Our commercial cow herd is made up primarily of Red Angus and Simmental. We mate these two breeds together, resulting in true F1 males and females. The F1 calves have gained great popularity in recent years, gathering many fancy names along the way. The resulting females from this cross are retained, bred and then offered for sale as bred heifers in the fall. The males, born in the first cycle, are retained for our private treaty, open house 2-year-old bull sale in February. The males born in the second cycle, are castrated, fed out in our feedyard and data collect on them. We try to market all of the F1s so to keep a true breed base in our herd to maximize hybrid vigor.
The base of our commercial herd is Red Angus with the large portion of those cows carrying tattoos. Since we keep and breed our entire heifer calf crop, the culling takes place after they have calved their first year. This is when any poor udders, poor feet or poor production gets culled off. Due to the fact that we cull nearly 40% of our cow herd yearly due to numbers, there are a lot of good cows that find their way to the commercial herd that would look quite good in others herd. It is not uncommon to find Elite cows or Agribition class winners or even the odd $5000 – $6000 cow roaming around with a blaze faced calf at side.
These cattle are then bred on a tight 42 day breeding period and calve the first week in April. They graze out until they can’t in the fall and then move to bale grazing and alternate day feeding. This is actually the truest test of efficiency and easy keeping. With large groups of ½ and ¾ siblings to the purebred cows, breeding decisions are made on the results of how the cattle stand up to the real world test.
A huge thanks goes out to Coady Dehr for purchasing our Supreme Champion pen of Bred Heifers at Agribition.
These Red Angus x Simmental heifers are a product of our spring calving commercial herd.