Raising the right size for better efficiency and profit for small farms
Marketing options breeders can consider when they use the Classic Size Herefords as the base.
“Classic Size” definition is merely a size guideline of Hereford cattle for breeders to follow with expectations of benefits to be achieved. The term “Classic Herefords” came about to define the size of the original Herefords from the time they first arrived in the US until the 1970s when breeders started breeding for bigger and bigger Herefords. Some researchers believe the breeders went too far when producing the larger Herefords. We will label these “Modern Herefords” for this discussion.
Another sub group of the Modern Herefords that came about in the late 1900s were Miniature Herefords. They originated from the belief that people with smaller acreage would like smaller cattle that required less feed and less acreage to raise compared to the Modern Herefords.
Classic Hereford sizes fit right between the size of Modern Herefords and the size of Miniature Herefords. Each of these groups are generally defined by the frame scores of the animals in the group. A frame score defines the height of the animal measured at the hip. (Frame Score Reference). This allows Classic Hereford breeding programs to have at least 4 different markets to consider.
SCH Stewarts Lady Abbey - Full Hereford size - frame score: 5, wt: 1,250 lbs. Focus to breed with Mini bull for Classic cows/bulls. The classic cows/bull can then be used for multiple marketing opportunities.
PA Dayna - 25% Mini bloodlines - frame score: 4, wt: 1,200 lbs. Focus to breed with Mini bull for Classic cows/bulls. She has produced calves that fit in the upper Mini Hereford Frame Scores. The classic cows/bull can then be used for multiple marketing opportunities.
DJF Quip 10T Tianna- 50% Mini bloodlines size - frame score: 3, wt: 1,200 lbs. Focus to breed with Mini bull for Classic cows/bulls. She has produced calves that fit in the upper Mini Hereford Frame Scores. The classic cows/bull can then be used for multiple marketing opportunities.
LL Willows Rose - 100% Mini bloodlines - frame score: 1, wt: 850 lbs. Focus to breed with Mini bull for Mini cows/bulls. She has produced calves that fit in the upper Mini Hereford Frame Scores.
Here are the primary marketing options we see and are considering in our breeding program.
Full size Herefords bred by Classic or Mini Herefords
We have purchased several full size Hereford cows for the purpose of breeding with a Mini bull resulting in down sizing the calf to a Classic size. The full size cows were selected based upon the genetics of top quality bulls that have down well in the show ring and/or produced multiple offspring that did well in the show ring. We also select on the number of registered Herefords from the bull. That also indicates the wide acceptance of the offspring by the cattle industry.
Breeding Classic Hereford cows and heifers with Classic bulls to produce Classic cattle to offer to other breeders.
This is a marketing area where to breeder is focusing more on achieving cattle that have better feed efficiency but still produce acceptable weaning weights that will get reasonable prices when taken to a local sale barn. The breeder can also breed for Classic size Herefords with the objective of selling them as breeding stock for other breeders. There are very few breeders at this time having a focus on raising Classic Herefords.
Breeding Classic cows with Miniature Hereford bull to produce Miniature Herefords that are the size to fit in the top of the Miniature Hereford Frame Score chart.
We have had success in buying moderate size Herefords or Herefords that have a percentage of “miniature Hereford bloodlines” with the objective of producing calves that will fit in the upper categories of the Miniature Hereford Frame Score chart. (See Frame Score Chart) .
Selling Classic Hereford bulls to to commercial ranchers providing less birthing problems because of the smaller size bull but calves weighing close to the same weight as when they bred with bigger bulls.
We have sold several Classic size Hereford bulls to breeders interested in using them to breed Modern Herefords in order to reduce birthing problems. The calves will be a little smaller but weight growth will still be good. We focus on the genes in the Classic Hereford bulls that came from top quality Hereford bulls that have wide acceptance in the cattle industry as shown by show wins and number of offspring registered.
The classic Hereford has the following benefits
Classic Herefords bring unique, top quality genetics to the Classic and Miniature Herefords that greatly improve the offspring and the desirability of the offspring by the cattle industry.
Smaller in size, thus requiring less feed and fewer acreage for raising.
Classic Herefords will be better accepted in the sale barn because they produce calves that put on more weight than the smaller Mini cattle.
Breeders don’t have to collect EPD data for marketing because they take advantage of the EPDs collected by the big cattle ranchers and the show results they get from their cattle.
There are very few breeders focusing on breeding for Classic Herefords and there is demand in the industry
There are some Moderate size Modern Herefords that already fit in the Classic frame sizes and they bring totally new genetics to the Miniature Hereford cattle.