In the past, we were involved in a commercial cattle business raising feeder calves. Being in South Texas, our cow herd was Brahman influenced. In the spring of 2019 we decided to branch out into the reproductive side, purchasing a set of V8 Brahman heifers.
This first year has been full of ups and downs, just like any first year in a new endeavor, but we have learned so much!
Brahman cattle and the ranchers who care for them have such a special relationship. These animals are more than just an investment or business deal. They are part of the family and any rancher who raises any type of cattle can tell you that. Mallory can tell you the name of each heifer and why they have that name. A few of the stand-outs are “Worm” and “Queen,” but each one has their own sweet and fun personality.
There is still so much more to learn, but the top four things we learned are below.
- Brahman cattle have a bad name when it comes to disposition.
We’ve learned that Brahman cattle can be a pleasure to be around. When it comes to handling cattle patience is key. Brahman, unlike most cattle, have a tendency of getting worked up very quickly. We’ve learned that if you’re patient with these cattle they will work very well for you, but if you get them stirred up the job becomes twice as hard.
- How important it is to work as a team, not as individuals
Team (noun): two or more people working together
Between Mallory and Taylor working hands on with the cattle daily, and the rest of the crew working on the administrative side, we have learned that without the strengths of each other, we wouldn’t be able to continue in this business. It’s not always easy working with family, but we know we can’t do it by ourselves. We need the other’s strengths to get the job done!
- The treatment of cattle is very important in creating docile animals
This relates back to number one. Since we didn’t know how docile Brahman cattle can be! We have learned that with time, patience and lots of alfalfa hay we have experienced their gentle nature! They sure can be cuddly pets who just want a good scratch behind the hump! Brahman cattle have such sweet, gentle souls, it’s hard not to fall in love with them and their fun personalities!
- The AI (artificial insemination) and reproductive side of the cattle business
While using the AI process, we have learned that it is not as easy as turning a bull out. It is about a ten-day process that involves a lot of handling. Being able to work your cattle efficiently, while being disciplined enough, to keep them gentle in the pens through the ten-day process can be a challenge. Even though this process is more work, the benefits of selective breeding can be very beneficial, such as being able to match a sire’s qualities with a dam’s qualities in hopes of producing the best calf you can.
In 2019, we started a registered cattle business called 79 cattle company. We cannot wait to continue sharing more with you throughout this journey. We are looking forward to everything to come in 2020. So, stay tuned and follow us on this adventure!