Monday, March 26, 2012

Spade Ranch Breeding Program

The Spade Ranch currently use a four breed rotational breeding program that always them to have enough replacements to maintain their own herds. The idea of this program is to get best heterosis and to moderate the frame size of the cattle. Crossbreeding is not something new for the Spade Ranch, the people who first bought the ranch in 1889 started by using Shorthorns and Herefords to help in better breeding of the Longhorn cattle. In the late 1960s, Dub Waldrip becomes the president and CEO for the Spade Ranch. He went to Europe in search of better genetic and he brought back the Brown Swiss and Simmental breeders in hope of increasing the heterosis. The four breeds used today are the Angus, Hereford, Braunvieh, and Simmental. At the start of this program the ranchers wanted to the English breeds to help moderate growth and size of the Continental breeds, while adding growth, muscle, and yield to the English breeds. Eventually the cattle began to produce too much milk and became too large for the environment at the ranch. This caused the ranch to introduce some Jersey bulls in hope of reducing the size of the cattle.

From  Wes Ismael "Practical Composite" 

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