Monday, December 13, 2010

Letter from AMAA Breeder

Below is a letter that Dennis Garwood included in his recent sale catalog. I respect the successes Dennis has made as cattle producer , and his morals as a person. He is a valuable member of the Association that will fight to keep the Maine Anjou breed moving in the right direction.

If I could, I would like to bring up a subject that I personally feel needs to be addressed. It is not my intention to “get on a soap box" or to “make a big deal” which is why I have asked Craig, our sale manager, to include this discussion later in the catalog. I want to remain positive and upbeat about this great breed of cattle and the people that represent it.

I would like to encourage my fellow Maine-Anjou breeders and producers to provide accurate, honest and dependable information when submitting cattle for registration and to genuinely and honestly represent the cattle you have worked so hard to produce.

In order for our associations (AAA & AMAA) to generate accurate and dependable EPD’s (which can be a valuable tool when making mating and breeding decisions), accurate, dependable, and complete information must be submitted. If we want to have faith in our EPD’s we must be faithful in what we report. Birth dates, birthweights, weaning weights, weaning dates, etc. “pulled out of a hat" so to speak if not changed or manipulated equally on the whole herd provide inaccurate progeny ratios which in the long run negatively impact individuals and the breed as a whole. On another note, as we all know, one of the major strengths of the Maine-Anjou breed is phenotypic excellence. Many are involved in this breed because of a desire to compete and excel in the show ring and that's a good thing. But I would like to encourage us especially to report accurate birth dates and birth weights out of respect for fellow breeders and a desire to exhibit personal integrity and character that others (especially family members) would be proud of and want to model. Controlling and manipulating information for personal immediate gain will eventually run its course and take its toll on us as individuals and corporately as a breed.

The Scriptures say in Titus chapter 1 and verse 2 that “it is impossible for God to lie". What a diļ¬€erent world this would be if we chose for it to be “impossible for us to lie ” as we strive to follow His example. IDEALISTIC? Maybe so, but from a “Big Picture ” perspective I believe that there is much more to this life than just the “here and now”. I am especially looking forward to the “there and then. ” (I John 5:11-12-13) I am so thankful to have the privilege of being a part of such a great group of people that represent Maine-Anjou cattle.

Dennis Garwood

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What does hair taste like?

As we get into winter, it is the time when all the hot young sires begin to be promoted, sales throughout the Midwest are happening in droves, and people are getting ready for the stock shows. Growing up in Nebraska for most of my life, and now living in Texas for the past 10 years, it makes me a jealous, and a little resentful seeing all the Northern cattle with their 4 inches of hair pictured to the tee. I used to have so much fun clipping on these hairy furballs every winter, making them look how ever you wanted them to look, but now my new milder climate has made it a lot more work to make these shaggy cattle, and no matter how much work I do, it still can never compare to a few -20 degree days. This all being said, so what are we really promoting these days in the show world, when a sire is promoted with a ruler beside a fitted leg that is 10 inches thick due to hair? Will he really produce higher quality cattle for the industry because of this? Will his hair make him taste better to the consumer?

It seems the beef industry has resorted to classifying the quality of bulls by using a spreadsheet or by the amount of hair they have. I'll get into the spreadsheet thing at a later date, but the fact that an animal has so much hair that it can be sculpted into the perfect specimen, does not mean it is a better animal. The fact that so much of advertising this days is based around that one perfect picture of a bull, has really created a disadvantage to those cattle born at the wrong time of year to have the maximum amount of hair, and a disadvantage to those in the southern regions that just can't grow hair like further north. Are these cattle of less quality because of this? I doubt it, and if so, it is because of a multitude of other things other than hair. So let's advertise that, not just a pretty picture. I love clipping and fitting hairy cattle, but in the end, it's what is on the inside that matters. I've eaten a lot of hair in my days, but I prefer STEAK!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fall Cleaning Semen Tank Package

I just recently went through my semen tank to take inventory of the semen I had. We have several bulls in our tank that are outstanding producers now, or in the past, but just don't quite fit the direction we are trying to take our herd. Here is the opportunity!

