PERFORMANCE BASED ON DATA
One of the most important decisions we make in our business is what genetics we will introduce into our breeding herd.
Whilst we love a pretty whiteface and clean polled head most of our breeding decisions come down to data and the use of performance recorded bulls. On the top of our selection list is carcase and growth traits whilst being mindful not to overlook maternal traits because we are breeding for replacement heifers as well as carcase cattle. We do love a good-looking animal though and will always favour a bull with good fine tropical skin, full pigment around the eyes, a strong hooded eye and a clean polled head. Not forgetting that they first have to pass our structural, temperament and docility evaluation before we look at their data or their pretty white face.
Horn Poll gene
We made a decision back in 2014 to breed for polled progeny because it made sense to improve our time efficiency and our cost efficiency at branding by reducing outgoings on analgesic and antiseptic treatment required for dehorning not to mention the reduction in stress for the animal itself. Today over 90% of our 1200 head breeding herd is polled and by 2024 this figure will be closer to 99%.
To achieve our polled goal we invested in Poll Hereford sires with above-average growth and carcase traits and this strategy has produced a line of polled females without compromising carcase and growth traits within the herd. We Poll/Horn test all progeny from the Stud herd and this has allowed us to identify Homozygous (PP) and Heterozygous (HP) animals. We can now reintroduce horned genes to our PP female herd to produce HP progeny. Have a look at the diagram below to see how it all works.
All of our stud progeny have the following measurements recorded with the Australian Tropical Composite BREEDBPLAN
600-day weight if not already sold
Mature cow weight on retained dams
Rib, rump and IMF fat scan (sale bulls and elite heifers)