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Note: This latest newsletter is in two parts -- here, and at Beef Studies.  
Articles
Miniature Angus Cattle, The Small Acreage Alternative
Bulls make Sense (B.S.)
Data Reports
 
 

TAG Ranch Sweethearts

TAG Ranch

Dear Gene,
Kids are our hope for a more caring and compassionate future. In their unbridled passion for life, with their creativity and imagination, they are the resource for making lives better. These fundamental beliefs underscore the dream to create a ranch that help the youth of Utah and beyond.

TAG Ranch is a place that enables The Authentic Generation to learn life-lasting skills like responsibility, leadership and teamwork. In playing and working in a nurturing and safe environment, kids will develop self-confidence and grow into healthy, caring adults.

TAG is a working ranch for kids 8-12. Its premise is simple, but its impact is great. Kids will play and work on a "real" ranch. Child obesity will be positively addressed with healthy eating and exercise. The technology savvy generation will learn to play and let their imagination rule the day. All kids will be winners on the field, find their innate ability to express themselves artistically, and learn the power of responsibility when they are charged with caring for a horse, participating in the team dyamic, all within the freedom and safety of the ranch.

Sweet One and Sweetness will be precious additions to the ranch and camp program. The kids will adore every moment spent learning and caring for them.

Please accept our gratitude for your kindness and donating one thousand dollars towards the purchase price of the minis.

Every Best Wish!

Mary Lee K. Robinson
Executive Director
TAG Ranch
Park City, UT

Miniature Angus Cattle, The Small Acreage Alternative

If you have a little space and grass you don't need, you should consider the benefits of miniature cattle. Miniature cattle offer many positive benefits. Lowline Angus cattle are an alternative that offers a sure and positive return while giving you all of the benefits most exotic animals have to offer. The most obvious benefit is the traditional production of milk and beef. This is the positive bottom line that establishes the confidence that they will generate a positive return and hold their value premium. The health benefits of wholesome, unadulterated milk, and natural beef are very significant and cannot be denied.

Few people today are so isolated that they fail to understand the added nutritional value and safety of natural food. The educated, health conscious consumer, is willing to seek out natural producers and reward their efforts. Recent nutritional studies on our miniature beef animals conducted at Utah State Animal Science Department by Dr. Tilak Dihman show a positive Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio of 4.10 to 1. There is a much higher concentration of CLA because the smaller, more efficient animals can finish on forage alone. Now the diet conscious can have it all. Less fat in a nutrient dense ideally sized package. No lifestyle change needed.

Lowlines eat 1/3 the amount of traditional fuil sized cattle. Because they are bred for long, deep, wide backs, and shorter muscles, even a small place can produce a substantial amount of tender, quality cuts. A smaller concentrated ranch if you will, and more cow to match your hat. By marketing freezer friendly sizes of healthier meat direct to the consumer, at a premium, and avoiding all the middlemen, small acreages can rival the proficts of larger ranches.

We have taken careful steps to prove the added quality of Lowline beef. First, we have Univeristy of Idaho certified ultrasounds of yearling animals to show the larger bib eye areas in proportion to their size coupled with high choice marbling for tenderness and juiciness, in the presence of external fat in the low tenths of an inch. Second, we have taken this beef direct to the plate of local restaurants with very satisfactory results. This is the ultimate test companion to the healthy nutrient profiles mentioned above.

Since Miniature Lowline cattle fall into the unusual category, many people are just now becoming aware of their existence. Not every kid on the block has one, and they offer the pride of owning an attention getter. Usually, new owners report that they stop interested traffic, entice the local TV and newspaper to come see for themselves.

By far the most profitable aspect is the production and sale of full blood seed stock. The animals you buy, your improvements, along with all the means you use to produce what you sell is deductible to offset the taxes on your real estate and profits.

This is a great business for many reasons other than the financial return. For example, we started Mini Cows West as a way to teach our children self-reliance as their own employer. Entrepreneurship 101 if you wish to be more precise. The animals are easy to handle and managing them teaches independence, responsibility, and how to start and run a small business. These experiences return something money cannot buy. They are priceless tools for life.

Watching baby calves romp in the field sure beats sitting on a riding mower week after week when you could be doing something more healthy and profitable besides wasting gas and grass. The right animals will come to your call, eat from your hand, and go for walks with you. They will grow on you and for you as an easily managed livestock venture.

Good temperament is critical. This is especially true of pasture livestock of any kind where youngsters are involved. Lowlines are noted for their easygoing dispositions. Halter broke and proven gentle animals with gentle sires and dams are of course more valuable. We try to imprint newborns and work with young animals early. I'm convinced it works well. Bottle feeding a newborn is a certain way to assure a friend for life. Animals that are halter trained early will not forget and can be easily tuned up even after long periods of no hands on contact. We have delivered several animals to petting zoos and find that they are extremely compatible with all other species. They also do very well with horses of all sizes.

