Balanced breeding pays off for Hicks Beef

Hicks Beef takes balanced approach to feedback trial success

Beef News
Fifth placegetters Kate and Tom Hicks of Hicks Beef, Annandayle South, Holbrook, with Glen Whitton of Riverina Australia, Qld. Photo: Hannah Powe

Fifth placegetters Kate and Tom Hicks of Hicks Beef, Annandayle South, Holbrook, with Glen Whitton of Riverina Australia, Qld. Photo: Hannah Powe

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Consistently placing in the top 10, Hicks Beef says being on the front foot of genetic gain as well as hybrid vigour helps with their continue performance.

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A disciplined breeding program stretching 70 years is the key to success for the Hicks family of Hicks Beef, Annandayle South, Holbrook, who claimed another top ten finish in the Beef Spectacular Feedback Trial.

Scoring 806 points and ranking fifth overall, the Australian Beef Composite team exhibited by Andrew and Anne, and Tom and Kate Hicks, had a consistent performance placing in the top ten teams throughout all sections of the competition and finishing just half a point behind the Tait family, Mandurama, who received equal third with their two teams.

Hicks Beef co-principal Tom Hicks said being on the front foot of genetic gain and coupling that with hybrid vigour had helped them continually perform well.

Their steer entries were the average of their program and offered great confidence in what their top genetics could perform like.

"Rather than focus on one trait, it is important to have a balanced approach. You cannot single trait select. If you over do one area, you will loose in other area," Mr Hicks said.

"We apply the same strategy to maternal characteristics. It is great to win, but it (Hicks Beef) is a maternally focused program.

"It is important to have that (steer and carcase performance) end right, but it is also just as important to have the maternal focus right and have easy care cows that rear calves every year."

The Hicks received full points for feedlot induction (350 points) with steers weighing between 402 kilograms and 444kg upon entry, and ranked ninth for feedlot performance on 320 points with a team average daily weight gain of 2.54kg a day that allowed steers to record final weights in the 666kg to 724kg range.

In the carcase section, they again ranked ninth with 386 out of 550 points. They recorded an average hot standard carcase weight of 385kg, an average dressing percentage of 55.76 per cent, an average lean meat yield of 56.12pc and an average MSA Index of 54.46.

Overall they had a team profit of $721.

It followed last year's third and eighth placings, an overall trial win in 2012 and reserve championship in 2014.

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