Sunday, January 22, 2012

Starting a small scale cattle operation:

We get many calls and inquiries about our cattle management and breeding protocols. We are always happy to help a small start-up operation.



It can be very challenging indeed to select the right breeds for your operation, learning about A.I. or natural covering, learning when a cow or heifer is in season, about calving, and so much more… it can be overwhelming, but please do not let that damper your great adventure into cattle ranching. It is easy, fun and very rewarding for folks of all ages, yes, children too.



Make your breed selections and decide what kind of cattle operation fits your needs.

Do you want a dairy cow? Do you want to grow your own beef? Do you want a little of both?

Do you want beautiful cattle for showcasing?

Decide if you want a bull on-site for natural covering or if you prefer A.I.(artificial insemination)

Have a good plan in place for feeding or pasture (living grass) grazing

Provide 24hr access to clean water

Make time to spend with your animals

Select a seasoned and experienced bull for a first time heifer. Be certain that bone structures and breed are similar as to avoid any injuries from breeding or a challenging pregnancy or difficulty calving.

We never breed yearlings, but that is just what we prefer.

Decide in advance, what you are going to do with a bull calf and what you are going to do with a heifer calf. It is always good to have a short term and long term plan.

We keep the calves with their mothers, we simply do things naturally. There are several choices for you to select from.



Develop a list of reliable and honest veterinarians, experienced breeders, log-time ranchers, helpful neighbors, and knowledgeable friends to be a phone call away, at a moment’s notice. Always be proud to ask questions, ask for advice, and ask for help! ***Never let an animal suffer due to your pride, that is not acceptable.***

Did you know that calves will stay on teat for up-to 1 whole year, if the mother allows?
Each individual cow is different and it is important to know your herd and their behaviors.

PROBLEMS: Things happen, even if everything you do is perfect. Do not let this discourage you. Be ready for any possible complications arising in your herd, such as injuries, sickness, dry-coat, loss of appetite, know the signs of copper deficiency etc.

SOLUTIONS:

You do not have to be a veterinarian to cattle ranch, you do not need to be a geneticist to selectively breed. Do not be misled by garbage being pumped out onto the internet by so-called experts.

True ranching, industry professionals are always ready, glad and willing to help each other. You will rarely hear them speak above your head (very rude), and they are always ready and eager to participate in helping you succeed.

We know from our many years of experience and knowledge that the most important thing is to have a strong love, true respect and understanding of all the animals you are working with.

It is not rocket science! But it can and will get very-very expensive. We manage our cattle expenses 1-2 years in advance. This method works for us, since we operate a private C.S.A. program.

Our pure breed and registered cattle have been grown by children for 4-h projects and F.F.A with tremendous success, and we are very proud.

Our cattle have gone into the show circuit by both children and adults, (even adults new to the showcasing circuit): with great success.

Our cattle end up on our dinner plate, and they are most delicious and nutritious.



Whatever your ideas or desires, we are happy to share our knowledge, education, experience and resources with you, to help you get started. We will put you in touch with honest and reliable industry professionals and veterinarians, field processors, butchers, ranchers and more, to get your list started.

If you are looking for small (dual purpose) breeds, heritage cattle, we have purebred Australian Herefords, American Lowlines (not hybrid), True Heritage, lowline Angus and Irish Dexters. We can help you put together a very nice starter herd.

If you are looking for hybrid “meat class” cattle, we can put you in touch with some of our wonderful rancher-friends that specialize in Certified Red Angus, Black Angus and White Angus, as well as various English and French breeds.

Some of our friends have been family ranchers for 3 and 4 consecutive generations and that is impressive, and we love them!

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