May 27th, fences have all been checked, 80% of our cow herd and 100% of our heifers have been AI’ed, clean up bulls are back in their paddock and our pastures appear to be in excellent condition. But it’s time – time to open our corral gates wide and let our Fleckviehs go to grass for the summer and fall giving us time to reflect on years gone by.
It was back in 1985 when we realized we needed to turn our full blood Simmental herd over to 100% Fleckvieh cattle. We had been using Fleckvieh bulls back then, Maylta Paragon, Antonius and Sir Arnold 809G etc. and realized just what a difference a truly Fleckvieh herd would mean for us and where it could possibly lead us.
We had the privilege of attending the first Fleckvieh Fest in December 1988 in Edmonton, Alberta – we believe the first ever auction of Fleckvieh seed stock here in North America.
Meeting and getting to know Fleckvieh pioneers, John & Joan Rauch (Sim-Roc Simmentals), at the first Fleckvieh Fest was most certainly a high-lite for us. We were able to purchase our first Fleckvieh heifer from the Rauch’s – the first of many Fleckvieh heifers from across North America to come here to Dora Lee. May I suggest the rest is history?
Maternal calving is an important trait for us. In the past few years we have introduced genetics ranked in the top 5% for maternal strength, like ABR Sir Arnolds Image, DDD Broadway and Prostock Hugo. Polled genetics have also been added and play a big part here at Dora Lee.
We have seen many changes over the years. The introduction of Austrian and South African genetics has added diversification to our Fleckvieh genetic base here in the North American industry. Birth weighs have come down some what along with an improvement in calving ease. The groundless discrimination against animals with a broken color pattern has been an issue for us.
Fast forward to May 27, 2014. With our cows in their new digs, there is now time for us to sit on our veranda and watch these females do what Fleckviehs do best. As the dawn turns into morning, happiness is heading for the cow pasture on our gator to watch these magnificent Fleckvieh cows, simply put, do their thing with their 2014 models. For this old cowboy, this in enjoying life to the fullest. Yes!!! I believe dreams do come true. Thanks for listening.