Merlin Ranch employs intensive rotational cell-grazing management to allow for adequate range rest of our pastures. This allows for better nutrition for our cattle as well as healthy native range that we are proud of. Cattle are moved, and therefore observed, regularly to assure good health and care. When needed, cattle will be doctored but they are removed from our all-natural program. Animal products are never fed to our cattle. We are a Process Verified Purveyor of: Age and Source, Non Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC), Verified Natural Beef, GAP certified and non-GMO cattle through IMI Global. Over the years, our buyers have been pleased with the quality of our cattle and we are anxious to know how they have performed for our customers. Thorough records are kept on all of our cattle which are used to assist in identifying great herd dams, bulls and calves. These can be obtained upon request by our buyers. Recently, we have integrated Low Stress Livestock Handling (LSLH) into our management. We stress “Quiet Stockmanship” with our cattle and found that it is as good for us as it is for them!
Merlin Ranch is a cow-calf and heifer development operation that is constantly striving to improve our cattle. We run predominately Black Angus but crossbreed to Herefords (F1 cross) to ensure hybrid vigor. They are raised on native range and home grown hay. All of our cows are bred by natural-service to herd bulls and no hormones or artificial insemination are used. We emphasize good disposition, fertility, early maturity, motherliness and gain ability. We use Angus and Hereford registered bulls with desirable EPD’s for ribeye area, fat and marbling. We breed for a short season of calving so we are able to assist with birthing if necessary and ensure that all calves get that necessary good start to life.
We calve later in the spring to match our cattle’s nutritional needs with the range growth pattern in Wyoming. Each calf is checked as soon as possible to ensure health and the ability to nurse its dam. This all-important first dose of colostrum is necessary for a lifetime of health. If the calf needs assistance, it is suckled with colostrum from its own mother or another dam in the herd, only then is it tagged for identification. First time mothers (heifers) are watched very closely and assisted in birth if necessary. Our night-calver works the late shift so we can sleep and the care the cattle receives is not compromised. We utilize the “Sand Hills Calving” method to ensure the calves are born on clean soil and decrease the chance of disease.
Our heifers are weaned at the ranch using a two-stage weaning process to decrease stress and promote health. Weaning rings are inserted, and the calves are kept at their mother’s side, until they are removed. This technique allows the calf to feel the comfort of their dam while weaning and makes the final wean an easier transition. A rigorous vaccination program is employed to aid in protection to disease especially when transitioning to a new environment. We work closely with our team and veterinary staff to ensure we have the best program out there.