WHY IRISH BLACKS?

We first asked that question after outlining what it will take to be profitable in the future with the cattle business. We had mapped out a plan in the spring of 2006 to make some significant changes in our cattle operation when we contacted an old acquaintance, Maurice Boney of Ft. Morgan, Co.

I had met Maurice in the mid 70’s and knew of this depth of knowledge in the cattle industry. I saw my first Irish Black Cattle in 2005 and was very impressed but had not made the connection of Mr. Boney and Irish Black cattle. After a search of the internet that put Irish Black cattle and Maurice Boney on the same line I got really interested. Lots of phone calls and then some extensive road trips made some profound change in our operation and the way we looked at the cattle industry and our future.
Here are some of the things we found.

Genetic Purity: All the registered Irish Blacks had their origin from Angus half sisters of the Revolution Line. Imported Beef Fresian Bulls from Ireland were mated to these angus females in 1971 to start the strict closed herd line breeding project. Sire to daughter matings were used as well as sibling (brother-sister) matings to eliminate genetic flaws and defects. Selection for positive dominant traits has resulted in the breed being homozygous for nearly all beneficial traits. As a result, when Irish Blacks are used to breed any outside herd, the ultimate in hybrid vigor is expressed. The resulting calves are all stamped alike in their phenotypes, performance and carcass traits. This is a rarity in today’s herds from continual crossbreeding and the "outcross" genetic philosophy.

Carcass Quality: Irish Blacks excel in carcass traits by minimizing backfat, enhancing marbling levels and tenderness, and improving Ribeye area and dressing percentage. Dressing percentages of 64% to 67%, Rib eyes of 13-14 inches, marbling scores over 3.5, and backfat measurements under .2 of an inch are consistently produced.

Performance: Irish Blacks are true performance animals they have been selected for rapid early growth and early maturity. Most can reach slaughter tenderness by 13-14 months. In the first 2 years of the line breeding project, only the calves that weighed 60% of their mothers weight at weaning were allowed to stay in the breeding herd.

Fertility: Bulls are noted for large scrotal circumference and very motile sperm. Scores of 92-98% normal sperm are the rule this is the main reason for the bulls being able to service 70-75 cows per year. Our experience with the bulls is that they display excellent libido and are "Breeding Machines."

The Females: Reach puberty early and will cycle several times before their first breeding, a key factor in conceiving when bred for the first time. This early attainment of puberty has a direct correlation with the large scrotal circumference of a females sire. Another factor in the breed back ability of Irish Black cows is their shorter gestation period. This gives the cows more time to ready themselves for the next breeding. Shorter gestation means fewer calving problems, fewer retained placentas and uterine infections, all leading to an earlier and a more fertile next heat cycle.

Marketing Flexibility: Due to the high demand for Irish Black calves they are highly sought after at weaning, as yearlings, and in the feedlot. Because of their carcass superiority, Irish Blacks are often retained by producers who want to cash in on the bonuses received for their marbling, carcass yields, dressing percentage and low back fat. We have chosen to so do just that, as we retain our commercial calves ½ & ¾ bloods to use in the ranch to rail program "Country Natural Beef". Our own carcass data has proven the increased profitability in using Irish Black bulls.

Environmental Adaptability: Irish Blacks have been sold to cattle operations in 22 different states. Satisfied customers hail from New Mexico to North Carolina, Montana to Mississippi, and from sea level to 12,000 ft elevation. Producers in the high mountains of Colorado & Utah have yet to report a case of brisket disease (high altitude disease), even at altitudes of 10,000 ft. to 12,000 ft. elevation. Our home range is 4,500 ft and we can go up to 9,000 ft. Winters are cold with snow from November to March.

Calving Ease: The primary factor in calving ease is calf birth weight. Irish Black heifer calves have an average birth weight of 70 pounds, while bull calves average 76 pounds. We very seldom see a calf born as they calve out on the summer range. They have proven to us they can calve on their own.

Udder Quality: Irish Blacks have well-suspended udders with small teat size. This is a very critical trait in a range calving herd where human intervention is minimal. Calves must be born unassisted, get up fast, and suckle without delay. A good udder on the cow is one of the most important factors in the the calf’s survival.

Moderate Frame Size: Moderate framed cattle have been proven to produce more pounds of calf per pound of cow, compared to larger framed cows. It costs less to maintain the smaller framed cow as well, improving your profitability. The Irish Blacks can produce an exceptional carcass which isn’t too large or small, with fewer inputs, more Profit from Irish Black Bulls.

