Home of Warrior Genetics  
  We are appreciative of your interest in viewing the Spitzer Ranch program. We feel blessed to have been consistently producing commercially oriented Brangus bulls to fill the needs of the profit minded beef producer since 1982.  We believe successful seedstock operations of the future will provide proven bulls of bred alike data driven genetic packages to allow customers to find a single bull or several bulls to fit your needs. Our program is built around producing 1/2, 3/4, 7/8 and even full brother sire lines to increase the genetic consistency from the sire side. We specifically created our exclusive Curve Bender Index (CBI) to help with your evaluation of our performance driven, curve bender genetics.

The entire Spitzer Ranch program has always been structured around the disciplined breeding strategy of using only proven, high accuracy AI sires with only their best sons used following AI. For over a quarter century we have produced practical cattle, ignoring fads, fancies and the “popular bull” of the day. Instead, we have had a steadfast adherence to the commercial cattleman's demands for profit driven cattle. We totally embrace a philosophy grounded in the twin thoughts of objective selection of cattle for economically relevant traits that enhance profitability; and a total orientation to the needs of the commercial beef industry. Increasingly often we are generating bulls that also grab the attention of other Registered Brangus Breeders.

We are data driven!  We believe in EPDs!  We breed cattle with EPDs, but we also select cattle that are structurally sound and perform under our conditions. Once we decide on who will be parents based on EPDs, the offspring have to exhibit the functional convenience traits that EPDs do not measure or they are culled. We love our cows, but don’t play favorites with those that cannot live up to expectations.  Our hard working cows continue to keep us in business and their sons sire those thick, heavy calves which often top the market when sold or yield additional profits with retained ownership in the feedlot.  And the Spitzer Ranch sired Brangus crossbred females are durable, fault free, long lived profitable calf factories that have the heterosis to function in a host of situations.

We always provide you with complete unbiased data!  All of it!  Some have asked why, if we believe so strongly in EPDs, do we still include all the weights and measures we collect at birth, weaning and yearling ages, and with ultrasound? Because one can calculate EPDs solely on pedigree and, unfortunately, many programs do just that. If we provide you with all the data you can also be sure we provided all those data to the International Brangus Breeders Association and all data have been used to calculate the EPDs provided to you.  Additionally, we remain one of the very few brave enough to provide a Dam Production Summary on each and every animal offered for sale.

We thank you for your attention and we ask you to give us a look. We are small breeders as far as cow numbers, but we are large breeders in our philosophy, goals, direction and attention to detail.  Our passion has always been to provide the proven reliable genetics to put pounds on the ground and dollars in your pocket.


Sincerely,
Doc and Patricia
 
 
 
 
Purpose: To supply genetics and services to enable cow-calf producers to be successful!
 
 
Mission: To support commercial cattle producers by consistently providing genetics, resources and services to improve profitability; and to accomplish this with honesty, integrity and professionalism while enjoying God's many blessings.
 
 
 

Home of WARRIOR GENETICS:

Several have asked, “Why do all of your bulls carry “Warrior” as part of their name?”  Actually there are two reasons, one of admiration and respect and one of philosophy.  The first real research paper on “Performance Testing” was published by Koger and Knox in 1945 which gave us age of dam, age of calf and sex of calf differences in calf weaning weight; and the USDA Experiment Station, Miles City, MT reported the first heritability estimates for growth rate and feed efficiency in 1946.  However, it was not until the sixties when performance testing was finally gaining ground.  Still not a popular thought, there were several pioneering cattlemen that were in the forefront of that scientific, very progressive and, at the time controversial, movement.  One of those was prominent Red Angus Breeder George Chiga.  If you really want to understand how immigrants came to America and worked to achieve the American Dream, there is a chapter on Mr. Chiga in the book Courageous Cattlemen by Dr. Robert C. de Baca and you can also read his obituary in the American Red Angus Magazine, February 2008.  George Chiga gave a series of lectures at the Denver Stock Show in the late sixties and we were enthralled by his insight and powerful message concerning genetics and cattle breeding.  Mr. Chiga used American Indian names for his cattle and we use Warrior and other Indian names as a tribute to one of the true pioneers of performance testing.

