Helping you with your 2018 Dulverton Bull purchase.
We have decided to put together a number of hopefully helpful articles re this year’s draft of bulls that might just help in your decision making process with respect to your Dulverton bull purchase for 2018.
ARTICLE 3 – The Yearlings
This year we will offer eight (8) yearlings and three long yearlings (17 months).
There are several reasons why Yearlings can be very beneficial for use in a commercial beef operation.
- They will be in the weight range of 480-500kg and so are less likely to cause maiden heifers, usually joined at 300-330kg, physical/structural problems, than two year old bulls weighing 750kg plus, during the act of mating.
- Successful serving is very much instinctive yet there is also a degree of learned behaviour involved, bulls correctly used as yearlings can normally have an extended working life and be capable of being used over more cows in their second season of joining.
- Access to the ‘New Kids on the Block’ is provided one year earlier. For example, we can provide you, our valued commercial client, with access to four (4) TeMania Kilkenny K912’s and five (5) Esselmont Lotto L3’s this year. Had we continued to only sell two-year olds, then these individuals would not be available until next year.
The Yearling allows us to shorten the ‘Generation Interval’, therefore if we are making the correct selections, genetic progress is increased.
- It is our contention that Yearlings will adapt more readily to the testing Northern environments than two-year olds. They will need to be well enough grown – 500kg plus at Body Condition Score 2+ (not too fat) in order to cope with the stressors of continual buffalo fly loads, intermittent tick loads, heat loads in excess of 35°C, humidity and often reduced nutrition. The goal of 500kg plus at Body Condition Score 2+ helps ensure the internal organs are sufficiently well developed allowing the youngster optimal ‘Coping Capabilities’.
Caring for your Yearling
- First and foremost be sure the Yearling is 500kg with a Body Condition Score 2+ (about 5-8mls of fat). This will guarantee the internal organs are well enough developed to enable ‘coping’ with the mating season. It is also necessary to be confident the terrain isn’t too challenging, thereby helping to reduce injury. Nutrition must be ample.
- Suggest using the Yearling bull over maiden heifers – easier for him to ‘reach’. If he has to be used over cows, then try and select more moderate framed cows. Note we did use both D. Mossman M114 (Lot 4 in sale) and D. Montjeu M71 (Lot 5) over cows but they were in small paddocks and were with moderate framed cows.
- Suggest 25 head to be the maximum number of females for your Yearling bull to cover, and suggest 7-8 weeks is a sufficient enough joining time for them in the temperate environments. It seems common practise now to only join maiden heifers for 6 weeks and 3-4 days. The 3-4 days enables the bull to ‘learn’ his craft, establish boundaries and break the ‘bond’ from being with the ‘boys’.
- Be sure to maintain a ‘watch’ over the Yearling once he is introduced. Keep a record of the heifer’s numbers that you see him serve, if they ‘return’ (come back on heat) in about 18-21 days contact the source of the Yearling bull.
- Be sure to provide adequate nutrition post the Yearling’s initial working season, remember he is only going to be 15-17 months of age once you have used him, he will need to be kept going until two years old, bulk him back up so he can successfully work until 7yo.
- Be sure to follow up with all yearly Booster injections eg 7 in 1 (covers both forms of Leptospirosis), Vibriosis, etc.
The Yearling Team
Five of this year’s eight 12-month-old Yearlings are by Esselmont Lotto L3 and four of them are above breed average for the three Value Determining Traits, the other fella N144 tick two of the three boxes.
Why Lotto L3?
When we selected Lotto L3, we were looking for a bull with the ability to:
- Maintain growth and particularly the early growth, he was top 5% for 200 and 400 day growth and still is.
- Not produce too high a residual growth, ever conscious of the Cow at Pasture Feed Budget.
- Improve udder and teat configuration, who best to breed a bull capable of achieving udder improvement than an ‘ole dairyman – good job Lindsay. Note Lotto is in the top 5% for milk production. As a result, his daughters will carry forward the ability to keep producing progeny capable of achieving those above average growth rates – birth to weaning. Its good tucker that Mother’s Milk!
- Maintain fertility, he was doing that as he is in the top 10% for Scrotal and top 5% for Days to Calving.
