Collinge Cattle Company of Hamilton recently was chosen to receive the 2019 National Stocker Award, sponsored by BEEF Magazine and Zoetis. Now in its 13th year, the award highlights the importance of the stocker industry, recognizes leading stocker operators and gives producers an opportunity to learn from their peers.
Collinge Cattle Company is owned and operated by the Mike Collinge family. They procure calves for themselves, mostly heifers, from November to March through the order buyers they have used for 30 years. The larger calves are backgrounded for 60 days, then sent to a feedyard. The smaller calves are sent to grass once they weigh 450 lbs. to 650 lbs. They will gain about 2 to 2.3 lbs. per day and will be removed weighing from 725 lbs. to 775 lbs. When starting calves, the Collinge family focuses on three main areas - providing high-quality feed, good animal husbandry and following proper animal health protocol.
In addition, low-stress cattle handling is always top-of-mind on the ranch, with all facilities designed for cattle comfort and ease of use. The Collinge family has implemented Bud Boxes and release gates into their pen set-up and have designed a top-notch hospital pen that has easy access, insulation and baffles to help keep air moving when it’s hot and prevent drafts when it’s cold.
In addition to their stocker operation, the Collinge family custom-grazes cattle on pastures they own and lease. The Collinge crew will gather and ship cattle six days each week from the first of July to early August.