6 units Hannibal - $10 per unit
3 units About Time - $12 per unit
1 unit Cookie Monster - $5 per unit
1 unit DJ Caesar - $15 per unit
3 units Brother Joe - $10 per unit

Package price is $120 for all. Pick up of semen is in Ft. Worth area. Also ask about adding some Montego Bay semen to the package.

Contact Zane if interested.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Future Starts Here

The future of the cattle industry begins with the experiences we give our children NOW.  I knew I was going to write this blog even before we attended the Hull Show Cattle/Eastern Oklahoma State College Cattle Clinic and Judging Contest.  The premise behind the event, and the huge support that has been generated from all its sponsors speaks for itself.

Chad Hull of Hull Show Cattle did a fabulous job of organizing this entirely "free of charge" event thanks to all of their wonderful sponsors (listed at bottom).  A judging contest was held for all ages, along with a judging presentations from Todd Blocker (Judging Coach for Eastern OK State College), a grooming and clipping demonstration from Cody Lott, and a presentation from Jirl Buck (Buck Cattle Co.)  It was so refreshing to see an event totally focused around the youth, and our future in the beef industry.  Kids were given tools that can be used immediately, and inspiration that can be used for a lifetime.  I encourage anyone that can make it to attend next year.  We will definitely try to make it if at all possible.
Chad Hull - Hull Show Cattle
Jirl Buck - Buck Show Cattle

Cody Lott - Lott Show Cattle
Juniors Judging Heifers

Opening Presentation

Hull Show Cattle
Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma
Biozyme Vita Ferm
Diamond V
Martindale/MFM Feeds
Belle Point Ranch
Well Completions, Inc.
Nelson Land and Cattle Co.
Showmaster Feeds
Farm Cridit of Western Arkansas
Dunn Ford
Buck Cattle Co.
Kerr Center (Poteau)
Mark Allen
Rodney Evans
Farmers Coop
Spiro Graphic
American Farmers and Ranchers Insurance
Coaches Lumber
Kiger Razorback Quick Mart
Allflex Ear Tags
Reproduction Enterprises Inc.
Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stock Show Prep

Things are ramping up at ZNT right now. Not only do we have a wide selection of Maine heifers for sale, but we are beginning preparation for the upcoming stockshow season and fall breeding/flushing season. Here are a couple heifers that we plan on exhibiting this fall and winter. Can't wait to see these girls clipped up! Stop on by and see these girls in person.
ZNT American Hope 903W
Sire: CMAC Hardcore Dam: CTR Success x Traveler 6807
3/4 sib to ZNT Jenna 707T

ZNT Sandy Bay 001X (Pic at 5 months)
Sire: CMAC Tyson Dam: ZNT Jenna 707T
Full sister to ZNT Montego Bay

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Montego Bay Semen Available

Give me a call on how you can get a little bit of paradise for your fall breeding season!
Zane cell: 817-233-9357

Friday, October 8, 2010

Enough is Enough

We have been hot and heavy into fall selling time of show calves in the United States, and it seems as every Tom, Dick, and Harry is putting on an online sale. I must get 20 e-blasts per day about an "online sale" that ends this weekend. Most from farms I have never even heard of. Worse yet are the ones for lamb and pig sales, don't they know I could care less about a pig sale!

I have loved how technology has changed the way we can get in touch with our customers. And the evolution of the way sales take place has been very positive. Technology has given even the small breeder the opportunity to auction off their product without incurring the HUGE costs associated with an actual auction. First it started with pasture bid-off sales, sometimes called private treaty sales, now it has moved to a completely web based world of online sales with absolutely no human interaction required. Just a computer, a mouse, and a credit card. Don't get me wrong. I had dreamed about this day ever since the first time I used eBay, but now, enough is enough.