“Warrior” – Definitions.  One who is experienced in battle: one who is aggressively engaged in an activity, cause or conflict. A soldier.  One who is ready and able to do what has to be done.  “A warrior seeks to act rather than talk.”  If you study the Warrior Societies of the Indian Tribes, the term means so much more.  The Warriors were the protectors for the tribe and made all decisions for the tribe.  They were the providers for the tribe and they were the teachers of the next generation.  Warriors were also independent and while they generally chose to follow a Chief, that allegiance was voluntary and each and every warrior was expected to carry his weight and act alone when necessary.  Much of the warrior mentality did focus on battle, whether against a foe or the harsh realities of nature.  Our observation has always been that as a cattleman, your primary battle is to increase profitability.  We are of the opinion that our Warrior Genetics are designed to be a soldier in your battle for prosperity.  So, “Warrior” used in respect for a man and a movement, and as a philosophical statement about how our breeding program is focused on increasing your profits.  When you see WARRIOR in a Brangus pedigree those genetics were designed by Spitzer Ranch.
 
 

The exclusive Spitzer Ranch CURVE BENDER INDEX:

Why the curve bender index (CBI)?  The entire beef industry basically focuses on live calves and rapid growth to either weaning or yearling ages, depending on when calves are sold (number of live calves x weight = pounds to sell), as the main drivers of increased profit. The CBI, therefore, focuses on the antagonistic goals of lowering birth weights and increasing growth - at the same time.  If you have studied your lessons as hard as we believe you have, you know that in general the fastest growing, biggest calves always seem to  have heavier birth weights; with all the potential problems of calving difficulty and even calf death. BUT, there have always been those bulls that sire calves that are born with lower birth weights and yet defy genetic antagonisms. Some low birth weight calves gain very rapidly and have heavier weaning and yearling weights.  In the beef industry these bulls have historically been known as Curve Benders and we focus our genetic selection programs on producing lots of them.

How is the Spitzer Ranch CBI calculated?  In calculating this index, we first categorize bulls into only three categories based on their Top Percent Rank for Lower Birth Weight EPD.  This categorical ranking is arrived at as follows: Bulls with an IBBA published Percent Rank from 1% to 25% for lower birth weight EPD are categorized as Top 1%; Bulls with an IBBA published Percent Rank from 26% to 50% for lower birth weight EPD are categorized as Top 25%; and Bulls with an IBBA published Percent Rank over 50% for lower birth weight EPD are categorized as Top 50%. This is very logical as scientific data and our own in-herd experiences, as well as those of our customers, tell us that while there may be some value for a bull being in the Lowest Top 25% for birth weight EPD, Brangus Bulls ranking in the Lowest Top 50% for birth weight EPD are certainly suitable for use on heifers.  And, the breed produces very few, if any, Brangus Bulls that will cause calving problems when bred to mature cows.  Our calculation then adds this categorized Top Percent Rank for LOWER BW EPD to the actual Top Percent Rank for HEAVIER YW EPD and multiplies that by 100 to convert the percent back to a whole number. That number is then subtracted from 150 to arrive at the CBI.

(Example: A bull with an IBBA published Percent Rank for lower birth weight EPD of 10% would be categorized by Spitzer Ranch as being in the Top 1% for LOWER BW EPD. Then let’s say our example bull is in the Top 15% for HEAVIER YW EPD.  Our example bull then would have a CURVE BENDER INDEX of 134 (1% + 15% =16% and 16% X 100 = 16 and 150 – 16 = 134).

Recognize bulls with a HIGHER CURVE BENDER INDEX are near the Top Percent Rank for both the traits of LOWER BW EPD and yet HEAVIER YW EPD. Furthermore to be a low BW EPD bull and at the same time be a high YW EPD bull means that the average daily gain (ADG) from birth to weaning or yearling age must also be much greater. Also recognize that the maximum numerical value is actually a CBI of 148. We publish a CBI on each bull as well as whether his CBI falls in the First Quartile (111-148), Second Quartile (74-110), Third Quartile (37-73) or Fourth Quartile (0-36). Please keep in mind that a high CBI value does not necessarily mean that Individual bull always excels in having either the absolute Lowest BW EPD or the absolute Highest YW EPD.  What a high CBI does mean is that bull will excel in his ability to meet the broader breeding objective of lowering birth weights and increasing growth - at the same time. Bulls in all Spitzer Ranch sales are cataloged by sale order based on CBI and sell in that order beginning with the highest
CBI.
 
