Cattle Ranch Of The Week: Colyer Herefords & Angus

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Located along the Snake River 60 miles southeast of Boise, the Colyer high desert ranch originated in the homestead days.

Prior to 1976, the Colyer ranch ran 700 straight bred Hereford commercial cattle on BLM. They sold their BLM permit and currently run their purebred and commercial herds on deeded lands and rented, private lands. The move away from BLM enabled a closer tie with the cattle as far as individual performance records and the ability to increase quality in the direction they wanted.

Today, Guy and Kyle Colyer manage 250 registered Hereford cows and 60 replacement heifers. They retained a small commercial cow herd until 1993 when Guy's parents, Ray & Bonnie Colyer, started building the Angus herd which now consists of 150 registered Angus cows and 35 replacement heifers. They decided to add Angus to suit their commercial ranch customers that were buying the two breeds anyway. The black-baldie is as popular as any cross in the country and it suits the area’s environment really well.

While the commercial-to-purebred switch brought changes to the operation, the basics remained the same. The Hereford cows are summered in rented mountain pasture near Fairfield, Idaho, while Angus cows run in homesteaded native fields in the Owyhee Mountains. Yearling bulls go to grass without supplement each summer. That way they're better able to go out and work as two-year-olds for customers. The operation produces all necessary feed: alfalfa hay, corn silage and barley. Sale bulls are grown on corn silage and chopped hay.

Today the operation utilizes all of the tools available to produce the "best of the best". The extensive use of AI allows them to use the best bulls available and produce large groups of 1/2 and 3/4 brothers for their commercial bull customers. They also have an extensive embryo transplant program to produce full brothers and sisters from their top producing cows. They have been producing ET calves since 1983. Currently over 90% of the calf crop will be either produced by AI or ET. They have also selected for carcass merit with the use of ultrasound technology since the mid 1980's. With the advent of DNA markers they have tested their donor dams and sires and will continue to track its usefulness to the beef industry. They currently use the GEM cowherd computer program. This allows us to track and sort all of their performance records, vaccinations, simulate matings, EPD's as well as customer records.

For more information visit www.Hereford.com



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