FOCUSING on the joining and trading of lightweight heifers has a Walcha producer capitalising on the benefits of performance of yearling bulls.
Kim Barnet, “Mirramoona”, Walcha, operates a 200-head Angus breeder herd to meet his target market of trading about 150 pregnancy-tested-in-calf (PTIC) heifers.
After introducing Kilburnie Angus bulls five years ago, Mr Barnet has eliminated breeding challenges including calving and has since recorded conception rates of 97 per cent.
“The main reason I introduced yearling bulls was because we often use lighter heifers and need our bulls to be smaller in size but not lack the important estimated breeding values (EBVs),” Mr Barnet said.
“We join heifers from 250 kilograms to 280kg, but when the season is tough, we can join them earlier at 200kg using the yearling bulls.”
Looking for calving ease and 400-day-weight as guides, Mr Barnet uses EBVs for bull selection.
“Using the data I have found yearling bulls easier to join as they are eager, agile and approach a heifer differently to an older bull,” Mr Barnet said.