BREEDING PROGRAMME

BREEDING PROGRAM

GENETIC IMPROVEMENT

Genetic Improvement is one of the main ways in which modern agriculture has become more efficient. Dairy cows and chickens, rye-grass and clover have all been made much more productive through genetic change.

In recent years the rate of genetic improvement in beef cattle has accelerated. We are producing Angus cattle that are genetically at the front of the breed in Australia.

• BREEDING OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES

BREEDING OBJECTIVES & STRATEGIES

Breeding Philosophy

The major contribution that we can make to the profitability of your operation is through providing you with the opportunity to buy genetically superior animals. We can also contribute by keeping the price of the animals you are buying at reasonable levels.

Genetic progress can only come about by using genetically superior animals. Genetically superior animals can only be identified by measuring the animals themselves and as many other animals that are related to them as is possible.

Breeding Objectives

The Angus Society publishes a number of dollar Indices which attempt to reconcile the conflicting objectives that producers in particular markets have. We use two of these, long fed and short fed for self-replacing herds, as the starting point for our decisions on animals to use.

We feel very strongly that producers in temperate Australia will find it difficult to compete with commodity beef produced elsewhere. We can produce very high-quality meat, which means marbled meat. The two Indices we use have a heavy emphasis on marbling.

Using an index means that we are always compromising – we trade off leanness for meat yield against fat for fertility and doing ability. Obviously, we are also concerned with the animals’ physical structure and temperament. On some of these we cull, on some we compromise.

Breeding Strategies

To meet our breeding objectives, we need to access animals which have the attributes we want to breed into the animals we are selling to you. As a rule, we have ‘bought in’ male animals through AI and bred our own cows.

We try and keep genetic diversity in our herd. In practice, this means that we choose to trade off performance (index value) for diversity.

We have tried to make the pool from which we buy in genes as large as possible – we are willing to use Australian and American Angus. We are a little more careful about the American animals as there are measurement and environmental differences between the two gene pools which makes comparison difficult.

To meet our objectives as rapidly as possible, we try to use relatively young animals in our breeding programme. We are aware that there are risks associated with this, so we do keep some (of the very good) animals for a longer period.

In the last two years, we have used a small number of high indexing cows, who more than meet our other criteria for structure and temperament, as donors for embryo transfer programmes.

To balance genetic diversity and performance, we have in the past used various software programmes that do this, such as TGRM and Breedexact. More recently we have used some of the updated versions of these packages. We are still trading off genetic diversity in the herd against performance and trying to keep the inbreeding in individual animals at reasonable levels.

Measurement of Animals

Underlying all of these aspects of our breeding strategy is the measurement of animal performance. We try to do this as accurately and comprehensively as possible. The measured data is recorded and analysed through the Angus Society and BREEDPLAN to give us meaningful comparisons of our animals with one another and with other performance-recorded animals.

There are a small number of breeders in Australia who are measuring as intensively and rigorously as we are. We are very happy to introduce their animals into our herd. Where we feel that there is a lower level of commitment to comprehensive and accurate measurement, we are more cautious about introducing their animals.
BULLS
Immediately following these comments is a table with some EBVs for a small number of bulls. You can expect to see sons of these bulls offered on our sales in the next few years. We will also have sons of other bulls for sale.

Prior to using these animals, the major contributors to our gene pool were the Te Mania bulls (Africa, Berkley and Deegan) and two Tuwharetoa bulls (Regent and Diplomat). Outcross sires used by AI included SS Traveler T510 OT26 and his sons, TC Total 410, B/R Ambush 28 and S A F Strategy.
More recently the major contributors to our breeding programme are A A R Ten X and P A Power Tool. The table below shows how they have contributed. Ten X is first and foremost a trait leader for early growth. That he is also a leading low birth weight bull and has a low mature weight are big bonuses. Power Tool is a growth and carcase bull - 400-day weight, EMA and IMF both in the top 5% of the breed. He has very high docility and very low mature weight. He has one of the best set of structural EBVs of any bull in the breed. Their EBVs are shown in detail below.

