What is the best age to castrate Corriente bull calves?

A question that I am often asked is, “what is the best age to castrate bull calves?” We have found that the closer the calves are to a year in age, the better horn they will grow. The testosterone is what makes the base of the horn thicker. So the longer the calves have circulating testosterone, the stouter the horns are going to be. Early castration will cause the horns to be skinny and not as desirable for a quality roping animal.

The two most common ways to castrate are surgical (knife cut) or mechanical (banding or Burdizzo.) We band our bulls because it is easier on the cattle and us. You should always contact your veterinarian to discuss which is the best method for your program.

About the Author:
russell barham

Thank you to the author, longtime Corriente breeder and NACA member #2152, Russell Barham, Barham Cattle Company of Madisonville, TX.
His cattle won both Grand Champion Roping Animal and Reserve Grand Champion Roping Animal at the 2016 National Show in Meridian, Mississippi.


Marketing Your Corriente Cattle (Part 1)

douglas-dale-june29-2016There are many different ways to market Corriente Cattle, but as with any business it must start with a plan. I have listed tips that I hope will help new, and maybe even some established, Corriente breeders to be more successful raising and marketing their cattle.

First, there are many variables in different areas of the country such as when is the best time to calve, availability of forage, cost effectiveness of supplemental feed, etc. However, as with any business, there are several things we need to look into. They are product (Corrientes), location, target customer, promotion and price. Continue reading

Branding Basics – Part 2

To register your Corriente, every animal must have either a number brand or an ear tattoo for identification. You may know all about branding, but just in case you don’t, we have some great basic information that will help you get started!  (go to part 1)

Number Branding Cattle What number branding system should I use?

This is one of the more frequent questions asked by those who are just starting to register their corriente cattle. NACA leaves it up to the individual to set up their own number branding system. Continue reading

Branding Basics – Part 1

To register your Corriente, every animal must have either a number brand or an ear tattoo for identification. You may know all about branding, but just in case you don’t, we have some great basic information that will help you get started! (go to part 2)

For those lucky enough to have grown up on a ranch, branding time may bring a rush of fond memories. For newcomers in the cattle business, it can be downright intimidating. Though procedures vary from ranch to ranch, the basics of branding stay the same.

Continue reading

The Corriente Cattle Breed

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Corriente Cattle: Unique Traits | Economic Advantages | Environmentally Friendly | Conformation | Judging Guidelines | Color Brochure | History of Corriente | Videos: Learning About Corriente | Request More Information
corriente cattle line
The Unique Corriente Breed
Corriente cattleCorrientes are raised primarily for sports cattle, while preserving such natural attributes as high fertility, early maturity, trouble-free calving, and foraging efficiency, as well as disease and parasite resistance. This unique breed differs greatly in conformation, behavior and hardiness from cattle raised only for meat. Most of the production problems experienced by today’s cattlemen are a result of increasing size and weight in order to fit the current commodity market. Corrientes remain untainted by the manipulative animal husbandry which has affected and weakened many domestic animals. Continue reading

Economic Observations from a rancher

Some observations I have seen through the years…
Generally a rancher can run TWO Corriente cows on the same ground it takes to support ONE ordinary beef cow.

SO at today’s market value……
that means an ordinary beef cow will raise and wean off a 500-600 lb beef calf which will bring in a market value of $700 – $1000, depending on where you are.

BUT lets say you put TWO Corriente cows on that same piece of ground…..
Each Corriente brings in a market value between $600 – $700. This means the same piece of ground yields an income of $1,200 – $1,400!!

You can walk home with between $200 – $700 more in your pocket with Corriente!!

Continue reading

A.I. vs. Natural Breeding (Part 1 of Series)

Calves are being born left and right, and every day we are being bombarded with advertisements for bull sales and the next great A.I. sire. So how do you decide whether to spend the extra money on a top notch herd bull or buy semen on that great looking bull in the magazine?

First off, I am not going to tell you one way is better than the other. That is up to you to decide after looking at both your goals and resources. I will give you the pros and cons of each. Continue reading

AI – Heat Synchronizing Heifers and Cows

Before I even start this blog, I want to say that my approach is “less is more” when it comes to using hormones to A.I. cows or heifers. That being said, life is not perfect, and we can not set aside our entire life for 30-60 days to get all of our cattle A.I.ed at the perfect time. There are many different regimens that I use to synchronize, but they all include at least 2 of the following drugs: Lutalyse, Cystorelin, and CIDRs. I will highlight my 3 favorite regimens.

1. When I want to keep the cattle fairly close together, but I have some time to heat check and A.I. for several days, I use this. Heat check for 5 days and A.I. cow or heifer 12 hrs after standing heat is observed, then on Day 6, give a shot of Lutalyse to any cattle not A.I.ed and apply heat detection patch on tail head, then heat check an additional 5 days and A.I. any cattle 12 hrs after standing heat is observed. The total number of days is 11. 1/4 of the cattle only go through the chute 1 time, and the other ¾ of the cattle go through the chute 2 times and only get 1 shot of Lutalyse.

2. In times when I have more time immediately, and my working facilities are better, I use this schedule. On Day 1, I give all animals a shot of Lutalyse and apply heat detection patches to the tail heads, then heat check and A.I. all animals demonstrating estrous 12 hrs after observing them in standing heat on days 1 thru 6. All animals that did not have a detectable heat and were not A.I.ed, approximately ¼ if all animals are cycling, are given a second shot of Lutalyse, then detect and A.I. all animals 12 hrs after observed in standing heat for an additional 5 days. Total number of days is 12. ¾ of the cattle go through the chute 2 times and only receive 1 shot of Lutalyse, and the other ¼ are run through the chute 3 times and receive 2 shots of Lutalyse. This regimen is different than the typical 2 shot method because ¾ of the cattle only get one shot of Lutalyse, and more of the cattle are run through the chute less times.

3. The last method is used when a mass A.I. is planned, or a minimal number of days are available to A.I. cattle. I prefer heat checking and A.I.ing animals observed in standing heat, but sometimes it just isn’t feasible. Day 1, a CIDR is applied vaginally to the heifer or cow. A shot of Cystorelin can also be administered at this time. On Day 7, the CIDR is removed, a shot of Lutalyse is injected, and the heat detection patch is applied to the tail head. At this point, cattle can either be heat checked and A.I.ed 12 hours after observing standing heat over a 5 day period, or all cattle can be mass A.I.ed 60-72 hours after the CIDR is removed.

When A.I.ing cattle, either after a natural heat or synchronized heat, I like to administer 2cc of Cystorelin at time of insemination. Another money saving tip I just learned about is cutting the heat detection patches in half, thus doubling the number of patches for the same money.

Disclaimer: Any of your prostaglandin drugs such as Lutalyse and your GnRH drugs like Cystorelin, must be prescribed by a licensed veterinarian, administered according to their label. Any extra-label use of these drugs must first be discussed and approved by a licensed veterinarian.