Our aim is to improve the profitability of our customers and their beef business. We believe that through the use of the best technologies available we can assist in moving our customers bottom lines upwards. If beef farmers do not have increasing economic returns we will drive further land use conversions to dairying or more other profitable uses.
Fertility is paramount
We therefore place huge emphasis on fertility as this is the most economically important trait. We are looking for animals with good calving ease, who will produce a calf every year unassisted but that the calf will bend the curve and grow rapidly. At the same time we are not wanting to increase cow size as this results in more feed being required to maintain the cow.
Ensuring top eating quality
In addition, because the discerning beef consumer is our ultimate goal, we are looking to build in good carcase attributes.
Marbling is recognized as the key indicator of beef eating well, providing juicy, tender and flavour some meat consistently. Marbling does not cost anything to include in the breeding mix so why not add it into your criteria?
The AngusPure index is a real help to farmers who wish to work with an economic model of relevant traits in a typical self replacing herd selling surplus steers and heifers for prime beef and hopefully the AngusPure programme.
To be able to use the very best genetics we have for many years used AI and ET programmes to enhance our gains. All females are AI using a fixed time synchronised AI programme for a minimum of two cycles and the earlier calving MA Cows get three cycles of AI. We have always since the Studs inception in 1991 calved 2 year old heifers and these animals are AI’d for two cycles and then mated to a follow up yearling bull for the third cycle.
The graph on the right illustrates our genetic trend for AngusPure index compared to the breed.
DNA is a key tool
We use other new technologies as well to enhance our selections. DNA is a tool that has an increasing place to help select the very best replacement sires early. In addition we started two years ago DNA sire verification of our whole annual calf drop. This way we can guarantee our buyers that the bull you purchase is by the sire we have nominated.
Technology lends a helping hand
Total Genetics Resource Management is a computer software tools we also use to assist our mating planning. This programme monitors and allows easy control over inbreeding but also helps design matings to maximise genetic gain. Each mating predicted is then checked by us to make sure that in real life it has a chance of succeeding.
As you would expect, good structure is a requirement for an animal to survive on hill country. Careful attention is placed on structure in our breeding programme and all bulls offered for sale are independently accessed by a qualified Beef Class Assessor.
Easy doing cattle a must
Great emphasis is also place on temperament and this is also forms part of the Beef Class assessment. Quite cattle make handling much easier on everyone and also result in lower PH measurements at the time of kill.
Calves are yard weaned and introduced to a high fibre straw/silage mix to make sure the rumen is fully developed to maximise efficiency of feed conversion.