 

Bull selection suggestions using the Curve Bender Index:

Recognize right from the start that while the CBI does an excellent job, CBI only accounts for the two traits of smaller birth weights and increased growth.  Further recognize that there is probably very little difference among bulls ranking in the same Quartile for CBI.  In other words, a bull with a CBI of 115 and another bull with a CBI of 140 would both be in the First Quartile for CBI.  While we might like a higher numeric value for CBI, there are other considerations maybe more important.

If you sell all of your calves at weaning, or even if you background and then sell all calves as yearlings you could rely on the CBI entirely as your bull selection criteria.  However, it is never quite that simple for most of us!  The CBI is a great place to begin, but it is absolutely essential to select bulls that will complement your cows, add genetics that may be lacking in your particular cow herd and sire calves that meet your production goals.  Before selecting which bulls to give a closer look, you need to identify what you need the bull to do (a job description so to speak).  While we cannot possibly cover every situation, as all production scenarios have different production goals and may require different bulls, we will discuss a few generalities.

•If you need a bull to breed to heifers, we suggest you select exclusively from among those bulls marked in our sales catalogs with the “Calving Ease Flag”. Those bulls have been identified as those with the least risk for calving problems when bred to heifers for their first calving.

•If you are retaining ownership on your calves through the feedlot and the packing plant, you need to use the CBI and additionally look at EPDs and Ultrasound Scans for rib eye area (REA) and intramuscular fat or marbling (%IMF) as well as the growth traits.

•If you want to raise those fantastic Brangus crossbred heifers as replacements, there is a host of other considerations.  Here you would need to look at EPDs for milk (MK) and maternal ability (TM).  Also consider the EPD and actual measurements for scrotal circumference (SC) as it strongly influences the fertility of daughters of a particular bull.  You might additionally study the dam production summary we provide for every bull in each of our sales.

•It may or may not be important to evaluate frame scores on a potential bull purchase.  Everyone seems to have a different opinion of the optimum frame score most in demand by the feedlot and packing sectors of our industry.  And that is still further complicated by cow efficiency as it relates to cow size and environmental adaptability, which we as cattlemen actually know very little about.  We at Spitzer Ranch have studied hard and strongly believe your best bet is to try to keep the average frame score of your cows somewhere between a 5.5 and 6.5.  Therefore, if you have a herd with a lot of cows with frame scores of 7+; look for a bull in the frame score 5 range.  Conversely, if you have a lot of frame score 5 minus cows, you may need a bull with a 7+ frame score to get you back to a practical goal of averaging a cow herd frame score somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5.

Finally, use the CBI as it is intended, but recognize bull selection as the complicated process it really is.  The CBI will get you a handle on the two most important traits – first is the calf born alive and vigorous and second will he grow.  Careful evaluation of your cow herd and what may or may not need to be changed (up or down) will lead you as to which other genetic traits need your attention.
 
 

Determination of sale order at Spitzer Ranch Bull Sales:

We usually have several bulls which we believe have the performance data and visual phenotype to go into other Registered Brangus Herds and these bulls will be the first to sell. After those bulls sell, we will sell all other bulls in order by our CURVE BENDER INDEX. You can then look at other attributes you need to change in your herd (increasing or maybe even decreasing, milk, REA, marbling, frame etc.) and select your choice knowing that bulls will sell in order based on a combination of low birth weight and high yearling weight, or rapid growth.

We are well aware you studied your lessons before the sale. You already know that if you compare Spitzer Ranch Brangus Bulls to those of other operations, our Average Bull has a Lower Birth Weight EPD and a Heavier Yearling Weight EPD than most everyone else. Our intense genetic selection program is designed to create curve bender bulls.  These bulls are bred to be that way! You will find the last bull in our sale order to still be useful to either reduce birth weight and/or to increase growth.

We will be pleased to help if you need more explanation, but once you get used to the system it is pretty easy to follow. We hope you will agree that this is a more progressive as well as a tremendously more performance oriented and genetically more powerful approach to establishing a sale order than just looking at bulls and deciding which bulls “look the best” on sale day.  Bulls in all Spitzer Ranch sales are cataloged by sale order based on CBI and sell in that order beginning with the highest CBI.
John and Patricia Spitzer
1511 Hwy 59Fair Play, SC 29643
home office:
864-972-9140email: spitzeranch@mindspring.com
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