Our Journey as Producers of Fleckvieh Simmental Cattle.

Posts tagged “Fleckvieh Cattle

Applecross Cattle Presents: Our 2017 Fleckvieh Equation Heifers

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Two of our Sale bred heifers: Cynthia (left) and Pippa (right)

After a one year hiatus, we are absolutely delighted to present four bred heifers at Transcon’s 2017 Fleckvieh Equation Sale, on December 17th, at 1pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta.   This is always such a great weekend to market Simmental cattle in Alberta, and we are proud to once again be part of this progressive group of breeders.

At the top of our group, are the first FGAF WowEffect heifers to sell at auction.  While we have marketed bulls from WowEffect for several years now, 2017 will represent the first opportunity for the heifers to strut their stuff in public.  Since forming a partnership with my parents (Dora Lee Genetics) to utilize WowEffect, we have been very impressed with the balance of his progeny.  It is rare that a bull produces both great sons and awesome daughters – so we are certainly excited to present heifers for perusal after the sons have been so readily accepted.  As WowEffect is backed by two famous cows – JB CDN Kananaskis and FGAF Barbarella – it maybe isn’t that big a surprise that his offspring are so consistent.

Our lead WowEffect daughter is ‘Cynthia’, a big barreled head turner, who is a direct daughter of Dora Lee Christina 28S.  Christina has consistently produced top end cattle for us – daughters, grand-daughters and great granddaughters walk our pastures, and she has developed her own modest list of progeny topping the sales ring in Applecross Candice (our high selling bred at Equation 2015) and high selling bulls APLX Javar and APLX Santana.   We feel ‘Cynthia’ has tremendous potential as a front end female.

‘Cynthia’ is closely followed by ‘Ivy’ who is a WowEffect x Gidsco Appollo and goes back to the Beechinor Imperia cow we selected as one of the high selling opens at Equation 2010.  This cow family have been consistent producers for us, with an aunt (Applecross Iris) being our high seller at Equation 2013, and a maternal brother APLX Cairo 1C being selected by Gordon Leslie from the 2015 Red Deer Bull Sale.  With lots of pigment and a great haircoat, ‘Ivy’ is another great example of the consistency of our WowEffect progeny.

Our third heifer is ‘Flora’, a daughter of the popular JB CDN Hennessey and Anchor D Fergus.  Fergus was our pick of the 2014 Pasture Treasures sale, as I was pretty excited when I confirmed that her physical profile matched the depth of her pedigree.   Backed by the cow families of Kananaskis (I guess I like her), K2 Fergie and RH Patricia and sire groups that stack Legend, Arni 8M and Jahari, I knew that Fergus would be another great addition to our cow herd.  Her first daughter, ‘Flora’ has combined well with Henessey to form a heavily pigmented, dark red beauty.

Our final heifer on offer in 2017 is ‘Pippa’, a double polled stunner that I really struggled to include in our sales string.  It is clear to anyone that follows our program, that we are gradually taking the horns off of our cattle, while striving to retain all the power, performance and mothering abilities Fleckvieh are known for.   We still breed horned cattle horned (‘Flora’ is a perfect example), but polled is the direction that we are committed to moving the cow herd over the long term.  Breeding polled has been a slow process, and selling concrete building blocks like ‘Pippa’ will make it slower yet.  That said, I do think it essential that we showcase the progress we have been making, and ‘Pippa’ is the perfect example to do just that.  Pippa’s sire, dam, grand-dam, and maternal grand sire all carry our prefix, so she should give a pretty clear indication of what our program is all about.

Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of our four sale heifers: ‘Cynthia’, ‘Ivy’, ‘Flora’, and ‘Pippa’.  On the individual pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings. With maternal lines so very important to us, we hope pictures that support the extended pedigree will help provide an idea of how the sale heifers will look as cows.

The heifers all have quiet temperaments and are used to being around people.  We enjoy spending time with our cattle, so they are used to attention, and some of them do not mind a ‘scratch’.  We preg-checked in late September and the vet feels that all four are safe to early breeding dates.  The Heifers are also vaccinated with ViraShield and Covexin Plus. They will be treated with Dectomax and given Scourguard prior to sale day.

The 2017 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on December 17th at Westerner Park.


