Imagine a multi-vendor sale featuring a catalogue of bulls all prepared under the same conditions and compared against one for 100 days.
The brainchild of a group of Red Angus breeders has now become a reality with 45 young bulls entering the Tullimba Feedlot outside of Armidale on Tuesday.
NSW and South East Queensland vendors delivered their prospective sale sires aged from eight to 14 months to enter a feedlot trial that will assess their feed efficiency, weight gain, fat and eye muscle scans, structural soundness and temperament.
The bulls will run together in an orientation period for 14 days before beginning on a preliminary feed and then progressing to a 70 day ration.
At the conclusion of the trial on January 31 a team of three independent assessors will select the best 35 bulls based on phenotype and data sets which will be auctioned by Elders during the online Red Angus Invitational bull sale at the end of April/early May.
One of the breeders behind the idea was Graham Jordan of Goonoo Red Angus at Tamworth who floated the idea with fellow breeder David Croker of Yallambee.
He believed there was an opportunity to fill a gap during April and May and offer a sale that was different to anything that had ever been done before.
"We have been getting some unbelievable comments," he said.
"The word is out that we are doing this and other breeds are watching, which is good.
"One thing we have noticed in the last few years is the buyer is a younger person and so they are looking for more data. They are better educated people so the more data we can give to them the better it will be."
Boyd Gudex, a technical officer with Southern Beef Technology Services, will coordinate and collate the data but Mr Jordan said phenotype was at the forefront when it came to selecting the sale sires.
"The best bull on the feedlot trial might be ugly so he is not going to make it," he said.
Elders studstock agent Brian Kennedy and Elders Tamworth branch manager Jon Goudge supported the idea and believed it would offer a leading edge.
"The Red Angus breed itself has had a bit of a resurgence and the enquiry after the Red Reflections sale was unbelievable," Mr Kennedy said.
"It's never been done before. It offers more information for prospective purchasers in this day and age where it is becoming more and more important," Mr Goudge added.
The studs featured in the trial are Goonoo Red Angus, Mellowood Red Angus, Schipps Red Angus, RA Red Angus, Rosemullion Red Angus, Greenwood Park Red Angus, Yallambee Red Angus, Goondoola Red Angus, JP Red Angus, Maverick Red Angus and Moorwatha Red Angus.
Some of bulls boast limited elite genetics from Australian and north American bloodlines.
An open day will be held at the Tullimba Feedlot towards the end of the trial.