Last fall we got our first herd sire from DCCI out of Ohio. Our herd has grown beyond our humble 2 heifer beginning where we could give each cow special attention and trips to get AI’d as needed. We still plan to use AI’ing in our herd development but see a huge value in having a quality herd sire that we can use on the majority of our herd and as a cover bull for our AI cows. After talking with Darol Dickinson about several bulls and debating what would be best for our herd, we landed on a young bull named Hurricane (aka Prairie Dust due to a records mix up).
Hurricane has everything that we were looking for with his traditional genetic ties going back to Don Quixote, while exhibiting all the qualities of the modern improved longhorn. His black and white color is a great match for our existing herd that is filled with most white, red, and brown. A part of him that stands out is the amount of horn he has for a black and white bull. His horn is low and flat with rapid growth that we look for in our animals. His quality really shines through in his thick trim body from head to toe.
He has great thickness in his hind end and a flat correct back. His front shoulder exhibits the desirable thickness that will bring big boned strong calves in the coming years.
He is a huge step up in genetics that will take our herd to the next level.
Not to mention that this animal took the #1 spot in our herd for being the most tame and easy going disposition. My wife had her doubts, but she is still a little beside herself in trying to figure out how it can be that a bull be so tame.
After several AI attempts and 9 long months, we finally got to welcome another calf from Kola. This time it’s a flashy bull calf that looks just like her mini-me. We are excited to have another calf to halter train, spoil with cubes, and get ready for sale. I am confident this one will make a great addition to anybody’s herd with the great Dickinson Cattle Company Inc. genetics we picked up using Tuxedo.
We have had a busy spring. Fortunately, we acquired an old ranch homestead in April which has allowed us to grow our herd and cut back our hay bills. It has been a significant effort to repair the fences which is why there have not been any posts recently. Eventually we plan to move to the property and reclaim the land to what it once was.
The property has been an enjoyable weekend escape for our family providing many challenges that allow our minds to be freed from our city jobs.
We sold our first calf this week! It was exciting, challenging, and even a little bit emotional. Most people remember their first pay check or dollar they made, a symbol of their hard work and bookmark for a new chapter of their life. Our first longhorn sale has brought a similar excitement. We are navigating our way to building a business and slowly seeing our visions become realities. On the other hand, the last couple of weeks exposed me to the most difficulty I have had weaning a calf. Mill Iron Man was a skilled escape artist, and I probably need to work on tightening up the corral. Every night that I tried to separate him from his mom, he would end up beside her by sunrise the next morning. He somehow shimmied a gate off of the hinges two of the nights, and another night, he unchained the gate. If I would have only known, his name would have been Houdini. Beside his escaping abilities, he was the easiest calf I have had to get started on a halter. Either very intelligent or he had a true passion for cubes “cake” which made him easy to train. It is probably a good thing to be selling quality animals that make you second guess yourself as you see them go, but we will definitely miss his spunky sprints around our pasture. Thank you to Behrens Farms, and we wish them best with their new addition.
The most recent photo shoot that my wife had with our daughter and the cows illuminates how gentle longhorns can be. We have never had issues with the cows being aggressive. Even when they freshly became mothers, they allowed us to be part of their family. Owning longhorns has been a rewarding experience for us, and we thoroughly enjoy the culture that it provides for our growing family.
Its officially not winter in Oklahoma anymore. The days are starting to regularly hit 80 degrees, the trees are all full of leaves, and the cows are getting their slick summer coats. For us, summer always comes too fast, and we will soon be dreaming of the Montana summers back home. Last year’s heifer calves were born in the summer and are sure growing fast, coming up on being 1 year old. We AI’d to Drag Iron again this year. High Jinks took, but Kola required a second try and will hopefully preg check positive in the next couple months. High Jinks will be due October 11, and if Kola took, we will be looking at having a New Year’s baby (12/29 due date). Kori, our daughter, loves feeding and watching the animals every evening. Its amazing to think that 1 year ago we had no idea the joys (and challenges) that the three below would bless us with.