Turner Bison Exchange

Ladder Ranch


Ladder Ranch

Location - Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Acquired - 1992

Size - 156,439 acres

Cows Exposed - 600

Cow to Bull Ratio - 10:1

Maximum Bull Age - 5 years

Management Overview

The Ladder Ranch is a 156,439 acre property located in south central New Mexico.  The eastern portion of the ranch lies on the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert ecoregion, an area typified by an arid climate and grass shrub vegetation. The western portion of the ranch is in the Arizona-New Mexico Mountains ecoregion having areas of highlands that include juniper savannas and ponderosa pine/white fir forests.  Our management goals focus on improving and preserving the range and habitat for native species through conservation and restoration.  

Breeding Herd

Due to the size and range diversity of the Ladder, our animals are rotationally grazed, based on the seasonal forage availability.

Supplementation of salt and mineral are offered year-round. Protein cake is fed for a few weeks prior to our bison works in the fall. By doing this, all our animals become familiar to cake and will follow a feed truck.  All ranch hands are trained in low stress handling techniques which are utilized each time animals are moved or handled.                       

During bison works, all animals receive mycoplasma vaccinations and may be de-wormed based on the results of our fall fecal tests. All cows are pregnancy checked and the open cows will be culled.  Our replacement heifers and bulls are selected at 18 months of age based on weight and conformation.

Calves / Yearlings

Our calves are not weaned. All heifer calves are vaccinated with RB51 for brucellosis. Both heifer and bull calves are held in groups for a short time during the bison works and then turned back into the main herd.

All ranch hands are trained in low stress livestock handling techniques which are utilized each time animals are moved or handled.                         


The Ladder Ranch climate and topography can be unforgiving to its inhabitants. The bison on the ranch have adapted to its dry climate, rugged terrain and forage availability and have been strongly selected to be robust, functionally sound and productive.