Monday, November 2, 2009

British White Heifers - A video of four pretty heifers

This video shows four British White heifers at pasture in late October.  These pretty little girls were sired by J.West's Carter, an unusual small young bull  produced by a double Popeye daughter and J.West's Mazarati.  Carter is thick and  masculine, all you could want in a herd sire -- yet he is also very short.  At most he will mature to a Frame Score 2, but just barely if he does. 

The decision to give this little guy a try on a set of open heifers last December wasn't made lightly.  Would his calves have low birth weights?  average birth weights?  Or even above average as a potential consequence of linebreeding?  Odds seemed best they would be low to average birth weights. 

Then there was the question of just what would I do with the offspring if they were indeed small.  A wise man told me long ago that it was a whole lot easier to make your cows smaller than it was to make them larger once again.  But, there is a growing interest in smaller cattle for grass fed beef operations and for small farms, so I decided to give Carter a shot at producing true British White Fullbloods of a thick lowline rather than a 'mini' cattle stature.  I think it has been a good decision, and I couldn't be more pleased with the birth weights, or with the heifers. 

The first calf born on Sept. 21 was out of Stella, an El Presidente daughter, and she had an actual weight of 48 pounds, and taped 24".  The next calf born was out Merry Marie, an Elvis daughter, and she had an actual weight of 59 pounds, and taped 25".  The next was out of Doc's Gal, a Mazarati daughter and also a half sister to Carter, and she had an actual weight of 54 pounds and taped 24.5".   The last calf born was out of Elsie Eve, another El Presidente daughter, and she had an actual weight of 55 pounds -- with a taped 27" girth!  I checked, it wasn't a mistake, she is a very thick little heifer. 

Small, highly feed efficient British White cattle with outstanding carcass seems a worthwhile niche to direct a portion of my breeding stock.  It will be interesting to see how these heifers grow over the coming months, and I'm already puzzling over the selection of a bull for them, and whether it would be best to flush them and let a nice big cow carry their embryos.  As that wise man and good friend said, it's a whole lot easier to make them smaller than it is to make them bigger.........


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