Let’s talk about Beef.
Every Spring I pretty much give tons of run downs about calving season.
It’s always a fun subject- who doesn’t love babies?
But, I think it’s important to point out that breeding cows isn’t the main part of our business. And before you go scratching your head, let me explain.
Breeding operations can run a bit differently than the way we do it. We have a cow herd that we put our bulls into every year to breed. We let them do their business and then we take them out until it’s their time again. We then have babies.
In a breeding operation, you could potentially see a number of things happen.
In some breeding operations you might sometimes see Artificial Insemination or AI. Then you will see what we would refer to as a “clean up bull”.
The cows are all artificially inseminated with semen and then once they are turned back out to pasture they will put a bull in with them, just in case the AI doesn’t take and they do not become pregnant.
|Our leased bull, doing his job.|
You also are going to see some serious record keeping. If you are running a breeding business you may sometimes keep some of your calves to “breed back” again when they are ready. If you plan on keeping baby heifer (girl) calves back to breed again it’s really important that you always keep note of their daddy (the bull). You most certainly don’t want to be breeding her back to the bull that sired her. You will also keep pretty close track of every cow and what type of baby they tend to have. Large or small. Boy or girl. Black or Brown. Straight legs or crooked legs. Heavily muscled or light muscled. We tend to keep track of colors, sex, and any birthing problems. We also never keep back any of our heifer calves to breed back. Compared to larger breeding operations we run pretty simple around here.
In breeding operations for the most part you are breeding for something. Whether it be good looks, for show cattle. Calves that tend to gain weight quickly and efficiently, for feeder cattle. Milk production, like Dairy cattle. And in some cases, just for breeding. For example, for the first time this year we rented a bull for our herd. We leased him from Jorgensen Land and Cattle. Since my husband is friends with the owner and operator of the business I have had the pleasure of chatting with him and his wife about how they do things on their farm. It’s intriguing. They breed for the purpose of leasing out bulls. So, they have a long list of things they tend to look for when it comes to baby calves.
It’s amazing every aspect that goes into the Beef Business!