This page will contain our personal viewpoints on certain issues within the beef industry. We would like to encourage visitors to this web-site to respond with some of their thoughts and if requested we will post your feedback on this page.
We think that it's time we stated what our genetic goals are. Not only does it give our customers a better idea of what we are trying to acccomplish but it helps keep us focused on the things that are really important in this business. These are the traits we are looking for in both our purebred and commercial cow herds.
1) Fertility - a yearling heifer must breed in 45 days, she must calve unassisted and wean a live calf every year or she is culled.
2) Fleshing ability - goes hand in hand with fertility. Skinny cows take longer to breed back or they just come in open. We believe fleshing ability is also highly correlated with feed efficiency.
3)Adequate growth and carcass characteristics - we still believe that Shorthorns are a maternal breed but we recognize that Shorthorn and Shorthorn cross feeder cattle need to grow well enough to convert feed efficiently. They also need to yield well enough to make them economical to slaughter. We do believe, however, that Shorthorn breeders need to be careful about going to extemes with high growth rates or high yields. We think the most important carcass traits are taste and tenderness if we want people to keep eating beef. A person who's chewing on a tough, dry steak doesn't really care what the animal's average daily gain or carcass yield was.
4) Structural soundness - our cattle are not dry-lotted , EVER. They are expected to go out and forage for themselves year-round. We rarely AI any cows and we expect our mature herd bulls to settle 40-50 cows in a 60 day breeding season. We don't trim feet on any of our sale bulls, herd bulls or cows because we believe it just masks an eventual problem. If they get thin because they can't get around properly they will cull themselves.
5) Docility - because when you are 40 a wreck isn't nearly as much fun as it was when you were 20.