Four Generations of Genetics
Selecting for Quality Beef, Maternal Efficiency & Longevity
For more than 50 years our herd ran on over thirty sections of land in central Arizona, year-round. Unlike most herds, we sometimes might have only seen a cow three or four times a year; when they were rotated from one pasture to the next a couple of times per year, when we weaned their calves, and when we A.I.'d them. They used to run in big 4 to 12 section pastures in country so rough that most of it has no roads in or out. All of our cow work had to be done horseback.
Fast forward to 2020-
With increasing drought conditions in Arizona, we made the decision to move our herd to East Texas. These tough-as-nails cows didn't quite know what to do with all that green grass, but they sure figured it out fast. They made a beautiful transition and haven't looked back.
At the end of April each year, we bring all our cows and replacement heifers in to A.I. them all at once. We breed them all in one or two days then they are turned out with the herd bulls,. They have 60 days to breed back. If not, they are gone. They breed or go to town.
They calve from mid-February to mid-April.
Our replacement heifers are placed on a weaning ration and tested on the SmartFeed feed efficiency system we have at our Ranch Headquarters. This adds a whole new dimension to how we can choose our replacement animals. There is a body of research which concludes that cattle that convert feed more efficiently on this testing method mature into animals that are more efficient in converting grass and other plants without negatively affecting growth, milk or reproduction. (This is where we believe producers will have to be in the future to stay in business and be able to compete with other proteins.) Once they have finished the test they are then turned back out in the pasture until it's time to breed them in the spring.
After the heifers complete their test our weaned bulls are placed on the same SmartFeed Test to provide the buyer a realistic view of what they can expect from our bull inventory. They can use this data in their selection criteria, and it gives them one more tool in their toolbox.
Our goal at Dunn Ranches/Misita Cattle Co. hasn't changed over the years which is to provide the most useful bulls in the industry. The tools we use now are a little more refined; enhanced EPDs using DNA and feed efficiency testing and some of the old tools that still are relevant to the commercial cattleman such as ease of calving, moderate sized cows and high fertility. From day one, back in the 60s, we consistently selected for low birthweight calves. We don't have issues with calving even in our first calf heifers. They do it all themselves. This year has been the first time we've ever had the chance to weigh our newborn calves-indeed even to see the cows when they calve. So far the calves are averaging 64 lbs. when born.
You will see, if you look at our cattle's EPDs, that we have been selecting for high marbling cattle. We have many of cattle that qualify for the Certified Angus Beef program requirements. This is another area that our ultimate customers (Restaurants and Families) are demanding; a delicious experience every time they spend their hard-earned money on a steak. It pays more every year when you sell your calves, when buyers know the cattle they buy have the genetics to provide them a premium because of how those cattle grade. Lately, many of you have turned to direct marketing your calves as beef. This is where high marbling really pays off; even in grass-fed programs. High marbling animals are higher no matter how they are managed.
Remember, Dunn Ranches/Misita Cattle Co. Cattle have the best guarantee in the business: 100%. Not for the first 90 days or the first season - if you are unhappy with any purchase, ever, bring 'em back and we will either refund your money or give you credit on your next purchase.