I just received a call that there is a package waiting for me at our office. The description is that it looks like a fire extinquisher with a mushroom on the top. The mental image kind of makes me laugh. I am envisioning a metal tubular container with a top resembling a mushroom cloud of nuclear explosion-type size and shape!
English: Animated atomic bomb explosion. Polski: Grzybek atomowy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well, I made it in to the clinic after beginning this particular post. It seems that the container looks more like an enlarged bullet. I would say even like a bullet casing. Inside was a very nice semen tank. One of the guys at work could not believe that they shipped me an actual semen tank for what I paid in shipping. It turns out that they will send a courier to pick it up in 1 to 4 days. That makes sense, as the cost of the semen tank itself is 4x what I paid for the packaging and shipping of the semen.
We have elected to forgo having a bull around for now. That means that we are going to Artificially Inseminate our Red Poll Cows. It turns out that I am going to have to compromise my morals a bit at this point and use a timed breeding protocol. Maybe I will do a post on the particular breeding protocols that are available at some point here. I am behind the gun as far as timing these girls up. Look for that in a later post.
Until Next time!
I am basically cataloging here, but this will serve to give me something to look back upon as I make decisions.
I am in the process of selecting Red Poll semen to build the genetics of the herd. I have the three adult cows to breed back. I also have the one heifer calf, but she will be too young to breed this season. I have done some research and I think I have located a good source of semen. The herd is grass fed in its basics and has some top producers in the show ring and in terms of meat. I am also looking to bring new genetics into the area.
So I think I have settled on ordering red poll semen from the Shaffer Cattle Co. located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They have some red poll semen available at a very reasonable price of $8 per straw. Some of their genetics date back to some of the foundation cows of the breed (Marshall Mohler being a big name in the Red Poll preservation circle) I also noted in their advertisement that most of their semen customers seem to be in Okahoma, Kansas and other western states.
I am going to look into the breeding a little bit more to make sure that there is not a lot of cross over between my current stock. The red poll semen is held by hawkeye breeders. I can look up the breed registry and bloodlines on the Red Poll Cattle Homepage.
I am leaning toward ordering five straws each of:
MM Century 2104 reg # 207204
MARC Raymond 26026 reg # 7125
GS Goodfellow reg# 202403
I may also order two straws each out of some older bulls that they seem to have retired. These bulls are:
Pinpur Broadcaster reg #94362
GS Top Notch reg #006869
GS Topper reg #03723/GR23h
GS Orbitor reg #4270
I will try to keep a posting updated as I move along. The shipping cost is around $100, so ordering a few extra straws to have in the future makes some sense to me.
I am also excited about the possibility of attending the Red Poll Association Annual Meeting in Kentucky this year. I may be able to acquire a few new genetics through that sale as well.
Until Next Time!
Red Poll Bull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We have elected to order semen from George and Sarah Shaffer. We are going to order from Marc Raymond, as he is a top EPD leader for the past several years. This basically means that his offspring tend to do much better than averages for Red Poll Cattle. His offspring tend to be a little heavier at birth and do very well at weaning, at yearling weight and in milk production. These are all very desirable traits.
We will likely order from GS Goodfellow, as he tends to produce very small calves at birth. His semen will be saved and then put into our heifers. This should help with calving ease, although Red Polls are known for calving ease and maternal instincts.
I am tinkering with the idea of ordering from MM Century and think that I will. MM Century is a foundation animal out of Marshall Mohler’s herd. Marshall Mohler is a big name in Red Poll breeding. As it is told, Marshall Mohler is nearly single-handedly responsible for the state of the Red Poll breed as we know it today. Not only was he a conservationist of the breed (partly by decree of the Pinney family), he also improved the breed and its genetics. Click the highlighted test of Marshall Mohler to get his story from the ameircan Red Poll Association Website.
I did inquire about grassfed genetics, but have elected to go mainly with EPDs to guide my choices.
Until Next time!
A Red Poll calf. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)