Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gidget Had a Girl! Classic Mini British White First Calf Heifer Success!

For a few years now, I've been focusing the breeding decisions for a small part of my herd on the goal of consistent classic frame score 3 cattle, which is the top most range of what is considered miniature cattle today.  They are far from being the tiny little micro minis, but instead are a reversion back to the classic frame, or traditional frame, of most British cattle before the push to lengthen leg and just create much bigger cattle -- the very cattle who can't well survive a drought such as the one Texas is enduring today. 

J.West's Gidget was born September 23, 2008 - a long 3 years ago this little gal hit the ground and this journey began.  Gidget is an El Presidente daughter, and her dam (a full sister to J.West's Tom Sawyer) was an embryo transfer calf out of a Woodbastwick Randolph Turpin daughter and De Beauvoir's Huckleberry Finn.  So, Gidget has lots of full  English blood in her pretty little veins, and is as sweet natured as you could want and quite the milky and fertile British White female in a small package.

Gidget had an actual scale birth weight of 57 lbs, a very unusually small birth weight for the breed, and over time it was clear that she would remain a small female.  On November 18, 2009, Gidget had a weight of 483 lbs at 14 months old and stood 38.75 inches in hip height, and was clearly not a candidate for getting settled to calf at 15 months and calving at two years of age.  Below is a video of Gidget in December of 2009, shortly after this weight and hip height were taken.

The next weight and hip height I have on her is in June of 2010 at 21 months old.  She weighed in at 580 lbs, which was pretty decent weight gain for about 6 months, and stood 40.5 inches at the hip.  On October 17, 2010, about a full four months later, Gidget weighed 644 lbs, again pretty good weight gain on her short frame.  I decided it was time to bite the bullet and let my little Gidget get settled to calf.

Gidget was pastured with J.West's S.S. Carter in late November of 2010 and about midnight Saturday night, the 17th of September, Gidget calved an awesome little heifer.  Gidget clearly settled to Carter on her first cycle last fall, and I was quite pleased about that - after it was all over.  I've kept Gidget right by the house for about 3 months now as she put on quite a bit of milk back then and I was afraid she'd somehow got settled to calf on a bull break in or something, so I kept her close.

Gidget's Heifer, Born Sept. 17, 2011
She kept that pretty little udder full of milk until about 3 weeks ago, then it doubled, and I thought sure she was about to calve.  Not!  A few days ago she put on even more milk!  And of course finally gave birth to her heifer Saturday night.  Check out the awesome udder on Gidget, and of course her charming heifer calf, in the Pic &  Video of the Week link.  Her heifer had a chest tape of 26 inches, for a birth weight of about 60 lbs.  In the video you see her at I suppose about 34 hours old, still wobbly, quite friendly, and so beautifully marked.

If you have an interest in Classic Frame British White Cattle, visit http://www.minibritishwhitecattle.com/ for more information and upcoming availability.