Time to make one of the hardest decisions
I had to share this picture because this is a mother-daughter duo with their babies, and I just think it’s a cool picture!
These are 2 of our full Beefmaster cows, now if you don’t know what a Beefmaster is, don’t worry, neither did before marrying Cameron. It is a combination of ¼ Shorthorn, ¼ Herford and ½ Brahman which is why these 2 are so slick looking. The breed was started by Tom Lasater who wanted the beef and milk genetics of the Hereford and Shorthorn, combined with the hardiness of the Brahmans.
They really are a great breed of cattle! Cameron’s family raises them on their mountainous ranch in Mexico because they are such good mommas and are tough enough for that rougher environment.
So, when we started buying cows here in MO for our own cattle herd, we started with a few registered Beefmasters. The one on the right was one of the first! We think she has a little more Brahman in her cause she can be a little wild, so we named her Wild Thing. She has mellowed out a lot in the 5ish years we have had her. I contribute this to our daily moves with them and our low stress cattle handling.
Her daughter we called Super Slick because as a calf she looked more Brahman than Beefmaster. At first Super Slick wanted to be a little wild but we sent her to some friends of ours, in the beefmaster world that was notorious for taming the wild ones. Sure enough, they worked with her and turned her into a pet almost! Even now she is mild mannered and easy to be around and work with.
Now we have started crossing Angus bulls with our beefmaster cows to get a little more of the beef genetics in there for our meat program. If there is one thing I have learned over the last 6 years of running our own cattle operation. It is that the genetics are incredibly important and the only true test of them is time. They have all kinds of test and measuring tools for what the genetics are supposed to be, but none of them are 100% accurate and every ranch environment is different, and the animals will preform different.
It makes it very hard to choose a bull or even pick heifers to breed because you really can’t look at them and decide who will be the best. We are hoping to build our own program of low maintenance, high performance animals. Meaning they won’t need help calving and the steers will make the best steaks!
It just takes time. From the time we choose a bull till we know what kind of genetics he passes on is 3-4 years! So, you have 3-4 years of potentially using him for the better or worse of your herd. Its crazy and makes me crazy to think about. I let Cameron make the call on what bulls to use!
We are only a couple weeks away from the next breeding season and therefor away from making the choice that will either take us on the fast track to our goal, or the long way around through process of elimination. I guess either way will be progress and that’s all we can hope for!