Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Surprise - New Beltie calf... the plan is afoot.

Guess I now owe you a picture - or several. We had a heifer with our supposedly not-quite-ready bull and 9 months later: a surprise Beltie-cross heifer. Cute white mini-stripes on her sides. Otherwise, all black like her mom.

So the plan I told you about yesterday is now afoot. First product off the line. Now she'll be bred back to her grand-dad (called line-breeding, which is OK) and we'll then take the offspring of that match and again give her (hopefully another heifer) over to the Beltie bull, which will give us about a 65% Beltie/Angus cross. If we then get another heifer, it would be a good time to have a Beefalo bull (black, polled) to get our first Belted Beefalo.

Means about two years for the this heifer, another two + 9 months for the next, then another 2yr, 9 months to get my first Belted Beefalo - if I get all heifers. That's why I'll have multiple cows to service. Steers get sold and heifers get serviced to create more.

2 years is really because I want to keep them bunched up in the spring. They are ready at 18 months, but this would give me a fall calf. So keep them separate for another 6 and then in with their first bull.

I'll have to crunch the numbers on this one, as she is only about 20 months now, and wasn't supposed to go in with this bull until just a few weeks ago. So she was bred at 11 months and we were awfully lucky. Good thing Belties are known for low birth-weight calves...

Study this one some more.

Pix tomorrow, hopefully.

One good point is that all the time I've spent raising this heifer made her very willing to have me simply stand and scratch her, even get her first milk down for that calf and help him find her teats to suck. Hope she continues being this docile. Makes it easy to raise them when they are.

Means I need to continue hand feeding my heifers especially so they are easy to work with for their first calf.

Cheers. Hope your day had such pleasant surprises...
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