This is my personal opinion, but I truly believe people are going to get tired of having to bid on every animal they purchase. I really loved the days of just traveling to someones farm, spending a 1/2 a day looking at cattle and talking about everything under the sun. Then over lunch, haggling with the owner on a package price for a nice set of heifers. If I had my trailer with me, I could load them up right there, and if I didn't, I knew when I left that I either had the cattle bought, or I didn't. I didn't not have to wait 2 weeks to see if some "mystery person" bumped my bid, and now the 1 heifer I really wanted was priced too high, and the 4 that I was not really that excited about are now mine. Maybe I really didn't want the 4 if I did not get the one? Maybe the 1 at the price I bid made the whole 8 hr drive with the trailer worth it?

As much as people love technology, they are going to get tired of it. E-blasts that do not target specific clients will start hurting you, rather than helping. And "online sales" are going to become the new "old" old way of selling cattle. Technology is great when used wisely, but don't forget about a little face time, and every calf does not need to go to the "highest bidder."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Open House on Oct. 2nd, (Rhome, TX)

We invite all of our valued customers to our farm for an Open House we are hosting for 4J Family Partnership. This is a social event to celebrate to new partnership between us and 4J. Approximately 20 head of prospects will be available for viewing.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Herd and Our Focus

After reading a post of "Chambero's" on the other day, I was inspired to go out and get some candid pictures of our herd and discuss our goals and direction of our herd.
For the most part, our base cow herd is comprised of Maine and Chi influence cattle.  Even though a large portion of our calf sales each year are comprised of show prospects, the decisions we make on a daily basis is focused on traits that are good for the commercial producer and the beef industry as a whole.  We concentrate on muscle, structural soundness, fertility, maternal traits, and moderate birthweights, all in an eye appealing package.

Here are a few pictures of our two cow families, and really, they could be consided one since both JAZX Audrey 352N and CTR Sweet Success 2 are both sired by the Chiangus bull CTR Success, but it's the dam side that is the difference.

Audrey Family - from left to right: JAZX Audrey 352N, ZNT Jenna 707T (Hardcore x Audrey), ZNT Montego Bay (Jenna x Tyson), and ZNT Sandy Bay (Jenna x Tyson)

CTR Sweet Success (Sweetie) Family - from left to right:  CTR Sweet Success, ZNT American Hope 903W (Hardcore x Sweetie)

Montego Bay's New Home

June 17th was a greatly anticipated day since the day we decided that we were going to keep Montego Bay a bull.  Of course we were very excited about the potential he will have on the Maine Anjou breed, and we were thrilled when he was named Jr. Calf Champion Bull at Ft. Worth, but we also knew what was in store as he got older.  These duly expected joys came to a reality as he matured, including pushing over every T-post and electric fence post in his pen and throwing his 10' feed bunk around like it was a rag doll.  I know REI in Stillwater, OK will be much more set up to handle a yearling bull that KNOWS he is a bull.  Here are a couple of pictures of our joyous day, just 2 days before his first birthday.  Updates will be posted as semen becomes available.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A.I. Gun Preparation

Through my years of artificially inseminating cattle, I have seen several different techniques for thawing semen and preparing a gun for  This video demonstrates the process I go through each time I prepare the semen for insemination.

Check out our Youtube Channel for more videos.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Calving in the Heat

Calving this time of year can be just as dangerous, or maybe more than calving in the winter time. Dehydration is your number one killer. 

Here are a few issues that need to be monitored closely when calving in the summer time:

1. Cows can get exhausted much faster during the calving process. A cow will give up pushing on a difficult birth faster than in cool weather, increasing the need for assistance on calves that would normally be born on their own. 

2. Shade is crucial to survival of summer born calves. Newborns will not naturally seek the shade, and cows will not always hide their calves in the shade when they go to graze. A young calf will die in the matter of hours on a hot, sunny day. Calves may require being tubed with water and/or electrolyte as much as two weeks after calving

3. Calves tend to be less vigorous when born on hot days. They may not nurse right away, and even if they do nurse, they may require a supplimental tubing of milk and water. Many times at birth, the newborn does not have enough body mass to fulfill its fluid requirements by just nursing on its own. The high temperatures can also cause a reduction in appetite, causing the calf to nurse less. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Chute

Many of you have seen me use our working chute in prior blogs and videos. I thought I would explain some of the special features that make it so functional.

