This summer we purchased a couple of bred stocker cows. We wanted to be able to stay flexible with our permanent herd numbers (our registered Hereford herd) while still utilizing some of our pasture excess. Our plan was to run these bred stockers in our pastures until they calve, then re-evaluate pasture conditions. If we still had plenty of grass we would retain them a little longer, but if we wanted to reduce our numbers we would sell the pair and still leave our permanent herd numbers untouched. Unfortunately these are hard-learned lessons from suffering two years of drought in a row. In 2011 the drought in NE Texas was so severe we were forced to reduce our stocking numbers. It was emotionally painful to be forced to sell some of our hand-picked registered Hereford girls. We now keep our permanent herd numbers at well below stocking rate and fill in the gaps with temporary stocker cows and calves.
Although the other bred stocker cow is long gone, the white stocker cow just calved today. As any rancher knows, the unspoken rule in ranching is that a cow will typically calf in the worst possible weather. Although our stocker cow missed that rule by only a few hours, I’m not sure you can convince this little guy that 28 degrees today is actually better than the heavy snow & blowing frigid wind of last night! Welcome to our ranch Little One.