In July all of the cows have calved, and it’s now time for the bulls to join the cows so that we have calves born next April. On July 1st, we split the cows and calves into their breeding groups, selected for each bull. We pick the Aberdeen Angus cattle to go with Ludwig our Hereford bull, and the Hereford cattle to go with Billy our Aberdeen Angus bull. This cross breeding produces healthier calves, who are more thrifty at birth than their pure bred counterparts. The cross of these two is called a Black Baldie, which produces a fantastic breeding cow, but also exceptional quality beef.
This year we don’t have a Longhorn bull, and so the Longhorns are separated from the other cattle, and will be put in calf through Artificial Insemination (AI) to one of the finest Longhorn bulls in the country; fingers crossed for some heifer calves from him next April so that we can grow our number of these most majestic cattle.
On July 5th the bulls are turned out with the cows. Billy, the experienced hand had 44 calves born this year, and so we are confident that we will have another super crop from him next year. Ludwig, our newest recruit is an unknown entity, and so we keep a close eye on him and his girls over the coming weeks. We’ll now only know for sure that the cows are in calf when we pregnancy test at the end of the year. It’s a nervous time, but perhaps more so for Ludwig than for us!