- Of course, finally we wanted him to tick the three boxes re improving the Value Determining Traits, he only manages IMF% but we were confident our cows could satisfactorily contribute positive RBY% and NFI-F.
- RBY%: at the time of selection Lotto L3 was slightly negative for RBY%, something we at a loss to fully understand because he was muscle additive (Top 10% for EMA) and was slightly negative for both rib and rump fat. The bull doesn’t exhibit excessive bone. Dr Butterfield described the optimum carcase as having MAXIMUM MUSCLE, MINIMUM BONE, OPTIMUM FAT. Note that is still the case and Lotto L3 fulfils these three requirements that determine Retail Beef Yield. Note his current RBY% figure places him in the bottom 25%, very difficult for us to reconcile given the above mentioned raw data and his visual ‘bone’ content.
- IMF% Top 1% as a result we do trust that Lotto will be very much a marbling additive sire.
- NFI-F, well I guess no one sire is ever going to perform at better than breed average on each and every trait on the wish list. Unfortunately, very few ‘popular’ bulls are NFI-F additive. It is our job to mix and match traits to achieve our specified targets, in this case NFI-F. Note that of the 8 Yearlings being offered, 6 of them are better than breed average for the trait despite none of their sires being ‘positive’ for the trait. We have been consciously selecting for the trait since Tinamba Numbers N62 (that’s a complete ‘alpha’ cycle ago), the trait is satisfactorily embedded in our cows. The cow maketh the herd!!
Surely these extended ‘dry times’ and hand feeding regimes, not to mention the inefficiencies at the Feedlot level, make it imperative for us to start selecting for NFI-F.
Our Favourite Lotto – Lot 49 N048
N048 could be one of the better bulls in the sale.
- His dam delivered and reared 11 calves.
- Her best son to date D. Jackpot J37, his best son D. Lotto L250 sold for $15,000 to Fernhill Angus Stud at last year’s sale.
- N048 born very early ‘fertility built in’, note Scrotal +2.3 and Days to Calving -6.5.
- Calving Ease a positive, note the -6.6 Gestation Length will significantly reduce Birth Weight of calves. If joined to a heifer that is -3.4 then the calf will be about 5 days early. Remember that the foetus is growing at a rate of about 0.6kg/day during the last 5/6 weeks of gestation, if the calf is 5 days early it is 3kg lighter and so easier for a first calf heifer to deliver.
- Early growth ideal, aided by the fact that daughters will be milkers.
- Ticks the three boxes at above breed average for the Value Determining Traits and is on the Top 10% for all four indexes.
- Skin and hair very good.
- Temperament is amazing.
Our selected Gun Smoke J134 – Lot 53 N197
N197 is a super individual. He exhibits that sought after mid-maturity pattern, he is very easy doing with even and adequate fat cover and distribution. His body length is exemplary. We have been chasing ‘early’ 200-400 day growth more recently as it provides our clients with ‘versatility’. That is, heavy weaners to market and or domestic feeders at an earlier age. Coupled with the more pronounced early growth is that all important Feed Efficiency, that is the progeny are much easier on the feed budget in these times of ‘Nutrition Stress!’. N197 is in the Top 1% for 200 and 400 day growth and the Top 30% for Calving Ease and as far as the Value Determining Traits are concerned he is well above breed average for NFI-F and IMF%.
Our pick Te Mania Kilkenny K912 – Lot 55 N100
N100 is a genuine maternal maestro combining three of our super Mr Functionalities – Nichols Extra K205, D. Uptake U91, and O’Neills Northern Errol. Note D. Anzac F90 is still active in the herd having delivered and raised six calves, two of her female progeny are retained in the herd. We are expecting the addition of the Te Mania Dandaloo and Mittagong ‘blood’ to add to the maternal magnificence including longevity.
N100 will add fertility as he is above breed average for Scrotal and Days to Calving. Note that he has achieved our 200 day growth target of +50 and cow maintenance shouldn’t be too onerous, he is right on breed average for Mature Cow Weight.
N100 has an ideal maturity pattern. His growth pattern isn’t excessive, his shoulder set and mobility will ensure he should calve easily.