At Stoddard Ranch, our whole program is to produce cattle that work for the feeder and finisher. Our cowherd is primarily Angus based as quality breeding stock are widely available in our region. We purchase all our replacement females rather than raise them. We then utilize homozygous black Simmental bulls on those females to produce an F1 cross black hided calf that has a tremendous amount of hybrid vigor. We specifically select bulls with EPD's that rank in the top percentage of the Simmental breed in Carcass Weight, Marbling, Weaning Weight, Yearling Weight, Ribeye Area, and Yield Grade. At any time, we have approximately 65 bulls in inventory and their average EPD's for carcass traits are in the top 25% of the Simmental breed. All our cows are bull bred so this requires a lot of selection to locate that many homozygous black and polled, purebred bulls that meet the EPD criteria we are looking for.
"We find that there is only one thing free in ranching and that is HETEROSIS - the ability of a crossbred animal to show qualities that are superior to both of his/her parents."
These cattle thrive in a grazing environment. They will eat grass and other natural forage in pastures year around and utilize natural protection such as trees, cutbanks, creeks and hills to protect themselves from inclement weather. We supplement them with liquid protein when necessary, assist with pasture rotation, provide mineral as needed, implement a health program with vaccinations, and let them take care of themselves. By utilizing a rotational grazing strategy, the cattle utilize non-harvestable forage and convert it into protein in the most natural manner possible. In instances of snow or inclement weather, we have the ability to supplement them with hay as needed.
While our cows are primarily Angus cattle, we purchase Simmental and Simangus bulls with carcass trait EPD's that rank in the top 25% of the Simmental breed. Over the last five years, we have concentrated on increasing marbling, yield grade, carcass weight, weaning weight and yearling weight average EPD's and have pushed our average Terminal Index on our bulls to reach the top 25% of the Simmental breed. We also buy our bulls from breeders who have their cattle DNA tested. Their bull EPD's are genomically enhanced to provide the most predictability in EPD traits.
Ten bulls purchased in 2023 for the upcoming breeding season averaged 793 lbs at weaning, had an average Terminal Index EPD of 94 (top 6% of breed), and average Weaning Weight EPD of 96.46 (top 4% of breed), an average Carcass Weight EPD of 50 (top 3% of breed), average Marbling EPD of .36 (top 13% of breed), and an average Ribeye Area EPD of 1.06 (top 15% of breed).
Cow doinq quite a job of raising her calf!
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