Years ago a lot of corn was planted on Pigeon Roost Mountain located about 10 miles north of Morrilton, Ark., on Highway 95. In part that’s how the mountain got its name. There was a lot of corn, and a lot of pigeons came there to roost. The corn is not planted anymore and you won’t find many pigeons but you will find Birkner Brother Limousin, home of Carl, Linda, Cody and Eric Birkner. This 80-plus acre farm has been in the family for two generations. Once row cropped, now the Birkners are “raising bulls on the roost."
It all started when Carl and Linda bought each son a Limousin heifer to show locally. "We chose Limi’s,” said Linda, “because of their make up and weaning weights." The herd has grown to 50 at one time and has leveled at 25. “We cut numbers,” said Carl, “to devote more time to the show cattle and be able to show nationally." They have shown at the national Limousin show for the last 10 years, winning in 1998. They have shown in 24 states. This year Eric will show in South Dakota. Cody, now 20, no longer shows but is there for his younger brother. “It takes a family effort to stay competitive,” said Linda.
Cody and Eric are also very active out of the show ring. Both have been in 4 –H, Cody is past-president of the Arkansas Jr. Cattleman’s Association and Eric is President-elect.    
Once using a herd bull, Carl now A.I.’s everything. He prefers synchronized calving and currently uses a Heat Watch system. Working through their computer and each cow wearing a sensor, an alarm sounds and time is recorded when the cow is ridden. It is inseminated within 10 hours. “This has brought our conception rate up to 97 percent,” said Carl.
Birkner Brother Limousin now sells semen, heifers, breeding bulls and embryos. The sale of embryos is their big money-maker now. Small producers can have a really good cow and get a lot of calves from her. “We have gotten up to 14 calves from one cow,” noted Carl. “One of them being the second highest selling bull at the Durant Super Bull Sale. We just get better genetics all around." Eric  has one heifer whose mother has sold over $2 million in progeny.
Hay fed on the farm is purchased from a local producer. They buy good quality Bermuda grass hay and store it in the barn. This frees up land for pasture, keeps machinery ownership costs down and allows time for their busy schedule.    
Eric manages the feed and hand mixes the rations according to the calf. “I mix the feed to what the calf needs,” said Eric. “If the calf needs to grow it gets one ration, if it needs to fatten it gets a different one.”
Bulls are fed different from heifers. Whatever the calf needs for the show ring, Eric has a ration for it. Feed also differs from hot weather to cooler temperatures.
When asked about color, Carl said, “We started out red and went to black because of demand." In 2005,  the Birkner’s started raising Lim-Flex cattle. A Limousin/Black Angus cross. They feel they have the right combination of marble and muscle.
“We have had great times over the years, and learned a lot” said Linda. “Showing cattle has kept our family close. We spend hours in the truck together and have as much fun traveling as we do showing,” smiled Carl.


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