Buyers attending the Le Martres Limousin bull sale at Table Top last Friday were impressed with their display of natural muscling and increased fertility from a grass fed preparation.
Despite the seasonal conditions, the offering of 30 apricot, black and red Limousin bulls were highly commended by the crowd but their reduced breeder herd limited sale success.
The sale topped at $5000 with an average of $4350 for the 30 per cent of bulls that were cleared through the Helmsman auction.
It was the two-year-old black polled bull, Le Martres Black Noah, who reached the peak of the bidding and was secured by long term repeat buyer David McKimmie from Jingellic.
At 16 months, Black Noah weighed 570 kilograms with estimated breeding values for rib and rump fat of 4.5 millimetres respectively and 2.6 per cent intramuscular fat. He had an eye muscle area of 101cm sq and a carcase merit index of 2793.4.
From the high performing milking line of the Le Martres Black Dee cow family, Black Noah was one of the first bulls to be offered by Ivyrock Jean who was purchased within a herd offering for his Bahut pedigree.
Le Martres stud principal Leon Martin said Ivyrock Jean had thrown good growthy cattle that presented very well on the day and attracted buyers' attention.
Among them were top price bull buyer David McKimmie who selected Black Noah with his son for the bull's growth and longer term impact on their commercial herd.
Speaking after the sale, Mr Martin said the McKimmies planned on retaining daughters by Black Noah because of his milking pedigree.
"This is probably their first step at keeping what we would call the first cross daughters...as breeders instead of selling them as meat stock," he said.
"We see more and more our clients are introducing Limousin into their commercial females for breeding because they are very good for milk and cattle."
Le Martres bulls are prepared on a 'basic diet' excluding grain supplements to enhance fertility.
"We got lots and lots of compliments on how well the bulls showed natural muscle," Mr Martin said.
"People couldn't believe we got the shape we got into the cattle without using grain. It's a point of difference that we do simply because with collecting semen off bulls over the years we have learnt that the bulls that are prepared on a basic diet, so oaten hay and lucerne, fertility is higher when you collect the semen."
While many of their existing clients held off buying bulls until the season turns, Mr Martin was excited for their new export semen relationships.
"We have had interest through the year from overseas in our bull semen," he said.
"We are moving into a program now of collection for bulls to the UK and New Zealand. I don't think anyone (or many people) has sent Limousin semen back to the UK."