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DeBruycker Charolais Bulls doubled the quality of my Criollo Dams

Fri 13 Feb, 2015

I jumped on the cow bandwagon when 500 pound calves topped $1000. That beat the $550 steers that i sold in 2009.

In 2013 i started buying bred cows. I bought a herd of corrientes, a herd of longhorns and have since kept picking up a variety of horned and crossbred cows when the price was right. I bought them for 2 reasons: they were cheap and they were thrifty.

longhorn cows

I looked for deals, picking up 150 or so, middle aged, bred females for an average of $709.

longhorn cows

Since I have no intention of babysitting, I wanted country covering foragers that could calve unassisted - you heard that right...calve unassisted!

Out of the first 117 bred cows that bought, I weaned 116 angus, hereford and longhorn sired calves providing nothing more than grass, water and salt.

My goal is to breed 400 head of F1 cross females that when crossed over to a quality beef bull will produce a three quarter beef calf that is virtually identical in growth characteristics as its more beefy based counterpart.

To do this I chose DeBruycker Charolais bulls. DeBruycker genetics are long on milk and growth, setting records and gaining notoriety among cattle feeders throughout the country.

The DeBruycker charolais herd is as consistent of a herd as can be found and that is saying something with over 2200 registered females.

longhorn crossed with Charolais bulls

Using their lease program I chose 8 yearling bulls based on their maternal lines. FYI: their lease bulls are very affordable. I turned them out from July 1 to September 15. 

Charolais longhorn crossed calves

I had no calving issues. Calves were tiny at 50 to 60 pounds. They grew better than they had a right too, weaning off at 60% of their dams weight.

The F1s will not compare to high quality beef calves but I knew that going in. That said however, DeBruycker charolais bulls doubled the quality of the criollo dams filling in the weak points of narrow backs and hips.

longhorn charolais cross calves

White is a dominat color so I will be able to get a more consistent herd color.

I sold off the 450 pound steers for $1350 a piece, got rid of some weak heifers and kept 40 of the best.  I believe that these heifers will grow into cows that will meet the criteria for a low input, high out cow.  I'll keep you posted.

Toby Dahl, Rancher

Roundup, MT

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