Young Star Bulls

Billy Griffin from Bandera, TX, is the proud owner of these two Star bulls that are two years old. Billy has developed a herd of Star composite-bred cattle that are adaptable on a low-input production system. A number of Star bulls as well as heifers have been purchased since 2014. From the photos below, the light-colored bull is 35.1% Red Angus, 45.3% Senepol, 18.8% Tuli and 0.8% other breeds. His dam (LR Beth) is 17 years-old and has produced a calf every year since she was a two year-old. The red bull is Mashona-sired by Tarzan. His breed composition is 50.0% Mashona, 31.3% Red Angus, 12.5% Senepol, 6.3% Tuli. His maternal grand sire is Bandito Tres (Red Angus) and his maternal grand dam’s sire was Nocona (Senepol). His dam (LR Faith) is now 12 years old. These bulls are both slick, short-framed, deep-gutted and have good muscle development, which exemplify well the evolving type of Star cattle.

My Old Girls

Just added to the Ranch Management page is a piece that features some of my oldest Star cows from 12 to 17 years of age. Some of these cows just weaned 10 month-old calves that were at their side this winter and without receiving fed feeds, only minerals. The photo below is a Mashona-sired heifer that was wintered by LR Dusty, an 13 year-old Star cow.


Bulls for Sale in Austin area – SOLD

In 2014, Mark Bearden purchased two weaned STAR bull calves for breeding. His ranch is located in the south Austin area. Originally, his cows were bought at local auctions. Mark’s breeding objective was to save daughters for breeding from his new STAR bulls and his best cows that would be more heat tolerant to upgrade the herd. He says: I have been completely satisfied with them. They are doing a great job for me. I have recently lost some lease pastures and have been thinking about trying to sell these bulls. These bulls are too good to take to an auction barn. The thing I like most about the bulls is the reason I bought them. I have a no hay operation that I learned how to do from reading your articles and also reading articles from other people. This puts the breeding season in the hottest time of the year. I wanted bulls that would have no problem getting cows bred in July and August in Central Texas. I separated the bulls during the breeding season and each bull was turned in with 20 to 30 cows. These bulls had no problems doing that with usually very close to 100% getting bred. I have kept back several heifers. They all made great cows and none of them had any problems calving. The bulls are very gentle and I haven’t had any problems with them at all. Currently they are together, so if someone wants both of them, then that will not be a problem. The best way for a potential buyer to contact me is this other email account.

Mark will accept a reasonable offer for either one or both bulls.

Wintering Time

In 2019, weaned calves were sold as breeding animals or as grass feeders. None were taken to the local sale barn. Replacement heifers and bulls are presently being wintered on their dams. They will not be separated until early March. However, wintered heifers are kept in separate pastures than wintered bulls to prevent early breeding. Dams will continue to nurse their calves until they become dry, and teach them various winter grazing behaviors, while programming their fetuses to switch on genes for poor quality forage digestibility without fed feeds (as well as genes for other vital traits that pertain to adaptability). There is still some green forage and weeds at the base of taller and mature stockpiled forage to ensure that their nutritional needs are being met. Below are several photos: wintered cows and heifer calves and a wintered bull (LR 20-19) including his pictorial pedigree.

New Article on Inbreeding

There are certain traditional myths perceived by breeders on the practice of inbreeding. Like any breeding practice, if the effects of inbreeding are well understood it can become a tool, along with selection and culling, to produce outstanding breeding animals. However, its use also depends on the type of operation. In commercial herds the exploitation of heterosis is a stronger economic incentive with regards to performance, more so than the effects of inbreeding, so the strategy is often to minimize inbreeding when choosing parents for mating. In the September issue of the Stockman Grass Farmer, I wrote an article entitled – Understanding and Managing Inbreeding. For interested readers who breed and sell animals for breeding, here is the link to the article:

Star-sired Bull Calf for Sale – SOLD

One of my neighbors has an exceptional bull calf that is worthy of being sold for breeding rather than to an auction (photo below). The calf was sired by a Star bull (LR Blondie JR (18-2016); second photo taken at 1-1/2 years of age) and is out of a commercial Charolais-cross cow. The bottom photo is of his Star maternal grand-dam. This bull was born last December and he possesses the slick gene. Being fully crossbred, his hybrid vigor level is at the maximum value of 100%, which will benefit traits – especially fertility and disease resistance. He should be ready to breed between 14 and 15 months of age. If interested, please contact the herd manager, Bobby Bennett, at his cell number (361-459-9043). A reasonable offer will be accepted.