If you want to Chase Ribbons, Go Show a Poodle!
|Are you in the Show Business or the BEEF Business?
If you are in the BEEF Business - Call me for cattle that must perform on Forage with no pampering!
My Management and Breeding Philosophy
Cattle are Ruminants – and are expected to perform on forages alone or be culled. Many people think they can improve on the program of the Creator, by adding corn, hormones, and low level antibiotics – then they wonder why they have a poor profit picture and poor health from eating those animals.
Our program is to improve commercial production efficiency by reducing cost – not by building the highest set of EPD’s regardless of the cost. Our direction is to breed for uniquely rare, more prepotent population for more commercial value to the cow calf producer who utilizes maximum forages by raising a grass efficient cow. I believe the role of the seedstock producer is to provide consistent, predictable genetics that will perform as described to the cattle producer.
Our cowherd is divided between a summer calving group and a fall calving group with a 60 day breeding period. This decision is based upon the Fescue base of our pastures, the heat and humidity of Western Kentucky and the photoperiod benefit of calving in these seasons. Heifers are calved at approx. 2 ½ years of age – by calving summer born as fall calving and fall born as summer calving cows. This simple 6 month extension has dramatically increased the productive life of my herd, reduced 2nd calf re-breeding issues, and reduced heifer development cost. Bull power requirement is divided into half since they are used in 2 seasons vs. 1 breeding season per year.
Our cowherd has a goal of an easy fleshing, frame score 5 cow – not the little “belt buckle size” or the huge 7+ frame hay burners. The cows are wintered only on purchased round bales of grass hay from neighbors for the 30-45 days of hay feeding during snow and ice. Rotational grazing during the summer months and daily late fall/winter strip grazing is our forage management program. The calves – both summer and fall – are raised on their mother’s milk and the same forage their dam gets. We never creep feed. No supplemental feed or protein is provided to the cows or calves. Calves are weaned at or near 205 days of age and ratio selected among their peers.
We utilized a linebreeding program in our Angus cowherd for many years. You will also find many ½ and ¾ sisters, lots of mother - daughter sets, and utilization of the top sons of our top-producing cows as herd bulls. We have a set of good cows – not a set of good numbers. Fabron 454 and his lineage have produced trouble free, maternal efficient, pure, low input, forage efficient Angus cows. We “field test” them and challenge them in the real world so you will know you are buying cattle that will perform on farms like yours.
After over 30 years of selection and linebreeding to build a herd of heat and fescue tolerant Angus cattle that can perform on forages, the question was – What is the next step of improvement?
BarAngus is my cross of Barzona and Bonsmara bulls on Angus cows. Barzona is a breed that is genetically unrelated to any of the many breeds used in Kentucky and surrounding states. Moderate size, heat tolerant, low maintenance with instincts to take care of themselves and their calves, hardy proven browsers, maximum heterosis, was the checklist needed to add to our many years of selection and linebreeding on our Angus cows.
Barzona and Bonsmara cattle were developed at about the same time. Bonsmara is a 5/8 Africander 3/16 Hereford, 3/16 Shorthorn breed developed in South Africa by Professor Jan Bonsmara. His unique vision was to build a breed productive in subtropical climates while still producing beef preferred in North America and the Pacific Rim. At the same time F.N. Bard and geneticist E.S. Humphrey were using the same breeds to build the Barzona breed to perform in the rugged southwest. Barzona herd book was closed in 1955, long before the Shorthorn and Hereford became today’s “show circuit breeds” without real world performance.
Improvements in cow-calf production due to heterosis come from both the result of the crossbred cow and individual performance of the calf. Traits like reproduction, heat tolerance, browse ability and longevity in your cow herd are important. Barzona are solid red cattle, F-1 BarAngus are black with short slick hair coats.
Barzona are extremely adaptable, I have seen purebred herds in KY, FL, AL, OK and TX and they all perform as expected. Fertility, forage efficiency, adaptability, and hardiness with less parasite and natural disease resistance, docile, intelligent, easy to handle are all traits mentioned when discussing the breed. Barzona cattle were used by Teddy Gentry as part of the building of his South Poll composite breed. For replacements and feeder calves from 1 breed, BarAngus is the choice.
I was able to purchase a Barzona bull out of a 17 year old cow from the original Bard Ranch genetics. He is being used on our top cows to produce females for our herd. Bulls will be available for bringing Maternal Efficiency, Hybrid Vigor and Forage Efficiency into your herd. I also purchased a purebred Bonsmara bull. This will keep the basic breed characteristics of Bonsmara and Barzona with different genetics.
Top F1 heifers from Angus cows, sired by Barzona will be mated to Bonsmara, and top Bonsmara sired heifers will be mated to Barzona. An interesting and unique group of Angus X Wagyu heifers have been added to our cow herd. The steers and heifers from previous years production of these Angus X Wagyu graded over 90% Prime. This is due to the phenomenal marbling characteristics of the Wagyu breed. The Angus dams of this unique group were selected from reputation programs in the Southeast with some of the top Carcass and $B EPD’s. These Angus X Wagyu cows are black and bred to Barzona will produce black hided bulls with phenomenal carcass genetics to fit the needs of both grassfed and grain finishing cattlemen selling on grid market.
Hybrid Vigor, Breed Compatibility, Custom Designed Genetic Components for your specific bull needs are all available through BarAngus. These cattle will perform in a low input, Southeastern environment to match your feed resources, management and market goals. Using our BarAngus bulls on most any breed of cows provides a simple step to improve productivity and add heterosis into your herd without a complicated breeding program. For more information and “snap shots” of bulls for sale – go to www.sansomcattleco.com
The fact remains that some cows can raise a calf and breed back on time using forages only while maintaining body condition. Many cows can not. It follows that the difference is genetic if selection is based on the same environment and management. We have selected the best and culled the rest for our entire cattle breeding history. You can be confident in the breeding background of the cattle you select from Sansom Cattle Co.
When selecting a bull to retain heifers from – remember you will sell his calves in 2 years, but his heifer’s progeny will be selling in 4 years and then for many years thereafter. Buy the best maternal genetics and cost efficient type cattle you can afford. Great cows are NOT a by-product of breeding for carcass and growth. Great cows come from programs dedicated to making the cow the priority and selection for efficiency and profitable forage performance.
Call anytime to visit our farm. No board fences, no show barns full of fans and feed buckets, just honest cattle performing on pastures like yours.