Defining a Ranch Ready 21st Century Hereford Bull
This article is devoted to information about our breeding philosophy and the way we select Star Lake bulls for our Ranch Ready Program. All of the breeding age bulls selected are from the top end of their performance groups and have parameters of less than a 90# actual birth weight and less than a 6.0 BW EPD. They are selected in the fall at weaning and placed in their development pens according to their EPD performance records. We sort them by Growth (WW and YW EPDs), by growth with lower BW (high WW and YW with a moderate to low BW EPD or actual birth weight), by REA (bulls with above 0.30 REA with growth) and by lower birth weight (actual birth weights 80 lbs. or less and BW EPDs below the breed average, while maintaining growth traits).
All bulls over a year of age are scanned for carcass data, which is turned in to the American Hereford Association to be reflected in their EPDs. The bulls are developed in groups of around 20 bulls per pasture. They are fed for optimum yearling weights and carcass information at one year of age. They are grown out with a growing ration and kept in good condition, but not fat, until sale day. They are then ready for heavy service.
The average EPDs of all the bulls and bull groups we feature are compared to the Hereford breed averages. The definition of how EPDs for the Hereford breed are tabulated was described by us in an earlier Hereford 101 (Understanding Hereford EPDs) that can be found on our website. We hope this will help everyone understand this performance data and better understand how to use it. The EPDs for a Hereford cannot be compared to another breed, There is no data from any other breed in the Hereford data bank to make the mathematical calculations that compare animals. The Hereford EPDs include the data from both Canada and the United States. EPDs for a breed should only be compared to that breed by using two animals within the breed or an animal compared to breed average to see how it ranks genetically within that breed.
At Star Lake we believe in extra growth while keeping all the EPD traits balanced. This allows the animals to not require extra nutrition or special attention to function while performing more efficiently. We demand that balanced genetics be above the breed average to consistently produce high performing and fast gaining cattle. It is still important what a calf weighs at weaning or yearling. It is also very important that they are problem free at birth. We calve 300 to 400 head each spring. The mature cows are in 100+ acre pastures and must have their babies on their own. We have not night checked calving cows for 2 years and have found no real differences in survivability since we stopped night checking. The cattle are bred and designed to be problem free.
We have retained hair samples identified for DNA profiles for all the bulls we sell. If anyone who buys a bull has calves they need to identify to a sire, they can do so by sending us hair samples from the calf’s tail, with the hair follicles attached. This way we can identify sires that have done an extra good job of producing calves that excel. We can also identify calves that are problems to our customers and identify the sire and get him eliminated. Star Lake will take care of any problems and make adjustments as necessary. We stand behind Star Lake Hereford bulls. All breeding age bulls will be semen tested and ready to be put into service.
The Star Lake Hereford bull with Star Lake 21st Century Hereford genetics is the New Hereford. He’s a Hereford bull designed to add pounds of muscle and extra weight in a quality package that is problem free. Whether used on crossbred cows, straight bred commercial cows or registered cows, they have the genetics and performance as the documentation reads to add value. They are big, stout, sure footed, thick, heavy muscled bulls that we are proud of. We will stand behind them, because we believe in them and what they can do for the industry! The Star Lake Hereford bull!