The three other major bulls (not shown below) that we have used in our breeding programme are Te Mania Emperor, SAV Thunderbird and Waitara PIO Federal. Emperor is a son of Te Mania Berkley - and he corrects a few of the weaknesses in Berkley.

Thunderbird and Federal have low birth weights and high growth rates. Additionally, they have relatively modest mature weight. We think these are important attributes for commercial producers, and we want them locked into our herd. Federal also has reasonable muscling and good docility and we have used him more intensively than Thunderbird.

Baldridge Download and Rito 12E7 are two American bulls that we have used lightly. We will have some sons for sale in 2016 and 2017. Download is an outcross for us - he has more growth than a lot of American Angus bulls and has very good marbling. We need a line of high growth outcross marbling bulls in Australia. 12E7 is one of the elite carcase bulls in America with top 2% marbling and muscling. His EMA in Australia reflects this. We have an exceptional male calf (L108) out of an Ingenuity/Africa daughter that shows exceptional muscling.

We select on the four Indices. These indices all have a heavy emphasis on growth, days to calving (not scrotal size) and direct calving ease (not birth weight), retail beef yield and IMF. Mature weight has very little weight in the Indices.

The other six bulls in the table are the pick of our bulls born in the last three years. The J and K bulls have all been used as natural mating sires. The L bull is an outstanding Emperor son that is heavily inbred to Berkley.

The common feature of these bulls we have used and bred is that they have very high index values - almost all in the top 1% or 5% of the breed (green and blue in the table below) on all four indices. They are also a good mix of bloodlines that enable us to breed exceptional bulls for commercial use.
They have a mix of strengths - which allows you to choose bulls for your own special needs. There are always exceptional calving ease bulls for sale and also exceptional growth and carcase bulls. If you need a calving ease bull, you will find one. If you want a growth and carcase bulls for use on mature cows, you will also find one.

Following the table are some detailed comments on those animals.
  Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
A A R Ten X 5.6 106 136 104 -2.2 6.9 -3.6 2.0 134 150 137
P A Power Tool -2.6 91 119 81 -5.4 8.6 -0.2 3.0 122 155 129
Baldridge Download Z013 1.8 99 130 131 -4.9 7.2 -2.1 2.4 124 155 129
Rito 12E7 of 5F56 Rito 5M2 -3.8 94 115 93 -5.2 13.4 -0.4 2.7 122 144 125
Murray Judge J14 4.6 99 124 114 -6.0 7.4 -0.8 2.8 132 163 137
Murray Ingenuity J94 1.8 92 117 93 -3.3 12.7 -3.0 3.0 126 156 128
Murray Africa J122 2.6 90 121 93 -4.1 9.4 -2.5 3.5 123 164 129
Murray Grando J136 -1.0 94 125 101 -7.2 7.7 -0.2 2.9 125 164 134
Murray Thunderbird K30 2.8 112 146 133 -6.2 3.5 -0.5 1.7 130 155 140
Murray Prophet K76 -0.5 108 136 123 -6.1 7.9 -0.8 2.7 128 160 134
Murray Ten X L84 2.9 101 131 118 -5.0 5.6 -2.1 2.6 131 165 136
Top 1% 5.1 98 132 127 -7.5 9.4 2.0 3.5 123 157 130
Top 5% 4.0 92 122 114 -6.4 7.6 1.4 3.0 117 142 122
Top 20% 2.4 84 111 101 -5.1 5.8 0.8 2.3 109 124 113
A A R Ten X
Ten X has a truly remarkable combination of calving ease, early growth and relatively low mature cow weight EBVs. His carcase weight (which is what we get paid on ultimately) is also in the top 1% of the breed. To get an idea of the exceptional performance of this bull we suggest you look at the EBV graph (on the Angus Australia website) and his EPD percentiles graph (on the American Angus website) and compare them with some other well-known bulls.

