Heifer development starts with a plan. When we begin the process, our goal is to market a bred heifer that calves at the right time, continues to grow, and gets bred back so that she becomes a productive member of your herd.
Many times, when cattlemen raise their own heifers, things get complicated. We know, we have been there. As cow/calf producers, we know that heifer development seems easy until you are in the middle of it. Providing separate pastures to accommodate the unique nutritional needs of heifers is sometimes hard. We also recognize that keeping a separate battery of bulls exclusively for heifers is cost-prohibitive. We aim to take the guesswork out of heifer development and provide you with a heifer that calves easy and continues to produce calf crops that you are proud of.
The breeding process begins weeks before breeding. We carefully select bulls not only by the EPDS, but also by genomic testing. These heifers will be bred to Ellingson Angus bulls through both the AI process and pasture exposure. We are currently using Ellingson Icon 5062 as our AI bull. The heifers are synchronized and then bred for an end of February calving date.
We focus on a simple nutrition program that provides low-input feeds. We focus on using excellent quality hay, balage and two pounds of grain per day. We feel that by keeping our feed simple, it gives producers a chance to add different commodities that are available in their area.
The heifers are turned out onto pastures on April 1st, weather–permitting. The grass is not abundant at that time, so they are still fed their same ration of balage, dry hay and two pounds of grain. We use VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5 mineral.