Our ranch is located south of the small-town of Silver City, New Mexico, in the foothills and canyons of the Burro Mountains, ranging between 5000-7000 feet in altitude. Our family believes grass-fed cattle raised on rangeland produce not only more efficient and productive genetics, but also results in more nutritious beef for the consumer. Over the last 15 years we have carefully cultivated our herd for the best possible genetics in fertility and efficiency. While we are a small program located in the rural and rugged southwest, we are producing profitable, high quality cattle that can compete with any program in the nation.
In the arid southwest, we are continually being asked to do more with less. Faced with increasingly fickle monsoon moisture, we are having to frequently re-evaluate our stocking rates and re-calculate our supplementation. Cattle here must be resilient to succeed in this environment since they will spend their lifetime on pasture. Therefore, the high standards we have set for our herd have resulted in generations of robust and efficient genetics that are inherent to our program’s success.
Each year we evaluate and select our herd based on individual performance. We have chosen each cow and herd sire carefully based on strict production and fertility protocols that take into account performance, efficiency, and disposition of that individual. We ask our mother cows to produce more pounds of weaning weight with less input, while having to travel farther to water. We ask them to keep a calving interval under 365 days and calve within a 60-day window. Today we have a 92% calving rate in the first 60 days.
Protocols that are critical to our program are:
- Calving Interval <365 days
- Low Birthweights
- High Weaning Weights
- Feed Efficiency
- Disposition (our herd is well known for their docile temperament)
- Range Utilization
Currently, our cattle are in the top 15% of the entire Angus breed for feed efficiency, which is no small feat in the foothills of the desert where resources can be in low supply. Low dry matter intake and strong residual average daily gain are two traits that seldom go hand in hand, but we have selected our cattle carefully with both in mind.
At Heartstone Angus, we also believe in doing our due diligence to make sure our cattle remain healthy. Once calves are on the ground, we do our first set of vaccinations at the end of the 60-day window and the second round at weaning in the fall. We also BVD-PI test the calves, which gives us an early heads up to any health issues in the herd.
Our goal as a registered herd is to produce bulls that will thrive and endure the tough conditions that we face here and know how to cover tough terrain. The bulls produced by our mother cows come from generations of females who have met our high standards.