Most years we have kept most of our heifer calves till spring when we would do a final selection of heifers before breeding. Finding new homes for the most promising calves in the fall greatly reduces our winter work load and has become goal for us. So here is a look at some of this year’s group.
Paige’s sire is Equinox and Dam is Princess 31W – a King Arthur daughter. She is polled. SOLD! Thank-you Dwayne Horst / Dwayann Simmentals!
Leona is sired by Guerrero and her dam is Leah 74Z – an Equinox daughter. She is polled.
Ava is a Jackson calf out of Adeline – an Eclipse daughter. She is polled.
Cora is sired by Dora Lee’s Jackson 75G and her dam is Courtney 22X -a Scorpio daughter. She is polled.
These 2 calves are twins sired by Guererro and out of Janine 75Y – a Canadian Siegfried daughter. They are polled.
Just a quick update to let everyone know we are still breeding cattle. As life becomes more challenging, we don’t get to all the cattle events that we have in past years. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we were blessed with a great summer – lots of heat, enough moisture and a most enjoyable time with our family. We had a great visit when everyone from Alberta to Scotland and in between were home to Dora Lee in August!
Our cows have done well for us this year. Everything is polled now (except for our one King Arthur cow) which makes for less management, and we continue to right-size our herd to what is workable for us. Our genetics are being made available by private treaty as we look to reduce our numbers. Having our heifer calves go to New Brunswick as a package in the fall of 2020 certainly made for fewer chores last winter.
The old cowboy and I are truly blessed to have the wonderful support of our family and are able to continue to enjoy farm life with our Fleckviehs here at Dora Lee.
Our cows are all bred back, calving is complete, it’s time for this old cowboy to spend time sitting on our veranda watching our Fleckviehs do what they do best.
It is a wonderful time of year for Betty and Ross here at Dora Lee . We have been breeding Fleckvieh since 1979. No, we have not bred a perfect bull or a female yet, but that will not keep us from trying. And guess what, we are still trying to figure out how to do that after all these years. Breeding Fleckviehs is a challange – something we both very much enjoy.
But now it’s time for us to wait, and watch this year’s calf crop develop and look forward to how our breeding selections turn out in the spring.
Haying is finished – driest we’ve ever had it, our last bull left for the US this week, calves are growing well and looking good and just a few keepers left in our bred heifer pasture.
Yes, times are great – although a good rain would be greatly appreciated. We are really looking forward to vacationing with all our family this summer. It should be lots of fun and make for some wonderful memories. Our ladies on the move – 5 to a new home
Well, here it is May 25th. We turned our Fleckviehs out this morning. Our bred heifers are in their pasture, cows with heifer calves at side are out and our cows with bull calves are in a separate pasture.
Our herd sires are back in our bull facility with their work completed for this year.
It is now time for Betty and Ross to spend some time sitting on our veranda watching our Fleckviehs do what they do best.
Bull sales have gone really well – one of our youngsters is working in a purebred breeder’s herd in Alberta. Another one has been purchased by Select Sires in Wisconsin and their plans are to export his semen to Turkey. We have also had interest in 2018 bull calves for herd sire potential next year.
Betty and I really enjoy our life style here at Dora Lee. Farming was our decision back in 1973. It was our choice to raise a family here. We have had great satisfaction in the experiences our livestock have given us over the years.
Back about 1987 Betty and I along with our son Dennis had a discussion on the pros and cons of introducing polled genetics into our Fleckvieh herd. The next question was just where do we start?
The general opinion in the industry at the time was that polled cattle had no butts in them and they also gave up average daily gain. But our customers were looking for polled bulls.
We have a position that when folks say you can not do something, we say, ” just watch us”. Now just where do we start? An imported polled bull Eisenhertz, would take the horns off if we could retain the butt and the gain of the cow in his offspring. So we started out by breeding one of our best cows, Frauline, to Eisenhertz and got a really nice polled heifer – Dora Lee Elexis . The next step was to breed her to Smithbilt Molson 21M to put more of the horned quality in the mix. We had seen Molson and were impressed with his quiet disposition and overall soundness.
Luck was on our side. Elexis presented us with a polled bull we called Eclipse. We were on our way towards our goal. Were we excited? Yes, big time! After we had collected semen on Eclipse, we sold him to our friend and neighbour David Lyons. Eclipse is now 13 years old and still going strong. We have sold his semen into several different countries.
In the fall of 2017, our son Dennis sold 2 heifers bred Eclipse, as high sellers in The Fleckvieh Equation sale in Alberta. We can proudly say Eclipse has made his mark big time in our breed – a proven calving ease bull.
His best known son, Equinox, is also out there making his mark and is homozygous polled.
After 40 plus years of breeding cattle, we have never stopped learning. Breeding quality cattle is our Passion, our way of life here at Dora Lee.
It is time for us here at Dora Lee to take a look back as the year 2017 is coming to an end. Calving went well, we were sold out of herd sire prospects by March, our cows went to pasture mid May, things appeared to be going well.
However as haying season arrived we received 6 1/2 inches of rain over night. Our river fences were all washed out, we moved our herd onto higher ground and as it most often happens, 2 of our sons, Dennis & Ben were home and we spent most of a week just repairing and building new fences.
We are typical Canadians, it is too wet or too dry, too hot or cold. Canadians just love to talk about the weather. There would be a lot fewer conversations if for some reason we weren’t able to complain about our weather.
As in the past, it has been a very rewarding year. We sold bred heifers on both sides of the US/ Canadian border. We were able to purchase a polled heifer calf with out cross genetics from Alberta.
We wish to take time to say Thank you, to the cattlemen who again helped make 2017 very special for us.
Lynn & Brian Vail – Ontario
Duane & Ellen Andrews – PA USA
Richard Bell – Ontario
Rory Bell Scotland – UK
Liliana Valdez Briseno – Mexico
Betty and I have good health, a wonderful family and a way of life we really enjoy. We are really looking forward to traveling to Glencoe and spending Christmas with David, Ben and Sarah and our 6 grandchildren.