Welcome to the World Thor – our new Belgian Blue Bull

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP

Pixie Dust As a Baby on the Far Right.  Her Surrogate Mama on the Left.

Pixie Dust As a Baby on the Far Right. Her Surrogate Mama on the Left.

For the past six years, I have been raising Belgian Blue cattle. I got this idea by reading two magazine articles simultaneously – a Time Magazine article on the obesity crises in America and a Scientific American article on gene doping and this breed of cattle that naturally does not produce any fat, however the beef is especially tender. Being a beef eating capitalist, and also getting on in years and being told by the medical profession that red meat was bad for me, I wanted to come up with a better beef product. So I started on a quest to raise a breed of cattle that would produce beef that was actually “heart healthy.”

I got my first five Belgian Blue hefers (these are young cows that have not had babies) in 2004. They were born to surrogate dairy cows near Houston, Texas. The dairy cows were implanted with fertilized Belgian blue embryos. You see, there is a problem with this breed – the cows have a difficult time giving birth naturally. The babies are a bit large, and the cows tend to have pelvis’ that are too small for natural births. NOT A GOOD THING when you’re trying to raise free range cattle. The trick to be successful with this breed, we soon learned was to raise a variation of them that could give birth naturally. This meant literally being very Darwinian. It meant we lost some cows and their babies in child birth.

Pixie Dust with Baby Thor Shortly After Birth - March 3, 2009

Pixie Dust with Baby Thor Shortly After Birth - March 3, 2009

We had a plan on how to not lose the mother and baby by making sure the first baby created with the cow was with a small bull in another breed. This has worked well – we ended up with some very lovely Belgian Blue/Angus crossbreeds. We also purchased several Belgian Blue bulls that were small in the hopes that they would create smaller babies for the cows’ second pregnancy.

Our experiment worked. This week one of our first cows – named Pixie Dust, gave birth to a 90 pound full blood Belgian Blue bull. Both mother and baby survived and are doing well.

And to top off a great week, a friend sent me the Facetime article in Business Week about Jim Rogers. Mr. Rogers ended the interview with this statement: “So you should find yourself a nice farmer and hook up with him or her, because that’s where the money’s going to be in the next couple of decades.” Well thank you Mr. Rogers for the endorsement of my fantastic business concept that I am pulling off here – woo hoo!!!!!!!!!

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