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GILLILAND RANCH NEWS - FALL 2019


ECONOMICS—-The first half of 2019 continued to show some industry consolidation. Lower quality cattle sold at bargain prices in the Longhorn sales with barely enough cash to cover consignment, transportation and housing costs. Most of these animals should probably be taken to the local sale barn to get them off the balance sheet and reduce overhead. Highly pedigreed, total package animals with promising tip to tip measurements continue to do the best at the Longhorn sales. There is somewhat of a shift towards buying young , colorful ,twisty horned heifers to keep that characteristic in the breed and try to reduce the emphasis on TTT. That is a reasonable strategy but twist slows TTT numbers and it takes years to mature. Each longhorn breeder must develop his own vision and stick to his personal strategy. Changing strategy is like stopping a slow moving freight train because it takes 3 years to evaluate your results.

OUR BREEDING STRATEGY—Our herd management practices include the continuation of artificially inseminating nearly half of our cows and heifers to what we consider to be the best bulls in the business ( Hubbell’s 20 Gauge , Goldmine 1, Cut N Dried, The Beast, HR Rebel and a few others). We now ultrasound and/or blood test all our cattle that have been AI’d at 30-40 days to delineate between an AI vs natural pasture breeding. We also confirm with DNA markers for parental verification. We have been surprised at the variation of the standard 283 days of gestation after artificial insemination. It has varied as much as 7 days before and 14 days after the projected date. This time span will probably lengthen as we test more animals.

We are continuing our IVF program after some initial disappointments— not in oocyte retrieval but in fertilization with heifer sexed semen. We have scheduled 4 to 5 of our premiere cows ( Sittin’ Pearl, Royal Tuffette, Pacific Dilanna ) for oocyte pick up (OPU) with a different protocol to see what works best for our animals. We base our donor cows based on pedigree , genetic value, phenotypic superiority and previous production. One change will be to use conventional semen over heifer sexed semen to improve embryo conception. We prefer heifers over bulls but feel these cows are elite enough to sell high quality bulls.

HERD HEALTH—We are also continuing our commitment to having a Johne’s free herd. We have checked each animal over the age of 2 for the last 3 years and continue to check each new purchase so as not to introduce the bacteria into the herd. We prefer buying only from Johne’s free herds and hesitate to buy quality animals that have not be proven disease-free. We have published two articles in Trails magazine in an effort to promote a Johne’s free longhorn industry (see articles on web page).

BULL UPDATES ( see rotating images) In addition to using AI bulls, we have three excellent bulls that are extremely promising– TCC Shootin’ In The Dark, GLR 20 Gauge Tuff and TKR Royal T. TCC Shootin In The Dark is a Sharpshooter son who already has more TTT than his famous sire— 84’’ TTT at 40.0 months. We love this bull and have sold 1/2 interest to Jason Roznofsky in Shiner Texas to get him out of the cold Kansas winters.Our most colorful total package bull is GLR 20G Tuff— a Hubbell’s 20 Gauge son out of a Cowboy Tuff Chex daughter. Brett Krause has leased him for the 2020 winter. Finally, TKR Royal T , a Houdini son out of a Cowboy Tuff daughter , measured 39.5 “ TTT at 12.0 months and is growing at a rate of 1’’ every 10 days. We have entered him into the TLBAA Horn Showcase Futurity and expect great things from this young prospect.

FALL 2019 SALES We love going to Gary Lake’s and Stan Searle’s Colorado Sale in August. They always put on a first class sale. We sold 4 and were fortunate to have the high selling cow for the second year in a row. Next, we have the Hudson Valentine Ft Worth Sale 9/20/19 and the TLBAA Horn Showcase 10/5/19 with 6 consignment listed below. Go to the 2019 Consignments for more information.

Hudson Valentine Ft Worth 9/20/2019
GLR Casanovas Cyclone —- 2018 Casanova Magnum heifer—Out of 90’’ TTT Sire and Dam
GLR Casanova Pacifica— 2016 Cowboy Casanova cow with heifer at side; 3;1; bred back

TLBAA Horn Showcase Lawton,OK 10/3--10/5/2019
GLR Tuff Jamamax —- 2018 heifer with stacked pedigree (4-90’ TTT; 8 -80” TTT )
GLR Coronado Haystack— 2018 heifer with stacked pedigree (2-90”; 8-80”)
GLR Monaco's Haystack— 2017 heifer confirmed bred to The Beast
GLR Casanovas Classy Girl —-2016 Cowboy Casanova cow. —7m bred by Shooter

Thanks.

Regards,
Dr. Mark and Charlene Gilliland

 
   


GILLILAND LONGHORN RANCH-- We have a herd of  100 registered Texas Longhorns in the Kansas Flint Hills at the Oklahoma border. We combine the art and science of breeding using artificial insemination, embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization to create the best animal possible. Our goal is the complete package prioritizing a low twisty hornset  with great tip to tip measurements along with correct conformation, color, and disposition. That said, the most important trait is the ability to reproduce those traits in progeny. We have gone through each animal in our herd for several generations back to document the number of 80ʼʼ–90ʼʼ TTT ancestors in each pedigree and see if one ancestor transmits a dominant hornset. We try to genetically fix  that low twisty lateral horn length into each animalʼs blood line without compromising the total package. A pedigree with many high TTT ancestors indicates there is a higher heritability factor with more predictability. We also experiment with linebreeding and  periodic outcrossing to stack genes from similar and different pedigrees for additive effects.Different pedigree combinations are sometimes discovered to be synergistic. We hope there are some animals in our herd that could enhance your program.