- RELATED: Angus attracts naval couple
After a satisfying career in the Navy, serving on ships and culminating in a posting as Naval Attache in Washington, Rob Letts retired with the rank of Commodore to breed Angus on the 607 hectare Bombala district property “Yarandilla” which he purchased with his wife Kerry in 1993.
The couple had holidayed in the district on many occasions and when they suggested to a friend they would like to purchase a property to breed cattle in their retirement the wish was soon fulfilled.
“We started with a mixed mob of cows which we purchased as we could get stock of good value, but we always knew we were breeding towards a herd of top quality Angus,” Mr Letts said.
Complimenting 500 Merino sheep, down from 1500 which they used to shear, the Letts join 100 Angus cows in a split calving.
The maiden heifers are joined to calve in February/March for six weeks, and the grown females calve in August/September.
“Heifers are joined early because it suits our operation and we are able to use bulls twice in the year. This gives the young heifers extra time to recover from their first calf and get in calf again,” Mr Letts said.
“It is also easy on me as I concentrate on the heifers which are likely to have calving problems.”
Now that they are joining 100 females they will be focusing on lifting the standard and performance of their herd.
“Now we have our full number we can put a lot of pressure on fertility and conformation in our replacement breeders,” he said.
“We keep our cows for as long as their teeth are right and they are still breeding. It is breeding longevity into our herd and we only keep our top heifers.”
The mature breeders are preg-tested with any failing to get in calf sold immediately while the heifers are given a second chance.
Stock are supplementary fed during the winter with cows being fed hay to maintain their condition during calving on improved pasture.
Replacement bulls are sourced from John Murdoch at Bibbenluke for growth and temperament.