2017 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale: Our Maternal Focus Shines Through

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We are pleased to present four herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2017 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on Thursday, March 23rd at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is already our seventh 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.

This year’s group consists of two FGAF WowEffect sons (Wagner, Weston), and one from each of Sanmar Polled Pharao (Pharaoh) and APLX Rambo (Raider).  All four bulls showcase our program very well – we strive to produce bulls that are highly maternal and will calve out moderate birth weight progeny, while still having strong performance numbers.

We have been very happy with how FGAF WowEffect has worked for us – he has proven to be extremely consistent regardless of what type of cow he gets bred to.  The WowEffect sons both combine their sires’ explosive performance and maternal strengths, and each are backed by outstanding cow families.  Both Wagner and Weston have maternal brothers working in purebred herds.

Pharaoh is also a really neat individual; pedigree and BW suggest heifer bull, but both the scale and visual inspection certainly suggest a lot more than ‘just’ heifers.  We are also excited to introduce the first progeny from our junior herd sire APLX Rambo in ‘Raider’; our youngster in the group that also showcases curve bending performance backed by two strong cow families.  All four bulls show lots of muscling, have tremendous hair coats, and have been tested for the dilutor gene.

Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for ‘Pharaoh’, ‘Weston’, ‘Wagner’, and ‘Raider’. The bulls have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, and all have quiet temperaments.  On the individual pages, we have also pictured the sires, dams and grand dams. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding cow family.  As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.

The 2017 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great Thursday on March 23rd at Westerner Park.


2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale: Our Deepest and Most Diverse Bull String Yet

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2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale: Our Deepest and Most Diverse Bull String Yet

We are pleased to present nine herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on Monday, March 21st at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is our sixth 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.

We are proud to say that our 2016 offering will be our deepest and most diverse bull string yet – clearly showcasing our breeding philosophy.  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 the North American cow-herd is (at long last) expanding, we think our bulls on offer all provide the maternal characteristics that will produce tremendous replacement females.

Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for all nine of our bulls on offer.

At the top of the pen are the first sons to be offered at auction from FGAF WowEffect, an exciting young sire selected by (my father) Ross Small of Dora Lee Genetics as his pick of the Gagnon 2013 bull calves at their September production sale that year.  We were successful in obtaining an exclusive interest in the bull, and these first WowEffect calves are really impressive.  ‘Warner’, ‘Waylon’, ‘Windsor’ and ‘Watson’ all come loaded with hair and are heavily pigmented.  The bulls showcase plenty of power while maintaining moderate birth weights and we are very excited to see what they will bring to the industry.

The ‘Wow’ sons are joined by 5 other polled herd sire prospects, out of some of our foundation cow families.  The youngest bulls in our offering, ‘Sawyer’ and ‘Eastwood’ are sired by APLX Sampson and APLX Escalade respectively, whose daughters were very well received at the recent 2015 Fleckvieh Equation sale.  ‘Phoenix’ is a really intriguing son by Dora Lee’s Platinum – another exclusive pedigreed sire developed in Ontario.  Rounding out our bull pen are two bulls that bring highly maternal packages to the table; both are out of first calf heifers.  ‘Reno’ is a Radium son by a Bronson/Arnold’s Image dam, while ‘Cairo’ combines the calving ease of Sanmar Pol Pharao with Gidsco Appollo and Sunny Valley Sargeant.

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.  All nice 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.

On the individual pages, we have also pictured the sires, dams and grand dams. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding cow family.  As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.

The 2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on March 21th at Westerner Park


2015 Fleckvieh Equation Sale Report

Applecross Candice - Our High-Selling Female, selected by Sunville Simmentals, McCreary MB.

Applecross Candice – Our High-Selling Female, selected by Sunville Simmentals, McCreary MB.

2015 Fleckvieh Equation Sale Report

Transcon’s Fleckvieh Equation Fullblood Simmental Sale wrapped up the Alberta Simmental Week-end with a bang on Sunday, December 20th. Sunny skies and a standing room only crowd watched as 70 lots of Fleckvieh genetics rolled through the ring to average just shy of $9,200.

