Tag Archives: Cattle breeding

What’s Happening At The Ranch

We have a new bull at the ranch. Meet Baron.

Baron Bull

Welcome Baron Bull

Every six years or so we retire our bull and bring in a a younger, harder working one.

I’ve come up with the name Baron Bull for him. This is easier to recall than his name from the American International Charolais Association which is MR 4M Freedom 185M.

Last week our waiting Black Baldy cows welcomed him to the ranch and he has fit in well. We can expect hybrid vigor with the Black Baldy and Charolais cross.

Baron as a name seems appropriate as Baron’s Creek that runs through Fredericksburg and was named after Baron von Meusebach, the founder of Fredericksburg. Also our new bull is out of the Behrend’s (pronounced the same as baron) line of Charolais , so it all seems to fit the big guy.

Trudy and I were mulling over his warm reception by our cows. Given the age difference with the bull being two years old and our cows being two to eight years older than Baron, Trudy and I wondered if we had “Cougar Cows.” But those are ruminations for a later time and after several glasses of wine.

The features most important to me in selecting a new bull are a gentle disposition, good conformation, and fertility. Baron possesses all three. Being gentle is a must as my grandchildren spend time on the ranch, and I am not nearly as swift of foot as I used to be. I checked his gentleness before purchasing him by walking close by him in a pen.  He made no aggressive moves and his prior owner spoke highly of his gentleness. Tick.

Good confirmation is important as we want his offspring to be thick and well conformed as they will sell better. He is muscular, has a straight back, and thick torso. Tick.

Good fertility is a must as the entire crop of calves will depend on it. Baron has been checked twice and found ready to breed. Tick. Results in nine and a half months and more of course will be of greater significance.

He is smaller than our last bull but likely will grow over the next several years. He is thicker than our last bull. Baron already shows wanting to “work” more¬† than did our old bull who was becoming rather indifferent. As an aside one wonders why it is referred to as “work” but such is the unusual nature of ranching vernacular.

So welcome Baron bull to the Hutton ranch. May your days be long and highly productive.

Guest Worker Program at the Ranch

IMG_0421

A new face temporarily resides at Medicine Spirit Ranch. No, Curly, our white Charolais bull didn’t get a black dye job nor did he lose 800 pounds. The Black Angus bull in the picture belongs to our good neighbors, Steve and Carla Allen and goes by the politically questionable name of “Sambo.”

The bull is staying for three months to breed with my heifers. Since they are first time heifers, we needed a small bull. Hope to sell the bred heifers for a good price in the spring.

The vernacular calls Sambo a “working” bull. Now guys, how much work can it really be? He has five heifers to breed and plenty of time in which to do it. No pressure here!

Lets see- he has plenty of grass or hay, range cubes, clean water, and five heifers. Does this really sound like work to you? And we refer to it as the “Life of Riley” but in reality it’s the “Life of Sambo.” He seems happy in his work.

We’il see how this breeding experiment works out next spring when the heifers are pregnancy checked. Meanwhile they will frolic in the most gorgeous weather we have seen in awhile.

I did a little research on Black Angus. They originally came from the shires of Aberdeen and Angus in northern Scotland. The cattle from Aberdeen were affectionately referred to as “hummlies” and those from Angus were called “Doddies.”

The transfer of Angus to the States began in 1873 when four Angus bulls were imported to Kansas. Over the next 12 years some 1,200 Angus beef cattle were imported and they have become one of the most popular breeds of cattle in the USA. They are especially prized in Japan.

They are naturally polled (meaning they have no horns) which for anyone like me who’s been bonked by a Longhorn’s horn sounds like a real plus.