Easy handling helps budget

Selecting for better temperament pays for the Cowlishaws

Alex and Diana Cowlishaw, Wooling Pastoral Company, Crookwell, have stuck with pure Herefords for almost four decades.

Alex and Diana Cowlishaw, Wooling Pastoral Company, Crookwell, have stuck with pure Herefords for almost four decades.


Herefords are the quiet achievers on the temperament front which has been key to the breed's productivity for the Cowlishaw family.


Hereford breeders, Diana and Alex Cowlishaw, from Wooling Pastoral Company, Crookwell, have never swayed from their belief in Hereford cattle and that loyalty has continued to pay them back for almost 40 years.

In recent times the Cowlishaws have noticed a resurgence within the breed as cattle producers have returned to Herefords.

He said it was for the carcase, good mothering, calving ease, fertility, adaptability but most importantly, temperament.

“Temperament is the most important factor and Herefords are known for their docile nature, which in the long term is vital for production costs, injury risks, or it can improve productivity,” Mr Cowlishaw said.

“The temperament of Hereford produces a far more positive outcome on improving growth rates, carcase quality, fertility, ease of handling.

“It is a commonly known fact now that temperament accounts for the final result – more money in your pocket.”

Research by the Beef Co-operative Research Centre, which was closed in 2012, showed a conservative difference of $80 to$100 per head by selecting good feedlot performers based on temperament comparison across 78 days. 

Looking back 20 years to their early days of breeding Herefords at Roma, Queensland, the Cowlishaws realised the breed was consistent and remained a steadily growing business, particularly due to its versatility and adaptability.

“We continued our run with pure Hereford here in Crookwell due to the success we had in Roma,” Mr Cowlishaw said.

The Cowlishaws interest in Hereford goes back to Mr Cowlishaw’s childhood when he grew up on a Poll Hereford property near Dubbo in Central West NSW.

It was during those formative years his father educated him on cattle production, particularly with Herefords.

His love for Hereford cattle has remained throughout his life, from running Hereford cattle properties to becoming involved with the Hereford Society.

Today the Cowlishaws’ herd consists of 600 pure Hereford cows run on their 1416 hectares.

“Our breeding program alternates in the seasons between the cows and heifers,” Mr Cowlishaw said.

“The cows are joined in September and October while we wait to build up the heifers and join them in autumn – March and April.”

Each year they keep about 120 heifers and sell the remaining stock, including most of the steers, in autumn.

Mrs Cowlishaw is also involved with the day to day running of “Wooling” and works closely with Alex on the stock, management, running the office and bull selection.


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