Heifers Train Cows
By Stephens Rogers
I just finished reading the article in this months edition of The Stockman Grass Farmer regarding the work Dr Provenza has done on livestock diet, acclimation, familiarization etc. This is interesting to me, as I recently brought a few head of Red Angus heifers in from Central Oklahoma to my leased property, about 65 miles North X Northwest of Houston, TX. This is approximately 500 miles due South of their birthplace.
In fact I just picked up 3 more head yesterday from Northern Oklahoma. I had reasoned that weanlings would be easier to adapt to my area, as opposed to more mature heifers or young cows. Glad to see my thinking was correct in that regard.
Also, interestingly enough, the leased property that I put the first set of heifers on is almost evenly divided between Coastal Bermuda, native annuals and scrubby brush. The few head of cattle that were on it already were only grazing the Coastal, even though Little Bluestem and Brown Seed Paspalum were abundantly available. They had come from a place that was entirely bermuda and/or bahia grass. The Red Angus heifers had been grazing Midland Bermuda and mixed Bermuda / native grass pastures in Oklahoma. Within a week of their being placed on the property the older cattle began to graze the native grasses, too. I suppose they learned to graze these grasses from watching the heifers. This has really started me thinking about what I had been doing in the past.