The Angus breed complements its calving ease with vigorous growth from birth to harvest. Their ability to produce a high-quality carcass, with increased marbling, puts Angus beef as the top choice for consumers.
– Angus Association
The Cheek Ranch started running purebred Black Angus during the WWII era. Angus cattle have long been recognized for their top tier genetics, proving themselves ideal for both producers and consumers alike. Both of the Cheek family patriarchs, James and his son, John, took great pride in growing our Angus cow herd from just a few at the beginning to almost 300 head throughout John’s prime in the late 90s and early 2000s. The family is truly amazed at the things that our progenitors accomplished by the end of their lives.
While Angus cattle have continued to remain the most popular breed of beef cattle, over the last 20 plus years significant work by cattlemen across our nation has gone into improving other beef breed varieties in order to compete with Black Angus. Starting in 2013, after John’s passing and with the hiring of Shawn Van Oster as our current ranch manager, we felt more could be done to further improve our cattle’s genetics. A major effort began to cross the rich lineage of our Black Angus cows with Horned Herefords bulls, producing both Black-White Face and Red-White Face calves called Baldies..
Both Herefords and Angus are English breeds known for their docile dispositions, maternal instincts, longevity, and high quality beef carcasses. The pairing of these breeds, through heterosis, yields a superior, top performing F1 (first generation) cross. Our growing Baldy herds are bred back to purebred Black Angus bulls to retain prominent Angus genetics in our calf crops. We have put considerable time, effort, and resources into developing some of Oklahoma’s very best commercial beef cattle and it shows.
As our calves reach 6 months of age it becomes time to seperate them from their mothers. Before weaning, two complete rounds of vaccinations are administered to each calf and the bull-calves receive bands to become steers. For the next 3 to 4 months they will continue on the same quality grass forage and mineral program that our cows receive. In addition, our weaned calves are also given a supplemental, grain-based feeder ration which promotes digestion of the forages they consume. Our goal is a moderate 2 pounds of gain per day in order for the heifers to reach an ideal, mature weight before they are expected to breed. The steers likewise will reach an ideal weight as their time for slaughter draws near.
These photos, taken in early November, are of our 2 year old, first calf, fall heifers. They were taken completely off grain a full 14 months prior to these photos, when the rest of their feeder calf cohorts were sold. Since then all have maintained excellent body condition throughout their pregnancies and while nursing during fall and winter. They will be expected to breed back each winter without any significant difficulties.