‘Stud dames’ spread U.S. cow genetics far and wide

May 21, 2015
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You’ve probably heard of a stud bull before.. the favored male who mates with the herd. But a stud dame? They exist and the demand for their offspring is growing. Just how would you maximize the number of calves a supercow can produce? Some ranchers are using a process called embryo transfer, or E.T. that’s where the super cow is given hormones so she produces multiple eggs, then she’s bred, and the fertilized eggs are harvested. The embryos are implanted in less valuable cows who carry them to birth.

Panda, standing six feet tall and weighing almost a ton, is everything a show cow should be: broad-backed and round-rumped, with sturdy legs holding up her heft. Her hide - thick and black, with splotches of creamy white - fits her name. "She's a big time cow," says Dan Byers, owner of Byers Premium Cattle, Inc.

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