Young bulls - breeding, selection and preparation
As seedstock producers, we understand the importance of providing quality bulls and females that are selected on commercially important traits such as fertility, weight for age and the ability to finish. We also put strong selection pressure on structural soundness and temperament together with adequate bone and fleshing.
We believe producing seedstock requires three things to be successful.
1. Excellent genetics from a very wide base
We have sourced the best performance driven genetics available in this breed. Bulls we choose must meet a number of strict criteria. Above all else, these bulls must be able to do the job. Firstly fertility - these bulls must have good semen morphologies, adequate scrotal circumference and tidy underlines. Structure and the ability to walk and cover the paddock is imperative, with good feet, leg structure and normal joints (no swelling) paramount. Performance figures must show good weight for age, with adequate EMA and fat cover. Breedplan figures, temperament and conformational correctness are the final hurdles to become part of our sire battery.
Our sires represent a wide base of genetics including Glenlands, Billabong, Oasis, Glen Fosslyn , Locarno, Yaralla, Clonlara, Valera Vale, and multiple home bred sires.
To these we have mated a herd of exceptional females who are feminine, calve easily, are excellent mothers and have well structured udders that milk well and consistently produce a good calf every year.
This genetic diversity allows our clients to annually select from new bloodlines that are completely unrelated to what they may have purchased from us in the past. Providing more options.
2. Forage based rations during growth and for sale preparation
At High Country Droughtmasters, we also want to produce an animal with longevity. We believe these animals need to perform as expected and provide a return on investment. That means they need to be productive at sale and stay productive in the herd for many years.
Our combined experience within our team from a nutrition and health point of view sees us preparing our stock primarily on a 90% forage based ration. We believe that the reasons some animals are culled from the herd early can be related back to their feeding regime both as yearlings and then during preparation for sale.
FOR THIS REASON, WE GROW AND PREPARE OUR CATTLE ON FORAGE BASED RATIONS IN LARGE PADDOCKS. We aim for healthy cattle, with healthy rumens that have learnt to graze well and that are not overfed for sale.
When we have periods of good weather and pasture is plentiful, our bulls are only supplemented with dry lick. However, as our pastures are frosted from May till November, we add supplementation as needed to ensure they continue with forward growth and development. We do not creep feed our calves and do not waste money on supplementation if it is not required.
We are very proud of the draft we offer annually and stand behind our product. We also offer on all of our stock a 100% satisfaction guarantee (see the full details under About Us).
We want you to have piece of mind knowing that if your purchase does not do as we have advertised, then you will be fully covered by ourselves. We want our clients to be successful in their own businesses and we want them to have full confidence purchasing from us that our bulls will do the job.
We have an advantage in running our own on property sale and that is we can prepare our bulls the way we believe they should be prepared. Good forward working condition, not fed to the eyeballs. We actively produce on farm over 2000 bales annually of mainly silage and some hay for growth and preparation of our bulls and females. Our latest silage upon testing had a protein of 14% and a MJ ME/kg of 10.5, effectively similar specifications of a grain ration, but without the issues of grain feeding.
3. Selection based on practical and performance measures
We select heavily for good feet, joints and overall structure, with all bulls undergoing a full Veterinary physical 'Bull Check' which includes a physical exam together with semen quality including crush side and morphology (done by an independant veterinarian), performance measures through Group Breedplan, Eye muscle/fat and IMF% scanning, Horn Poll testing, Pompes and PI testing, Sire DNA confirmation and temperament assessment.