In what is becoming a sale tradition, 6 heifers from the impressively deep Beechinor Brothers string led off the sale with 4 of the first 6 heifers topping the $20,000 threshold. The highseller was Lot 4, a massively volumed daughter out of the outcross Great Guns TX Mac bull.

After a very successful 2014, the number of herd bulls on offer at Equation continued to expand, with no decline in quality. The lead bull was once again from the renowned JNR program, who presented TITANIUM to the industry, and who in turn sold for $54,000 to Black Gold Simmental and Beechinor Brothers.

Not to be outdone, the selection of heifer calves on offer was the strongest it has been in years. The high seller was Lot 45, an impressive open from Jayshaw Simmentals, that was acquired by Anchor D Ranch / Dan & Karen Skeels for $10,500.

Our six Applecross heifers were very well received, with our high seller, Applecross Candice, being selected by Sunville Simmentals, McCreary MB for $11,750. Applecross Tessanne ($10,000) is also changing provinces, joining Brett Keet’s polled program in Dalmeny SK, and we are quite excited to have Applecross Pearl ($9,000) join the highly regarded Eagle Ridge operation here in Alberta. ‘Carly’, ‘Gabrielle’ and ‘Emerald’ also found great homes in Central Alberta, and it is great that they will be close by for us to keep an eye on.

In addition to the above noted high-sellers, I thought we would share some additional thoughts on the 2015 Edition of Fleckvieh Equation:
– we cannot say enough about how impressive the Beechinor bred heifer string was. 8 lots representing 7 different sire groups averaged an awesome $17,280; which amazingly topped their $15,780 average on 8 breds a year ago. Sustained fantastic results for a great family, which only showcases the depth of their program.
– The Big Sky offering was also quite notable. Ever since they started bringing cattle from Manitoba to the first National Trust event, we have kept a close eye on their program, and it was great to see their very deep string have a great day – their 5 Fleckvieh bred heifers averaged just shy of $13,000. We were fortunate enough to bring one (lot 38) home to Applecross, and are quite happy to now have the ‘Big Sky’ prefix walking here.
– Bring back the Bulls! After re-introducing a couple of herd bulls at Equation in 2014, the prices on the 6 Fleckvieh bulls offered in 2015 were very impressive. Even after excluding the $54,000 high seller, the remaining 5 bulls averaged $11,400 – outstanding results for a number of great breeders, and hopefully just a hint of good things to come as we move deeper into bull sale season.
– We were also successful in acquiring lot 63, Parview Ms Rayen to add to our open heifer pen. We have always been impressed with the Bar None Bernadette cow family, and had followed the genetics from Big Sky to Virginia Ranch and then jumped at the opportunity to select this female from Brad Parker. An outcross pedigree for us, with the intriguing JB CDN Windwalker as a sire, gives us plenty of options for this fine little lady.

We would be remiss not to recognize the team at Transcon for doing a tremendous job working the phones and managing the sale – They are always a quality, professional sales management team. I don’t think I have ever seen them as busy as they were this week-end – there was tremendous interest in the cattle, and all of the sales staff were consistently on the phone while inspecting cattle for prospective buyers.

It was another great day to present Applecross cattle at auction, and we are honoured by the compliments received on our cattle from all the bidders and buyers that took interest in our program. With 2016 just starting up, we look forward to calving season and another step in that ongoing effort to produce high-quality genetics that we can share with the industry.


Applecross Cattle Present our 2014 Equation Females

3 of our sale bred heifers - Rhianna, Whitney and Emma

3 of our sale bred heifers – Rhianna, Whitney and Emma

Applecross Cattle Present our 2014 Equation Females

We are pleased to present five bred heifers at Transcon’s 2014 Fleckvieh Equation Sale on December 21th, at 1pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta.  After an exciting debut in 2013, we are proud to once again be part of this prestigious event.

Our 2014 sale string really showcases the genetics that form the core of our walking group.   Cow families are very important to us, and as such we have taken a slow approach to building our herd.  This way, the maternal lines can develop, and we can watch and compare as the younger generations work alongside their matriarchs.

