Our Luing Herd
The Luing breed was created to fulfill the demand from commercial cattlemen for a fertile, efficient mother cow in tough environments. The breed’s founders had a clear vision for their new breed - it was to be based only on functional efficiency in a real world environment, completely divorced from the fads and fashions of the show ring.
We share that vision and adhere to the founders breeding methodology. We run a closed herd, utilizing only home-bred bulls in a line-breeding program designed to propagate more predictable, easy care, maternal genetics.
Cows and calves grazing standing corn
Although our animals are all registered they are treated as commercial cattle throughout their lives. This allows us to:
a. Provide our customers with commercially proven breeding stock that will be a complimentary
component part of their profitable crossbreeding programs.
b. Make our breeding selections in the same type of low cost, forage only environment that most of our customers operate in.
c. Sell our breeding stock at commercially realistic prices, not the artificially inflated prices often associated with the purebred show ring.
Our cowherd works harder than many commercial herds as we try to extend our grazing season as much as 100 days beyond conventional systems. As cow-harvested forage is usually less than half the cost of mechanically harvested feed this is a huge determinant of herd profitability. Our entire cattle system is built around maximizing our production off our cheapest resource - grazed forage. To achieve this our calving season begins on April 10th so that cows can calve out on banked grass, with minimal interference from us. We graze as far into Fall/Winter as we can and are usually stopped because we have run out of anything to graze rather than by snow depth.
During the winter months when we have to feed the cows they are maintained on a "least cost" ration. The ingredients vary from year to year depending on price and availability but can include cereal straw, standing corn, silage, hay, greenfeed, DDGs or Biuret protein blocks.
After the calves are weaned they are wintered on hay or silage with a protein/energy supplement. We aim for a modest weight gain of around 1.25lbs -1.5lbs a day and rely on compensatory gain off pasture prior to breeding to allow the heifers to achieve a target weight of around 700lbs when they are exposed to the bull.
The bulls that we raise for home use or sale are fed exactly the same as the steer and heifer calves. After a second summer on grass they go through the following winter on hay or silage with no grain supplementation. This gives us fit, athletic bulls weighing around 1400lbs at two years old.
I firmly believe that growing the bulls slowly like this greatly increases longevity and reduces foot and leg problems. Many mainstream bull sellers feed their bulls to weigh 1400lbs a full year earlier, resulting in cattle carrying more weight than nature ever intended their young bones to, leading to more lameness and injuries resulting from fighting.
The pictures below show a typical two year old and a four year bull in our herd to demonstrate the slower development we practice. Both are in natural condition in June, achieved off grass alone after a tough winter in Manitoba.