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, consider this. Assume a 90 day calving window. Consider, the more fertile cow has her calf in the beginning of the calving period vs. the cow that DOES get bred, but at the end. Assume both calves gain, say 2 pounds (many 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. So, if you want to make money in the cow business, fertility IS important. AND if a cow goes open, even though she has historically been a good cow, or she eats cake out of our hand, or even if her name is Princess….we cull. Many breeders in this breed (and others) just won’t do that. So…you can have a herd with lots of very beautiful cows that are just plain not good cows. 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. We cut any bull over 95#, 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 don’t consistently wean calves that are 1/2 their body weight.
We breed for high value carcass traits (ribeye and marbling). We believe that in both domestic and export markets, the consumer is currently, 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.
We are big believers in having docile cattle. Sure safety and convenience are a big part,
but tests have proven that docility and fertility are related. SO…docility is an item that helps pay the bills!
Braunvieh are docile as a breed, but over the generations we have trained them to be, and culled for docility.