Although Thunderstorm R Cattle Company and Wayne Boozer Brafords each own a herd of registered Braford cows, for management and performance evaluation purposes, our cattle run together as a single cowherd. This unique relationship has flourished since 1985 because each owner brings specific talents and abilities to the cooperative effort. Herd bulls are shared as well as a common herd health program and all marketing efforts.
Our selection priorities and breeding objectives have not varied much since we started breeding purebred Brafords. Our primary focus is building and enhancing a productive cowherd. We breed yearling heifers to calve at two years of age and we often use yearling bulls, too. The yearlings allow us to put some selection pressure on early sexual maturity as well as accelerating our genetic improvement by shortening generation interval. We objectively select our cattle based on EPDs whenever possible and on contemporary comparisons when EPDs are not available. Our performance recording starts with birth weights of all calves and continues with weaning weights, yearling weights, yearling sheath and navel scores, yearling frame scores, yearling scrotal circumference, yearling semen tests and ultrasound evaluation for carcass desirability.
Both herds started with cows in a breeding-up program plus some Foundation cows from Adams Ranch in Florida. Most of our current cows are multiple generation purebred Brafords. Thunderstorm R continues to occasionally add top females purchased from other Braford breeders as well as occasional new generation Brafords produced primarily by in vitro fertilization (IVF). Because the Braford breed is relatively small, we continually search for superior Brahman and Hereford genetics to utilize in enhancing our Brafords. A prime example would be our early use of the distinguished Hereford bull Remitall Online 122L. This bull continues to be a Hereford trait leader in practically every category and his descendents will positively impact our Brafords for many years to come. In addition to some of our top multiple generation purebred Brafords, in 2015, our IVF program included 3 three-quarter Brahman cows and 7 of the most outstanding Hereford bulls available in the U.S.
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