We hope that you enjoy reading about our Stud and its cattle!
As we approach mid winter, it is time to reflect on the important events for Toogimbie Shorthorns:
Once again, our team of 5 steers in The Land Beef Spectacular Feedback competition performed very well. Our steers were by TLC True Red and Toogimbie Cardiff C6.
They performed well against the other purebred teams and showed great improvement in the Carcase section, where we finished 18th out of 72 teams.
Two of our steers graded Riverine Premium beef, Teys' top brand, and the other 3 graded Riverine Classic Beef.
Our top steer, a son of TLC True Red, out of a Sprys Master Blaster dam, was one of the best carcases in the competition. He scored 92 points in the Carcase section, graded Riverine Prime, had 12 mm of P8 fat and scored 470 on the MSA Marbling Index. He had a weight gain of 2.31 kgs per day.
We are very happy with the feedback provided by the Trial and believe it is an effective way to benchmark our cattle. Once again, it showed that our cattle are very competitive when compared with other pure bred British bred cattle.
In September, we consigned 100 steers and heifers to the Teys feedlot, with all animals meeting the Teys specifications.
Despite some very dry months in the Riverina, our cows recorded very high pregnancy tests results (96%) when tested in April. Our new bulls, Belmore Shogun and Belmore Supercool, recorded excellent positive pregnancy results.
After being lucky enough to win the Manchee Ag Genetic Giveaway in 2013, we selected four fine Yamburgan bulls to AI some of our best cows. We also purchased more semen to AI further heifers. We have been very pleased with the progeny produced and used three of the young yearling A.I. bulls in last year's spring joining.
Once again, we attended the Belmore Invitational Sale. There we purchased the top priced bull, Belmore Northern Legend, K232. A fine roan bull by the Canadian sire, Northern Legend 3N, this bull presents a great combination of genetics, structure and EBVs. He has excellent growth and moderate birth weight figures as well as exceptional EMA and short gestation length.
YOUNG BULLS FOR SALE:
TOOGIMBIE KENDRA K22 : A fine young bull by one of the top young Yamburgan sires, Zeus H140.
TOOGIMBIE LEVI L12: A lovely roan bull by one of the breed's top heifer bulls, Toogimbie Freddie. Freddie has one of the breed's best set of EBVs for the combination of Birth Weight, Calving Ease (Direct) and Calving Ease (Daughters).
Often I have heard experienced cattle people say that temperament is not important, that their experience allows them to handle any cattle.
To my sorrow, I learned that this is definitely not the case.
I was brought up with cattle and believe that I am quite experienced in handling cattle in the yards.
Some time ago, we purchased a draft of 50 Shorthorn cows and 20 weanling heifers. The cattle were well advertised by a reputable Shorthorn breeder and we paid a high price for them.
When they arrived at home, we realized that we had a large group of the wildest cattle we had ever owned. They milled around our yards in a frenzied state and many of them threw themselves down in the crush when we tried to vaccinate them. The weanling heifers were just as bad even though we left them in the yards for several weeks, handling and hand feeding themselves daily.
The situation came to a head when we yarded the young heifers to give them their booster vaccination. One of them kicked me over the bottom gate of the crush, leaving me with a badly broken arm. It would be six months before I could safely work in the cattle yards again.
We decided to rid ourselves of all the cows, the calves they had had and the heifers. Not one drop of their blood remains in our herd.
Several points need to be made about this sad episode.
Be careful when buying cattle. They are big, strong animals and very capable of hurting you. Try to find out what handling the cattle have had. Get into the yards with the cattle and if you don't feel safe to do so, perhaps don't buy the cattle. Every mob has some animals more docile than others. This was the case with these animals but very few were docile.
Handle your own cattle well as calves. If you wean your calves properly and train them to go through gates and to move quietly where you want them to go, you will be saving yourself trouble later on.
Temperament score your calves when they are being weaned. Think carefully about getting rid of all the high scorers, no matter how good they are. Look at how these calves are bred and if they are by a certain bull, get rid of the bull.
You need to spend time handling your cattle. Every cow should be preg tested and vaccinated each year. Try to make time in the yards with those cows as stress free as possible. Give them a feed of hay after the procedure so that they don't associate the yards with totally negative exeriences. If an animal has a bad eye, slip a rope halter on its head in the crush and restrain it with the halter so you can treat the eye. Remember that flighty cows have flighty calves and that cows are at their most dangerous when they have just calved.
Learn low stress stock handling methods so you can maximize your physical presence in the yards without yelling or beating the cattle. Use your voice to encourage or soothe the cattle. If nothing is going to plan, have a break before you start your cattle work again.
If you are a seed stock breeder, you owe it to your clients to produce cattle which are well handled, quiet and safe. This is particularly the case with bulls. We receive many compliments about the temperament of our cattle. Their quietness has not come about by accident but by proper handling and getting rid of those that do not fit our long term goals.
We look forward to continuing to keeping you up to date with the latest news from Toogimbie Shorthorns.