Located in Central BC

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Evolution of Borean Angus

Borean Angus Calf

 If you let it happen, ideas get formed and are dynamic. Sort of like one thought flowing into another thought and eventually a whole new idea is formed from the original. That is sort of what has happened with our cattle ranch. We were going to raise registered Black Angus bulls and heifers for sale. A good idea with the popularity of Black Angus bulls being high when we first purchased our Black Angus pregnant heifers and bull. Within a couple years we realized this probably wasn't the route that we were going to take. First off, the registered bull sale is in April and the goal of registered bull breeders is to provide the largest long yearlings possible for the sale, hence these ranchers were calving as early as January. Well to us, calving in January in Pr. George just didn't seem like a good idea. The first two to three months of their life would be spent in the bitter cold of winter.
In the spring of 2007 we were raising black angus. We had sold all the Highland Cattle that we had except for a Highland x Angus cow named Bess. Unlike our other Highland crosses, she had no horns so we kept her. That spring when the Black Angus calves were being born and moving slow and sleepy, Bess produced a dun colored baby bull calf. He was robust and vigourous and after 4 hours I was hard pressed to catch him. This was a sharp contrast to the purebred angus which seemed to sleep for days, often so sleepy that we were afraid they were dead. So we decided not to castrate him and keep him as a bull. We were castrating all the non-purebred bulls at this point. We gave him a name, because he was quite a light color: Spirit Calf.
And the next year we gave him the run of the herd. Spirit calf was released for the first three weeks of the breeding season. He was 15 months old. I had read in a book that a young bull can be expected to impregnate as many cows as he is old in months. Sure enough the next year we got 15 of our calves sired by Spirit Calf. They were everything we hoped for, robust and vigorous and not sleepy. They had hybrid vigor and grew fast. The added bonus to this bull is that we get a variety of colors of calves, from white, to blonde, red, brown and black. Spirit calf (the bull) is one quarter highland and three quarters black angus. His offspring are one eighth highland, just enough to give them more robustness at birth and hybrid vigor and growth. The meat is very good, the same as black angus.

Spirit Calf at 2 years old
 We had to give our new breed of cattle a name: Borean Angus. Something a little different for the sub-boreal forests that they spend their summer in.

No comments:

Post a Comment