The chute is 30 inches wide by 8 feet long. The first key component are the swinging side doors that hinge in the rear of the chute. Several cross-bars are located in the side door, allowing a bar to be placed behind the animal, regardless of size.

The floor is made of a grated material, allowing the side poles to be place in any position on the floor. The top of the chute contains two ladder type cross beams 2 and 4 feet from the front of the chute. The ladder type structure allows the side bar to be place in different positions depending on the size of animal and what is being done.

The next special feature is the zero gap attachment of the Pearson automatic head catch to the body of the chute. This shallow profile allows easy access to the neck and brisket area of the animal when clipping with the side doors open.

Lastly is a palpation cage attached to the rear of the chute. Having the rear access to the chute make it a perfect tool for preg checking,, or flushing cows.

Is the chute perfect? NO. But it works great for our herd and custom cattle operations. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Continental Divide Vacation

After 11 days, 10 states, 4200 miles, and 8 National Parks/Monuments, all I have to say is AMAZING!  Sorry for the lack of updates on our website, but I got a little preoccupied the the last couple of weeks helping my wife plan, and enjoy the most amazing vacation our family has been on.

Our trip was a combination of seeing parents and grandparents and seeing the marvels of the Western United States.  We started off meeting up with my grandma in Loveland, CO and enjoying the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  The we proceeded to the Panhandle of Nebraska to see my grandpa and parents, and also took in a couple of the icons of the Oregon Trail (Scottsbluff National Monument and Chimmey Rock).  Then we blazed off to see some of the picturesque areas areas of the Black Hills (Mount Rushmore and Wind Cave), the Grand Tetons/Jackson Hole, Craters of the Moon in Arco, ID, and the vastness of country in between.  I recommend every stop!
We took a few days in Boise, ID to visit my wife's father and grandmother, while taking in several of the attractions in the Boise area.  What a wonderful area and city!  After our little rest, we headed South to Arches National Park in Moab, UT.  All I can say is it is a MUST SEE!  That same day we took in the Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez, CO.  Also a must see.  Even pictures can't explain the beauty of these places.
Last stop on the trip took us to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  Self proclaimed the 8th Wonder of the World, I have to agree.  Again, pictures can not explain.
I know we passed so many of our friends and fellow cattlemen in our travels, and I truly apologize for not getting a chance to stop and say hi, but we did take in, and appreciated the beauty you live in every day.  I do have to add that on our trip, we saw several projects at several national parks financed by the Economic Recovery Act, and it made me so happy to see these dollars going towards these parks, allowing people world-wide a better chance to enjoy the rare creations God gave to America and the World.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring vs. Fall Calving

As we get later into the spring calving season, the dilemma starts with "What do I do with my late calving cows?"  In this circumstance, the decision needs to be made to either try to breed the cows back quickly to get her calving with the rest of the herd, or hold her over and breed her to calve in the fall.  My first experience came about due to a bull going bad during breeding season, resulting in 23 open cows at fall preg checking.  The cows were too good to cull, and it would cost too much to hold them over a year, so breeding them for fall calves ended up being the best option.

Not always does this decision need to be made due to circumstance.  The decision to calve in the spring, fall, or both is one that needs to be made after establishing your goals.  I think the three biggest factors to take in consideration when deciding is your available market, your resources, and weather.

1.  Market:  This is a no-brainer.  If you do not have a viable market to sell your calves to, don't throw your money away.  Sometimes though, switching part or all of your herd to a different calving season can bring added value and expand your customer base.  Fall calves can open doors to a southern steer market and fall bulls can bring in customers that will not use a true yearling bull.

2. Resources: Resources can range between a lot of different factors.  It could mean your ability to segregate different ages of calves in your lot, or having multiple pastures to manage your spring and fall herd both separately and properly.  Your ability to feed cows can be a major issue.  Fall calving cows require supplemental feed int the late fall and winter months.  Cows need extra energy and protein to make up for the poor quality forage in the winter and to make up for the fact that she is lactating.  The ability to creep feed the calves is almost a must for fall calves.  All that being said, the extra money spent in the winter is made up for in the spring and summer months because the cows requirements are at their lowest, and the same amount of pasture will run more cows.  Our farm in Nebraska had a few swampy pastures with very low quality grass.  Cows with calves at side did very poorly on these pastures, but when we started putting our fall calving cows on these pastures in the summer, the cows actually gained weight.

