Raising the right size cattle
for better feed efficiency and profitability
Our Strategy for the PROPER size Hereford for our Farm
When we first got into the Miniature Hereford business, we did not fully understand the importance of “size” we needed for the type of goals and objectives we had set for our business. After several miss-steps, we developed a strategy for producing the proper size Herefords we wanted to raise and would give us the best option for financial success. We started out by listing the pros and cons for the Modern Herefords and the Miniature Herefords. Then we took the best of the Pros and minimized the Cons to give us our Strategy for producing the best size for the Herefords we wanted to raise and be successful in reaching our goals.
For our strategy, we decided to take the best of both worlds and meet with a size objective that utilizes the Pro items and minimizes the Con items. We had to produce Herefords that are acceptable to the beef industry and cattle ranchers but be more feed efficient and require less acreage per animal. We decided to not have any Mini Herefords that were 00, 000, or 0000 frame size. It is a minimum requirement that they be at least 0 or 1 frame. We wanted to have many of our animals be able to participate in the Miniature Hereford shows but also possibly participate in some of the Open Hereford shows. We decided we needed to create a size category that covered the top of the Miniature Hereford frame sizes and also cover the lower end of the Modern Hereford frame sizes. That would include 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 frame sizes.We call that “Classic Herefords”. The chart to the right starts with 0 and 1 frame sizes which are the top of the Miniature Hereford Frame Scores. If you notice there are only around 3 inches difference between the mature age Mini frame 1 and the Classic Frame 3.
The initial Miniature Herefords were developed to produce smaller cattle because the rancher creating them stated the larger cattle were almost always selected as the winner at shows. Miniature Hereford breeders created a specific size limits for their shows so there were no competition against the larger animals. Unfortunately, we have been told the winners at Miniature Hereford shows are normally the larger animals also.
We decided, we should consider selecting top quality Herefords with moderate size to allow us to breed for smaller sizes because it is next to impossible to breed a smaller Mini cow for larger size calves. That would create birthing problems. More and more Herefords are documenting that their animals have or produce more moderate size animals to get the better feed efficiency. Selecting Moderate size Hereford cows allows us to breed them with the larger Miniature Hereford bull and get calves that will be great dams to produce either top frame size Miniature Herefords or Classic size. Plus we get a much greater options from new genes that are highly regarded with ranchers raising Herefords. One area that helps pick out Moderate Herefords for our program is to look in the AHA database to see what bulls are in great demand within the beef industry. The chart to the right shows some of the bulls that are in our cows bloodlines. The numbers shown are the calves registered to the bull but does not include all of the commercial animals that came from those genes .Those are the genetics we now have in many of our breeding cows.
Our breeding herd is now made up of Modern Herefords, Moderate size Herefords, cows that have a percentage of Miniature Hereford bloodlines and Miniature Hereford cows.
# of calves registered
to a specific bull.
Leia - moderate frame heifer
Lady Abbey - Modern frame cow
Tianna - 50% Mini bloodline
Dayna, a daughter of Tianna - 25% Mini bloodline
Independence Day (Indi), 100% Mini bloodline
DF Cascades Kris Kringle