There are few things in life that give as much satisfaction and pleasure as being a successful breeder of pedigree Miniature Herefords. However one needs to remember that a lifetime is not long enough to achieve the ultimate aim of breeding the “perfect animal”.
Prior to making your purchase you will need to sort out what you want from your Registered Miniature Hereford herd. Do you want to raise these animals for sale to new breeders, as beef animals for slaughter, bull sales, showing, 4H projects, acreage pets. Determine how much money is available keeping in mind that as with most things in life – quality never comes cheap. I would suggest “buy the best you can afford”. You also need to evaluate your personal skills and the time frame over which you are willing to improve your herd. If you want superior animals from the get go, the costs will be higher than if you have the time to take poorer quality animals and improve your herd over several generations. The best advice I can give you is to talk to as many breeders as you can. The meetings of Miniature Hereford Association of Canada are an excellent place to meet other breeders and learn from their mistakes.
There are several ways to get started:
PURCHASE LIVE ANIMALS FROM A REPUTABLE BREEDER
· An established breeder’s reputation will ensure that you get good quality animals that meet your exceptions.
· Often they will provide health & breeding guarantees.
· You get to see what you buy,
· Fast. Pay your money, take home your herd
· The breeder will be available to help you through any difficulties; your success is their success.
* Price. Price will depend on sex, age, pedigree, conformation, size and market conditions.
· Shipping may be a problem dependent on the distance between you and the breeder.
Weaning/Bred Yearling Heifers
· Most economical of the live animal group.
· Will have the longest repoductive life
· Highest chance of breeding problems and calving difficulties
· Mature size unknown
· Gestation period of 9 months
Cows/Cow Calf Pairs
· Proven breeding ability
· Calving ease known
· You know the sex of the calf
· Shorter reproductive life
· Most expensive of the live animal group
· Quality animals may be difficult to find as breeders will want to keep them for their own herd expansion
FROZEN EMBRYOS/PREGNANT RECIPIENTS
· Often collected from superior animals
· Less expensive than live animals
· 55 to 65% success rate
· Unable to evaluate the animal or its sex until born
· Will need to purchase or rent a recipient cow
· Can appear to be complicated to the novice
· Time from purchase to having first Calf on the ground
· Typically live Calf guarantees are not offered