3. Weather:  This is pretty self explanatory.  Calves in the spring require shelter from the elements and the rancher must have the ability to warm less vigorous newborns or just be able to bring the calf in due to extreme cold temperatures.  Summer and fall calves have the opposite issue to deal with.  Hot weather can cause calves to become dehydrated and die within a matter of hours.  And cows can become exhausted faster when calving in the heat.  Abundant shade is a must during summer and fall calving time.

Every type of calving program has its place.  You just have to decide which program or how many in each program is right for your operation.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shearing Cattle for Summer

Temperatures are getting warmer, and the cattle can not get rid of that winter coat fast enough. Especially down here in Texas. We shear almost all of our cattle in mid-spring for many reasons. The cows are sheared to get that winter coat off, and keep them cooler in the hot springtime days, and scorching Texas summers. The show calves are sheared to remove the dead, brown hair, and start over with a brand new coat. Lastly, any spring and summer born babies are sheared to keep them cooler, and remove the brown coat that many of the black calves are born with. My example in this blog will be the shearing of a young show heifer, but the technique is the same for all cattle.

When beginning to shear, I determine which clipper I am going to use by what my purpose of shearing is.  If I am shearing cows for the summer, I typically use sheephead clippers.  If I am taking the winter hair off a show heifer, I use my flathead clippers.  Reguardless of which type of clipper I am using, I clip with the lay of the hair.
Flat Head Clipper
Sheep Head Clipper
Now that I have my clippers picked out, I get the animal in the chute, blow the dirt out thoroughly, and make sure all the hair is dry.  This will prevent your blades from dulling to quickly.  Starting at the hind quarter, I make long strokes straight down, all the way to the hock.  Do not shear the legs.  The hair is left of the legs to give protection from flies, and this hair does not shed like the body hair, so it will give you a little head start to your fall hair growth.  Continue to work forward on the body with long downward strokes until you reach the ears.   I do not shear lower than a line from the flank and the bottom of the brisket.

After the body is sheared, then I take the clippers and shave the tail, head, and neck against the grain of the hair.  Also shave the hair on the brisket between the front legs.  For show cattle, do not shave the top of the tail head.  You want to keep all of this hair you can for grooming in the fall and winter season.
Feel free to contact me if you have questions on any part of this process.  It is very simple, but I know it can be a little intimidating for an amateur.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Using a Torch to Clip Cattle (video)

Using a propane torch is a fast, safe way to clip cattle. My video demonstrates the process of both clipping and torching a cow. Equipment needed is a livestock blower to clean the dirt off the animal and to get the hair laying in the desired direction. A sheephead clipper with a goat comb blade to prevent cutting of the animals skin, a scotch comb, and a torch. Torches can be purchased at several livestock supply companies such as Sullivan Supply Co.

Caution, some clipping positions were done for video production, and anyone attempting to clip and torch cattle need to take precautions to prevent injury to themselves and their equipment.

Click here if you can not view this video or would like to see others

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Heat Synchronizing Heifers and Cows

Before I even start this blog, I want to say that my approach is “less is more” when it comes to using hormones to A.I. cows or heifers. That being said, life is not perfect, and we can not set aside our entire life for 30-60 days to get all of our cattle A.I.ed at the perfect time. There are many different regimens that I use to synchronize, but they all include at least 2 of the following drugs: Lutalyse, Cystorelin, and CIDRs. I will highlight my 3 favorite regimens.

1. When I want to keep the cattle fairly close together, but I have some time to heat check and A.I. for several days, I use this. Heat check for 5 days and A.I. cow or heifer 12 hrs after standing heat is observed, then on Day 6, give a shot of Lutalyse to any cattle not A.I.ed and apply heat detection patch on tail head, then heat check an additional 5 days and A.I. any cattle 12 hrs after standing heat is observed. The total number of days is 11. 1/4 of the cattle only go through the chute 1 time, and the other ¾ of the cattle go through the chute 2 times and only get 1 shot of Lutalyse.

