Quality Hereford Cattle
for Quality Cattlemen
We would like to welcome you to our virtual 'farm'. Please take the time to get to know us and learn about our operation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are always more than willing to talk with our fellow producers.
We both come from farming families with roots in the Hereford breed. In 1999, we began our foray into farming with the purchase of some of Ross Pritchard's herd. We purchased the cattle with our brother and sister-in-law, Floyd and Pam Price of Triangle Acres. Until the spring of 2006, our cattle were custom raised by Floyd and Pam. We helped out as much as we could when jobs and time allowed us time off. At the time, we were living in Winnipeg and our neighbours were not too keen about our oversized 'pets'!
In the spring of 2006, we decided it was time to move out of the city. We had one son and another on the way and knew that we did not want to raise them in the city. After living in Westbourne for a year, we purchased a small farm at Elm Creek, Manitoba.
Through careful selection and patience, we have built our herd up to 45 cows. This is a combination of both purebred and commercial cows. The majority are Hereford cows with a few Red Angus cows in the mix. Our commercial cows are bred Hereford or Angus, depending on which bull got the job done first!
As we both work off the farm (Glen at Simplot Canada and Faye with Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation), we try to follow a strict culling program. We are trying to target a medium-framed cow with good udder development who will bring in a large calf in the fall and rebreed easily. We ask a lot from our cows! The cows have to be sound, good mothers, even tempered, and healthy. We do not have time to be treating cows constantly and to be babying calves. As the boys are usually not far away when we are out working with the cattle, the cows have to be quiet. We also want cows that we can work with without hurting ourselves, them, or our facilities. We follow a spring and fall vaccination program developed with input from our vet that includes IBR/BVD, blackleg, vitamins, and ivermectin.
We target our calving season for February/March. We A.I. the cows to top Hereford bulls in order to develop a uniform herd with good genetics. Then they are exposed to our herd bulls for four weeks. In mid-July, all the cows are run together and exposed to a Hereford bull for 6 weeks.
Taking out the yardsite, we have about 30 acres to run the cows on. This makes up our winter pasture, and short-term spring and fall pastures as needed. We are currently renting pasture for the summer.
We purchase our hay and straw every year. We target second cut alfalfa hay and look for barley and oat straw. The barley straw is used for bedding while the oat straw is used for supplemental feed. To help reduce our feeding costs and winter chores, we have adopted bale grazing to feed the cows and any calves we retain. They are fed a combination of alfalfa hay and two year old oat straw based on a recommended mix (from CowBytes). We test the feed value of the hay and straw to ensure all nutrient requirements are met. The added cost is easily made up feeding the right amounts to the cows.
Our pasture is definitely seeing the benfit of bale grazing. There is a drastic difference, even late into the season, between where we bale grazed the winter before and where we did not. Our plan is to move the wintering sites each year to build up nitrogen and organic matter over the entire 30 acres. It will take a few years, but eventually all the grass will be rejuvinated without extra costs.
We have done some showing in the past at summer fairs and the Manitoba Hereford Association Summer MOE Show. We have been away from it for the past couple of years because of work commitments but hope to return next year. For us, it is part of our summer holidays. We enjoy getting out to work with the cattle and spend time with fellow cattle enthusiasts. Hopefully we will see you on the road somewhere next summer!
We are annual consignors to the Lundar Bull Show and Sale (in April). We also market replacement females and bulls out of the yard. Our steer calves are usually sold through Winnipeg Livestock Services as backgrounders. A few are retained every year for freezer sales to friends and neighbours.