DEVANAH ANGUS AND MURRAY GREYS

April 2011 Newsletter

Devanah April 2011 4

We hope that everyone is having a good year thus far. At “Heybridge”, the wet conditions during 2010 produced abundant paddock feed, and has set up a good opening for 2011. Commercial prices have been fantastic for those who have animals to sell. Our weaner steers that averaged 305kgs made $752 and this trend looks set to continue.

Our most recent and exciting event was the Canberra Royal Murray Grey Feature Show. The Southern Highlands Breed Promotion Group did a fantastic job and the pink shirts and ribbons looked great. We submitted our entries and then it rained, and it rained, and it flooded. We had organised Andrew Green to prepare the animals however we could not get them out of the property until mid December. Andrew did a fantastic job breaking them in and getting them into such good condition in such a short time.

Devanah Fellini F32

Devanah Fellini F32

Our star was Devanah Fellini F32 (by Monterey Blockbuster) who won his class of 12 and then Champion Bull Calf. We intend keeping him.

Our young sire Devanah Easy E28 (by Lindsay West), who had joined 23 cows during the wet and muddy winter as a yearling, was placed4th.. The judge Graham Day pleased us with his comments especially “very correct”, and good on his feet (that neither needed nor received any trimming). His calves are fantastic.

Devanah Easy E28

Devanah Easy E28

The heifer Devanah Belinda F28 by Yamba Bonanza) is a big girl who came 2nd out of 14 entries 9 – 12 months. It is early days for her yet but we hope she will perform and be an asset to our herd.

Devanah Belinda F28

Devanah Belinda F28

We calve in Autumn and we are down to the last few. This has been a heifer year for us so we should be able to offer a few for sale next year. The calves were nice weights (even though a couple of the bulls we used did have high birth weight ebv’s) and they are looking great. We didn’t AI and so for the first time all the sires we used had our own prefix. Four of these bulls were by AI using Monterey Unit Holder, Lindsay West, Yamba Bonanza and Walteela Ultra Bright. This gives us (and our clients) genetic diversity whilst preserving our female families. Deuce we retained to use over our heifers and he has done well with them. We gave them 8 weeks but all calves were on the ground in 6 weeks. Some Deuce calves below.

Deuce Calves

Deuce Calves

Our aim is to maintain the excellent fertility and calving ease of our females, lift 600 day weights, and continually improve carcase attributes and so contribute to above breed average $ indices. At the same time we also like to use bulls we have seen and liked or who have done well in the show ring to maintain those visually attributes that are not measured by Breedplan. The sires we used for our 2011 drop are listed below.

Name/ID

Calv.
Ease
Dirct
(%)

Gest.
Len.
(days)

Bith
Wt.
(kg)

200
Day
Wt.
(kg)

400
Day
Wt.
(kg)

600
Day
Wt.
(kg)

Mat.
Cow
Wt.
(kg)

Milk
(kg)

Scrot
Size
(cm)

Carc
Wt.
(kg)

Eye
Mus
Area
s/c

Rib
Fat
(mm)

Rump
Fat
(mm)

Retail
Beef
Yield
(%)

IMF
%

Long
Export
Index
($)

SupMkt
Index
($)

 Grass-   Fed
Index
($)

DEVANAH CHIEFTAIN C10 (PB)

+0.3

-3.2

+3.1

+23

+33

+41

+38

+4

+1.4

+21

+1.0

+1.0

+1.4

-0.8

+1.0

+$ 47

+$ 41

+$ 50

DEVANAH DEUCE D61 (PB)

0.0

+2.8

+17

+24

+38

+44

+5

+0.4

+1.7

+0.3

+0.5

+0.3

+0.3

+$ 32

+$ 34

+$ 38

DEVANAH EASY E28 (PB)

+1.4

-1.0

+3.2

+31

+47

+72

+68

+5

+1.1

+48

+1.6

-1.3

-1.7

+1.6

-0.2

+$ 57

+$ 61

+$ 65

DEVANAH ELDORADO E6 (PB)

-6.1

-0.1

+5.3

+32

+42

+56

+69

+6

+0.3

+34

+1.0

-0.4

-0.4

+0.7

-0.3

+$ 12

+$ 29

+$ 30

DEVANAH ETRUSCAN E26 (PB)

-3.8

+0.2

+5.0

+23

+33

+50

+53

+5

+0.8

+25

+1.6

-0.1

-0.1

+0.6

0.0

+$ 22

+$ 32

+$ 31

Breed Avg. EBVs for 2009 Born Calves

-1.3

-0.3

+3.1

+18

+28

+41

+42

+3

+0.3

+24

+1.1

-0.2

-0.3

+0.7

0.0

+$28

+$32

+$36

For our joining this year we again intend to do some AI and plan to use the following bulls one way or the other. Melaleuca Artillary has fantastic carcase ebv’s and $ indices plus a proven record of producing superior progeny. Big River Dynasty was the Junior Champion Bull at 2009 Adelaide Royal and although a big animal is breeding well. Woodbourn Cheyenne was Senior Champion Bull at the MG National as a 2 year old and we greatly admired him. Easy and Fellini we intend to retain as walking sires. Easy will go over our positive fat silver girls and for this year Fellini will join our E’s with first calves at foot, but in the long, run grey girls with positive calving ease.

