LIMOUSIN TODAY October_LimToday_WEB - Page 25

Management while nature will always ensure that some will be open or late to breed. Ideally, a large part of the selection of replacement heifers should start with the sire. Consider the genetics of that choice as there is always available maternal EPD data to assess when it comes to herd bulls. There are plenty of solid Limousin bulls with top notch maternal traits active in all areas of the country. Groupings of purebred or cross-bred daughters from these types of sires are the perfect options to begin or expand your search. Remember that sires can produce anywhere from 25 to 35 offspring per breeding season while a dam produces only one calf per year, making it much easier to draw conclusions from the daughters of a desired sire than only looking at the dams of potential candidates. Look specifically at the maternal EPD numbers of the potential replacement heifer’s sires if possible and don’t ignore the possibility that your herd bull may not be optimal in this situation. If your main consideration when selecting your own herd sire is weaning and finishing weight, perhaps his daughters are not the best choices for replacements. Ultimately, know that there are options to consider. You can raise your own heifers for replacements, sell the calves with the option to buy the heifers back if so desired, contract with a reputable breeder of replacement heifers or buy them all out right from other producers. Remember this is your best chance to gradually improve your cow herd over time. Replacement heifers are not insignificant pieces but will become essential contributors to the foundation of any purebred or commercial cow calf operation. Don’t settle for the status quo. Step out and be willing to make the slightly tougher but better choice. I LIMOUSIN Today | 23