Cattle have been an integral aspect of the Cargile ranches for over a century now and we are determined to stay at the leading edge of this industry. We are continually working to find a balance between the variety of range conditions present in West Texas and the changing market preferences of beef consumers. As a result, the cattle on the ranches have changed with time from Longhorn, Brangus, Beefmaster, Santa Gertrudis, to Angus and Hereford. We now operate a fall-calving cowherd consisting of a Red Angus foundation and Hereford influence. The degree of Hereford influence varies from group to group and in some of the rougher country Santa Gertrudis influence can still be seen. We use a balance of Red Angus and Hereford bulls to prevent the cowherd from gaining too much Hereford influence while still raising growthy calves with hybrid vigor.
While West Texas can be a dynamic landscape, we do not let the ever-changing conditions of the country dictate to us the quality of the beef we raise for the consumer. Our ranches are stocked from 40 acres per animal unit to around 100 acres per animal unit dependent on current grass production. While we do feed our cows during the winter, we firmly believe that the cheapest solution is always a proper stocking rate. Our cows are expected to perform in sometimes-difficult conditions and as such our selection criteria can be strict. We prioritize fertility and femininity in our replacement heifers, while also selecting for the frame and structure for long productive lifespans.
At Cargile ranches through years of careful selection and culling we have developed a cowherd well adapted to the environment. We pair these cows with bulls matched to the cattle market and consumer demand. These bulls are selected to raise growthy, adaptable and highly marketable calves. Muscling, confirmation and capacity are all amongst the critical criteria for our bulls. While we have on occasion raised our own bulls, we recognize the value and necessity of introducing high quality genetics and purchase the majority of needed bulls. We do not use a single breeder or one breed to fill this requirement.
Our cowherd is carefully managed to raise calves that meet or exceed the industry standard for marbling, tenderness, carcass weights, and feed efficiency. Our calves can also fit a variety of niches in the industry from replacement quality females to cattle feeding grids and direct marketing beef brokers. We have sent cattle to some grass finishing operations with positive feedback. We welcome this interest to help add value for us as well as our customers who may be looking for a way to market their calves.
We are an all-natural producer of top-quality beef raised in the shortgrass country of West Texas. Our conditions may be dry and tough, but our beef is juicy and tender.