PUREBRED REGISTERED HORNED HEREFORD CATTLE
THE SPARKS COW HERD
The cow herd at Sparks Herefords consists of cows with Line 1, Prospector, and Tarrington breeding. Line 1 originated at Ft Keogh Range and Livestock Experiment Station in Miles City, MT; Prospectors came from Colorado State University; and Tarringtons are from the United Kingdom. The cow herd consists of home-raised females and tested BVD-PI3 free in 2010.
The goals for cows are mature weights of 1250lbs and that they productive cows to age 12. For this to happen, their feet must be sound, the must produce a calf every year, and no medical/reproductive issues (dystocia, cancer eye, etc.) can occur. Reproductive shots are given before breeding season and all heifers are vaccinated for brucellosis (Bangs) at the appropriate age.
Heifers are dehorned as calves. After weaning, heifer calves are wintered on hay and protein pellets for 4-6 weeks. Replacement yearling heifers generally go out to summer pasture the end of May.
Cows are wintered on hay with mineral and salt supplements. Cows do not receive cake or grain pellets. Alfalfa hay is the basis for winter protein. Cows are culled for structural and udder composition, as the Sparks herd strives to have functional cows with longevity. And, of course, dispositions for all animals have to be excellent!