We love this bull, and have carefully selected a herd of colorful cows to breed to him; as he is perfect in every other way!
We chose this breed specifically for the genetic diversity; and especially their ease of calving. We are small, so the beauty and variety within the breed was a big draw as well: If we can’t afford to run a large herd- we decided- we may as well have a herd that is fun to watch. Believe it or not, in the beginning, we were unaware of the tremendous push for longer and longer tip to tip measurements!
Our little starter herd did not disappoint, and we were hooked! They have so many qualities that we were not even aware of going in; not the least of which is their incredible propensity for motherhood! These animals continue to amaze us with their unique personalities & familial bond. Females very clearly prefer the company of their own daughters, even after separations for weaning and/or to be bred to different bulls. It is a joy to watch them take turns “babysitting”.
Although we are striving to “improve” the “quality” of our herd; we have not lost sight of our original plan: Raise healthy animals who are a pleasure to look at and easy to work with. I put those two words in quotes for a reason: To us, “quality” equals conformation (which equates to soundness and fertility). It also means that, when everything else clicks, we choose to retain the larger (beefier) type replacement heifers for our breeding stock; because it increases the salvage value of the unneeded bull calves. While we cannot ignore the dollars and sense side of the business, we will never weigh our newborns and breed for larger and larger birth weights! Longhorn calves are born small but incredibly vigorous, and the mothers produce so much milk that they grow like crazy.
We raise & sell natural, grass fed beef (if they do not find homes as riding steers or pasture ornaments, that is). Once we discovered the flavor and health benefits, we are ruined forever, and can’t/won’t ever go back to store bought, fatty beef!
Another area that we are trying to “improve” upon is horn growth- it is impossible to raise longhorns and not recognize the value of breeding for what sells… The trend is for longer horns and loads of color; which is fine: But our idea of the “perfect” longhorn is diverse! We have no plans to raise cookie cutter (completely predictable) offspring. We love all kinds of twist; and all shapes and sizes!
William & Barbara McKinney