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Angus Cattle

An old western saying goes: "Two things a cowboy don't know much about. One's a cow and the other's a horse." That proverb fits us. Our learning curve remains pretty steep. Cattle have been a source of protein for man from way back. The Scythians of Persia may have domesticated cattle around 7000 BC. Romans were hot iron branding cattle before 30 BC. Cattle breeds come in a wide spectrum of colors, shapes and sizes. Angus cattle descend from Scottish ancestry and could be of Norse and Celtic origin.

The cattle on the Double H Ranch are Angus. We believe that Angus range cattle are a good fit for the sagebrush steppe environment of this Wyoming ranch. So what do we mean by “Angus range cattle”? Moderation for many of the traits that comprise her genotype may best fit this notion. Moderate mature cow size, birth weights, weaning weights, yearling weights and milk production traits. Less can, at times, be more. This is especially true on those Wyoming ranges where feed is limited or scarce. The ability of a cow to breed right back and stay in the herd hangs in the balance. Our Angus cattle are linebred descendants of foundation Emulation and Rito bloodlines.

We have a strong emotional attachment with our cattle. Most ranch folks do. Calves are born in March and April. Sometimes late at night in a spring blizzard. They are ear tagged and recorded at birth. Warm sunshine in May brings on green grass and calf branding days. This western ranch tradition, when done right, is less stressful for calves than it may appear. Replacement heifers that have been estrous synchronized are artificial inseminated in early June and our bulls are turned in with the cowherd. We saddle up now and trail cattle to high country meadows. In September the calves are performance test weighed and receive pre-weaning vaccinations. Our close interaction with most of this calf crop then comes crashing down. Kind of like sending kids off for their first day of kindergarten.

       

Our calves are shipped to the Hands family at Triangle H Grain & Cattle in Kansas each October. Nice people. The calves often go out on wheat pasture until March or April. Then they go on feed in one of their well managed and spacious lots. We get back detailed carcass information on each animal along with feedlot gain records. Our herd genotype is a result of Angus from quality Montana seed stock programs and, more recently, McCumber Angus Ranch in North Dakota and Maymont Angus in Virginia.

Quarter Horses

The Quarter Horse can be a superb athlete and an important member of the ranch family. We learn a lot about ourselves when we are around horses. They tend to make us a bit more humble. Wyoming range country involves gathering, sorting, trailing and roping cattle off of good horses. Some folks and their horses are better at this than others. We are slightly below average. Maybe we should squeeze Border Collies in here, too. What would a rain soaked day in the saddle trailing cattle be without at least two "really good" cow dogs? But, then again, ours often are asleep in the pickup.

       

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