COASTAL bulls are making an impact in the herd at Carinya, Yarrowitch, where the Reid family breeds Angus and Angus-cross cattle to target weaner and feeder markets.
Peter Reid has been a long-time buyer at the Kempsey All Breeds Bull Sale for many years, purchasing bulls for his own 600-breeder herd as well as his clients as an agent with Ray White.
Mr Reid has been in the Walcha area for the past decade, and at the 1010-hectare Yarrowitch property for six years.
However, he started buying at Kempsey when he lived on the coast.
"They usually aren't as dear and a lot of the time, the studs are using similar genetics to the other studs we buy from," Mr Reid said.
"My clients on the coast like the Kempsey bulls because they're bred in coastal areas, but they transition from the coast to Yarrowitch pretty well."
Calving ease and fertility traits are a priority for Mr Reid when it comes to bull selection.
Bulls suited to heifers are sought-after, but his main focus is on their structure and softness.
"I want them to be tough and I want them to travel and get around the paddock," he said.
"I like them to be soft and deep and some of the Maxwellton bulls I bought last year were particularly good.
"I've bought a lot of Kogo bulls over the years and I give them a big rap."
I really like the black baldies - having that hybrid vigour is always a great thing, so we'll always have some black baldies, but soon it'll be about 85 per cent Angus.- Peter Reid
While he's still buying other breeds to maximise growth rates through crossbreeding, Mr Reid is looking to maintain a mainly Angus herd.
"I really like the black baldies," he said.
"Having that hybrid vigour is always a great thing, so we'll always have some black baldies, but soon it'll be about 85 per cent Angus."
Bulls are joined to about 40 cows each for a 12-week joining period, and they've had minimal calving issues.
In a good year weaners are turned off at 380 kilograms to 400kg.
They are sold through the special Ray White Angus and Angus sales at Armidale and Tamworth.
The Reids have won champion pen awards for their steers and heifers in recent years and it's become a sought-after line with repeat buyers - backgrounders for feedlots - each year.
"They're sent at nine to 10 months and normally our middle run is around 260kg to 280kg," Mr Reid said.
"We have one bloke who buys a fair swag of our weaners.
"Ray White is really good at maintaining relationships with previous buyers and getting feedback on how well the calves do, finishing on grass or going through the feedlot.
"It's important for us to get that feedback so we can make sure the bulls we're getting are doing the job."
Heifers have gone back into the paddock with good demand from restockers, however, most of the heifers have been retained in the Carinya herd.
When the season allows, Mr Reid can grow his cattle out to feedlot weights, between 350kg to 430kg for Caroona on the Liverpool Plains and Tullin Tulla at North Star, and up to 520kg for Kerwee at Jondaryan in Queensland.
"All three of those feedlots are chasing Angus content and they'll take the baldies as well."
All breeders calve out on improved fescue-based pastures and they're soon drafted into weight categories.
"That way we don't need to be getting them in all the time and can just focus on one group at a time," Mr Reid said.
Maintaining good nutrition in the cattle is important given the limited pasture growth in winter.
"We plant that oats and rye mix on 300 to 400 acres (120 hectares to 160ha) every year and the breeders are on improved pasture, but we do have to feed every winter," Mr Reid said.
"We buy lucerne or oaten hay in and feed breeders, especially the 140 first-calf heifers to make sure their needs are met.
"You've got to keep them going and through pregnancy we'll keep them on the better country and keep the feed up to them, and we keep feeding them once they calve because that's when they can start to slip."