2. In times when I have more time immediately, and my working facilities are better, I use this schedule. On Day 1, I give all animals a shot of Lutalyse and apply heat detection patches to the tail heads, then heat check and A.I. all animals demonstrating estrous 12 hrs after observing them in standing heat on days 1 thru 6. All animals that did not have a detectable heat and were not A.I.ed, approximately ¼ if all animals are cycling, are given a second shot of Lutalyse, then detect and A.I. all animals 12 hrs after observed in standing heat for an additional 5 days. Total number of days is 12. ¾ of the cattle go through the chute 2 times and only receive 1 shot of Lutalyse, and the other ¼ are run through the chute 3 times and receive 2 shots of Lutalyse. This regimen is different than the typical 2 shot method because ¾ of the cattle only get one shot of Lutalyse, and more of the cattle are run through the chute less times.

3. The last method is used when a mass A.I. is planned, or a minimal number of days are available to A.I. cattle. I prefer heat checking and animals observed in standing heat, but sometimes it just isn't feasible. Day 1, a CIDR is applied vaginally to the heifer or cow. A shot of Cystorelin can also be administered at this time. On Day 7, the CIDR is removed, a shot of Lutalyse is injected, and the heat detection patch is applied to the tail head. At this point, cattle can either be heat checked and A.I.ed 12 hours after observing standing heat over a 5 day period, or all cattle can be mass A.I.ed 60-72 hours after the CIDR is removed.

When cattle, either after a natural heat or synchronized heat, I like to administer 2cc of Cystorelin at time of insemination. Another money saving tip I just learned about is cutting the heat detection patches in half, thus doubling the number of patches for the same money.

Disclaimer: Any of your prostaglandin drugs such as Lutalyse and your GnRH drugs like Cystorelin, must be prescribed by a licensed veterinarian, administered according to their label. Any extra-label use of these drugs must first be discussed and approved by a licensed veterinarian.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A.I. vs. Natural Breeding

Calves are being born left and right, and every day we are being bombarded with advertisements for bull sales and the next great A.I. sire. So how do you decide whether to spend the extra money on a top notch herd bull or buy semen on that great looking bull in the magazine?

First off, I am not going to tell you one way is better than the other. That is up to you to decide after looking at both your goals and resources. I will give you the pros and cons of each.

A.I. Breeding
-Gives you the opportunity to use superior genetics from a sire that you could never afford to purchase.
-When breeding season is over, you do not have a bull, or a lot of bulls to feed and keep from tearing down every fence on the property.
-Allows the ability to produce consistency withing the calf crop by using a single sire, or a similar genetic line of bulls
-Calves can be born closer together through synchronization.
-Even the smallest herds can get cows bred within budget, rather than purchasing a bull to breed 2, 3, or even 15 cows.

-Requires cow to be handled extra, along with requiring better facilities and extra labor to get the job done.
-Time restrains if you have to hire a technician to do the A.I. ing

Natural Breeding
-Bull does all the work, so not spending hours heat detecting each day.
-No facilities needed, cows can get bred right out in the pasture.

-Can not match each bull to each cow, and sometimes multiple bulls need to be used to breed heifers vs. cows.
-If replacement heifers are being retained, a new or different bull is needed to breed the replacement heifers too.
-Bull must be fed and cared for, even when they are not out breeding cows.
-High quality bulls cost a lot of money vs. the cost to purchase semen from a similar A.I. sire.

Only you can determine which route to take, and really most operations use a combination of both. And to fairly compare the two, each operator needs to break down all the costs associated with both and divide it by the number of cows either being A.I.ed or by the number of cows the bull will breed. You also need to determine which bull (A.I. or bull purchased at bull sale) will take your herd closer to your goals. You are not saving money if you are going the wrong direction.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Which Bull to Which Cow?

It is that time of year when we are all trying to pick that perfect bull that will complement our cows perfectly and move our genetics one stop closer to where we want to be.

