Our bull development program is simple. After weaning the bulls are started on a high fiber pelleted ration. This feed is used during the winter while they are out on wheat pasture and continued into the spring. In addition to the pelleted feed, we offer them free choice hay, usually prairie hay, triticale, or sudan. We have been very pleased with this program, as the bulls develop well without the bad effects of a high starch ration that leads to overfed animals with bad feet and poor fertility.
We enjoy being able to have the bulls grazing during the winter months for a couple of reasons. For one, the bulls are able to get plenty of exercise and keeps their feet sound. We also enjoy handling and training them during this time. We will drive them horseback as a group to simulate being gathered. We know that training on these young cattle really pays off when it comes time for them to be handled down the road. Usually, the bulls are off wheat pasture in February and are kept in the lot. However; the lot does have a large area adjacent to still give them plenty of room to move around and exercise.
The genetics that we have used over the years have been chosen to optimize performance and yet maintain well balanced EPDs. We have always put great emphasis on maternal traits and calving ease and paid attention to carcass traits. At no time have we ever used single trait selection as a way of choosing genetic inputs. The bloodlines in our cowherd are: Cherokee Canyon 4912, EBV 6703, Chateau 744, Rebellas Robinhood 538, Above & Beyond 1300J, No Equal 1174, Golden Boy 719, Julian LT142, Lancer R013, Grand Canyon 1244, Heaven or Bust 1000, Cheyenne 221L, Major League A502M, Merlin T179, Pawnee Canyon 8127, and now have incorporated some Beefmaker SimAngus daughters into the cowherd.