REGISTERED ANGUS CATTLE
Alfred Giles purchased three Aberdeen Angus cows from
Scotland. The land reminded him of where he and his
family had vacationed in Scotland, and he remembered the
black cows on the green hills; he wanted his own.
By most standards, our cattle are small. Cows average
about 1,100 pounds. We believe it is important to have
an animal that can live off of the land. Larger cows
couldn’t get enough to eat to survive here.
Our cattle are supplemented with protein during the
winter months. Hay is never fed. If we feel like our
cattle need hay, then we have too many cattle and find
other country for them.
Our cows begin calving in late February through early
April. At about four months of age, our calves are
worked. This includes vaccinating, ear tagging, treating
for internal and external parasites, and castrating most
bull calves. Cows and bulls also receive a round of
vaccinations at this time.
Weaning & Winter Grazing
Calves are weaned beginning in October.
In mid-November, our calves are then shipped to the
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
The Noble Foundation is an independent, non-profit
institute that conducts research to enhance agricultural
productivity and profit.
The calves spend the next 5-6 months grazing different
plant varieties that are being tested for grazing as
well as bio-fuel potential. Once the grazing trial is
complete, selected heifer calves are shipped back to
the ranch. The decision is then made whether to sell the
steers and remaining heifers at auction or to retain
ownership through the feedlot stage.
Some bull calves are selected to be kept as bulls for
our own breeding purposes or to be sold, while others
are castrated. Since the calves are so young and there
are no records other than dam and sire, eye appeal is
the greatest factor that goes into selecting ‘keeper’
Bull calves are then placed on a gain test here at the
ranch. They are on feed for 110 days. Each bull is
weighed before going on feed and is again weighed after
the 110 days is complete. This year’s ration consists of
ground milo (carbohydrate concentrate), cottonseed meal
(protein concentrate), cotton gin trash (roughage), as
well as trace minerals and antibiotics.
This feeding period is a chance to collect data on
efficiency and production to be considered in genetic
selection of future herd sires. Basically, what we are
measuring is feed conversion. The term feed conversion
is simply the amount of feed an animal consumes as
compared to the amount of body weight gained, expressed
as a ratio. Feed conversion ratios around 6:1 (6 pounds
of feed per pound of gain) are common in most beef
cattle operations. Cattle that gain more weight with
less feed or forage are more efficient.
Our bulls are given a bull breeding soundness
examination, ensuring they are fertile and able to
reproduce. Bulls are available for sale each year.
Advances in Technology
Ultrasounding bulls has become an extremely useful tool
for us. Ultrasounding an animal allows us to put a
score of muscling by weight, which would be difficult by
visual observation alone.
As each bull is scanned, we are able to see a cross
section between the 12th and 13th rib on a screen. The
results are then sent to us, including rib eye area and
rib eye fat, for each animal. With this information we
can compare each animal with a ratio of square inches of
rib eye muscle per 100 pounds of animal. This data is
extremely useful to us when selecting which animals to
keep and which to sell.
Our cattle produce beef ranked as prime or choice 95% of