We first used this bull in our 2012 joining. We have already sold some of the resulting J and K sons, and we used one son (J14) in our 2014 joining. We have flushed some of his daughters. We used him again in 2013, 2014 and 2015. 

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
5.6 106 136 104 -2.2 6.9 -3.6 2 134 150 137
P A Power Tool
Power Tool has a very good blend of the attributes that should be in our Australian Angus cattle. Early growth is high - but mature weight is almost extraordinarily low. Carcase quality is very good. Docility is very good.

Power Tool is one of the very few American bulls for which structural EBVs are available. His scores are generally very good - particularly for front claws which are a problem in many Australian bulls.
We have our two crops of calves by him and are impressed. I have seen calves in a number of different locations and they are off to a good start.

We used a very low birthweight son of his in our 2015 joining. We also flushed three of his daughters.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
-2.6 91 119 81.0 -5.4 8.6 -0.2 3.0 122 155 129
Baldridge Download Z013
Download has an outcross pedigree to most Australian Angus. Like many American bulls, he has a relatively low birthweight for a lot of growth. We expect that he will have a reasonably high IMF EBV (he and his father have top 1% marbling EPDs) and should produce calves that grow well through to 21 months. We have eleven 2015 born calves by him, including some very promising ones from a flush to our NURG34.

We expect that Download's EBVs will change a fair bit as his progeny are measured in Australia. There are currently (January 2016) 38 calves recorded in Australia.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
1.8 99 130 131 -4.9 7.2 -2.1 2.4 124 155 129
Rito 12E7 of 5F56 Rito 5M2
We used this bull lightly in our 2014 joining and have 8 calves by him. There are currently 41 registered calves by him in Australia so that his figures will change over the next few years.

He is inbred - mainly to G A R Precision and his son Future Direction. Future Direction was heavily used in Australia until he was found to be both an AM and an NH carrier, so we think this inbreeding is not important for us. We could use him quite safely over most of our cows.

In the United States, he is in top 1% of the breed on rib eye are and the top 2% on marbling. Additionally, he is very positive for fat.

Some of his calves at Straban appear to be very heavily muscled.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
-3.8 94 115 93.0 -5.2 13.4 -0.4 2.7 122 144 125
Murray Judge J14
We used this structurally very sound son of Ten X in our 2014 joining. He carries a lot of visual muscle and has always been one of the easier bulls to handle. His mother is a very high performing Berkley daughter. He has a very impressive combination of calving ease and growth.

We sold this bull at our 2015 bull sale to Rick and Sam Gates. He will be used in their herd so that he will soon have progeny recorded in a number of different herds. We have jointly entered him in the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program and it will be very interesting to see how he performs in that test. His father, Ten X, has very high Marbling EPDs in the United States, and we will be particularly interested to see whether this carries over to Australian IMF EBVs when these are evaluated with carcase as well as scan progeny.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
4.6 99 124 114 -6.0 7.4 -0.8 2.8 132 163 137
Murray Ingenuity J94
This calf is the result of a very intentional mating. His mother was one of the higher indexing cows in Australia. His father is one of the highest indexing carcase bulls in The United States and in Australia. We used him in our 2014 joining programme. 

J94 is also being tested in the Angus Sire Proving programme. He is already a trait leader for 200-day growth. He will have carcase and feed efficiency tested progeny in a few years’ time. If he performs to expectation, he will be a valuable animal.

He was bred for his carcase attributes, and these are best evaluated using progeny carcases.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
1.8 92 117 93.0 -3.3 12.7 -3.0 3.0 126 156 128
Murray Africa J122
We used Te Mania Africa over a very good Objective daughter to correct some of the issues that people associate with Objective.  

We succeeded in retaining the calving ease, growth and fertility of Objective and added the carcase strengths and docility of Africa. His mature weight EBV is very low compared to his 600-day weight EBV. He is a good looking young animal with sound feet and structure.

He has good structural EBVs and is an exceptionally docile animal.