Does size matter? To many it does. With our new and exciting breakthrough in size without sacrificing quality or conformation, miniature cattle are down to 32 inches in height. The smallest are easy to keep, handle, and feed. They are great for kids.

Does gender matter? Depends on your purpose. For pets, we find little distinction. Bull calved of most breeds are usually more available and cost less. They train a bit easier and retain their training well. They can grow to be heavier than heifers. Heifers can be bred for calves, while bulls can breed for cavles. Both are needed to breed for seedstock unless you go artificial insemination or embryo implantation.

Full blood heifers are not plentiful and command a good startup price. Full blood bulls are more reasonable and available. Bulls and semen allow the use of cows you already have or can get, and produce heifer calves that can be bred up to purebreed status, or the steers to jumpstart your personal beef program with a smaller investment.

To sum up and add a couple more thoughts, miniature cattle require little in the way of improvements. Fencing can be as simple as 39 inch high mesh and steel posts. Shelter for most involves a wind break, although some small place to bring animals in for birthing, meds, training, etc. is a great help. Minis need no more health aids than their larger counterparts. in fact, they tend to be much healthier. Of course, they get more attention and care because of the pet factor.

Please address questions to us. Hopefully, we have the experience and resources to answer them all.

 

BULLS MAKE SENSE (B.S.)

A popular double word, often shortened to two letters, (B.S.), now has two meanings. Lowline Angus bulls do indeed make sense. Many breeders believe in the strong influence of desirable breeding characteristics passed on by the male bovine. If you want to change your cattle in a major way and quickly, a bull is the way to start. Bull calves are a bargain, and young animals offer a chance for all of the family, especially the younger ones to enjoy, bond to and work with safely. (Note the photos on this web site).

It is obvious that a Lowline male is only half of the necessary ingredients to start a full blood herd. It takes a large number of full blood heifers or embryo transfers to accomplish that. A bull is useful for those who already have cows and wish to add the valuable characteristics of Lowlines. Lowline bulls can mate with heifers and young cows of most breeds. Mature Chi-Angus, Piedmontese. and Holsteins may require a jump, a ditch, or ramp. They usually get the job done.

Here is a wonderful opportunity for those who already have cattle, or can get some, to participate in the brave new market for miniature cattle very easily, quickly and economically. They can enjoy easy going and efficient animals that also offer profit , fun and tax shelter.

The ability of one bull to service any number of available cows and the fact that sex distribution of calves slightly favors the male, leads to a lower price for them. Hence, bulls offer one of the most economical ways to start up. Since the first generation of half blood animals will be a mix of the characteristics of both sire and dam, you will obtain a heterosis, or hybrid vigor that brings out the best of both sides. From here, you can simply select the calves with the traits you like and reinforce those characteristics by selection of the next bull to go to 3/4 bred and then on to 7/8 or purebred.

Purebred animals are usually treated the same as full bloods. The only difference is the fact that you have lower start up costs at the expense of time. So, if you are in a hurry and have the $'s, bite the bullet and buy a good full blood heifer and suffer the expenses of flushing and freezing embryos. Otherwise, bulls make sense. Don't forget, the percentage animals you cull or choose not to use are valuable themselves as pets, club calves, hobby and beef. These animals also sell in a price range that a large number of people can afford--a price somewhere between premium beef and seed stock prices for the parent breeds. If you choose your breeds and genetics well, the value and market will be there.

Do not overlook the economic potential of using your bull for breeding purposes. He can be rented for direct service or collected for A.I. breeding. This can be very profitable.

In summary, the awareness of and the demand for miniature Angus cattle are increasing. There are several ways to start to participate in this venture. Buying full blood/purebred females of high quality and breeding age, while the most direct, is also the most costly. Surrogates, carrying full blood embryo transfers or embryos to place in your own cattle, offer a less expensive and excellent means with some cost and risk. Live calves of both sexes should also be considered. Young heifers will grow valuable as they reach reproductive age. You will need the services of a good vet to flush embryos and maximize their potential or a number of heifers to give any kind of calf crop. A full blood bull should also be considered if breeding cows are available. You can natural breed. The expense and technology needed are a fraction of some of the other means and you have an instant product to sell all along the way, plus all the other benefits.

 
 
Please email us at [email protected] for more information about Minicows West
*** World's Most Efficient, Cutest & Tastiest Cows! ***
5405 Long Cove Dr Idaho Falls, ID 83404.
Phone: (208) 523-5959 / Fax: (208) 524-2232
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