Carl & Barbara Taylor
6500 County Road 16 Granada, Colorado 81041 Phone: (719) 336-0909
It is our goal to raise the best beef cattle that we can while improving the health of the range. Our diverse backgrounds may have stressed our marriage but they have been of a great benefit in achieving our goal. Carl's family raised Hereford cattle for generations. Barb's Dad decided that Aberdeen Angus was a better breed and switched to Angus in the 1960's back when your could hardly give black calves away. Barb majored in animal husbandry while Carl majored in agronomy. She is left handed and he is right.
Our herd started out as commercial Angus with one token Hereford. Then Barb decided that she would like to try a few British Whites for the simple reason that they were "cute". Raising cows because they are cute was not one of the areas that we agreed on. However, we did agree on how to manage and work cows. Both of us work quietly and calmly while keeping an eye on the body language of the cows. Our commercial Angus were tame in the pasture but when we gathered them in the corral they became nervous. Bent gates, frayed nerves and stressed humans was the usual result. The British Whites were always mentioned as being calm. We figured that was because as a semi-rare breed they were used to a lot of attention.
We had placed our first British White bull in with the cows for a period of time before we put the mature Angus bulls in with the cows. The British White bull appeared to be a bull in name only as he was just a calf. However, that calf bred some 30 plus cows as evidenced by all the little white calves that started dropping come February. The black bulls were relegated to clean up duty. When we gathered the cows for branding we noticed a great difference in the herd. The black cows were still nervous with their heads up high and their eyes big as big can be. The white cows were watching the commotion and wondering what the matter was. The big change was the calves, they were also just calmly watching the show their mothers were putting on. The next big change was at weaning time when the cross bred calves were much larger than the black calves.
In addition to improving our herd we also tried to improve our range. We cross fenced, spot sprayed weeds, rotated our pastures and in general tried to be good stewards of the land. The payoff came, not in money but in a remark a neighboring rancher made. He had just sold over 100 calves of various weights and he commented on how good the price was for a certain weight of calves. He said of course that he had not had any calves that big. The weight mentioned was our cull cutoff weight. We expected all of our calves to be bigger than his biggest calf!
While a well established British beef breed for centuries, British White cattle did not come to the United States until the late 1940s, when a small group were established at a prison farm in New York. A naturally polled breed, they are more closely related to Angus, Herefords and Galloways than another ancient horned breed from Britain, the White Park Cattle, with which they can be confused.
They are considered a medium sized beef cattle with adult animals maturing at 1100-1500 pounds. As with the Angus breed, there is now a subset called "low-line" British White that mature at around 900 pounds.
By report the breed matures a little later than Angus cattle. However, we have been successfully breeding our first calf heifers to calf at 2 years, subsequently rebreeding quickly for yearly calving. We do feel that some of our bulls mature later than our heifers.
Their most extraordinary trait that we appreciate is their docility and calmness. This allows relative safety while working around them and translates to economic dollars as their lower stress levels allow for less pounds in shipping shrinkage and increased health.
British Whites handle range conditions and environmental extremes better than Angus cattle. We have been privileged to have encountered extreme drought and extreme blizzard conditions (in the same year!!) while living in southeast Colorado. Our British Whites have handled both the cold and snow as well as the heat and poor vegetation better than our Angus cattle.
Our British White bulls have proven effective in crossbreeding with other English breeds, such as Angus and Herefords. Their hybrid vigor has added between 25-75 pounds per calf to the weaning weight.
Currently, there are two breed associations for British White Cattle: British White Cattle Association of America and the American British White Park Association. At this time, members in both organizations are working to allow these two groups to merge back to one organization.
Our ranch is located on the high plains of eastern Colorado, in an area rich in archeological history dating from Prehistoric through the Dust Bowl.
We started raising cattle in 2005 with a small herd of commercial angus and 6 British White cattle that Barbara wanted because they were "cute". We had expected to continue raising Angus, but we have become converted to die-hard British White breeders by the excellent characteristics exhibited by our British White cattle.
As a group, they have equaled or outperformed our Angus in production, longevity, health, ability to handle environmental extremes and temperament. In 2012-13, as a result of the most severe long-term drought this area has known since records were kept in the 1800s, we were forced to severely limit the number of animals we could manage. We elected to sell all of our commercial Angus herd, as well as 60 of our British Whites.
For us the drought was a blessing as it required us to focus on those aspects of cattle ranching that are important to us - a good quality product packaged in an eye-pleasing, manageable animal. While our Angus herd produced well, there was always the very real threat of physical damage to our selves or our property every time we worked with them.
When we bought our ranch, the land showed evidence of abuse, overuse and neglect. Since 1999, we have been working with various groups and organizations to develop good land conservation techniques that are enabling us to achieve our goals in land stewardship. Along the way, we have made contacts with other organizations with similar interests and goals. Practices have included pasture rotation, nutrient measurement and supplementations as well as redoing fencing and water with views to aiding wildlife and birds, as well as our cattle.
Our ranch is part of the Colorado Birding Trail. We have also been involved with Southeast Colorado Historical Preservation and Development and Southeast Colorado Tourism and Economic Development as the ranch has been the site of multiple past cultural and historical eras in the past, from pre-historic Indian ruins, artifacts and pictographs through the Dust Bowl, encompassing Indian, Spanish, and early American cultures. Because of the need for accurate weather reports in the area, we also partner with CoCoRAHS (Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network), which is the largest provider of daily precipitation data in the United States.
On the High Plains
Our area hosts an unexpectedly large number of birds - both those birds who stay year round, and those who visit for a part of the year or are just passing through during the spring and fall migrations. In 2007 we elected to partner with the Rocky Mountain Birding Observatory and became part of the Two Buttes Colorado Birding Trail.
In conjunction with that organization we have hosted several "birding weekends", when small groups of birders have joined us for a weekend of "birding extravaganza". One weekend was especially memorable because the group came with the goal of sighting at least 100 different species - which they accomplished. Now that is dedicated birding - from dawn till past dusk. Individually, birders come to our area throughout the year to visit for a day or a week.
The ranch has been granted grazing rights from a pair of resident golden eagles. While not chummy neighbors, we respect and keep an eye out for each other. Each year they raise between 1-4 eaglets. Raptors abound, including the more unusual Ferruginous hawk. We do see Mountain Plovers, and occasionally a Lesser Prairie Chicken. The Prairie Chickens do not breed on the ranch at this time, but their leks are nearby. Spring and fall have the migrations of Lark Buntings, Mountain Bluebirds, cranes of various kinds, and ducks and geese. In the winter, the town of Lamar, Colorado hosts an annual Snow Goose Festival. Recently, a troupe of wild turkeys has moved into the area and have added more variety and wild stories to our repertoire.
What We Have to Offer
We usually have several cows, heifers, calves and young bulls for sale at any given time. Their registrations range from half-breeds through pure-bred 4 generations. Our bulls are registered purebred through American Fullbloods. Occasionally, we have exceptional non-registered 3/4-bred bulls that some of our commercial cow breeders request.
In 2019 we sent animals to Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado. Our thanks to all who have bought cows, calves and bulls from us.
Please call us or e-mail us concerning prices or animals that we have available for sale. (719) 336-0909
It is our intent to change these stories on a regular basis. We are told that it will cost about six bucks to change the stories so each time we get an extra six bucks together we will leap into action.