Our cowherd is based upon genetics from the traditional British breeds, Black Angus , Red Angus, and Polled Hereford for moderate frame size, calving ease, and grass finishing abilities. Our herd sires include Black Angus for straight-bred progeny, Red Devon for grass finishing efficiency, and Polled Hereford to promote hybrid vigor, particularly in our “Black Baldie” replacement heifers.
Replacement heifers (young females) are selected from our calves based upon the historical performance of their dams and sires on our farm and for the promise they have shown in their first year on an all-grass diet. At approximately 18-20 months of age, our replacement heifers are bred to a carefully selected herd bull that best compliments her genetics and are then placed with either our spring or fall cow herd if they settle (become pregnant.) The gestation period is approximately 9 months and we cycle our spring cowherd to achieve tight calving in a 45-60 day period (Feb-Mar) just before Virginia's spring lush, and our fall cowherd to achieve tight calving in a 45-60 period (Aug-Sept) just before Virginia’s fall lush. Cows that fail to become pregnant, have difficulty calving, raise poor calves, or are poor keepers are culled from the herd, leaving us with strong, grass-fed performers that are well adapted to the specific environment on our farm. As a result of our rigorous genetic selection and sound animal husbandry, many cows remain productive in our herd beyond ten years.