Weaning & Shipping

The end of October & November were filled with weaning calves. Weaning is a vital time in the management of the cows & calves. The milk diet is being removed & is replaced with a forage diet. At the time of weaning, calves were about eight to nine months old.

At weaning, the calves were vaccinated with a booster shot, treated with a pour on solution for internal & external parasites, & some were branded. Branding is a useful & cost-effective way to identify cattle. A recognizable brand is instrumental in proving

All steer calves & bull calves received an ‘HIL’ brand.  All bull calves received a number brand as well {their ear tag number}. Heifers that we plan to keep for ourselves received an ‘HIL’ brand & a number brand. These heifers were selected based on visual appeal, as well as their pedigree records. All other heifers that we plan to sell did not receive any brands.

At the time of weaning, the mother cows are about four to five months pregnant. It is important the cows have a break from nursing a calf in order to provide adequate
nutrition to the developing fetus inside of her.

On November 28th, we shipped 103 steers to the Noble Research Institute in Ardmore, OK. The Noble Research Institute is an independent nonprofit institute dedicated to delivering solutions to great agricultural challenges.

Noble Research Institute

These steers will spend the next several months grazing different plant varieties that are being tested for grazing as well as bio-fuel potential. Once the grazing trial is complete, the decision will then be made whether to sell the steers at auction or to retain ownership through the feedlot stage. Factors that will effect that decision are available feed & pasture, feed costs, cattle prices, & projected profitability in the feedlot.

A big advantage to retaining ownership through the feedlot stage is that we receive carcass data on each animal. This is advantageous in evaluating sires {bulls} & dams {cows} & determining future breeding plans. In times that demand reducing our stocking rate, carcass data can also help us decide which animals to liquidate.