BLT Ranch utilizes Brangus and crossbred genetics to kick off a beef program
TAHLEQUAH, OKLA. – Nestled in the Ozarks where the Illinois River sometime overflows its bank, and the timber is plentiful is BLT Ranch.
Brad and Talisha Lewallen met each other while working for Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah.
“I loved Brad and Tahlequah so much that I relocated to the heart of Cherokee Nation,” Talisha said.
The couple bought 40 acres and were married on the property on Sept. 5, 2016.
“Like every ranch we work long hard days,” Talisha said. “There is hardly any down time, but we wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
There is lots of room for the Lewallen children to run and play on the ranch, she said.
“We eat home-grown food as much as possible,” Talisha said. “Chickens are friends on our ranch. We do not have meat birds at this time.”
BLT Cattle Ranch works mostly with Brangus cows and have recently branched out to include registered Angus and registered Scottish Highlands.
“BLT is home to us, our two beautiful children, three rambunctious dogs, 18 crazy chickens and of course two dominate roosters, three frisky ducks, 16 Brangus cows, one bull, and a hateful and sometimes sweet horse, named Patch,” Talisha said.
Talisha wants to add a few pigs and an alpaca or two.
“We’ll see how that goes,” Talisha said.
“We have been running Brangus cows for seven years,” Talisha said. “Next year we plan to have a registered bull that will breed all of our herd. The goal of our operation is to provide our local community with farm raised beef to eat.”
The herd is also comprised of Charolais, Red Angus, black Angus and some crossbreds.
“Our cows are generally very gentle, we do not use cattle prods or working dogs with our cows,” Talisha said.
BLT Ranch chooses a gentler approach, she said.
“We truly care about our cows and animals,” Talisha said.
The ranch breeds in the spring and does implement the AI method with their registered Angus.
“We breed in the spring, so calves hit the ground around March,” Talisha said. “For us this has been more successful than calves hitting the ground in the middle of winter.
“We prefer our calving season to be in the spring. It allows our cows to recover before the dead of winter hits.”
BLT cattle are grass fed during the spring and summer months and are occasionally fed corn to finish one out, and only if it is requested, she said.
“During the winter the grain helps the cows withstand colder temperatures, it also helps the momma produce milk for their babies,” Talisha said. “We feed prairie hay in the fall and winter. We try to only use grain when necessary.”
Calves are vaccinated around 5 to 8 months old with Blackleg preventatives, Viralshield 6, pinkeye preventives. All the herd is dewormed.
Mineral blocks with IGR and protein tubs are also plentiful for the herd,
“Our cows have fresh well water provided by a float trough and the stream-fed pond,” Talisha said.