Herd Management

Copper Creek Ranch is one of Canada’s largest and most progressive ranches and Hereford operations. The ranch participates in the Canadian Hereford Association’s Total Herd Enrolment (THE) program. In our breeding management, we make use of modern tools such as artificial insemination (A.I.), embryo transplants (E.T.), performance indexes and genomic/DNA profiles.

Structural phenotype, hardiness, efficiency and temperament are key selection criteria. Strong, consistent cow families are also very important. Bulls are performance tested on forage-based rations with grain. Only the best ones are pedigreed.

Copper Creek Ranch is currently rebuilding the herd to 400+ cows, a quarter of which will remain purebred, registered Herefords. The commercial herd is comprised of mostly Hereford and Hereford-influence females, some of which are recipient mothers to embryo transfer calves.

Cattle are wintered at the ranch headquarters in a wide valley skirted by trees. Cows are monitored 24-7 during calving season and are brought into a close-up group once they are close to calving. Cows calve out in the large open barn, inside calving pens on wood mulch bedding and are kept there for a couple days or until the calves are on their feet with a good start. Pairs are then moved into large outdoor runs with calf shelters according to management group, age and purebred or commercial status.

For the entire winter season, cows are mechanically fed a hay-based ration by total mixed ration (TMR). They are supplemented crucial vitamins and minerals through tub licks, salt and trace mineral (TM) blocks.

The cowherd is vaccinated annually with a 5-way and blackleg vaccine.  It is dewormed with a broad-spectrum dewormer in the spring and again in the fall.

Bull calves destined to be steers are castrated young by banding or cutting, before grazing season. And cattle are freeze branded with the Copper Creek brand.

After the grazing season in mid-October, calves are weaned. The best heifers are kept as herd replacements and the best bulls kept for breeding at home and in local commercial herds into which they are sold. The rest are marketed as stocker calves.

We handle our cattle as quietly as possible with respect and care, doing most of our cattle moves on horseback and culling for bad temperaments.