About Shipwheel Cattle Company
We are a family owned and managed operation which consists of Klint, Lori our son Austin and daughter Bree and Lori’s mother Marilyn Williamson. Craig Benzing joined us full time in 2011 to help run our new ranch and cows at Lloyd.
We currently run 1250 mother cows and 500 yearlings. Our heifers start calving in early March and cows in April and May. We take pride in running our cows in a real un-pampered environment. Most of the cows calve out and are required to get their calf up and nursing quickly. Although some of the cows are run through the barn in bad weather, we believe cows that calve out have a better instinct to them.
Usually around October 20th we ship two pot loads of steer calves from our commercial cows. For the past several years, we have been sending our US Verified-Source and Age Verified steer calves to Poky Feeders in Scott City, Kansas. Poky is a top notch feed yar and have been outstanding to work with. In 2008, our steers graded 98% Choice with 65% making CAB. The best Poky had ever seen.
All of the heifers calves are weaned the end of October. We like to wean them on grass across a hot wire from their mother. The heifer calves remain on grass until Mother Nature forces us to feed them hay. We do not like to develop the heifers in a feedlot. Heifers that have had to "rough it" a little seem to have more survivability later in life.
The bull calves from the registered cows are weaned in early November the same way as the heifer calves. Approximately the bottom 25% are castrated and sent to Poky. There is no hurry or need to "push" the bulls since we develop them to be sold as coming 2 year old bulls. We leave them on the hay meadows until December and then put them in the feedlot over the winter on a 2 to 2.5 lb. /day gain. In mid May, the bulls are put back on grass for the summer in rougher country. We bring the bulls back to the feedlot in early October and put a little finish on them for the sale.
Most all of our cows work is done with horses and dogs. This traditional method means a lot to us and we intend on keeping it that way.
There is something very special about gathering cattle on a cool mountain morning with good horses, good dogs and good friends.
There are many friends that we do need to thank that help us ride and work cattle. They are a big part of our success and we couldn't do it without them.
Shipwheel is a real working ranch and we take pride in doing everything that we can ourselves. Our families ranching background is many generations deep. Lori and I have taken on a lot of debt with our newly purchased ranch and cowherd. The Miller ranch is one of the most functional, grass ranches anywhere and we want to keep it that way. We hope to pass it on to our kids someday and keep the ranching spirit alive and well. So, in reality it is a very small price to pay.