Switch to Summer Calving in Cody, Wyoming
Posted on: May 16, 2017
Father-son pair Michael and Mark McCarty have been in the business of cattle ranching in Wyoming for decades. In 2000, the family purchased a ranch 10 miles south of Cody from Desert Ranches under the leadership of Burk Teichert.
Unlike the operations at their previously owned family ranch or their lease / management agreement on the Two Dot Ranch 16 miles north of Cody, the cattle operations on their newly acquired turn-key property had calving occurring on a May-June schedule. Previously unfamiliar with this operation, the McCarty’s eyes were opened as they began to realize that the May-June schedule was more efficient than the March calving and feeding hay they had been doing. As a result, the McCarty’s changed the operations on their lease at TwoDot Ranch, a massive piece of property with 72,300 deeded acres and 107,700 acres of leased public land.
Today the family-owned ranch is home to 500 mother cows. The Two Dot Ranch is stocked with 1,700 mother cows. Cows on both properties calve in May and June, with the exception of replacement heifers, which are calved in March at the Two Dot ranch.
The integrated operation helps the McCarty’s reach their goal of operating as much as possible for year-round grazing. In a typical year, the McCarty’s usually only feed a half ton of hay per animal through the winter. On the ranches they have irrigated hay land, and put up 2,000 tons of hay annually.
The summer calving schedule is not the only innovative component of the McCarty’s operation. To retain cull cows through the winter, the McCarty’s have implement a strategy of supplementing diets with sugar beet crop aftermath leased from area farmers. On this input, cows gain as much as 3 lbs per day and are then marketed in late February or early March when the cull cow market typically spikes.
To read more about the McCarty’s cattle operation near Cody, Wyoming, check out the latest newsletter from the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management.
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