With the open winter we had late in the season it made me realize the potential for winter grazing opportunities. The practice of stockpiling forage from Summer growth and reserve it for winter grazing is a realistic management practice. Even if we still supplement the cow herd with protein from various sources it still will help lower the cost of wintering the cowherd. Not only is this a savings from decreased feed purchases, but it cuts labor costs, machinery or truck maintenance and fuel, and another huge benefit we cannot even measure, is the physical conditioning the cows are getting by traveling and ranging as they graze instead of standing in a snow-covered lot or pasture waiting for the feed wagon. The additional exercise the herd gets helps increase blood flow to the fetus, keeping it in a more positive position for delivery, thereby lowering the possibility of Mal presentations at birth. Better conditioning also can keep the cow’s feet and legs in better shape as well as her strength, which are all positive attributes for calf delivery, calf vigor, and promotes mothering ability.
To go along with these positive conditioning aspects, we can also select for genetic traits to enhance the do-ability and physical characteristics of the cowherd to maintain body condition and performance on winter forage.
We have a good cross-section of young bulls being developed currently, many of which exhibit these physical characteristics to promote easy fleshing cattle. We also have several 50% red Simm Angus cross bulls this year with very high rankings for both herd builder and Grid Master indices.
The current EPD’s and performance data are available on the bull test sheets listed on the website at woodvbarxranch.com.
We will also again have a few April born coming two-year-old bulls available.
The sale will be Saturday, March 28th and follow the same Ranch auction venue as last year. A low-stress bid off following the usual preview and lunch format will be used. Watch the website for updates and monthly test weight postings.
Leonard and Naomi