April: The end of a 4-5 mile drive to the home-place in April. This ended the cumulative drive of roughly 20 miles.
The registered cows are hauled to stalks in October north of Holdrege. Over the course of 6 months, they walk and graze their way back home through moves that take them from 100 yards to 5 miles.
They are back in April for calving and summer grazing. Marcus is counting them through the gate as they flow into a pasture rich with carry-over grass for calving.
April: One of the best sights ever. This brand new heifer calf represents so much. First, for all of us in the cattle business, it is the tangible beginning of a new cattle cycle– a live calf. Unassisted. Vigorous. Healthy. With a mother right there tending to her needs and ready to feed and care for her.
The mother cow here–#6312 is significant. As all mother cows are significant. Here’s her story: she conceived in a 30-day breeding season for her first calf, which was born on April 16, 2018. This photo, of her second calf, was taken on April 23, 2019. Notoriously the most demanding year of a cow’s life is the year that she is raising her first calf and still growing and maturing. It is a milestone to have bred with a first calf, calved, bred for a second calf and calved in a timely manner. The significance of that is huge and it keeps the cycle and the cowherd rolling.
May & June: The commercial calves are all branded with the Cross Diamond brand on the left hip. We have a great crew to help with this project at a “rope-and-drag” branding. The cows receive their breeding shots at this time and calves receive a round of calfhood vaccinations.
The registered calves are all branded with the Cross Diamond on the left shoulder. Since the shoulder is a trickier location, the registered calves are just vaccinated in June and branded through a chute at a later time.
August: A pair on grass on Aug. 31, just a few weeks before weaning. Like mother, like daughter.
Sept.: Our cowherd is “coming right at us” with fertility, soundness and easy disposition. This photo was taken in September as we picked up bulls and ended the breeding season. All of the cows are exposed for 50 days; heifers are exposed for a 30-day season.
Corey Cable and Marcus Eggleston are on horseback.
October: The last day on grass for the year before moving to cornstalks. We take a mature cow weight and body condition score on all of the registered cows after weaning for incorporation into the Maintenance Energy EPD.
October- March: Crop residue is great grazing for the fall and winter months. The cows are shown here on cornstalks.
We are able to utilize crop residue with all of our other cattle– from herd bulls to yearlings, which enables them to truly be year-around grazers and foragers.
Crs Diamnd Laurel 054 (Reg. #1402207)
Sire: Buf Crk Medallion N328
054 is a cornerstone of structural soundness, fertility and foraging ability. She has a 364-day calving interval on 8 calves, with a 106 MPPA.
Crs Diamnd Laurel 0128 (Reg. #1402064)
Sire: Buf Crk Medallion N328
0128 is another Medallion daughter with steadfast production and sustained fertility. She records a 364-day calving interval on 8 calves with a 102 MPPA
Crs Diamnd Pillar 9190 (Reg. #1332813)
Sire: Crs Diamnd New Market 682
9190 truly is a pillar of maternal strength! She tabulates a 365-day calving interval on 9 calves with a 101 MPPA.
CAB Rosie 0108 (Reg. #1579160)
Sire: 5L Normandy Canyon 6024
A beautiful udder, angular design and easy fleshing ability have all contributed to the longevity of this cow. She has produced 9 calves (one set of twin heifers), with a 364-day calving interval.
Crs Diamnd Frankie 932 (Reg. #1332667)
Sire: ARO Triple Play 503
Solid. This cow is solid in her make-up, and solid in her production. She has produced 9 calves with a 369-day calving interval.