DEVANAH MURRAY GREY STUD
NEWSLETTER DECEMBER, 2013
Hi fellow Murray Grey people
Firstly at long last we have had our web page re-done. Please have a look when you can and let us know what you think or any ideas for improvement. http://devanah.com/
This has been a year of extremes for us with the first half dry and dire and the second half wet, muddy, dry and eventually quite good. Some of our older girls struggled as we join in winter and so our herd will be younger as a result – sad but will be better in the long run.
The younger heifers struggled also so we recently put 14 culls/not in calf through Forbes Livestock Exchange and were surprised when Greenhams in Tasmania purchased them. I contacted them and they are interested in Murray Grey yearlings minimum liveweight of 320kgs (minimum of 12+) and will buy in yards or direct and will finish them off on silage if required for their export brands. The price may not be greater but they are happy to give carcase feedback if provided with the NLIS idents. We were going to send our 22 steers off their dams but have decided to hold and bring up to the required weights. A link to their website. http://greenham.com.au/
On the cattle health side we switched to using 8 in 1 rather than 5 or 7 in 1 as it confers 12 months protection against pulpy kidney unlike the 8 weeks of the latter. More care when vaccinating is needed as abscess’s are more common and we held our breath when all the clovers went crazy – but it worked. Vaccinating with Piliguard had kept Pink Eye away for several years but last year what must be a new strain gave us trouble. A couple of animals unfortunately have scarred eyes and one heifer was completely blind when she calved. We decided to Orbinen and patch her eyes but leave her in the mob as she was following them to the trough. You wouldn’t know anything had happened now as both eyes are clear and calf as good as the others.
We are working towards getting our herd Free or Free by Inheritance for CA but do not think we have been exposed to DD so are not worrying about that. We are testing our walking sires for the Red Gene initially out of curiosity but as it only costs $15 will continue. Given genetic faults only emerge when both sire and dam carry them we are using the Mating Predictor to manage our levels of inbreeding.
The Devanah and Waroona Poduction sale on the 3rd May this year couldn’t have had worse conditions with widespread dry conditions in the Eastern States at that time. Females especially attracted little interest. Again this year however, those bulls not sold then continued to find good homes. For our 2014 sale on Friday 2nd May we are going to switch to the Helmsman system where bidding is on all at the same time and they are then sold together. This means we are not all stuck sitting and can socialise and talk to our clients and help them with their choices. We like the marketing advantages that having an annual sale/catalogue confers and conducting it at the Forbes Livestock Exchange keeps costs and workload for us down.
It was very pleasing when Fellini F32 was awarded Senior Champion bull at the Murray Grey National and then sold to Alistair Murray, Tullibardine and Gary Buller, Monterey studs in WA. Our calves by him continue to impress with his first heifers (used him as a yearling) calving in Autumn 2014 and also some very impressive young bulls coming along.
Last year we decided to put some different blood into our herd by using an Angus bull. We chose Banquet Abraham VONA204 (on the Murray Grey as SS8 VONA204) as he has very good Angus Breedplan figures plus his breeding is a little different from the very popular bulls. We visited the owners and saw his performing daughters which are what we are interested in. Joined to silver cows his 9 calves were all grey with 5 very nice heifers including NJS J19 Devanah Jewell out of Easy’s dam who weighed 353 kgs on 4th November. We avoid breeding black and intend grading up from these girls.
Easy NJS E28 continues to be an elite performer with consistently moderate size calves around the 40kg size who then power on. Some of his bulls are suitable for use on heifers which is good for such a high growth animal. His first daughters calved and have reared their first calf very well.
We were one of the losing bidders on Woodbourn Gladiator G20 to Andrew and Sharon Gunn. They were great though and had him collected in time for us to AI 20 females to him on the 4th June. The Houghton’s then very generously allowed us to use RGN G8 Rogialyn Gale Force to assist with the accuracy of his figures. Gayle Force is a very impressive, thick, loose skinned, easy doing fellow who held his condition while working in the cold muddy conditions. He was used as a yearling and his first calves at Rogialyn look very promising. With these 2 new sires included, our calving in 2014 promises to be very exciting.
Enough from us for now and wishing you and your families and cattle a Merry Christmas and a wonderful year for 2014.
Neil, Jo-anne and Damie
10th December, 2013