Ralph Bell's uncle homesteaded in Tucumcari. They raised commercial cattle
and farmed in the area and grew the ranch over the years. In 1980, John's
Dad, Harry Heckendorn, and his Grandfather mentioned above, Ralph Bell,
started raising registered Angus as B&H Ranch with the purchase of 7 pairs
from Franklin Flint. John & Cathy (J-C) Purchased the registered cows in
2002 and started J-C Angus Ranch, realizing a lifelong dream of raising
their children in an agricultural environment and continuing the development
of what will become, God willing, one of the elite Angus herds in the
We feel that as a registered breeder we have a responsibility to raise the
most profitable cattle that we can for the commercial cattle industry. We
believe that profitability starts with fertility. The next most important
trait for us is calving ease. We have found that calves that die at birth do
not have very good weaning weights! . We have not pulled a calf with this
herd and have only lost 2 females over the last 10-11 years (2 out of
approximately 800 calves) due to calving problems. Once that live calf is
on the ground we want it to grow rapidly and efficiently.
We have been performance testing bulls at the NMSU Tucumcari bull test for
over 30+ years. It was often a humbling experience as we competed against
other breeders. We have focused on rapid growth genetics (High Yearling EPD)
without sacrificing calving ease (Low BW EPD) since 1980. In 1985 our pen of
bulls at Tucumcari averaged 3.25 lbs per day of gain and it took 828# of
feed per 100 lbs of gain. J-C Angus Ranch's pen in 2003 averaged 4.91 lbs
per day and converted 555# of feed per 100 lbs of gain! Now that's progress!
Performance testing bulls every year will make you a believer in EPDs! In
2011, our 16 bulls averaged 4.84# of feed per pound of gain. EPDs are only a
tool and while they tell you what an animal SHOULD do, the Bull Test tells
you what they DID do. Regardless of how fast everyone thinks their horse is
or good their cattle are - there is a reason why we still have horse races
and bull tests!
After testing bulls and observing the Tucumcari bull test for 30+ years, we
have noticed that the fastest growing calves are almost always the most feed
efficient. In 2012 the slowest gaining Angus pen converted at 7.66 lbs of
feed per lb of gain on a high roughage diet, while the highest gaining pen -
from J-C angus - converted at 5.28 lbs - OVER 30% LESS FEED!! This efficient
pen was out of our senior herd sire, B/R Future Direction 6171. There
appears to be a very high correlation between rapid growth and efficiency of
feed conversion and studies show a 70% correlation between feedlot
efficiency and cow efficiency on pasture.
Would saving 30% on feed and/or pasture usage be of benefit to you?
We hear a lot of discussion and talk about cow efficiency based on
assumptions of "metabolic energy requirements" based on cow size/weight and
extrapolated milk production estimated based on weaning weights of calves,
or weaning weights relative to weight of cows as an indicator of efficiency.
It all sounds very scientific and could be true, but are the assumptions
correct? We have seen huge differences in feed conversions between
individual animals as well as sire groups in actual tests, and I am
confident that the same holds true in our cow herds. Some cows are just
more feed efficient and perform better in their environment. The idea of
selecting for moderate or "optimum" growth seems counter-intuitive in my
humble opinion of the direction we need to be going to increase efficiency
in our cow herds based on what I have seen in actual efficiency tests. I do
not advocate extremely large cattle or raising dairy cattle on our native
range, but rapidly growing cattle seem to be the most efficient from
observations of actual data. There are cattle that grow rapidly without
getting too large as far as mature weight
We feel that the females kept as replacements need to be moderate framed,
efficient converters of grass to produce adequate milk to raise heavy, soggy
calves and breed back every year.
Once these calves grow out, they need to provide value for both the packer
and the consumer with high quality carcass characteristics for the benefit
of the industry
This is why J-C Angus is utilizing bloodlines that excel in the traits of
Fertility, Calving Ease, Rapid Growth, Feed Efficiency, and Carcass Quality.
We pray that our cattle work as well for you as they have for us, and we
greatly appreciate and thank past buyers who have invested in J-C Angus