BELFIELD, N.D. –A cold blast of air with swirling snow, poor visibility on the roads, and temperatures that plunged well below zero with the wind chills hit the southwestern region Feb. 3.
Zach Tessier, who owns Tessier Herefords with Lacy and their two kids, Hadley Jo and Hayden, a registered Hereford operation, went out to feed bulls and cows in the cold morning.
“We don’t make drastic changes to the bulls’ feed. Instead, we gradually increase or decrease the feed with how the bulls are performing, and this helps keep the rumen stable,” Zach said. “We are feeding the cowherd an extra 10 pounds of hay per head to get them through the sub zero temperatures.”
The registered bulls in the bull sale are fed twice a day, while the cows are fed in the morning.
The Tessiers are in the final stretch, preparing for their annual bull sale on Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m. at the Tessier Hereford ranch, right off Highway 85 south of Belfield. They will have a noon lunch, while everyone has the chance to see the registered bulls.
“We are also finishing work on the catalog this week,” Lacey said. “I have been gathering all the EPDs and other data to go with the registered bull’s photo, and writing about the story of our ranch and about us to go in the opening page of the catalog.”
While the 50K genomic test for each bull has not yet arrived, Lacey said she will add an insert into the catalog with the genomic data on it, if it doesn’t arrive in time for the printer.
Zach said some of the herd sires in the bull sale of the A-I cows include Churchill Stud 3134A; and Hometown 27A; and the herd sires of some of the embryo cows include: Lambeau 17Y and Mr. Hereford 11X.
“There is definitely power and performance in our offering of bulls in the upcoming sale,” Zach said.
In addition, the Tessiers have their own website up and running. It is located at www.tessierherefords.com. Check it out, and see the videos of the bulls in the Tessier bull sale.
They also have a Facebook page, where they have posted a new mom-heifer and her calf.
Zach is putting out lots of straw for bedding and if the snow continues, will add more in the morning.
The Tessiers have also had a couple of early calves show up, from the bred heifers they purchased in other states.
“It has been busy around the ranch getting ready for the annual bull sale, but we had to switch gears and focus on calves being born the last couple of days. Thank God for good straw and a barn, which is protected from the elements,” said Zach.
Zach built the barn himself, and heifers and cows and their calves are comfortable in it. About 12-14 pairs can fit in it at one time.
Zach was out early in the morning and their first calf was born at 4 a.m. on Jan. 29. Another calf was born a day later. Both moms and calves are doing well, with the Herefords being very good mothers.
While there hasn’t been snow for a couple of weeks, and not much of it, the temperatures have been unpredictable. One cold Tuesday two weeks ago, the temperatures dropped to 28 below zero at the ranch. While that temp was only for one night, more recently, temperatures have hovered around zero.
But just two days ago, from Feb. 1-2, the temperatures rose suddenly to well above freezing, in the mid-30s-40, and all the snow and ice melted. Water lay in pools in the driveway.
On Feb. 3, temperatures continued to plunge throughout the day with a winter storm moving in, and the water turning to ice.
Fortunately, there is no ice in the feedlot. The bulls are in one section with a hay feeder on one side.
The cows are in a winter pasture down by the creek, right behind the Tessier home. It is easy to keep an eye on the heifers that might start calving.
“By Feb. 20, the A-I heifers will start calving,” he said.
The Tessiers are preparing to check over the genetics of bulls in the A-I system to make decisions about the future of their herd. They want to find the perfect bull to match their heifers and cows.
Meanwhile, Lacey’s mom, Linda, who teaches art at the public school in Wibaux, will be coming to Hadley Jo and Hayden’s classroom in Belfield to teach art for a day.
“My mom enjoys teaching in the kids’ classrooms. Last year, she came around Valentine’s Day and they made Valentine drawings of animals with hearts on them,” Lacey said.
It depends on the date she comes, but Linda will probably do something like that this year, also.
“The kids love having her come,” Lacey added.