Like many stock people, we take great pride and joy in each calf crop, hoping to raise females and bulls that make a difference and even make their mark in the wider industry. We do so with great enthusiasm.
We breed for balance – moderation, efficiency, temperament and fleshing ability. Rarely are the Copper Creek cows given a second chance to reproduce, calve easily and mother and raise a calf with a carefree udder.
Eye appeal is a bonus but feminine heifers often lead to more fertile cows, while masculine bulls with larger testicles tend to have the most libido. Pigment results in less pink eye and sunburn. Flat shoulders/nice front ends, result in fewer calving difficulties. And hair volume results in hardier, more weather-resistant cattle.
Primarily, we are breeding for that perfect balance of breed character, stoutness and muscle shape, with strong feet and legs and a great rib shape for maximum “do-ability”. A.I. bulls and walking herdbulls are chosen to best exemplify those traits.
We cull the purebreds for the same reasons we cull the non-functional commercial cows. That is, we cull for big teats, bad udders, unsound feet and general unthriftiness. We also cull hard for cows that are not productive. The ones that do work, have daughters and granddaughters and great-granddaughters in the herd and it’s their progeny we’d like to share in the commercial and purebred marketplaces.
We are big fans of “eyeballing” and believe that is a carefully honed skill that is undervalued in today’s world of genetic information. So we are sticklers for phenotype, with the experience to know how it affects longevity and performance. And that’s why we still value the show ring, especially now that the industry and show ring value moderation and balance in traits more than they ever did. We also see the value of the show ring in terms of making our purebreds visible to the world, on a local and international level. Therefore we exhibit and show our purebreds at local Mark of Excellence (MOE) Hereford breed shows and also attend and exhibit at our Canadian National Hereford shows.