Contact: Lane D. Parker ~ 435-757-4643

Contact:  Lane D. Parker ~  435-757-4643
lane@smithfieldivestock.com

Thursday, April 11, 2013

MONTHLY CACHE VALLEY HORSE SALES

Attention: We are holding our 1st monthly horse sale MAY 4th, 2013 @ the Smithfield Livestock Auction. Accepting Using and Loose horses. We have a nice working arena to preview the Using horses and we also have cattle available to work as well. Preview will start at 10:00 am, Tack and Horses start selling at 11:00 am. This is the first of several monthly horse sales, held through out the summer. They will consistently be the 1st Saturday of each month (May, June, August, September, October), same time, same place. To reserve your lot, get an entry form, or for more information go to www.smithfieldlivestock.com . You can also contact Lane D. Parker @ 435-563-3259 or 435-752-7701. We will be excepting entries till sale day.




Monday, February 11, 2013

" FEEDING "


The snow this winter has been great. We have been able to feed most of this winter with the bobsled. Jared and the kids have lots of fun with the teams. Sometimes Jared is unable to feed and the kids have to do it all. The boys are old enough that they can catch, harness and feed all by themselves. If you look close at the pictures you can tell that they also like to have fun while they do it, they each take turns riding in the sled behind the wagon, they get to do a little sledding while feeding, "kill two birds with one stone". Why Not??

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Newell Moss Horse Sale

We got the opportunity to do a horse sale for Newell Moss last month, in Salina, Utah. He had a great turn out and some really nice looking and well bred horses for sale. This was Newell's first herd sale and he was selling some Champion Reining, Cutting and Working Cowhorse bloodline mares, bred mares, weanlings, yearlings and stallions. Newell has been an AQHA production breeder for 30+ years. We were privileged to be part of this sale and to be able to associate with many AQHA breeders/producers like Newell. Thank you Newell, for letting us serve you. Here are a few pictures of the big day.




 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SPRING

Like most places, Spring is hitting the Logan River Ranch head on.  The grass is growing, winter clean up has begun, fencing projects are in full force and most importantly of all, BABIES are arriving.  First we had baby lambs (which Lane & Jared don't count as part of LRR, just Amy's project), then calves and now baby foals.  They are all so cute and the ranch is full of excitement.  We are still calving a few heifers and about 8 more horses, but we are pretty close to the end.




The boys have been out working to help clean up after winter.  Waylon loves to move manure, I know weird, but he has moved a lot of manure this spring already.  Ty and Virgil harrow every chance they get, they love driving the teams and seeing the way the pastures look after they harrow it, and how well the grass grows back after the harrowing is done. 


The picture makes it hard to see, but this is Virgil driving Terr and Thor a team that JP has been working with all winter for a friend of ours.


The mare in the middle is being broke to drive.  Hanger is a little filly that Ty is breaking.  She rides really well and now after a few days behind her under harness, she is going to be a nice little driving mare as well.    Hanger is 3 years old and is 1/2 Draft 1/2 QH filly.  She has been a good project for Ty.

Her is Waylon hard at work.  Even though he is pretty young, he is pretty darn handy with the skid sterr.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Calf Heifers

At the first of March, the herd of first calf heifers we purchased in January, from Nevada started calving.  The weather has been great for calving but as always with first time heifers, you have to watch them like a hawk.  Although they are nice calves the birth weights are a little on the larger side and we are having to assist a lot of the heifers.  Lane and Jared are taking turns on the night shift and everyone is on call during the days.  Last Monday the kids were out of school and Shadie long with grandpa and Jared got to help run in a few pairs and a heifer that was in labor and needed some help.  Her horse Brownie was a little fresh from the winter months but she did just fine.  The family all got to watch this calf be pulled and Ty is becoming quite the little vet.  He really enjoys this process and loves to help.  Ty took the night watch with Grandpa one night last week and likes learning what to look for.  One time when me and Waylon were out making the rounds, even Waylon understood what to look for when the heifers where getting close.  We love our lifestyle and that we get to work so close with our family. 
Lane, Jared & Shadie

All the kids watching pull a calf
   
The after picture: nice, healthy heifer calf.
The herd of Heifers

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Freeze Branding New Herd"

We purchased a small herd of first calf heifers, at the first of January.  When we got them home we went right to Freeze branding them and getting them turned out on the bird refuge.  It has been such a mild winter for us here in Utah, which is good and bad, but we hope spring comes when it is supposed to.  As usual the whole family helped out.  The kids where still on Christmas brake and they where happy to be able to work the new cattle when they got here.  Overall very excited about the new additions to our cow/calf herd.

 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Feeding Protein at the BIRD REFUGE

Most of the cattle have been over at the Bird Refuge in Perry, since October.  A couple times a week we take over a load of protein pellets for the cows.  The girls and I went over to help Jared put them out a couple of times last week, and finally got a few pictures.  The cattle look really good and the calves look even better.  Very excited about the calf crop that is coming up.