Summertime in Texas

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Backbone Ranch

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I hope everyone is doing well. Things have been relatively steady here for the last few weeks. We wrapped up our AI season in early June, turned out the bull, and are in the midst of hauling hay out of the river bottoms. The calves are developing really nicely, and I think we are going to be hard pressed to pick out our replacement heifers in the fall. This is normally the time of year when we castrate the bottom half of the bull calves, but with the heat lately, we are going to put that off until it cools down a bit. We AIed 19 cows this year to 10 different bulls, including our old milk cow to an Alaskan Guernsey sire. The remainder of the herd and clean-up duties are once again falling to BB Backbone's General for another year. He is 7 years old now, and this will be the last year that he breeds the entire herd. We have a two year old and a yearling coming on that will be breeding a portion of the herd in 2023.

BB Backbone's General
BB Backbones General 7 years6

Two sons of AI sire, Victory Power Play, pictured at 4 and 3 1/2 months of age. Both bulls were 76 lbs at birth and are among the growthiest of our 2022 bull calves. With that being said, they still possess the depth of body and muscling that we like to see in our calves.
203 Bull 4 months
205 Bull 35 months1

A 3 month old heifer calf by New Zealand Murray Grey bull, Ballee Thumbs Up.
206 Heifer 3 months

This 136 heifer is a favorite from the fall calf crop. She is out of a first calf heifer and had only been weaned for two days here. Her grandsires include BB Uncle Tony and Ballee Thumbs Up. I am really thinking that we will like crossing these two bull lines over the next couple of years.
136 Heifer 8 months

Two daughters of BB Backbone's General, pictured at 3 and 2 1/2 months.
208 Heifer 3 months218 Heifer 25 months
 

farmerjan

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Like the 136 heifer too.... but they all look pretty nice. What Guernsey bull did you use? It is so hard to find any that have any "substance " to them.... They are all so frail and spindly which is what practically ruined the whole guernsey breed. I want to breed some of my animals next year to AI and one that I want to do is a jer/hol/guernsey cross cow to try to get more of the "golden guernsey milk"....
 

Rafter S

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Like the 136 heifer too.... but they all look pretty nice. What Guernsey bull did you use? It is so hard to find any that have any "substance " to them.... They are all so frail and spindly which is what practically ruined the whole guernsey breed. I want to breed some of my animals next year to AI and one that I want to do is a jer/hol/guernsey cross cow to try to get more of the "golden guernsey milk"....

I'm pretty sure I've posted this here before, but years ago a vet told me "A Guernsey cow spends her whole life walking around looking for a place to lay down and die."
 
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Backbone Ranch

Backbone Ranch

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Like the 136 heifer too.... but they all look pretty nice. What Guernsey bull did you use? It is so hard to find any that have any "substance " to them.... They are all so frail and spindly which is what practically ruined the whole guernsey breed. I want to breed some of my animals next year to AI and one that I want to do is a jer/hol/guernsey cross cow to try to get more of the "golden guernsey milk"....
We bred her to Knik River Kakadu Snowman. I do not pretend to know anything about Guernsey bulls, but my mother talked to his owner when they purchased some Murray Grey semen, and we ended up buying some straws from them soon after. We had always talked about breeding our cross cow to a Guernsey bull, and this one fell into our lap. We currently have a 4 month old 75% Guernsey x 25% Murray Grey bull calf that is growing like mad right now. You can definitely tell he has some dairy in him, but not to the point where he looks scraggly compared to our beef calves. I will have to try and get a current photo of the pair sometime this weekend when I return home.
 
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Backbone Ranch

Backbone Ranch

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Like the 136 heifer too.... but they all look pretty nice. What Guernsey bull did you use? It is so hard to find any that have any "substance " to them.... They are all so frail and spindly which is what practically ruined the whole guernsey breed. I want to breed some of my animals next year to AI and one that I want to do is a jer/hol/guernsey cross cow to try to get more of the "golden guernsey milk"....
This is a photo of the Guernsey bull that we used, Knik River Kakadu Snowman. His bull calf was born on 2/19/22 at 98 lbs. When bred to a Murray Grey, his dam has given birth to bull calves of comparable size. For reference, I have also included a photo of our 50% Murray Grey x 50% Guernsey cow that is pictured at 7 years of age.
Knik River Kakadu Snowman
207 Bull 4 monthsBB Jewel 7 years
 

farmerjan

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Like the cow, makes a nice cross with the MG's.... I really want to do some other breeding than just the "black" color.... I like your MG's..... I am going to look into possibly getting some of that semen of the Guernsey.
 

snakegap1

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If bred to red cows, what color are the calves typically? Like breeding a Charolais to Red Angus?
 