Progeny from three of our founding cow families will be represented for the first time – Applecross Emma is a barrel of an Eclipse daughter tracing back to the Dora Lee Evangaline (Sim Roc C&B Western) cow family; Applecross Glory is a very feminine Anchor T Ikon daughter going back to the Dora Lee Gretchen (Arnold’s Image) cow family; Applecross Rhianna is a dark red, heavily pigmented Bronson daughter, out of our Dora Lee Jewel (Rangemore Carrousel) cow family.  Not to be outshone by their running mates, we are also offering Applecross Alicia who represents progeny from the JB CDN Amethyst cow family, as well as Applecross Whitney, who is descended from the master breeders at Brock Ranches.    All five heifers are solid coloured with moderate frames, yet tons of volume – exactly the types of females we think will turn into awesome cows.

Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of ‘Rhianna’, ‘Emma’, ‘Alicia’, ‘Glory’ and ‘Whitney’.  The heifers have all been tie-broke and have quiet temperaments.  We preg-checked in late October, and the vet feels that all five are safe to their AI breeding.   With a later sale date this year, we do expect all five to be very heavy in calf, and should any purchasers be from out-of-province, we would be happy to bring them back to Applecross and calve them out.  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.  Maternal lies are very important to us, and we feel that behind each outstanding female, is an outstanding cow family.  As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual heifer profiles that can be e-mailed and printed or sent by regular mail.  Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.

The 2014 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event.  We look forward to a great day on December 21th at Westerner Park.


Applecross Cattle Present our First Three Females to Sell

Our Three Sale Heifers - From Left: Mariah, Iris and Cassie

Our Three Sale Heifers – From Left: Mariah, Iris and Cassie

Applecross Cattle Present our First Three Females to Sell

We are pleased to present three bred heifers at Transcon’s 2013 Fleckvieh Equation Sale on December 15th, at 1pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This will be our first time selling females to the public, and we are proud to be part of this prestigious event.

For our first year, we thought it important to showcase females with genetics that form the core of our herd. Applecross Mariah is a polled, moderate framed heifer out of a Wellhouse Kestrel dam and sired by Dora Lee Eclipse – A bull that has certainly left his mark on our program. Applecross Iris is a powerful Sanmar Polled Pharao daughter that cranks up the volume in an intriguing double polled package. The youngest heifer, Applecross Cassie, may represent the only opportunity to publicly purchase a Spruceburn Starfire daughter. All three heifers are dark red, heavily pigmented females with moderate frames yet tons of volume – exactly the types of females we think will turn into cow-makers. It is also no surprise that the two females from the Eclipse line are bred Pharao, and the other is a Pharao bred Eclipse. Good bulls that are more than just ‘heifer bulls’ are extremely hard to find, so when we find ones we like, it is no surprise they get crossed back on each other. We like predictability!

Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of ‘Mariah’, ‘Iris’ and ‘Cassie’. The heifers have all been tie-broke and have quiet temperaments. We preg-checked in mid-October and the vet feels that all three are safe to their AI dates. The Heifers are also vaccinated with ViraShield 6 and Covexin Plus. They will be treated with Dectomax prior to sale day. On the individual pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind each outstanding female, is an outstanding cow family. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual heifer profiles that can be e-mailed and printed or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.

The 2013 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on December 15th at Westerner Park.


The Applecross Year In Review

Applecross Catrina with calf Carly at side

Applecross Catrina with calf Carly at side

The Applecross Year In Review

2012 was an incredible year for Applecross.  We hit a lot of milestones and are very pleased with how our operation continued to grow and evolve during the year.

We had some mild weather to begin the year, and that certainly made calving easier.  It is not every year that calves can be born outside on the straw-pack without losing their tails or freezing their ears!  We were almost three-quarters heifers to bulls in 2012 – which is great when you are trying to increase your herd numbers. While the mild weather created its own set of (health) challenges with the calves, we were quite happy with how they developed.

Bulls sales in 2012 far exceeded our expectations.   Unexpectedly, at the end of 2011, Envoy was selected for the National Trust sale.  As a result, we began the year with a visit to Lonnie & Karen Brown in late February, to deliver him to his new home and tour their operation.  Not long after that, we got the chance to deliver Santana up to Edson, giving us the chance to see both the Wa-Na-La-Pa and Langer herds (and check out APLX Ensign in his home).  Touring herds is one of my favourite things to do, so it doesn’t matter if it is February – seeing good cattle and visiting with great people is always a great way to spend a day.  We were also pleased by how our bulls sold at auction in 2012.  We were both honoured and humbled to see both Jackson (who sold in March at the Red Deer Sale for $12,000 to Westgold Simmentals) and Santana (who Wayne sold in the 2012 Cow-A-Rama sale for $11,000 to Vaughn Gibbons) represent the APLX prefix so well.  It always takes time for bulls to make an impact in a breeders program, but we look forward to visiting all of these operations in 2013 to see how Envoy, Jackson and Santana are doing.

