Lookin’ At Life in Black and White

Since the majority of our calves look like these,

we tend to get excited whenever we get some black baldy and brockle-faced calves. For those who are unfamiliar with such terminology, a baldy is a white-faced (or to us, mostly white-faced) calf

and a brockle-faced calf has black and white markings on its face.

We run mostly Hereford and Black Angus cross cattle. Our brockle or baldy cows produce the same kind of calves but since we mostly have solid black cows, brockle and white faced calves are a treat to see show up during calving.

We haven’t run Hereford bulls in a while because we like black or black and white calves which have sold better for us, and with Hereford bulls we’ll get some red and white calves. The past several years we’ve been using black Angus bulls in our herd and black Saler low-birthweight bulls just for our two year old heifers (produces low birthweight calves in first-time calvers).

While out checking one sunny afternoon, I took my camera and got some pictures of a few of this year’s black and white calves that I could find close by.

It’s more of a preference thing but we like the looks of black baldies and brockle-faced calves.

We keep heifer calves to replace older cows which makes for better for overall herd health. I love to see the different black and white patterns on new calves and sometimes their features are helpful in identification as they get older.

All of our kids’ calves are baldies or brockle-faced calves because the cow that started their herd is a Hereford named Annabelle.



She’s currently the only Hereford cow in our herd and our favorite momma cow. She always has cute brockle-faced calves that we’re always hoping will be a heifer calf instead of a bull calf so we can keep it for the kids’ herd. We tag only the kids’ calves with yellow eartags so at branding time they can put their brand on them.

Black and white may not seem very colorful to some people but we think so. It’s all in how you look at it.

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About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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