weight. Cows that have bulls that are in the bottom 50% of their test groups twice in a row are culled. Females that are not “easy fleshing” are culled. Cattle are also selected based on temperament. Cattle that are culled from our program are sold as such. If it is a birthweight or attitude issue, they go to the packing plant. We don’t sell our problems! Remember if you buy one of those females that did not make our program, they will perform very well for the vast majority of cattle producers in the country. If you buy an animal that is good enough to stay in our program, you will know that by the price. Truth is, at this point, with all the culling we have done, there are very few cases of non performers. We are selling older cows and keeping new ones. Remember, a 10 year old Braunvieh cow is most likely good for 4 more calves…..the SAME AS THE AVERAGE 5 YEAR OLD ENGLISH COW!
THE DIAMOND H BRAUNVIEH BULL
Bull genetics count! He touches EVERY cow in your program. As you may know, we are proud of our bull program. First, every male must wean a minimum of 600 lbs and hit 1000 lbs at yearling (that is particularly difficult for fall calves) That means we cut some at weaning. Then the intact bulls are sent to test at Navasota to the Genetic Development Center. They are put on a low energy, silage based diet and tested for ADG and RFI (efficiency) for 115 days. At the end of the test they are ultrasounded for REA (ribeye area), and IMF (intramuscular fat). That allows us to analyze our herds performance and you to make an educated bull buying decision. I should mention at this point, we have invested nearly $1000 in the test and THEN cull the bull. If they aren’t good, we don’t sell ’em!! Sell your calves at the local market? ADG and efficiency are your top considerations. Own your calves to the rail? You need to pick a bull that has it all! Bottom line? You can pick a bull that meets your needs, and pay for as much or little bull as you need!
The result of all this is that we are advancing our program goals of producing fertile cattle that will 1). put a live calf on the ground every 365 days 2). grow that calf to wean at least 50% of the dam’s body weight, and will continue to grow at a rate of 2.5 pounds per day or better 3). grow efficiently with offspring converting feed at a target rate of 6 to 1 or better. We work to raise bulls that that will pass these traits to the herds that buy them.
In short, WE PRODUCE ANIMALS THAT WILL HELP COMMERCIAL CATTLEMAN MAKE MONEY!