End of an era for Kilburnie at Walcha

End of an era for Kilburnie at Walcha


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Kilburnie Cattle Company owner Tony Clift with some of his Angus cows at "Aberbaldie", Walcha. Photo by Paul Mathews

Kilburnie Cattle Company owner Tony Clift with some of his Angus cows at "Aberbaldie", Walcha. Photo by Paul Mathews

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Kilburnie Cattle Company will sell 2200 PTIC cows in a herd dispersal next week.

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RESTOCKERS will have access to some of the Angus breed’s top genetics when Kilburnie Cattle Company offers 2200 PTIC cows on Auctions Plus next Friday.

Kilburnie owner Tony Clift said the draft included 1100 pure Angus and 1100 black baldy cows, all joined to Dulverton Angus bulls.

The 2200 calves from the cows will be sold at the annual Kilburnie weaner sale at Walcha in April, along with about 1600 weaners from Mr Clift’s Quilpie property Mt Margaret Station.

The breeder sale is the end of an era for the business, which has leased “Aberbaldie”, for the past nine years.

Mr Clift said Kilburnie cattle were well-known for their quality, with at least 21 years of top Angus genetics behind them.

“When we started in 2007 in the peak of drought I was lucky enough to buy 600 Angus cows in a herd dispersal from John Spinks “Old Turee”, Coolah.

”I bought those as well as a lot of Narrangullen Angus stud cows, so we ended up with a really good nucleus to start with.”

Glen Innes stud producer Greg Chappell, Dulverton Angus, had managed the “Old Turee” herd for years and has been part of Kilburnie for nearly a decade.

One of his bulls, Dulverton Uptake U91, is the predominant bloodline for the Kilburnie herd.

“I kept a lot of heifers out of the U91 cross over John’s cattle, then joined the heifers to Hyline Right Time 338, and the last major influence on the herd was Papa Equator 2928,” Mr Clift said.

“We’ve been retaining the best heifers for the last decade and we had a massive AI program at the start because I wanted to fast track our genetics.”

Mr Clift said his goal in the breeding program was to increase the number of live calves, improve feed efficiency and work on meat quality and yield.

“No cow gets a second chance after preg testing – empties are sold straight away, and it’s the same if they haven’t got a live calf at weaning. We’re now running at about 98 per cent live calves at weaning.”

Mr Clift was able to tackle feed efficiency through performance recording each animal from birth to slaughter.

“We’ve finished all our cattle at the Tallawanta feedlot at Moree and recorded feed conversion rates through the feedlot,” he said.

“When they were slaughtered we got our kill data to get performance indicators for each animal.

“In our cow herd at Walcha we ran cow cells of 250 head and I’d buy five bulls of exactly the same sire line to go in each cell so we could then track those bloodlines through our system.

”We tracked those bloodlines and worked out that U91 was about 17pc more profitable than any other bloodline I’ve ever had.

“Our cattle have a feed efficiency of 5.2kg for every kilogram of production and the average daily weight gain of our steers is 2.8kg over 70 days.”

Selling agent Cameron Wilson, Elders livestock sales manager, Brisbane, expected good interest from restockers wanting to buy high quality breeders.

“Good quality females are hard to find at the moment so It’s a great opportunity to purchase top quality genetics with a really good line of Angus cows joined to Dulverton bulls.”

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