Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Genex Progeny Test Update.



I was at a meeting the other day, and someone asked me if life had slowed down now that calving is about over.

I wish I could say it has, but for us once we're done calving we move right into breeding spring cows for both Double M and for other ranches in the area.  The 2014 breeding season is getting kicked off with a Genex Artificial Insemination (AI) school this weekend at BMCC, and then the rest of the calendar shows breeding projects from April until the end of June. 

We really enjoy breeding cows & heifers, and while I'm biased, Clint is really good with knowing what types of synchronization programs to use for different situations.  But one of the more personal decisions for a rancher who is getting ready to AI is;

What bull(s) do you use?

With so many choices, you can go in any direction and still be right.

I think anyone who is choosing bulls would say the same thing - they want a bull who's going to sire profitable calves.

But {profitable} looks different on different operations. Some ranchers are trying to sire replacement heifers, while others sell everything at weaning.  Some are trying to make show calves, and others are going for growth.  The beauty of using AI is that you can pick and choose what works best for you - and the predictability and accuracy is better than using a herd bull because the bulls at a stud like Genex are proven and tested before they really hit the mainstream market.

The choice of what to AI to here at Double M is a bit unique, because the herd is a progeny test for Genex.  That means that we test young sire bulls, or young/new bulls that aren't proven yet, and forward data to Genex to help them decide the future marketing of a bull.  This past fall was the first crop of progeny test calves we had here at the ranch, and we were really pleased with them and continue to be impressed by the calves.

I thought I'd show you a few pictures of the fall calves now that they're about 6 months old.  These pictures were taken on March 8th, out my pickup window.  My intent for doing that was because it seems like when you go to visit a ranch, they take you on a drive through the cows.  This is kind of like a virtual drive - nothing is posed, you can see all of the calves in the group, and we haven't hidden anything - you're seeing it all. So pretend you're in the front seat of my pickup on a brisk day in early March.

A few quick details:
  • The calves picture below were sired by Full Power, Chisum & Dillon
  • These calves were born in mid-September thru early October 2013
  • The dams are commercial cows with primarily Angus & Sim-Angus backgrounds
  • The sire of the bull is noted on the top level of the ear tag. 
    • FP = Full Power, C = Chisum, and D = Dillon
Here's a Full Power calf, a Chisum calf and a ranch sired calf for comparison.
{l to r}

----------------

FULL POWER
The crowd favorite here at the ranch is Full Power.

His calves are phenotypically correct, stout and thick.  Full Power's numbers are pretty impressive too and he is known for tremendous fertility.

{All pictures below are Full Power sired calves.}







CHISUM

I like the Chisum calves a lot too -

They're kind of small when they're born (which is a good thing) and then they really grow into themselves.

{All pictures below are Chisum sired calves.}








DILLON

Dillon is a Final Answer son, and a bit of a curve bender.  While his calves aren't quite as deep bodied as the Full Power & Chisum calves, he has sired a solid set of calves here at Double M.

{All pictures below are Dillon sired calves.}

 (Dillon calf on the left, Full Power on the right)







If you'd like to see this group as month old calves, you can see them in this post here.

Whatever bull you use for the 2014 breeding season, I hope your calves are profitable!

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