There’s really not a lot going on down here on the farm these late summer days, other than the normal every day chores – moving the cows, milking goats, feeding chickens… Oh! And making a ridiculous amount of pickles.
One things for sure, we won’t starve this winter – even if all we eat is pickles and beef.
Speaking of beef, in the interest of continuing to have plenty of it, we brought our bull home for fall breeding a week or so ago.
See, we have this arrangement with some friends where they keep Johnny most of the time and he breeds their cows, then we bring him home in order to breed our cows during a specific window of time. They like Johnny, and we like not having to keep him isolated most of the time, so it works for all of us.
When we sent him away early this year, he was just a little guy – wooly in his winter coat, but still small and immature. If you didn’t look closely, he didn’t look much different than one of the cows. Not very manly at all.
Well, that’s changed. At nearly three years old, he’s still not fully grown, but he’s definitely bullish. Now you can look out over the sea of red bovine and say, “Yup, that one’s a bull.”
Interestingly, he’s not, nor will be ever be a truly large bull by industry standards. One of the reasons we picked him , aside from having stellar grass-fed only genetics, was his small projected size.
Relatively short legs, and large rumens (bellies) are oft overlooked qualities in the beef industry. I’m not sure why breeding for height is so popular, but the rumen size issue is easy.
Grain doesn’t take up as much space as does grass in adequate amounts. We grass-fed producers don’t care for wasting time feeding long legs. When you’re sending your beeves to a feed lot to get fat, those things don’t really matter.