When we started breeding Simmental in 1973, our goal was to establish a quality breeding herd. As the years went by we just knew that changes needed to be made. And we then realized that the Fleckvieh strain would be the best option for us here at Dora Lee.
By the early 1990’s our customer base was asking for polled genetics and again we changed our focus. With the development of our Eclipse bull, polled genetics were on the way. Polled genetics have evolved here since then with most of our cow herd now being polled and several are now homozygous. Our customers appears to be very happy to access our polled genetics.
Several years ago when the new DNA testing for feed efficiency became available to us, we jumped in and started by testing the whole herd. We have added this new technology as an important selection tool for us here at Dora Lee.
After 6 years of testing, culling has taken place with the older inefficient cows being sent to market and being replaced with more feed efficient daughters. We are now finding that our hay consumption has gone down and our pastures appear to last much longer. With the national Simmental average for RFI (feed efficiency) at a high of 6.5, we have our herd average down below 4.0 and now have a goal of 3.0. We now have females in our herd with a score of 1.0. WOW!!! Some advice from my Dad. “Man needs to stay on top of change and new technology”. Dad was right on the mark.
We are now able to offer feed efficient breeding stock to our customer base. The feed back has been very positive.
As we travel down this road of breeding quality Fleckvieh genetics, we will continue to attempt to raise the bar and again move our herd to the next level. This breeding and developing quality genetics is certainly something Betty and I very much enjoy.
Thank you for listening.