SPECKLE Park cattle aren’t just performing in the paddock for the Constable family, with the breed also lifting carcase and meat yield in the butcher shop.
Robert Constable, the man behind the two Roberts Meats butcher shops at Singleton, is the only butcher in the country specialising in Speckle Park beef.
The cattle are raised at his father Mark Constable’s Tambar Springs property Treloar, where Mark runs a commercial herd as well as the Ersyldene Speckle Park stud.
The family has been selling Speckle Park beef for almost a decade, starting with a few bodies in 2009.
Robert now only uses Speckle Park beef in the shop, with weekly kills totalling about 1200 kilograms of beef.
Speckle Park bulls are used over Hereford/Angus-cross cows.
“We have had Limousin and Charolais cattle in the past, but we've found, for the shop, the Speckle has a good flat bone, so you get a lot more meat yield,” Mr Constable said.
“The European breeds have more curvature, and when you’ve got curvature on the outer side of the rib, you're actually taking up meat space
“Dad's trying to breed a bull to produce good vealer, so he’s looking for a low birthweight, early-maturing calf that can pack on meat with a light bone structure.
“With the Speckles, they have meat right down to the hock, whereas something like a Charolais will have femur bones that weigh like lead, so you can put the same feed into an animal for the same period to grow bone that weighs but we get nothing for it.
“Flat-boned cattle give you more bang for your buck, so not only do the Speckle Park cattle yield well for the farmer, but the yield well for us in the shop.”
The cattle, processed at 10 to 14 months of age at Alexander Downs, Kurri Kurri, are grain-assisted, depending on the season.
“Dad sows oats, winter wheat, and barley, but it's very dry there at the moment,” Mr Constable said.
“He makes his own grain mix that’s fed into troughs, but if we can get them straight off oats in a good season we'll do that.”