For 2018 the overall cow and heifer pregnancy rate was 95.1%. Over 90% of the cows conceived in their first heat cycle, despite the brutally high temperature and humidity levels during the breeding season (mid-July through August). Cows at Lukefahr Ranch are not pampered; if they do not adapt they are culled. In 2017 the average feed cost per cow was $4.04. No hay was fed during the winter. The photo features a Star cow with her Mashona-sired heifer calf.
This past Sunday, I observed a Star heifer birth her calf. She was bred to a Star bull. I kept track of the time from when she first broke her water until the calf was nursing. This whole process took less than 30 minutes. In fact, she laid down only once and contracted a few times. The calf weighed 57 pounds. It was up and nursing in no time. Of course, big calves at birth are usually sore and are less thrifty at birth. One yearling bull is for sale (#23). He weighed 55 pounds at birth and has a -5.3 birth weight EPD, ranking the highest of all bull calves born last year. He is featured at the Bulls for Sale page.
On January 16, 2018, the feature article in Beef and Beef Producer magazines was about Lukefahr Ranch (http://www.beefproducer.com/management/another-study-says-smaller-cows-more-profitable). Actually it was one of a two-part series. This part I article describes a model simulation on cow and land efficiency. My simulation dealt with figures on cow size (1100, 1200, 1300, and 1400 lbs) and total annual costs per cow ($300, $600 or $900) – ultimately relating to the bottom line in terms of profit per acre. After sending this information to Alan Newport last summer, he requested my permission to summarize this information into an article for these magazines. The part II article will describe breeding management practices on Lukefahr Ranch.
LR 22-2102 was sold as a calf to Flying W Ranch located in Cotulla, Texas. His birth weight was 77 lbs (-1.58 EPD) and his 205-day WW was 586 lbs (-12.6 EPD). His breed composition is 25% Red Angus, 25% Senepol, 37.5% Tuli, and 12.5% commercial. For several years he has been the main breeding Star bull. The manager, Grant Rogers, likes his very gentle disposition and high very high libido. Now a number of his daughters are breeding cows in the herd so this fall he will be for sale and two young bull calves will be purchased from Lukefahr Ranch. If you are possibly interested in this bull or have questions, please email (email@example.com) or call (830-998-8048) Grant directly.
In the latest issue of the Professional Animal Scientist, the article entitled: “Characterization of a composite population of beef cattle in subtropical south Texas and the effect of genes for coat type and color on preweaning growth and influence of summer breeding on sex ratio” has been published. The theme of the work deals with the breeding of cattle over years of extreme drought, and is the result of nearly 10 years of performance data collection in Star cattle. Briefly, the article consists of four parts: 1) economic trends; 2) estimation of breed and heterosis; 3) effects of genes for slick and coat color, and 4) the influence of summer breeding on sex ratio. The most major results include the dramatic and positive effect of the slick gene on weaning weight and of summer breeding on producing 50% more bull than heifer calves. This article is posted at the Articles and Presentations page of this website.