Saturday, December 23, 2006

December 2006 Roundup

The McBee Calf Roundup was started because we believe a registered seedstock provider should do more than supply bulls and females for their customers. Anyone buying a bull or female from McBee Cattle Company is also buying a proven marketing program.

There is a philosophy by which McBee Cattle Company lives: “Marketing your calves should not be your biggest chore. It should be a pleasurable and painless experience that nets the customer as many dollars as possible, no matter the group size or color of calves. We put the marketing of our customers’ cattle production as a top priority and selling someone a performance-measured bull or group of production proven females is just something else we do.”

The ideas behind our philosophy prompted us 11 years ago to start the popular McBee Calf Roundup. Annually we have three Roundup dates (two fall, one spring); they are announced and eligible cattlemen bring their calves to the Fayette facility on those dates. Upon delivery (including calves from our own herd), the calves are individually weighed, tagged, sorted and grouped into six uniform groups based on weight and sex. All calves are identified by farm of origin and must have received two rounds of pre-conditioning vaccinations and been weaned for at least 45 days. Besides farm of origin, McBee records each calf’s birth date, sire breed and ID, dam breed and ID, and Roundup (MCR) ID. Thus these calves are essentially QSA (Quality System Assessment) qualified.

After the calves are worked at delivery, they are held from 10 to 20 days before they are sold to either a finishing or backgrounding operation. During the 10 to 20 days they are held at McBee Cattle Company, they regain their delivery shrink and are prepared for shipment and, consequently, better performance for their new owners.

With the 2005 fall Roundup completed, we have gathered over 11,000 calves for the 11 years the Roundup has existed. These Roundup calves have established a reputation for above average performance both on the hoof and in the cooler and now we have several finishing lots calling us about Roundup calves. Of course, this increased interest in the Roundup calves means more profit for our customers.

Braunvieh Program

Our Braunvieh program began when we purchased 21 bred half-blood heifers from pioneer breeder Ron Franken, Linn, Missouri. The 21 heifers were bred to Braunvieh bulls for three-quarter calves due in January. All 21 heifers calved, claimed their calves, and bred back, milked and weaned a big calf. This experience put us in the registered, as well as commercial Braunvieh business.

Our registered Braunvieh are run with our commercial cattle under exactly the same conditions and pastures. We feel that if the registered cattle can produce a quality high performing calf under these commercial conditions, then our customers can use the same genetics with confidence. Our cattle are raised on year-round fescue. We have some 13-year-old cows that have not had any hay since they were bred heifers. Replacement females, both registered and commercial, are raised and culled if they do not do well on grass.
Performance records are maintained on every McBee Cattle Company calf. These records include birth date, birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight and their ratios. We also utilize the Braunvieh Association’s Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) Values for birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, milk and milk plus growth. Other records maintained on all McBee raised bulls include carcass measurement ratios for ribeye area and intramuscular fat (IMF), and scrotal circumference at yearling. These detailed records are required if we are to maintain the proper emphasis on all the important production traits measured in beef cattle. We are also working towards producing more polled Braunvieh, but we do not let selection for the polled trait take precedence over important beef production traits such as thickness, muscling, disposition, growth, maternal performance and other traits of economic importance.

Our registered Braunvieh herd is divided into spring and fall calving groups. This has allowed us to provide both long yearlings and 18-month old bulls for our annual April Customer Appreciation Bull & Female SELECTION DAY Sale and a better utilization of the ranch resources throughout the year.

Bulls offered for sale are developed on a high roughage ration to gain about three pounds per day from weaning to one year of age. They are not pushed to obtain the highest weight possible, but are fed enough to allow for their genetic variation for gain and growth to be expressed and measured.

McBee Cattle Company was named the Braunvieh Association of America’s Breeder of the Year 2004. Dave Marshall, Evergreen, CO, presents Ron his BAA award
while Teri McBee displays the BAA Board of Directors plaque that Ron received for his BAA Board participation for six years, two of which he served as the organization’s president. Ron’s selection as Breeder of the Year was based on his McBee Calf Roundups and his six year participation on the BAA Board during which he had not missed one meeting.

McBee Braunvieh Bulls

Vista Polled Precision

Precision is the bull that was selected from over 100 head of Braunvieh bulls offered in the Vista Vantage on Value 2003 as the best bull in the sale. Precision is a polled purebred that has done a bang up job in our herd. His first daughters calved in the spring 2005 and they all calved unassisted. They made excellent mothers with near perfect teats and udders. Precision is above breed average for weaning weight, yearling weight, milk and milk & growth. His calves have excellent thickness, sound conformation and above average performance. They are easily recognized in our herd.

MR FF H106 “Box

MR FF H106, better known, as “Boxcar”, is a bull you can use on first calf heifers and sleep with ease. His birth weight EPD is –4.3 pounds which is nearly 5 pounds less than breed average and his direct calving ease is 6.2% better than breed average. While light at birth, his calves grow quite well and are very stylish and well-balanced. His daughters are without question some of our very best. They are top producers and live up to our expectations. A top calving ease Braunvieh bull.

Mister FF 102

Mister FF 102 is our 12-year-old herd sire that continues to add females with usefulness and longevity, calving ease, and sound udders and teats. He is still being used naturally in our pastures and continues to cover as many cows as he did as a youngster. Mister FF 102 (C102) is definitely a proven calving ease sire. Commercial cattlemen who have used his sons always seem to want more.