Name/ID

Calv.
Ease
Direct
(%)

Gest.
Len.
(days)

Birth
Wt.
(kg)

200
Day
Wt.
(kg)

400
Day
Wt.
(kg)

600
Day
Wt.
(kg)

Mat.
Cow
Wt.
(kg)

Milk
(kg)

Scrot
Size
(cm)

Carc
Wt.
(kg)

Eye
Muscle
Area
(sq.cm)

Rib
Fat
(mm)

Rump
Fat
(mm)

Retail
Beef
Yield
(%)

IMF
%

Long
Export
Index
($)

SupMkt
Index
($)

Grass Fed
Index
($)

BIG RIVER DYNASTY (PB)

-1.2

+4.3

+22

+34

+71

+82

+4

+1.4

+35

+1.3

-0.3

-0.4

+0.9

+0.1

+$ 50

+$ 55

+$ 64

DEVANAH DEUCE D61 (PB)

0.0

+2.8

+17

+24

+38

+44

+5

+0.4

+1.7

+0.3

+0.5

+0.3

+0.3

+$ 32

+$ 34

+$ 38

DEVANAH EASY E28 (PB)

+1.4

-1.0

+3.2

+31

+47

+72

+68

+5

+1.1

+48

+1.6

-1.3

-1.7

+1.6

-0.2

+$ 57

+$ 61

+$ 65

DEVANAH FAROUK F10 (PB)

-3.4

+0.5

+20

+38

+48

+40

+8

+$ 53

+$ 49

+$ 58

DEVANAH FELLINI F32 (PB)

-3.4

-2.8

+5.6

+38

+52

+75

+78

+8

+$ 50

+$ 56

+$ 65

MELALEUCA ARTILLARY A16 (PB)

-5.4

-0.5

+6.4

+40

+54

+84

+79

-1

+0.7

+52

+3.6

+0.6

+0.8

+1.0

+0.7

+$ 68

+$ 67

+$ 79

WOODBOURN CHEYENNE T40 (PB)

-2.2

+2.6

+5.3

+24

+39

+53

+65

+8

+0.6

+36

+2.2

-0.6

-0.9

+1.4

-0.2

+$ 24

+$ 35

+$ 37

Breed Avg. EBVs for 2009 Born Calves

-1.3

-0.3

+3.1

+18

+28

+41

+42

+3

+0.3

+24

+1.1

-0.2

-0.3

+0.7

0.0

+$28

+$32

+$36

Both Fellini and Farouk are by Monterey Blockbuster (now owned by Jomal Glen) and we highly recommend this bull. Farouk only had a birth weight of 31kgs so we didn’t expect great things from him, however at 12 months just running in the mob, in mud for 6 months and then on native grasses he weighed 467kgs. Therefore, having consulted with Donald we intend using him to join our F heifers. We do this in the knowledge that those with higher birth weights might throw like themselves. Deuce is not as good with 600 day weight ebv as we would like but is a lovely dark silver colour, long and packed with muscle (very eye catching) so he will act as a back up bull for the AI mob.

After some consideration, we decided to stay in the Cattle Johnnes Market Assurance Program. We are MN3 and have been for a number of years and we are in a protected area. However, it is expensive and intrusive with little support or encouragement. QLD is not testing and with the relaxation of managing this disease in Dairy herds we do not think that there is a lot of commitment to eradication. Our blood tests were clear again so we have another 3 years before we need to re-test so will re-consider at that time. Regardless we will maintain our rigorous management program to protect our herd and that of our clients.

Because of the string of wet summers and consequent biting insects, and following a touch up in 2010, we decided to vaccinate our breeders for Ephemeral Fever. The peace of mind it has given us has convinced us to maintain our protection with an annual booster. We test our sale animals to ensure they are not persistently infected with Pestivirus and at weaning vaccinate our calves with Piliguard to protect them from Pink Eye. The new Coopers 8 in 1 gives protection against Pulpy Kidney for 12 months which is great as we sometimes have to vaccinate 3 or 4 times to make sure our animals are safe. It initially requires 2 treatments 4-6 weeks apart and then a booster no longer than 12 months later. We have started by doing 3 mobs with their calves over Easter.

Our BIG NEWS however, is that we are going to have an Annual Production Sale together with the Hobb’s family, Warroona stud starting in April 2012. This will be held at the Forbes Livestock Exchange as it is an excellent undercover facility. Using this venue will also enable us to invite entries of commercial Murray Greys and their crosses thereby providing an opportunity for those who wish to put together good sized lines of MG’s. Expressions of interest are most welcome. The sale will be held on the Friday after the MG National to make it easier for those who might like to attend both. It will be conducted by our agent Luke Whitty of KMWL Forbes. The date for 2012 is 27th April and we would love to see you there even if you have no need to purchase.

In addition following the excellent tour organised by the Northern MG breeders and with the support and encouragement from our commercial clients, we are also looking to initiate an annual tour of a number of Murray Grey Stud and Commercial Murray Grey breeders in Central and Southern NSW. The timing of this is still being considered but perhaps on the weekend following our sale as the weather is usually lovely in Autumn. We would visit different farms/towns each year with the emphasis not on sale animals but rather learning about how others go about things and seeing their herds. Organisers will vary depending on who is being visited but include both stud and commercial operators. A different town would be chosen as a base each year eg, Forbes, West Wyalong, Dubbo, Cowra, Molong, Bathurst, Young, Wagga Wagga etc. Again we would be grateful for expressions of interest to either be a host or a visitor to get the ball rolling and a programme in place.

Murray Greys are positioned to regain market share being a maternal breed and with their excellent carcase traits, being free of genetic disease and generally of a gentle nature and easy to manage. When people come to choose a bull they always comment on how quiet they are compared to experiences they have had with other breeds.

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