Tuesday was a day for driving bulls around. I made a trip over to Taylor’s Mill Farm and met Brent to discuss buying a bull from him. Brent raises registered Hereford seed stock and that’s just what we needed. You see our breed is called a Baldy Angus which is nothing but an Angus cow crossed with a Hereford bull. Generally you alternate between Hereford and Angus bulls and that keeps the Baldy Angus line alive. However I’ve been slack on getting Hereford bulls and our Baldy Angus are turning into Angus only so it was time to get a new bull. Brent had a good selection of young bulls and I was able to go out and pick the one I wanted. Brent also is a big time believer in genetic testing and EPDs which is measure of how well the bull is supposed to pass along certain genetic traits. Whenever I talk to commercial cattlemen, or read in traditional publications, EPDs are what it’s all about. Kind of makes me wonder what my EPDs are. Based on my kids, they must be pretty awesome because I have some awesome kids.
Anyway, I don’t really go by EPDs but it was very educational to listen to someone who does. The bull I selected was supposed to be smaller framed, have smaller calves (easier birthing), and have really good fat and marbling in the meat. He is a registered Hereford so we do have some pedigreed royalty on the farm now. However I’m not sure his royal reception was what he expected.
We picked up 7 cows on Monday and put them in an isolation pasture till this weekend so they can get used to the farm and used to us. And also to make sure no diseases arrived with them. When I say 7 cows, to be specific it is 7 steers. Boy cows that have been castrated. Our new bull arrived at his new herd, ready to do his bully service, only to discover that I must think he is gay. I’m sure he is disappointed but he will get to meet his ladies tomorrow so all is good.
When I put our new bull into the pasture with the steers, it was like a hockey game. His hooves hit the ground and the gloves dropped on both sides and the fight was on. There was no pause, no sniffing, no grandstanding. He and one of the steers immediately went head to head and started pushing. Both seemed eager to see who was going to be the big man. I’ve certainly seen my share of pushing and shoving on the farm, but I’ve never seen it start so quickly. It was if that was the official greeting between cows.
Sharp eyed readers will notice something different about the cows in the above pictures, there is a white cow in the mix. He is a charolais and not something we normally will have on the farm. Charolais get to be big and do well on more conventional programs so we normally wouldn’t have one on our farm but this particular steer has been mixed with something else causing his frame size to be identical to our Angus. This allowed us the opportunity to test how black cows do in the heat vs. how white cows do in the heat, something we’ll keep our eye on as we get into summer. I’m not jumping to change breeds, but you are always tinkering and testing on a farm looking for ways to improve.
Share eyed readers will also note that the new bull doesn’t have a name. With a wife and three kids, it seems everyone gets a name, but we haven’t had time to name this one yet. I’m sure he’ll earn one soon enough.
The last thing I did on Tuesday was to deliver Hoss, our old bull, back to my friend Dal in Erwin. Hoss was very glad to get back with his normal herd and took no encouragement to get on or off the trailer once I told him where he was going.