RAISING cattle has never been an exact science. But for Conrad Strahorn, science plays a big part in his production, and he is having plenty of success.
The Angus breeder and his wife Kate, “Stirling”, Belgravia, between Orange and Molong, have implemented science into managing their herd and pastures and the results speak for themselves.
The couple join 450 Angus females on their pristine 650-hectare property, as well as taking on trade stock when the season permits, carefully monitoring stock and paddock performance.
But this hasn’t always been the way for the couple. Mr Strahorn grew up on a sheep and cropping property at Tomingley, and then studied wool and pastoral science at the University of New South Wales. After this, he worked as a commodity trader before selling the business and studying psychology.
But the couple took the leap in 2012, moving out of the city to begin a new chapter and raise their two children, Zoe, 5, and Nick, 3. Since then, they have turned the once vineyard into a successful Angus venture.
Mr Strahorn said the decision to breed Angus cattle was an easy one.
“Black seemed like the natural choice,” he said. “We have some pretty good genetics on our doorstep as well as the annual weaner sales at Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange.”
Mr Strahorn has used bloodlines from Gilmandyke Angus stud, Orange, Karoo Angus stud, Meadow Flat, and Millah Murrah Angus stud, Bathurst. He said he puts a lot of emphasis on Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs), and focuses on genetics which offer good growth rates in weaners but do not produce excessive mature cow size.
Bulls are put in with the cows on November 1, while the heifers are joined three weeks earlier. Weaners are yard weaned for one week and then placed in smaller paddocks on lucerne hay and a Weanermix lick for two weeks.
Steers are sent to feedlots when they weigh 450 to 500 kilograms. He keeps the top two-thirds of his heifers as replacements. He also sows 120ha of oats as fodder each year.