DEVANAH MURRAY GREY STUD
NEWSLETTER July, 2015
Hello fellow cattle breeders
As I write this cattle prices are better than we can remember them and with the National herd greatly reduced by drought they should stay that way for some time. At the time of writing we are experiencing some good winter rain, adding to the good start in Autumn and with pastures showing a great response to our summer fertiliser program.
Our L calves are looking very well. The AI sires we used were PIE H13 Tullibardine Home Run and LEJ G13 Wallawong Vanilla, and walking bulls NJS H16 Devanah Huon, NJS H39 Devanah Helios, NJS J12 Devanah Jute and NJS J66 Devanah Jamberoo.
For the joining of our silver cows this year we decided to increase our genetic diversity and linkage with Angus by further use by AI of Banquet Abraham VON A204 plus Te Mania Emperor VTM E343 (bulls at the top of a 30,000 population). In addition we used an Abraham son NJS J17 Devanah Jericho as the follow up walking bull. Our thinking is that Angus generally can offer lower birth weight for greater growth and IMF but that Murray Greys have more muscle, sufficient fat and IMF for MSA, better temperament generally and of course the light silver coat. The intention is to infuse the better attributes of Angus into the Devanah Murray Grey type.
We do not intend breeding black animals, believing silver coated animals make an important point of difference to Angus, and were pleasantly surprised when GR1 Abraham daughter NJS J11 Devanah Jessie produced a silver heifer by carcase bull NJS U6 Devanah Ulladulla. We have always maintained a silver x grey joining however now we are using some Angus we will maintain a silver mob especially for this. For the others we will only use silver Pure Bred bulls to keep our herd reasonably silver. We believe that silver Murray Greys have a place in Northern Australia and so we are going to commence tick vaccinations between 6 and 9 months as part of our regime in order to target this market.
We have been in the Cattle MAP for Johne’s disease for many years, have been MN3 since 2003 and import very few animals onto our property. However, we have become increasingly dissatisfied with the program. The tests are inaccurate, it is voluntary, no real attempt has been made to eliminate it, and to top it all off when a case is discovered (even suspected) the actions are draconian and costly. There is no point in buying a bull from a MN3 herd and then going out and buying store cattle for instance or doing so without knowing the status of your herd, which is difficult with inaccurate tests. Therefore we have decided to leave the program. We will however continue and even tighten up our Management Plan to protect our herd, so buyers can remain confident of the highest levels of disease protection.
With regard to biosecurity we have largely been a closed herd relying on the use of AI for genetic diversity. We intend being even more diligent with no further live animals bought in. As we are located in a sheep/wheat environment we rarely have other cattle over the fence and these are electrified on both sides. Pestiviris could transmit nose to nose and despite not having seen any evidence of a pesti calf to date we are considering what to do. Our thoughts are to determine the status of heifers and administer a pestiguard vaccination to them pre joining. We always have sale animals PI tested.
With the reduction in the numbers of registered Murray Grey bulls we do think it is wise to create a bank of genetics. We collect bulls (100 straws) we consider have something to offer and encourage others to do the same. We may not be in the market to purchase live animals but we do support other studs by purchasing semen.
Murray Greys have a long standing and well deserved reputation as carcase animals from a long history of winning steer competitions, which needs to be made much of. We have not been as active in this regard for some time but a highlight was our win of the Middleweight Champion Carcase at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2000. Beefspectacular in conjunction with Teys runs a steer competition and we have entered a team of 5 to get back into the carcase action.
The Devanah and Waroona Production sale is on Friday 18th September at 11 am this year. It will be held at Waroona, Molong by Helmsman system. It will be a nice sociable occasion with a BBQ lunch provided and we hope you are able to attend. We decided to move to a Spring sale as many of our clients are in the North. Devanah’s offering this year is reduced because of the difficult year we experienced in 2013 however we will be back on track with the L’s. Nevertheless we will have a very nice line of heifers and some elite bulls on offer. Details available on Sale Page of this website.
Neil, Jo-anne and Damien