Establishing Our Cow Herd
The success of our breeding program starts with our cow herd. Our primary goal right from day one, June 1st 1973, was to establish the best possible working cow herd of 40 females. Our policy was and still is to search out as many outcross quality genetics we could locate here in North America whether AI semen or open heifers, and then find a way to bring them to Dora Lee.
By purchasing heifer calves rather than bred heifers, the calves have a year to adjust to our feed and management and get in calf. This policy has worked well for us over the years.
We have used bulls available in Canada like King Arthur, Sim-Roc C& B Western, Wellhouse Kestrel, Arni 8M, Antonius, Solway Adonis, Hasalz, Horn, L.J.B. Jade and there are many more. Several of the above bulls go back to Neff – a bull born in Germany 1966 and who perhaps, has had the most influence of any bull in the history of our Fleckvieh Simmental breed. The Neff blood line has played a big roll in our herd development.
Being unable to access the U.S. AI semen market because of border restrictions and in order to gain access to the U.S. Fleckvieh genetic pool, we have been able to import several heifer calves over the years with the elusive outcross genetics we were searching for. Animals have been sourced from Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Texas, obtaining time proven bloodlines such as Igloff, Hackenburg, Haber, Saro, Marne, Siegfried, Star Palm and Zeutello and others. These sires have had a big impact in our herd development process.
In recent years as we continue with our 364 days a year search and with the new genomic selection tools available to us for feed efficiency, we have been searching out quality heifer calves with the polled genetic source from many different blood line and of course feed efficiency which is very high in our selection criteria.
Our cow herd is something we are very proud of as we attempt to raise the bar at every opportunity. The never ending search goes on here at Dora Lee.
Come September, Betty and I will be traveling to Germany to attend the 19th World Fleckvieh Simmental Congress. Fleckviehs have been our lively hood for many years and Germany is where we believe the Fleckvieh strain all began sometime in the late 1800’s or early in the 1900’s. We are really looking forward to this opportunity to learn more, first hand, about the history and on going development of our Fleckvieh breed.