The numbers and breeds of cattle have fluctuated as Miller Land and Livestock grew and split apart but the ranch has always stuck with the cows. A story is told of the ranch's founder, James Mickelson; when a neighboring rancher said he was thinking of investing in some stocks, Mickelson the Dane said, I tank I rather tick with de cows.

From Texas range cattle and Shorthorns to English Herefords, then to the Black Ballies, the ranch has devoted its attention to raising efficient and strong, enduring cattle. In 2015 and 16 we sold all of our Angus Bulls and are dropping Angus from our program, mainly because of all the respiratory problems we were getting, especially pneumonia and brisket in the yearlings. We added Hereford bulls onto our black cows and it helped immensely. We now are breeding mostly Irish Black bulls and still a few Herefords. We are now raising our own bulls out of our old tried and true cows. Our herd will remain predominantly black with maintaining the old-time hardiness.

The Miller Ranch has a commercial herd, typically made up of 1225 lb. cows that raise 525 lb. calves. Presently the ranch runs around 2000 cows and calves and 1800 yearlings. The heifers and cows start calving around the first of April. The calves are branded in May. The cows are summered in the high country where the grass has a lot of bottom to it. In the winter, they rustle around the ranch and are fed the ranch's wild hay.

After weaning, some of the calves are shipped to our place in Texas to winter, but most of the calves are kept on the ranch in Wyoming through the winter on its hay and fed supplement. In the spring, they are driven to the desert and then to the good high summer pasture. When they are shipped, the steers weigh around 875 lbs. and the heifers around 800 lbs.

Coming from Big Piney's rugged summer range, high altitude and cold weather, our yearlings are highly sought after for their quick gain and the fine way they finish. They are mostly sold through private treaty.

Beef is a very nutritious protein food. Taking care of cows is a big responsibility and a lot of worthwhile work as it has kept the ranch prosperous since the 1800s.

Additional Cattle Photos
click image to enlarge