New Addition @ Applecross
We have been successful in acquiring ‘Dora Lee’s Martina’ during my recent visit to Ontario. Tremendously long and thick, Martina is a powerful Broadway daughter out of Bar 5 Maria – a South African female that Dad selected as an open heifer back in 2008.
There were a lot of factors that drew us to Martina, not the least of which was her sire, DDD Broadway. During our tours of various breeder’s operations, I have seen a number of Broadway cows that I really like, and he has also shown up in the pedigrees of several sale animals I have been interested in. Vaughn Gibbons has kept Broadway’s semen very exclusive, and while we have been successful in obtaining a couple of doses (and have a heifer calf of our own), we have been impressed with the bloodline, so adding this outstanding heifer made a lot of sense.
We usually prefer to purchase open heifers instead of bred heifers, primarily due to younger animals having more time to get integrated in our program. That extra year, combined with getting to breed them to the bull of our choice, ensures that they are set up ‘our way’ for that critical first calf. We feel that this approach gives them the best chance of having that first calf successfully, which more than offsets the added costs of feeding/breeding them for an additional 12 months compared to a bred heifer.
When we are seriously interested in adding a bred heifer such as Martina, the earlier the sale date the better. As with opens, bred heifers that have more time to adapt to their new surroundings and management program will calve out better, with a higher probability of breeding back on the first service. As such, as we move deeper and deeper into fall sale season, our focus shifts more and more towards open heifers.
Martina arrived here at Applecross on Thanksgiving, and fits in very nicely with our bred heifer group. With similar management programs, plenty of time to adjust, and bred to a calving ease specialist in Sanmar Pol Pharo, we look forward to an exciting calf in January. We are confident Martina will add some outcross performance to our cow herd for many years to come.