Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chapter 117 Parlez Moo Francais?


In 1979 our Charolais cattle business continued to grow with the addition of some land we bought near Blue Ridge and 1000 acres we leased at Merit, TX. We also had a partnership with Charles Hogg on 418 irrigated acres south of Devine, Texas that I had sold to him. All in all, we peaked out at about 400 mama cows plus our bulls and heifers we had for sale. At the same time, we were running the Nursery and we were going to stock shows and sales. 

We bought and sold Charolais and had several men working for us in the cattle business. We moved a lot of cattle to Devine on that irrigated coastal Bermuda grass. After we baled hay, we would turn in the cattle to clean up broken bales and along all the fence lines where we could not cut the grass. During haying season, we had several semi flatbed trucks waiting to load up almost every morning. 
Our French Purebred bull Astro weighed over 2000 pounds

Charles and I would meet at Evant, Texas at the city square. This was half way between Devine and McKinney. I would back my full load of cows up against the back of Charles's and, we would transfer the cows from my trailer to his. We would get a bite to eat at the city cafe and, he would head south to Devine and I would head north with an empty trailer to McKinney.

We had a purebred French bull named Astro. We put one of his calves on a feed test in Oklahoma. Astro's calf was tested for weight gain over a six month period and his calf out gained all ten of the other calves on the test, each of the others from different bull.

I always tried to be on the leading edge of the next wave of Real Estate, the Nursery business or the Cattle business. About this time there was talk of crossing our native buffalo with domestic cattle. Charles Goodnight had tried for years to do this without much success back in the late 1800’s. Never the less some research advocates felt the time had come for us to try again with this cross. It would give you the rugged, lean meat of the Buffalo with the conformation, milking ability and gentleness of the domestic cow. I felt if this was going to work the Charolais would be the perfect match.