You have already herd about our mama cows, but as Father’s Day approaches, I wanted to share with you about the men, the myths, the legends… the bulls! Grateful Graze bought our first bull back in 2018. A bull is a mature male who has not been castrated; therefore, he still has the ability to breed females.
Bulls are more muscular than cows with thick, masculine necks because they have more testosterone. And despite how the children’s movie, Ferdinand, depicts them, they do not always have horns. In fact, here at the Grateful Graze ranch we do not want our bulls to have horns because they could be dangerous and/or cause other issues.
When we buy a bull, we try to select for desirable traits. Similar to our females, longevity is important because it means they will have more seasons of service or the ability to breed for more years. The breeds of the bulls we have presently include British White, South Poll Red Angus Cross, and Black Angus-all of whom help to keep our cattle herd diverse and hardy. To improve their longevity, we also select for bulls who have mothers that are at least seven years of age or older, but preferably anywhere from ten to fifteen years is the desired age range.
Because our bulls have one very important purpose, I think it is safe to say that the fall is their busiest season since they are in the process of breeding all of our heifers and cows. On average, a bull will breed anywhere from 30 to 50 females depending on his age and fertility-that is a lot of kids! The bulls stay separate from the herd the rest of the year, moving to fresh grass on a regular basis to maintain their strength, so they will be ready for the next breeding season when the time comes. A great fact about our bulls is that they too have a 100% grass diet-no sweets like grain for these dads!
Needless to say, our hardworking bulls are an important part of life here at Grateful Graze as are all fathers. Even though you may not have as many children as our bulls, we still appreciate you and all of the dads out there! We hope you all have fun celebrating Father’s Day with your family and friends, and hey, enjoy grilling a few Grateful Graze brats and burgers while you are at it!