Cow Families @ the Heart of it All: Fleckvieh Equation Preview 2021
We are pleased to present four bred heifers at Transcon’s 2021 Fleckvieh Equation Sale at 1 pm on December 19th, at the Innisfail Auction Mart, Innisfail, Alberta. We really enjoy the group of consignors that join together in what has become the last ‘live’ Fleckvieh sale of the year in Alberta. Every year seems to bring a few new faces, and this year we are excited to have moved ‘down the road’ a few miles to our new location in Innisfail. The last two versions of the Red Deer County Bull sale have enjoyed great success at the Innisfail Auction Mart, and we look forward to more amazing hospitality from the Daines family.
Our 2021 sale string really showcases the importance of our cow families. We have taken a slow approach to building our herd to ensure that multiple generations of cow families all walk here. This way, the maternal lines can develop, and we can watch and compare as the younger generations work alongside their matriarchs. We are very selective in adding females – typically only circling a few each fall with the goal of adding only one or two neat outcross females that have the potential to found a legacy cow family of their own, and simply make our herd better. So in that vein, it is not a surprise that all four of our bred heifers on offer trace back to three of our initial founding lines. Our ‘Christina’ (or C) cow family, our Pauline (P) cow family, and Lady Western cow family (who has founded five different lines – D’s, B’s, L’s, G’s and I’s (!!!)). Why have naming guidelines if you can’t break them occasionally!
The easiest place to start is with the youngest and last of our founding matriarchs, Dora Lee Christina 28S. We selected Christina as one of our ‘founding four’ females from Dora Lee. We knew that one of the priority cow families from my parents was RHY Zamia 40Z, so we jumped at the chance to obtain this grand-daughter. Christina is one of those seemingly rare females that can produce both top quality sons and daughters, while also moderating birth weights. She is a moderate framed, no nonsense cow, still working here as she enters her 16th year; having never taken a year off. From a progeny perspective, she is probably best known for producing APLX Santana, who put on the miles spending time walking in three different Fleckvieh herds: Wa-Na-La-Pa, Gibbons Farms and Virginia Ranch. She was also the dam of APLX Javar 18A who worked at Troy Cerny’s / Diamond T, and is the dam of high selling daughters Applecross Candice (to Sunville in 2015) and Applecross Cynthia (to Anchor D in 2017). With all the balance to her progeny, it is not that surprising that Christina shows up in the sire side of our Lot 114 heifer, Applecross Olivia, and then as the maternal grand dam to our lot 115 heifer, Applecross Carly. Both of these heifers are moderate framed, solid dark red in colour, and project to have the same versatility that Christina has provided us.
For the Pauline Cow family, let us count the P’s. Poppy, Paula, Piper, Panda, Patience, Pepper & Penelope are all slated to calve in 2022. All of them originate with one of our earliest selections, Spruceburn Pauline, who was our pick of Bill & Donna McMurtry’s heifer calf crop way back in 2009. Bill and Donna got to know my parents from a number of Fleckvieh events over the years, and being one of the original supporters of Fleckvieh cattle, it was great to have them located close by when we relocated to Alberta. Donna is legendary for her knowledge of pedigrees, and was willing to not only provide advice as we first started out, but also AI some cows for us each spring while also allowing our girls to date Spruceburn Starfire for a few years. While we still walk a couple Starfire daughters (and Starfire himself shows up in Olivia’s pedigree as he combined with Christina to produce ‘Santana’), it was the acquisition of Pauline that really stands out as carrying on the Spruceburn legacy at Applecross. Despite a relatively short career, she left us with two daughters. Applecross Poppy 1X and Applecross Paula 13Z. Both have been very prolific and popular! Poppy is an amazing looking female, and cruises around our pastures as a 2,000lb working girl. Her progeny has topped both our bull sales (APLX Wrangler) and heifer sales (Applecross Penny). Paula is one of Jeanne’s favourites (as our camera roll would attest), and as such her daughters seem to be vetoed more often than not whenever Transcon is here selecting calves. One look at our lot 116 heifer, ‘Paris,’ and you will see why we are so high on this cow family.
As much as I like to tease Jeanne about consistently vetoing progeny from the ‘P-Line’, I will readily admit to having a soft spot for ‘Lady’. DLD Lady Western 48R was one of my dad’s favourites; a direct King Arthur from SRN 2Y, one of his founding Fleckvieh lines. She was the toughest one for him to part with when he gave us full rein to select four cows to come west with us when we started Applecross Cattle. Lady Western is probably best known for being the dam of APLX Envoy 2Y that left his mark at Lone Stone Farms / Lonnie & Karen Brown, as I hoarded all of her daughters here at Applecross. Over the years, she left us five daughters to start cow families with: ‘Diva’, ‘Bella’, ‘Grace’, ‘Isobel’ and ‘Frauline’. As we already have an ‘F Cow Family’ (started by Anchor D Fergus), we promptly decided to name all of Frauline’s daughters L’s. Frauline has given us three full sisters in a row: Lyanna, Liesel and Lydia. This years model Lot 117 ‘Liesel’ is an absolutely massive, big volume homozygous polled bred heifer, that we originally planned on retaining – there is simply so much breeding potential in this heifer! She certainly carried the volume of her grandma through the generations, and will provide endless genetic possibilities for her new owner.
Individual pages (short-cut links are on the top right), have been created for each of ‘Olivia’, ‘Carly’, ‘Paris’ and ‘Liesel’. We preg-checked in mid October and the vet feels that all four are safe to their AI breeding or early exposure. The Heifers are also vaccinated with ViraShield Gold and Covexin Plus. They will be treated with Scour-Guard prior to sale day. On the individual pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings. We hope to have videos of our sale heifers completed next weekend.
The 2021 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event, We look forward to a great day on December 19th in Innisfail!
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