Lots of moisture in June and July led into a warm August and plenty of grass for the cattle.  We didn’t vacation this summer, so there was plenty of time to halter break calves in July and complete farm improvements in August.   We added space to winter mature bulls this year, so that was a major accomplishment for us.  We also spent time improving our rotational grazing program, and making more efficient use of space and labour to help us manage additional cow numbers.

Heading into the fall sale season, it was great to see such excellent results, and see our fellow breeders having the success that they enjoyed.  On the home front, we were successful in aquiring an additional bred heifer privately from my parents operation.  Dora Lee Martina is a big, strong Broadway daughter that I think will fit in nicely with our young herd.  The sale season also brought the opportunity to travel to Brandon to the National Trust sale, and while there I really enjoyed both visiting with fellow breeders and touring some world-class purebred operations.  The sales seemed to get stronger as the year went on, and we weren’t  successful purchasing females closer to home.  The market for quality cattle has become very strong, and it is a great sign for the Simmental breed as the cattle market takes a much needed turn for the better.

I commented last year on the success of our website – and I thought it only fitting to provide an update again this year.  2012 brought additional visitors; with almost 10,000 views from over 87 countries during the year.  We also worked with my parents to launch an updated Dora Lee website (www.doraleegenetics.com) utilizing the WordPress platform.   Mom and Dad are able to manage and post updates to their site themselves, so it is another example of how easy establishing and maintaining a current web presence has become. We look forward to another exciting year in 2013 of providing updates on our operation, and sharing our perspective on topics that interest us.

Looking forward to 2013

For 2013, we are excited about what should be our largest, most uniform calf crop yet.    We start calving about the 10th of January, and thanks to some good luck with our AI program, and having our walking bulls go right to work, we should be done calving in 2 months.   We are expecting calves from 10 different sires, so there should be lots of diversity, but the similar ages of the calves should allow us to effectively compare the genetics.   We have a number of cows bred to sires that have proven to work here in the past (Eclipse, Equinox,  and Pharao to name three), but have also added some new sires, including a group bred to the great Bronson bull, as well as the first calves from our two young walking bulls – APLX Escalade and APLX Samson.  It should be a awesome 2 months.

Early in the new year has also become the time of bull sales, and it appears like several events have moved earlier in the season.  Based on how purebred heifers sold this fall, strong cattle prices, and the gradual rebuilding of cow numbers in the industry, I expect bull sales to be exceptional.  Getting a different catalogue in the mail (seemingly) every day, is an exciting part of our search for new and outcross genetics.  We also look forward to watching our three bulls develop in preparation for the Red Deer Sale in late March.  We think Axel, Edge and Ajax all have something to offer the industry, so it will be great to watch them continue to develop.

Hard on the heels of bull sale season, comes some tough breeding decisions.  While we still plan to AI extensively, we are planning on increasing our use of both of our walking bulls.  With Escalade and Samson wintering here, they have continued to impress, and I think they will be more than up to the challenge of breeding a few more cows each in 2013.

In a lot of ways, the next few months are critical to the success of an operation.  Getting healthy calves on the ground (and off to a good start), followed immediately thereafter by breeding decisions that can shape a program for years to come.  Those night checks might get old after a few weeks, but the excitement that comes with seeing that healthy new-born calf, from a mating that you had such high hopes for, will make it all worthwhile.

As 2012 wraps up, and 2013 is about to begin, we pause during this holidays season to reflect with family and friends on the challenges and successes we have enjoyed over the past year.  We are blessed to live in an amazing country, with fresh air, clean water and the means to put food on the table.  We have a passion for breeding quality Fleckvieh cattle, and we are very fortunate to be able to pursue this dream through our operation here at Applecross.  We look forward to an awesome 2013!