– Easter for Elm Hollow’s Melvyn –
– Elm Hollow Embraces AI –
– Overstocked on Bulls –
– Meet the Additions –
– Another Scammer: How Disgusting!!!! –

Thank you to Courtney from Wild Magnolia Farm in Morristown, TN for sharing this photo of Elm Hollow’s Melvyn.  Melvyn was quite a hit as a photography prop during the Easter photo shoot on their farm.

Elm Hollow Embraces AI

Never say never!  I can remember saying, “I’ll never use artificial insemination on my cows.”  That was before some friends introduced us to a camera probe that causes very little stress on my girls.  (And is more accurate than the conventional AI methods used in the USA.)

Timing is everything.  Well, maybe not everything, but it is the most important aspect of successful AI.  We have learned so much in the last couple of months from our generous and knowledgeable mentors.  Thank you to Rocky and Belinda Jenkins who have raised Wagyu beef for many years with NO BULL!  Here at Elm Hollow, we plan to keep a bull to correct the mistakes we make in our timing calculations as we try to bring in genetics from the past and produce the best cattle we possibly can.  Even so, we only have room for one bull.  Sadly, that will mean parting with two of our beautiful gentle boys.  (more about that later)  But now, here are just a few of the bulls who will be visiting our girls this spring. 

We are looking forward to quite a variety of calves next year!   Here are some of the bulls we used this year.

Somehow, we never were enthused about trying AI after learning the method used most often in the US.  Then we met Belinda and Rocky Jenkins.   They have opened a whole new world to us.

Rocky and Belinda raise Wagyu beef and for years have done so with no bull!  We were invited out to see the procedure they use which is quite reliable.  It has an average success rate of 85-90%.   That is better than most bulls! 

It was a lot to take in, but Rocky and Belinda were very patient with us and even made two trips to our farm to be sure we were comfortable with the equipment.  First to assist with syncing our cows using CIDRs, and again to walk us through the actual breeding process for a second time.  Not only that, but they loaned us their equipment until we could get our own ordered and delivered.

The process: No more sticking your arm into a cow and feeling around in the dark until you think you may be in the right place with the deposit of that valuable semen.  The cows appreciate it as much as we do, I’m sure.  Here is the instrument that allows us to see clearly right where we are going:

Preparing the Straw is One Key to Success

  1. Heat the water to body temperature to thaw the frozen straws.

2. When water is ready, select the bull you think will be the best compliment for your cow and remove a straw of his semen from your liquid nitrogen storage tank (semen is stored at − 320 °F).

3. It takes 45 seconds to thaw the straw that must then be dried thoroughly before being placed in the metal AI gun.

4. Insert thawed straw into the metal gun and carefully cut off the end so the semen can be pushed out.

5. Cover with the clear plastic sheath that will carry it through the probe.  Keep the semen warm until you’re ready to insert it.

Here is how that is done!

And now for the real action!

  1. Slowly and gently maneuver the probe with the camera until you find the opening to the cervix.

2. Carefully insert the prepared straw through the probe until you see the tip come out.  Place the tip of the straw inside the cervix and use the plunger to insert the semen!  The tip of the straw is circled in blue.

Now why haven’t cattle ranchers in the US been doing it this way?

Meet a Few of the New Additions

There have been four new additions to our calf crop since the last news letter. 

I only have pictures of two of them for now, but they are soooo cute!

Manannán mac Lir, (Celtic: “Manannán, Son of the Sea”), Irish sea god from whom the name of the Isle of Man allegedly derived. Manannán traditionally ruled an island paradise, protected sailors, and provided abundant crops. Manannan mac Lir had a beautiful daughter named Niamh (pronounced “Neev”). Her name means “bright”. On my pasture stroll today, I found our little Niamh who waited until St. Patricks Day to enter the world!

This little bull, Elm Hollow’s Niall, has puzzled us with his red coat and black nose.  We’ll have to wait to see what color he will be.  Niall is the Gaelic word for champion.

If you want to see all the calves in person, be sure to watch the weather and send me an email to [email protected] to arrange a tour time. 

Here’s the link for more tour information. Please DO NOT send a deposit before arranging your time with Nancy. If a change has to be made (even at the last minute) because of bad weather, we will be happy to accommodate.

This year, as usual, we will wean calves at 6 months old.  We then spend 4-6 weeks socializing, halter training, and vetting the calves so they are health, happy, and ready for their new homes.  Our first calves will begin to be available in mid July and then through the summer as their sale prep is completed.  As a calf is ready, I will announce its sale date in an individual newsletter about that calf.

Overstocked on Bulls

Elm Hollow’s Levi # 63826                                                                           

This fantastic little bull, sired by Windkist Acres Clyde was born on 4/17/2022 and will be celebrating his second birthday this month!  Levi was reserve champion of his division at the Southeast Highland Cattle show in 2022 at just 6 months old!  With his dun coloring, he can produce calves of every color.  Levi has been with some of our girls since January, and he has done an outstanding job.  Levi likes to talk, loves to be groomed and will make a great young herd sire. https://elmhollowfarm.com/highlands-for-sale/

Here is a photo of Levi’s Sire, Windkist Acres Clyde # 56481 and of his dam, CGH Angel’s Grace #  51328.   

Another Scammer: How Disgusting!!!!

It is sad that I have to keep posting about scammers, but they are still at it.  I received a phone call about a pair of mini cows that an unfortunate buyer had purchased from this site.  She had made a substantial down payment and never heard from the seller again. 

This is the photo of Cinnamon and Herb on the scammer site along with their registration #s, 60651 and U13365.  A quick search of the American Highland Cattle Association website shows that Cinnamon is a four year-old red cow belonging to Noland Cattle Company in Colorado and Herb is a four-year-old red steer from Elm Hollow Farm.

This is the actual photo of Herb and Cinnamon from our site where the write up was stolen from.  After reporting it to the FBI, who did nothing to shut him down, he changed Cinnamon’s registration number.

This particular buyer was able to contact me through Herb’s registration number after visiting the AHCA website: https://abri.une.edu.au/online/cgi-bin/i4.dll?1=232B2F&2=2431&3=56&5=2B3C2B3C3A and typing in the registration number.

Be aware and be careful.

Another Scammer:  How disgusting!!!!

This is a scam site: https://miniaturehighlandcattlefarm.com/product/mini-highland-cow/

Do not purchase a calf from this site.  The names of the calves/cows were all stolen from the Elm Hollow Farm website along with the registration numbers of our cows.  This scum bag does not own nor has he ever owned any of these cows or calves.  He did at least steal the photos from other sites so I didn’t find out right away, but always check out these “miniature” Highland sites. Ask for registration numbers and look them up in the AHCA Herdbook! Ask to come to the farm and see the calf, even if you don’t live nearby. If you are told no, it is a scam.

To access the AHCA herdbook, click “Herdbook Search” in the left navigation bar of the AHCA web site: https://www.highlandcattleusa.org/

Or use this direct link to the herd book: https://abri.une.edu.au/online/cgi-bin/i4.dll?1=232B2F&2=2431&3=56&5=2B3C2B3C3A 

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