The Hahnderosa was established in 2013 on our small piece of property north of Dallas. We face an operational problem of not enough land (25 acres) and consequently have a small herd. Currently, we have 10 heifers/cows and a nice bull. The pastures all look pretty good considering the number of cattle.
We have had thirty calves, evenly split between bull calves and heifer calves . Two have been sold at auction and we have another four we are about to take to auction. The BBU suggested that we keep the bull calves to close to a year, to see if we want to separate them and sell them via a different avenue as bulls. We have taken that advice.
We figured out a long time ago, hay and feed, while expensive are much less expensive than acreage in this area. So, we have an aggressive feeding program of rounds of coastal, bags of sweet feed, and cattle cubes. Of course, water is always available. We also use mineral blocks and do a lot of seeding of our acreage – Bermuda grass and Rye grass during the appropriate months.
Our small herd goes through close to 300 lbs of supplemental feed a week to ensure a balanced mix of protein, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats within their diets. They always look good, with two time period exceptions. When the temperatures are above 105 and below 25, they shed some weight. I think this is to be expected during high periods of temperature stress.
Our bull, Watt 1043, came from Casey Beefmasters in Albany, West Texas. Nine of the heifers are from Craig Valenta’s ranch in East Texas. We have one heifer purchased at the Annual Beefmaster Breeders United Conference in Memphis in November of 2014. When we had a BBU inspection last year, we were told that we scored a “home run” with our bull! Thank you BBU!
We have five pastures, of various sizes, which gives us the chance to rotate the cattle from pasture to pasture for erosion and pasture growth control. Usually, during calving we keep “Jack” our donkey with the cattle to help with predators. He does a great job.
The BBU has been great as a source of information, as have other BBU members. Our best supporter, our neighbor Marvin Schkade, has been raising livestock, including cattle, for 30 years. You just can’t learn too much in this business. And it is a business. Our goal, superior livestock, emphasizing the approach that we do things for the long run, in a safe and humane manner. We’ve been blessed with having a great relationship with our local veterinarian, Dr. Larry Lane D.V.M. of the Farmersville Veterinary Clinic.
Our capital expenses and repair expenses have been high, as we transitioned from raising goats and horses to cattle. Our single largest expense (besides livestock), was a Portable Quest 8408 34 foot long squeeze chute with a palpation cage, alley and a round chase ring. She works like a wonder. The chute was made in Alberta, Canada and purchased through J&I manufacturing out of Oklahoma. The chute is portable which gives us options. However; we spent enough in design and structure for the alley to the chute that it will be a long time before we move the 8408.
I have thick skin, like a bull and am always willing to learn. You are welcome to send me comments or suggestions on our operations to my email address at firstname.lastname@example.org