Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to view our web pages. We hope that you enjoy your visit here and that this will be a pleasant break in your day. We have tried to include pictures of the cow herd as well as their calves, along with our current herdsires. We want you to have a good feel for the philosophy behind our breeding program, the way we feed our cattle, the standards we operate the farm by and live by. After all farming is as much a life style as it is a business.
Here at Joy-Don we believe that efficient, mild tempered, structurally correct cows with good feet and udders are the only kind to keep around. If you don't cull very hard for these traits, you will have more work, more expenses, less free time, and even less income. Twenty-five years ago a very astute rancher told me that most cattlemen spend 90 % of their work day working with or because of the actions of 10 % of their cows . After a few years of trying to keep all of my " registered mistakes" so that I could grow my herd quickly, I came to see what he was talking about. He told me a lot of things about cows, bulls and life in general that day as he toured us through his herd --- I should have made notes! He stressed the importance of cow families, and how a really good cow will pass forward those genetics. He also said a breeder needed to use a bull that would enhance their cow herd, and if owning such a bull was not affordable, to access his genetics via AI.
I have learned a great deal about cattle over the last 50 years. Starting with my father and grandfather, then moving on to 4-H as a member / jr leader / leader, and finally from a vast array of "Great Angus People" From breeding and genetics to calving, feeding and marketing -- each of you has freely shared your vast knowledge. Thanks to you all.
A poor cow will eat just as much or more than a good one, so we don't keep them around, hoping they will have a better calf next year, and we don't pass them on to other breeders either. I have always said, and never will sell an animal as breeding stock, that I wouldn't use in my own herd. We calf in the April -June time period and our bulls are not fed hard, rather they are grown out on grass and sold as coming 2 year olds. Our replacement heifers we want to last a very long time, and they are fed so that they are able to express their genetic growth potential without depositing fat. We aim for about one and a half pounds gain per day, and try to have enough good grass to grow them out over the following summer. The same is true of the bull calves, but we aim for about two and a half pounds gain with the bulls. The held over bulls are left out on straight grass as long as possible and then fed the same high roughage ration as the calves.
Have a quick stroll through these web pages, and check out our cows or stop by and do it in person. Coffee is always on.
Tom and Eileen