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Backbone Ranch

Backbone Ranch

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If bred to red cows, what color are the calves typically? Like breeding a Charolais to Red Angus?
These are some weaned Murray Grey x Red Angus calves that I was sent pictures of a few years back. The 2133 was out of a first calf heifer. All of the dams were silver in color.
IMG 0516IMG 0519IMG 0520
 

snakegap1

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Nice, they look like pure Murry's to me. I may have to look at a Murry Grey as my next bull. I have red angus and red baldies, I am running a new black angus now. I wonder if they are bred Murry Grey bull over red cows would be the same outcome?
 
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Backbone Ranch

Backbone Ranch

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I believe that the coloration of the progeny should be similar when using a Murray grey bull. We bought three bred heifers back in 2011 that were 50% Angus and 50% Murray Grey, and two of them are still producing on our herd today. As first calf heifers, all three weaned bull calves weighing over 600 lbs, and they have raised some awesome calves for us over the years. This is one of the 50% cows at 10 years of age with her 5 month old heifer calf. The other is a 9 year old with her 6 month old bull calf.

DH Corrine with 914 Heifer 10 years and 5 months
823 Bull 6 months
 
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Backbone Ranch

Backbone Ranch

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I thought that I would update this thread with some current pictures. It has been an incredibly dry summer, but we are lucky to still have grass. Despite the heat, we are extraordinarily happy with how this calf crop is developing.

206 Heifer- 5 month old AI sired calf 206 Heifer 5 months

This bull calf is 4 months old and out of a 9 year old cow who has produced some really nice bull calves over the years. To my knowledge, his dam is the only female sired by of Michaelong Grasshopper in the entire US. Grasshopper was born in 1973 and was raised by the founding family of the Murray Grey breed, before he was exported to Canada.
209 Bull 45 months3

These next two heifers are both daughters of BB Backbone's General, pictured at 4 months and 3 1/2 months, respectively. They both are high up on our list of keepers this year.
214 Heifer 4 months228 Heifer 35 months

When this bull calf was born, I did not think he would amount to much. He looked like a heifer and was all leg, but he has started to come around over the last few weeks. He is sired by BB Backbone's General and is out of an 11 year old cow. We have wanted to keep some more heifers out of her, so of course, her last 5 calves have all been bulls.
229 Bull 4 months

This bull is a 15 month old 75% Murray Grey x 25% Angus cross. His dam was part of the first group of Murray Greys that we purchased back in 2011, and he is the last of our natural service calves by BB Uncle Tony. We have several of his full sisters in production, and his full brothers have done very well in nearby commercial herds.
BB Beacon 15 months

These last two photos are of bred 2 year old heifers that are due to calve starting at the end of September. The 018 is a daughter of BB Uncle Tony. The second heifer is sired by BB Backbone's General and was the last calf from OK Sadie. Sadie was the dam of BB Uncle Tony, the bull that has been the building block of our program and the bull that put us on the map within the Murray Grey breed. Sadie was 17 years old when she had this heifer.
BB Loretta 2 yearsBB Rosie 2 years2
 

TwoByrdsMG

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Really like the 209 bull. I know we have talked about that cow before and looks like she is putting off a herd bull prospect. Let me know if you ever get some embryos off of her.
 
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Backbone Ranch

Backbone Ranch

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Really like the 209 bull. I know we have talked about that cow before and looks like she is putting off a herd bull prospect. Let me know if you ever get some embryos off of her.
I will definitely let you know if we collect any embryos. I know that she is an older cow, but I still want to see what she does when bred to Monterey Marshall or Victory Power Play. We have a Tony daughter out of her currently, but I would not be opposed to a few more Tony calves out of her either. That cross worked really well.
 

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