Our Journey as Producers of Fleckvieh Simmental Cattle.

Archive for February, 2023

 Red Deer County Bull Sale 2023: Cow Families Shine Through

We are pleased to present seven herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2023 Red Deer County Bull Sale on Saturday, March 11th at 1:00pm at the Innisfail Auction Mart, Innisfail, Alberta. This is our thirteenth year at this event, and we are proud to be included in the strong offering that is always presented by this progressive group of breeders.  Our 2023 offering continues to showcase our philosophy of highlighting the maternal strengths of the Fleckvieh Simmental breed.  We firmly believe that the future will bring an increased herd size on the same amount of available labour.  This means that with less labour available on a per cow basis, birth weights will come down to improve calving ease, and that gradually more and more horns will be bred off the cattle.  We have moved slowly to incorporate the polled gene into our herd, as our goal is to try and accomplish this while maintaining the strong performance and mothering ability the Simmental breed is known for.  In a market that suggests continued strong demand for beef, we think our bulls on offer all provide the maternal characteristics that will produce tremendous replacement females.

The common theme behind each of our bulls on offer in 2023, is the multi-generations we have worked with the dam and cow family behind each bull.   While we do like to try and add an outcross female each fall, six of our seven bulls are direct descendants of three of our ‘founding four’ cow families that we brought with us from Dora Lee.  DLD Lady Western 48R (Edison, Casino, Courage), Dora Lee Evangaline FF2P (Elton, Blaze) and Dora Lee Christina 28S (Cannon) all have great legacies at Applecross!   The remaining cow family, HEMR Tasha 3T, (Chevy) was selected out of the Heimstra dispersal back in 2009, and immediately produced ‘APLX Axel 5Z’ who topped this very sale back a decade ago.  Time sure flies, but we believe it is a testament to the strength of these respective cow families that they have formed the backbone to our herd.

Maybe the most intriguing bull we have on offer this year is ‘Blaze’. A homo-polled, dilutor free Black Gold Battleborn son, this mid-January calf is a real head turner.  This will be the first (and only) Battleborn son to sell this year, after his daughters made their debut  at Equation 2022 this past December and averaged $12,750.  Between Battleborn/Rambo/WowEffect and Starfire down the dam side of the pedigree, we have walked four generations of the bulls behind Blaze here at Applecross, which showcases considerable consistency in a bull that represents the 5th generation of an Applecross prefix.  With a moderate birth weight, heavy pigmentation, and a guaranteed horn remover, Blaze should tick a lot of boxes for a lot of different programs.

After an impressive debut with APLX Coach 37J in last years sale, Double Bar D Confidence 179D sired 4 more bulls in our offering this year.  With Confidences’ daughters now in production, we are very pleased with the udder development, mothering ability and consistency we have seen with his progeny.  ‘Casino’, ‘Cannon’, ‘Courage’ and ‘Chevy’ all carry their sires influence through great length of spine and sizable hips, while shaped more by their dams in their respective BW and calving numbers.   These four bulls all so some stretch and performance, and with ages ranging from late January to late February, represent the youngest bulls in our 2023 offering.

In addition to our walking bulls, we always try to breed at least a few early cows AI in order to incorporate some outcross, top end genetics to our core herd.  After noticing the FGAF Electric Avenue progeny stand out on pasture tours, we were successful in acquiring a semen pack a couple of years ago.  He has two sons represented in Red Deer 2023 (and two daughters that have been ‘vetoed’ from seeing a sales ring and are thus staying home).   Elton comes from our ‘E-Line’ and a dam that always moderates birth weight, while Edison will be the heavy weight on sale day, and may just be our most complete bull.  As our lone ‘horned’ prospect, he has to be really good for us to consider marketing him in a program known for our focus on polled!  Electric Avenue has developed a pretty impressive resume, so we look forward to presenting two sons in Red Deer.

We want to ensure our bulls will work for many years, so feet, legs and temperament are very important traits for us.  The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, and have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction.  We pail feed our bulls twice a day, to ensure the bulls are quiet and used to being around people. We like working and walking through docile cattle, and feel the herd bull should be no exception. 

Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of the bulls.  (For those reading this on phones, the bulls name or lot number can also be entered into the search bar, to locate their individual page). On each of the pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings – hopefully, sharing pictures will provide a better glimpse into the extended pedigree.  It is also not unusual for us to have walked 4 or 5 generations of each respective cow family.  We also plan to have videos of each of our sale bulls available approx. 2 weeks prior to sale day.   Please check our Applecross Cattle Facebook page for up to date info on our sales offering.  

Transcon’s 2023 Red Deer County Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on March 11th at the Innisfail Auction Mart!