Our focus at Manzano Angus is to produce profit oriented cattle suited for challenging western environments. While the typical Angus cow continues to get bigger and heavier milking, we demand both moderate mature size and moderate milk. “Moderate size” is a popular buzzword within many purebred circles and most breeders claim to produce moderate cattle. Yet, a majority of these same breeders seem to be maximize weaning weight and yearling weight EPD’s. Mature size has a strong positive genetic correlation with weaning weight (.80) and yearling weight (.76). Therefore, it’s difficult to select for additional growth without increasing mature size. We attempt to maintain efficient growth with balanced selection of weaning weight and low mature weight EPD’s.
We prefer milk EPD’s in the teens. Like growth, milk EPD’s continue to creep upward across the breed as more selection pressure is put on maximizing weaning weight. Simply put, we are unwilling to allow our cows to get bigger framed, heavier milking and higher input to chase growth and $B EPD’s.
We also focus on maintaining low birth weight cattle that can calve unassisted as first-calf heifers and we sell a large number of bulls every year bred for calving ease. We strive to produce females with excellent teat and udder quality. We focus on maternal traits that make cattle producers money at the ranch, but we will also will select for carcass EPDs and terminal traits, if it does not come at the expense of the cow.
Unlike many “high-input” Angus operations, our management practices resemble most commercial herds in our area. We believe in minimal supplementation, demanding our cows perform primarily on forage. We love easy-fleshing cattle which are more durable in our demanding environment, however, we use fertility as our primary selection tool. Open cows are culled no matter their pedigree.
By demanding efficient cows that fit our arid environment we strive to breed Angus cattle that will make western cattle producers more profitable.
For more insight into the type of cattle we are trying to produce, check out the articles from our past newsletters listed on the right.