The Adventure Begins

AUA Part 1

Welcome to our first-ever newsletter!

Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Eric and Deanna, the owners of Split Decision Ranch. We live on a farm in a small town in central Texas where we raise Limousin and Lim-flex cows and 3 kids of very different ages.

To start we decided to do a little Ask Us (Almost) Anything on my FB page. So let’s get started, shall we?

I have kept folks anonymous, mainly because I am too lazy to ask if I can use their real names.

Surprisingly we had way more questions than I wanted to include in this newsletter so definitely subscribe so you can check out our answers in the next one!

An Internet Friend Asked:
Is Raw Milk Better for You?
Honestly. I don’t know. Our cows are mainly for breeding and meat (and Ag Exemption) Our oldest (17) prefers raw milk but I am too lazy to drive to the dairy 15 minutes outside town to buy raw milk. I sense a theme here. It’s honestly just a matter of preference. Also if you literally pour a bottle of essential oils in your milk it’s instantly healthier. So there.*
*Not true. Please don’t do this. I am not a milk professional.

A Local Friend asked:
Why did you choose the breed of cattle you did? What does your feeding program look like?

We originally received some Dexters from my parents ranch in East Texas. We were interested in them because a) they were free b) we needed the Ag Exemption and c) we didn’t know what direction we were going in. After doing some research and coming to terms with the fact that *cute* doesn’t mean “will sell” (still mad that we don’t have Scottish Highland cows) we settled on Limousin and Lim-flex (Limousin and Angus cross). Our reasoning was mainly because 1) We wanted cows we could sell, for both meat and for breeding and 2) We wanted cows that typically have easier calving experiences.
As far as feeding program our cows are 100% grass-fed. At this point we have more land than cattle. We are not opposed to corn-finishing at some point but we do believe in allowing cows to enjoy fresh air and sunshine, as well as their “natural” diet. We do provide supplemental protein and occasional sweet-feed, as well as hay in the winter.

An Internet Friend Asked:
Do All Your Cows Have Names?
Short Answer: Yes
Long Answer: I am not good at numbers so it’s easier for me to remember who we’re talking about if we name them. Our steers are all named after cuts of beef/perpetrations of beef and our heifers we try to keep a vague theme going based on who their mama is. For example Jezebel (named for her tendency to get into other pastures with strange bulls) gave birth to Phryne, who was an ancient Greek courtesan put on trial for “impropriety”.

An Internet Friend Asked:
What were your goals when you first began farming and how have they changed?
Literally our goals were to keep our Ag Exemption. We were just going to “have cows” of any sort of age/gender/breed and just let them do cow things. We were also definitely going to have goats.
Now we are dipping our toes into “working farm” territory where we have a certain breed and buy/sell based on the idea of increasing our herd and selling/keeping for meat/breeding. Hopefully early this year we will take our first steer in for processing so we can have beef both to sell and to eat. Eric wants this to be his retirement career.

An Internet Friend Asked:
What drinks go well with calving season?
You really want a low-alcohol drink for this. The reason for this is 2 fold: 1) If you have to call a vet/get out the calf puller sobriety is your friend. 2) Calves are like human babies, they come exactly when they want to, to hell with your life.

A Local Friend Asked:
Whilst I was driving to work I passed cows on XXXXXX St. on either side. There seemed to be a bit of a stand off going on. Is there frequent cow gang activity in our community?
EG’s internet response is amazing so we’re going to repeat it here: Yes. You really need to watch out for the Milk-13 gang. They're very violent and protect their territory viciously.

That was it for our first edition! Thank you so much for reading, if you enjoyed our content please subscribe to our Substack. Definitely hang out with us in the comments as well! We plan to publish at least monthly to keep everyone updated on our farm happenings and life in general.