Turning The Bulls Out

Lockhart Cattle Company’s Hereford bulls look forward to this week every year. Every June 20th Lockhart Cattle Company begins the process of another generation of calves. “We keep the bulls around all year for this one month,” says Chase Lockhart who manages the process known as “turning the bulls out.” [image: Inline image 1] The goal is to get all the mother cows pregnant so calves arrive in the spring once most of the snow is gone and the bitter cold winter weather is over. “If we turn the bulls out on June 20th we can expect calves to start coming April first and for about six weeks after,” says Chase. The average gestation period for a Hereford cow is 289 days, almost exactly the same length as the human gestation period, which is 280 days. The Lockharts raise many of their own bulls and spend a good deal of time considering genetic characteristics before breeding takes place. “We breed animals that can handle the harsh elements and can convert grass into steaks.” says Chase. The Lockharts also purchase bulls with sought after genetic traits to fill holes in the herd. Grassfed animals raised in Jackson Hole need to be able to withstand the harsh winters and grow well on grass 365 days a year. [image: Inline image 2] To decide what bulls to pair with what cows, the family considers genetic traits like calves with low birth weights to help first-time mothers calve easier and high yearling weights to produce fast growing calves. Chase says “the decisions we make about bulls today will determine what our steaks look like three years from now.” #lockhartcattle #sponsored #buckrail #news