Hardy Cattle Of Angus genetics graze the mountainous country 10 months out of the year. Their production cycle begins with calving in mid-April. While the mature cows calve unsupervised on open range, first-calf heifers undergo more management at calving. They calve in April and are held close to the ranch during the calving season so that difficult births can be assisted.
After the weaning of the calves in October and November, the cows return to grazing foothill ranges, with mature cattle receiving hay only in February and March. The younger cattle get hay for a longer period, from early January through May.
In September Galt sells the yearlings off of grass, with the steers weighing 850 to 900 pounds.
About 50 steers are held back, however, and these continue grazing and also receive a grain supplement while on late-fall pasture. These cattle are headed for the ranch’s direct-marketing program for beef.
The special steers are the progeny of the previous year’s first-calf heifers and are sired by bulls of Japanese genetics called Wagyu cattle. These cattle are smaller statured, tending to produce the small calves making for easy calving for first-calf heifers.
Another benefit the Wagyu breeding brings to the Galt cattle is its high propensity for intramuscular marbling, which enhances taste and tenderness in beef. These qualities attract customers and help the ranch direct market some 40 beef carcasses annually, selling the meat to individual buyers in quarter, half, and full carcasses.