Turner Bison Exchange

Spikebox Ranch

Ranch Description: Spikebox Ranch

Location - Mullen, Nebraska

Year Acquired - 1995

Size - 65,000                        

Cows Exposed - 1,385

Cow to Bull Ratio - 11:1

Maximum Bull Age - 15 years

Management Overview

The Spikebox Ranch is 65,000 acres of mixed grass, Sandhills prairie in north central Nebraska.  Our first ranch purchased in the Sandhills, we successfully applied conservation-based management to improving and preserving the health of the prairie grasslands.  This approach has equated to raising well-nourished, strong bison while operating in a sustainable, ecological and economical manner.

Breeding Herd

The breeding herd is kept in one herd and grazed year-round in a rotational manner with minimal supplementation.  Each fall, the cows are pre-checked, vaccinated and dewormed.

Calves / Yearlings

Calves are weaned in the fall during bison works and separated into herds of heavy and light weights.  They are fed hay and cake thru winter until green up in the spring.  Once on summer pastures the only supplement they receive is salt.  Much time is spent with our yearlings on foot, ATVs, tractors and pick-ups.  Our yearlings are easy to handle and move. 

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

Health

In 2009, an outbreak of Mycoplasma occurred in the older breeding herd.  The affected animals were removed.  All animals are now vaccinated against this disease, and no outbreak has since occurred.