Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa's Blog

A Primer on Breeding Bulls and Heifers, by Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa
June 28, 2011, 1:44 am
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As a breeder of strong cows and bulls for personal and commercial use, Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa spends most of his time on his ranch in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. With experience in raising bulls, pigs, horses, chickens, and other forms of livestock, Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa works with Elite Charolaise from his ranch in Nuevo Leon. Mr. Guerrero Chapa’s bulls are known as the strongest bulls in Mexico and he holds a dedication to treating them properly. Many individuals and families who own livestock remain somewhat unprepared when it comes to raising bulls and heifers for breeding or butchering purposes. In the following, Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa answers frequently asked questions about the proper care of these animals.


Q. When can I expect my heifer to go into heat?


A. Puberty in cattle remains a matter of weight, followed by age. Most heifers reach puberty between a year and 15 months of age, while different breeds and other specifications may make a difference.


Q. What is the proper diet for bulls?


A. All bulls’ diets should be closely monitored in case they have digestive issues. Once a bull reaches puberty at around a year, he usually weighs anywhere from 1,150 to 1,300 pounds. There is a specific ratio of how much protein and grain a bull should receive at a certain weight and age, but a diet of crude protein, hay, corn, and mineral and vitamin protein supplements is most appropriate.


Q. When should I separate my female heifer calves from the male bull calves in the pasture?


A. Many bulls reach puberty before one year of age, while heifers usually do not become sexually mature until after a year. Try to separate bulls and heifers before they go through puberty to reduce the possibility of unwanted calves.


Q. How should I select a breed for raising beef cattle?


A. Beef cattle are selected due to factors such as growth, fertility, beef quality, and quantity. Of course, the most impressive bulls and heifers are kept for the breeder, but individuals should make educated decisions regarding size and other economically important traits before committing to a particular breed for beef cattle.


The Mexican Cattle Industry and Beef trade
June 21, 2011, 9:22 pm
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The Mexican Cattle Industry and Beef trade

By Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa


The Mexican cattle and beef trade stands as one of the nation’s most historically significant economic drivers. The tradition of cattle ranching in Mexico traces its roots back to colonial days, when land grants by Spanish monarchs provided vast stretches of grazing land for cattle breeds transported to the New World. After the Mexican Revolution, the cattleman contributed to substantial economic benefits as well as such cultural icons as the vaquero. The proximity of Mexico to the United States, especially for important ranching centers such as Nuevo Leon in Mexico and Texas and New Mexico to the north of the border, serves as a means of intertwining the cattle and beef trade of both countries.


For the most part, Mexico’s beef cattle industry thrives in the northern part of Mexico. With breeds first brought to Mexico from Europe, including Hereford and Angus cattle, cattlemen continue to identify breeds that will thrive in Mexico’s semiarid climate. Newer breeds that have gained a foothold in Mexico include Charolais and Brangus. Today, Mexico strives to promote its feedlot industry, using mostly young heifers born on ranches throughout the nation. This fledgling industry delivers beef and cuts of meat similar to those that are popular in the nearby United States in order to meet local demand for this type of product. Young steers, however, are generally exported to the United States.


In southern and central Mexico, where the inland climate is more temperate and the coastal areas may be tropical or semitropical, ranchers produce grass-fed beef that comprise most of the nation’s domestic beef market. While some of these ranching operations are large, a number of subsistence farmers also sell grass-fed beef to market or raise cattle for both dairy and meat purposes.


About the Author: Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa owns a ranch in Nuevo Leon, where he raises Elite Charolaise cattle in addition to horses, chickens, and pigs.

Ranches of Mexico Spurred Traditions that Live on in Cattle Industry

By Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, Rancher

While many people associate traditional Mexican industry with such items as pottery and silver, the rancher in fact takes the credit for most of the growth of the nation. The fertile land and abundance of water, as well as its temperate climate, made Mexico the first great ranching state of the New World. Soldiers and missionaries brought horses to Mexico in the 1500s, which allowed Mexican ranchers to travel and carry supplies needed to settle the vast stretches of land more easily. Cattlemen, who enjoyed a long history of success in Spain, shipped their hardiest and most prized breeds of cattle to Mexico, where the cattle grazed on thousands of acres of land. When grass or water was exhausted in one area, the ranchers simply moved their herds to greener pastures, as early Mexico had no fences and cattle were allowed to roam freely across unclaimed land and land grants.

During Spanish colonial days, missions and forts served as the mainstay of Mexican society. Forts housed soldiers that were crucial not only to defending settlers from attack but to also in protecting the interests of Spain against other colonial powers that might try to take the valuable land. In addition, soldiers accompanied Spanish travelers such as missionaries, cartographers, and the conquistadors who sought gold and other treasures fabled to exist in Mexico.

As time passed, however, cattlemen moved in droves into Mexico. Attracted by the prospect of large land grants, they established ranches of sizes that could not have been imagined in Spain. In addition, many ranchers became empresarios, land managers responsible for bringing new settlers to the region and thereby fortifying the Spanish grip on the country. These settlers received large tracts of land that allowed them to take up ranching. These homesteads and ranches, however, proved vulnerable to raids by native populations, and many people opted to live in towns near military outposts for protection. Because their cattle needed to be tended, the Mexican tradition of the vaquero, which ultimately inspired the American cowboy and the South American charros, became prevalent during this time. These skilled cattlemen and riders managed the daily care of the animals and moved them adeptly to new grazing lands and later to market.

About the Author: Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa is a rancher in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon. Skilled in breeding cattle with select genetic lines, Sr. Guerrero is one of the few cattlemen in Mexico to breed the Elite Charolais type of cattle.

May 28, 2011, 1:58 pm
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