Sunday, March 21, 2010

Violet's Wish

The past 2 days have been in the 50's and the ground and mud are drying out.  The pregant cows are content and are eating lots of hay plus laying out in the sun.    My bred yearling, Violet, is my guess for having a calf next.  She is showing all the signs.    She "met the bull" on June 18th of last year, so the earliest she could calve would be March 24th, if they consumated their first date.  Certainly looks like it from where I am standing, as she grows larger every hour. 

Violet is a long, thick bred heifer.  She was born April 25th 2008.  Her mother is a Registered Simmental and her dad is a Registered Polled Hereford.  She represents the best of those two different worlds.    Simmentals are a lean, long, fertile, gentle, european, grass based milking cow of the higher Swiss Mountain regions. They excel on grass, higher altitudes and harsh weather. They produce heavy feeder calves and quality carcasses. Usually grading high Choice and some Prime.
Cross Simmentals with any British breed, such as Angus, Hereford, Devon, Shorthorn etc, and the offspring that result are even more superior than the parents.  The hybrid of the 2 breeds has more intra muscle marbling, making the finished carcass grade more consistantly Prime.  And because of the length of the Simmental, there will be many more value cuts in the loin area than in a straightbred british breed.
Most of my top producing brood cows are half Simmental and half Hereford or Angus. I can breed these cows back to another british breed or Simmental to keep the traits I need in those resulting calves.  The Simmental/Angus crosses are called SimAngus and the Simmental/Hereford crosses are called "Smurfs."   I am sure there is a better, more media friendly name for the Sim/Heref crosses, but I really love calling them Smurfs.  I often tease my friends and say at 4 pm its a real toss up between my cows wanting to Yodel and them wanting to go for Tea.
As is my practice, I named Violet after a very very dear friend who has done many good deeds in her life. Unfortunately my friend, 91, is dying and may not be alive to view photos of Violet's calf when it is born.  She did ask me to name the calf Viola, if it's a girl.   And this I shall do.

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