Part of being a cattle breeder is picking genetics to develop a herd specific to your program and goals. We have seen many changes in our herd over the last several years and we are continually looking for ways to improve our genetic line. One way to change a herd is to find a bull that has characteristics that you are looking to improve or that are not prevalent in your cows and heifers. For example, we are continually working to tighten our briskets, and have been able to do that by breeding to a bull that has had that quality.
We have been fortunate to grow our own champion bull from a genetic line that has very dominant characteristics. We really favor some of these characteristics and are continuing to develop and add these to our herd. After 4 Wiley Mountain Mitchell won Grand Champion Bull at the Ohio Beef Expo, we knew that we needed to preserve these genes. At the Ohio Beef Expo we were able to meet with Great Lakes Sire Services and make arrangements to have them collect semen from Mitchell.
Several weeks ago, we got up early to start our four hour journey to Great Lakes Sire Service in Bronson, Michigan. The plan was to drop Mitchell off for collection and deliver a Miniature Hereford bull that they had bought from us.
Along the way, we passed miles and miles of wind turbines. They are amazing! The pictures just don't do them justice.
We arrived and stretched our legs before unloading cows and getting a tour of the facility. We were immediately impressed with the layout and thought that has gone into the facility. Daniel is constantly storing away ideas for "when we build our new barn." Then they walked us through the step-by-step process of semen collection.
The boys were able to look at some of the semen under the microscope.
There are a total of five of these large semen tanks that hold all of the semen. The boys were able to experiment with the dry nitrogen and learn of some of it's characteristics.
These are the shipping containers that they use to ship out semen to customers.
We also got to see quite a few amazing bulls. This one was as big as a truck. I wouldn't want to meet him on a bad day!
The boys got a little stir crazy on the way home, so we decided to find a go-cart track. Easier said than done. Every go-cart place that our GPS directed us to was out of business. We finally found a place in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Isaac was tall enough to drive his own cart (first time ever) and Walker was content to ride along. He decided that being a farm boy that already "knows how to drive a truck" has it's advantages. He gleefully passed many slow pokes.
Mitchell is now back home and "working his magic" on the girls in our herd.
We came home with a tank full of semen that is now available for sale. Mitchell is a very stout, wide, deep bodied, clean fronted bull that will certainly make a great addition to any breeding program.
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.