Maternal, economical, easy-doing, fertile, adaptable, dependable, convenient, versatile, longevity, hardy, docile, marbling, profitable…
...these are just a few of the words that practical cattlemen from across Canada use to describe Herefords.
Today's practical cattleman is faced with ever increasing input costs. Costs like feed, labour, and animal health. In the past the solution has been to maximize production, but that doesn't always work as this also means maximized input costs. Mature size, dystocia, temperament, foraging ability, feed conversion, hardiness all affect the amount of inputs required. Today's practical cattlemen is faced with the challenge of maximizing profitability by minimizing inputs through optimized production. So where does the Hereford breed fit in to this scenario. Here's what some practical cattlemen are saying:
Chris Odden, Groundbirch, British Columbia – "Disposition, hair – coupled with feed efficiency is what keeps Herefords on our Ranch."
Dorothy Rossiter, Westrose, Alberta – "We find that the Hereford cows cost less to feed and they still put out a good size calf."
Eric Lawrence, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan – "Herefords do well in our range conditions, they can withstand variations in temperatures, and they are easy fleshing cattle that do well grazing without any extra feed. We feel that Herefords are more economical."
Robert Graham, Holland, Manitoba – "The hair coat and the moderate size make them a cheaper animal to winter. I don't need to baby them."
John Lightle, Campbellford, Ontario – "Herefords are easier to look after. They're more docile, aren't as hard on fences or equipment, they eat less, can stand the cold weather and make excellent mothers. This all means less work for me."
Herefords…optimum production for maximum profitability. What this means is that all things considered Herefords produce more calf for your buck. How do they do it?
- The Hereford and Hereford influenced female is more moderately sized requiring less to maintain her condition and produce a proportionately larger calf. Regardless of whether you are situated in an area with abundant or limited feed resources, you can run more Hereford and Hereford influenced females and produce more pounds of calf.
- They are hardy foragers, which means, under your practical management conditions they are better able to maintain their condition with less feed resources.
- Because she is low maintenance, she is more fertile. She weans her calf and maintains her condition while carrying and nurturing her next calf. All this and she still rebreeds within a 365-day span.
- This fertility combined with the calving ease of Herefords means you are achieving a higher calf crop percentage.
- And the mothering ability and vigorousness of Hereford calves means you are producing more pounds of calf per cow exposed.
- This is all before adding the longevity and docility of Herefords to the equation. Hereford's longevity means your replacement costs are lower and you get more value per dollar spent from your Hereford bulls. The Hereford temperament means they are easier to handle putting less stress on you and your handling equipment. Most importantly, the cattle business is a family business, so the docility of Herefords gives you peace of mind when your children and grandchildren are working along side.
- Best of all you are getting top price at the auction market for your good Hereford and Hereford influence feeder calves and replacement heifers. But don't just believe us, here is what these practical cattlemen had to say:
Bruce Creith, Pilot Mound, Manitoba – "For me they have been bringing just as high a price but they require less maintenance and upkeep – basically less work for the same money."
Russell Jans, Tompkins, Saskatchewan – "There's a pride to having good cattle and you take them to the sale and they bring you top dollar. I've seen them pay a nickel more for our straight Hereford steers at more than one place."
Bob Balog, Balog Auctions, Lethbridge, Alberta – "Hereford is providing the consistency, uniformity, grading results and meat quality the industry is looking for. We had straightbred Hereford feeders selling better than they had for 5 or 6 years last fall. You can't beat the Hereford cattle on the yearling market. And there is tremendous demand for straightbred Hereford females."
Herefords have what the feedlot, packer, and most importantly, the consumer are looking for.
Bryce Weiss, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan – "The Hereford Charolais steer is one of the premiere steers in the feedlot industry."
Leonard Finstad, Etzikom, Alberta – "When they go to market, our Herefords provide an even group which is appealing to buyers. They like our cattle for their length, depth and thickness. Herefords also meet the growing demand for marbled beef."
Cor Van Raay, Iron Springs, Alberta – "It's hard to beat the good Charolais Hereford cross calves – they're some of the better cattle you can feed."
Michael Allemeier, Teatro's Fine Dining, Calgary, Alberta – "Hereford is the best quality beef you can offer in this country."
You can't be all things to all people.
But the same adaptability and versatility that has made the Hereford breed the most widely used British beef breed in the world is enabling practical cattlemen across Canada to use them as straightbreds or crossbreds in virtually any environment.