I think the biggest mistake most breeders make when selecting bulls, is focusing too much on a single trait.  This trait could be growth, maybe milk, or as in the club calf industry, muscle.  By selecting for this one trait, you may make improvements there, but you may also be setting your herd back years in other areas.  Your goals you defined did not consist of one thing, so neither should your selection process.

So how do I do it at ZNT?  How do we consistently produce great calves with such small numbers?  First, I identify every weakness and strength for each cow.  Then I look for bulls that have the genetics to improve the weaknesses, yet still have solid genetics to maintain the cows strengths.  Lastly, I do not believe in extremes when it comes to any one trait.  Everything can be overdone.  If I have a small made cow that is loaded with muscle, I am going to look for a bull that will add size, and maybe milk and moderate birth weight.

Proven vs. unproven sires.  Each has their own place.  I like using proven sires and their proven results, but sometimes it is hard to move forward when you are looking back.  That being said, I will not use an unproven sire with no proven genetics to back him up.  Of course the unproven sire has to be phenotypically right, but he must also have the genetics behind him (proven sires and dams) that meets the goals of my herd.  And yes, that is GOALS with an "S".

Good luck everyone this breeding season.

Decision Time

Every decision made in a cattle operation is important, but one decision is bigger than any other in determining the success of your operation: "Define Your Goals". This is not just a decision that someone new to the cattle business needs to do either. It can be done at any point in the life of your business.

If you don't know where you want to go, how will you ever know what you need to do to get there? The goals can range from; a certain breed of cattle, between commercial, show, dairy, or breeding cattle, red, white, black, or rainbow colored cattle, or more specific low birth weight Angus cattle that can wean 600 lbs. steer in the mountains of Wyoming. I will say that the more specific your goals are defined, the better the daily decision making process will become. Also, as your cattle operation evolves, the goals you have set need to be evaluated and revised if necessary. Some goals may be too aggressive, some not challenging enough, and some may not be able to be accomplished with the current resources available, be it pasture available, time, or in some cases financially.

Once your goals are defined, then you can begin making decision on which cow to buy, which replacement heifers to keep, or which bulls to breed your cows too. It may even mean which cows to cull. Some people have been so drastic as to completely sell out, and start over. None of these choices can be accurately made without GOALS.

Gotcha' thinking now!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Picture Day at ZNT Cattle Co

Spring time is almost upon us, and the mud has mostly cleared up, so that made today a perfect day to get pictures of some of our cattle here at ZNT Cattle Co. First up was Montego Bay, our Tyson promotion sire out of our ZNT Jenna 707T heifer. He is 8 1/2 months old in this picture. New video can be found on Montego Bay's page.

Second up was ZNT American Hope. She is a Hardcore daughter out of our CTR Sweet Success 2 donor cow. She was born on September 11, 2009. This maintainer heifer is going to be very competitive this coming fall.

Lastly, we have a yearling bull we just put up on our For Sale page. He is an April 2009 5/8 Maine bull sired by ZNT Triple X. He is low birthweight bull raised by the Kaz Family.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Interview Featuring ZNT Cattle Co.

While we had our cattle at the Ft. Worth Stock Show, a team of TCU Journalism students came by doing interview with exhibitors.  The interviews were for a documentary they were entering in the FOX College Challenge.  The video not only contains video of my family and other exhibitors, but also some statistics on beef industry trends.

I want to wish the young ladies from TCU the best of luck in their competition!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fort Worth

We are in cattle barn 3 near the wash rack and near the show ring between barns 2 & 3. Stop by and say hi if you are around. We will update after the Maine Anjou show Sunday!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Web Format

Welcome to ZNT Cattle Co.
For those of you that have been to our site before, things look a whole lot different now, and for all our new visitors, thank you for checking us out.  The changes to our website are to make it a more interactive site where we can make updates more frequently and even provide some real-time news.  Some updates will even be made via phone while we are on the road.  First stop is the Ft Worth Stock Show.  Watch for updates next week.  We will try to provide our barn and location for any of those that would like to stop by and say hello.