We produced a video in which I talk my philosophy about the cattle business, and my thoughts on Braunvieh Cattle.
Our primary mission in the cow business is to produce cattle that will help make the commercial producer make money. We think we do that with Braunvieh cattle in several ways.
First is fertility, yes fertility. If you think that the only thing that matters is that she gets the live calf on the ground. Think about this. Suppose you have a 90 day calving window. Consider, the fertile cow that has her calf in the front vs. the cow that DOES get bred, but at the end. Assume both calves gain, say 2 pounds (we do much better than that) per day. Assuming they weigh the same at birth, the first calf will weigh 180 pounds more at weaning! Folks, I am an Aggie, but my calculator says that 180 pounds at $1.4 is $242 per calf. I guess if you want to make money in the cow business, fertility is important. We cull agressively for fertility. As a breed, Braunvieh are fertile, cows breed very early and it is common to have a producer 14 years of age.
Next is birthweights. If the calf does not survive, you lose money…..period. We breed very aggressively for birthweights. You won’t see any 100 pound BW females in our herd, and we cut any bull over 95#. In fact, most less than that.
Weaning weights…after all we DO sell by the pound at the auctions. The Braunvieh are good milkers by reputation. We cull cows that do not wean calves that are 1/2 their body weight and we cull cows who’s male offspring do not perform in the bull test.
We breed for high value carcass traits. We believe that in both domestic and export markets, the consumer is and will demand higher quality beef in the future. I have never heard a woman say, “gee, this beef is nicely marbled”, but she sure notices that is tender and tastes good! Cattle buyers will notice if your animals help him move up the grid. If they do, he will pay more for your calves.
And finally, we breed for docility. Many studies have shown that a docile cow is more fertile, healthier and very important to me….is more fun and safer to work with! We handle our cattle using low stress techniques. We think you will see it as soon as you walk on the Diamond H.
These girls are focused on a free meal! This is a typical scene on the Diamond H