We are a small Salers breeder (@ 50 mature cows) from East of Miles City, Montana formerly of Wibaux. We started our breeding program on the Blue Mountain Ranch, that Bobbie had been on since 1972 & I’d been there since 1987. Due to his health issues, we sold the Blue Mountain land & moved to Miles City. Our ranch is now headquartered just off the Baker exit on Kircher Road.
We started using Salers Bulls in 1989, for the same reason many people try them, for the calving ease. After our first calf crop, we were hooked. They were aggressive as newborns & grew fast. The first couple of years they were strictly used as a terminal cross. After we kept the first replacements, we found the first calf heifers go from teenagers to mothers overnight with minimal (if any) problems. We enjoy sleeping thru the night. One characteristic we found intriguing was their unique personalities. With the severe drought conditions in recent years, we have found they have excellent fertility & utilize the range much better than some breeds. Our goal is Quality not Quantity.
Several years ago, we registered our first cows (most being 50%) and 2002 was our first set of bulls. For years, we have used a bloodline from a Miles City Breeder known as “Sure Bet”. This bloodline is strong maternal & has excellent disposition and is the foundation to our cowherd. When purchasing herd bull prospects, our first criteria is disposition. They must have a strong top line, carry down well on the hind legs, be thick, deep bodied, appear to be easy fleshing, have a weaning weight (or adjusted 205 ) of over 600#, low birth weight & high weaning EPD, & must have a strong maternal background. We used to raise black bulls but, are now concentrating on red hided cattle, although if we have a very good black bull, he will be kept. My Granddad raised registered Herefords for 30 years.
We purchased “Stealth” at the 1999 Focus Sale. He changed our lives forever. Stealth was a black homozygous polled purebred that had the most incredible disposition & personality you will ever find in any animal. He never got upset about anything & was always ready for a hand out. He loved his treats. He was full of red meat (line bred Jet, a carcass sire), which allows his progeny to weigh up heavier than they look & his daughters are very productive cows. He passed his disposition onto most of his progeny. He will live on here for many years to come thru his progeny & the use of AI. Due to an injury, that he didn’t recover from, he was put down 0n September 28, 2004, and has a permanent resting place where he can watch over his legacy. He will be missed………..
We calve in late March & April. When picking our replacement females we use the following steps: #1 Disposition, #2 Feminity & Maternal Line, #3 Fleshing Ability (must be easy fleshing), #4 Frame Size, #5 Birth Weight. Our bulls are picked for Disposition, Thickness, Maternal & Birth weight. We try to avoid 100+ pound birth weights. We like to pick bulls with strong top lines, but when you have an extremely long bull, it is hard to keep that straight top. Basically, we won’t keep a bull that we wouldn’t want to use ourselves. We are collecting ultra-sound & DNA carcass data on our breeding animals (including purchased bulls). We have complete health records on all of our females of all medications given since 2000 & all cattle were EID tagged. In 2007, we took advantage of Montana’s BVD-PI project by having our entire herd certified a BVD Negative herd & continue to test our calves annually. We try to be a very progressive breeder. We hope to utilize embryo transfer in the future.
Our beloved Blue Mountain