Bestyet Blog

Learn about cattle husbandry, genetics, and more!

Dream – Cow Family Feature

From Sweet Dreams to Happy Dream and everyone in between We thought it would be interesting to take the different cow families represented in our herd today, and trace them back to the original animals we purchased.  This takes some extensive research through the...

Alvin H. Sanders on “The Dignity of the Breeder’s Calling”

Sometimes it helps revive our sense of purpose to review the broader picture, looking back at the masters of breeding who came before us. This eloquent excerpt from the writing of Alvin H. Sanders, author and editor of The Breeder’s Gazette in the early 20th century, strikes us as still quite relevant today, allowing for the perhaps extreme opinion of Sanders.

Choosing sires for next year

Winifred: My daughter Martha and I have been going through our cow list and planning matings for the coming breeding season. Now that this spring’s calves are off to a good start so we can evaluate last year’s matings, we’re looking at our overall plan for the next...

When I First Came to the Farm

I had so much to learn about cows and farming–but how I loved it and still do to this day! Looking for a summer job It was a super windy early spring day just like this one, 39 years ago in 1981 when I first came to this prairie farm, driving down from Wisconsin...

Training Heifers to Milk

Photo above by Mary Lou Shaw. Milking a family cow in a stanchion. A reader has asked for a blog post about training heifers and cows to milk.  We will cover the spectrum from training large groups of heifers with the cow herd to training a single heifer or cow...

Cattle Stockmanship for Easier Handling

Each of these points of stockmanship work together to develop a relationship of trust between our animals and us that make life on the farm that much more pleasant. As these skills are shared with us from experienced stockmen, we can pass them onto others and continue the fulfilling tradition of carefully tending livestock.

Reflections of a Second-Generation Breeder

The cows chose me, you could say. I was born into the family legacy of heritage grazing cattle, and I’ve never known life without them. I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. I’m here to carry on the legacy from the past and bring it forward into the future.

Spring Grazing Management

Here are the cows in April a couple years ago, gleaning some new green growth in an large paddock that had winter stack manure applied. Spring at last We’ve been thankful for signs of spring at last, but it sure comes in fits and starts this year, doesn’t it? As I...

The Bulls We Like for Heifer Calving Ease

Calving ease is a feature of our Milking Shorthorn and Dutch Belted bloodlines in general.   Their moderate size, medium-to-small bone, and favorable rump structure result in most of our females calving unassisted.  We do monitor them in case of malpresentation or...

It’s About Hearing Your Stories

The other day a Wisconsin farmer called to place a semen order, and I couldn’t help remembering the first time he called, about 24 years ago, when one of my boys was just learning to write and tried to take the phone message since I was out.  Too shy to explain to the...