We used him in our 2014 joining programme. He has bred some very good-looking progeny, and we will retain a number of his daughters. Some of his sons will be offered for sale in 2016.
We sold him at our 2015 sale to Petali Pastoral Co.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
2.6 90 121 93.0 -4.1 9.4 -2.5 3.5 123 164 129
Murray Grando J136
Grando J136 is our choice of the El Grando sons that we bred. We have all our bull calves structurally assessed before sale each year, and Grando J136 was the outstanding calf in his drop. Visually he is a big, thick, well-muscled animal. We used him intensively in our 2015 joining program and we anticipate using him again next year.

We would like to draw your attention to his structural EBVs which you can see on the Angus website. Very few breeders have been collecting the required information to calculate these EBVs. We have. In addition, it has been collected in the Sire Benchmarking programme. These EBVs are now available for a small number of animals, and we think they will be a valuable aid to getting rid of bad feet and legs.

We nominated him for the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program this year and look forward to seeing the performance of his calves. He has growth and carcase merit and very good feed efficiency EBVs – we will know these with much greater accuracy in a few years’ time.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
-1.0 94 125 101 -7.2 7.7 -0.2 2.9 125 164 134
Murray Thunderbird K30
We used this bull heavily in our 2015 joining. He has very high growth and relatively low birthweight and mature weight. He also has a very high carcase weight EBV.
Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
2.8 112 146 133 -6.2 3.5 -0.5 2 130 155 140
Murray Prophet K76
We used Prophet very lightly in the herd - and this was an outstanding son of his. He is in the top 1% on all indices, mainly because of his exceptional growth and marbling.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
-0.5 108 136 123 -6.1 7.9 -0.8 2.7 128 160 134
Murray Ten X L84
A very good calf.
Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
2.9 101 131 118 -5.0 5.6 -2.1 2.6 131 165 136
COWS
We offer cows from some of the most unique and purebred gene pools. The table below shows the EBVs of some of the cows that have been and will be of importance to us. The first two animals have been very important to us. We bought them in 2010 – one was an AM carrier, the other an NH (and now DD) carrier.

We have already had about seventy calves from these two cows. We are using their sons and grandsons. We have twenty disorder-free daughters from them.

The other seven animals on the list are females of our own breeding. Progress only occurs if every generation is better than the one before. You can see that this is happening from this table.

Following the table are some detailed comments on these animals.
  Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
Te Mania Queanbeyan D113 4.2 96 130 130 -8.2 2.6 -1.0 3.2 130 186 140
Murray Berkley F11 5.3 73 100 109 -9.8 6.2 -0.4 3.0 116 162 124
Murray Ambush 28 G34 1.9 96 122 128 -7.2 4.4 -0.8 3.1 128 171 132
Murray Objective G81 1.5 98 137 128 -3.3 8.4 -3.4 2.6 122 159 132
Murray Grando J105 -1.3 97 132 112 -5.5 6.3 -1.0 3.3 121 168 131
Top 1% 5.1 98 132 131 -7.4 9.8 2.9 3.5 123 155 130
Top 5% 3.9 91 121 116 -6.2 8.1 1.9 2.9 116 140 122
Top 20% 2.2 83 109 101 -5.0 6.1 0.8 2.1 109 122 112
Te Mania Queanbeyan D113
We bought this animal as a PTIC heifer from Te Mania in 2010. She proved to be an outstanding cow and has contributed enormously to our breeding programme. Her EBVs and indices tell the story.

She has had 39 calves, and some of these are important animals in our herd. El Grando will have a long-lasting impact. The two cows G34 and J53 below are her daughters.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
4.2 96 130 130 -8.2 2.6 -1.0 3.2 130 186 140
Murray Berkley F11
This cow was the outstanding heifer in our 2010 drop of calves. By Berkley out of a 1407 daughter, F11 has a strong pedigree. Her performance is also impressive. We particularly like the easy calving, good growth and very good carcase figures.

F11's mother, Murray 1407 Y6, is now a rising thirteen-year-old cow and currently has a good heifer calf by Emperor at foot. She has had a good calf every year. Her mother in turn was a Future Direction daughter.

We flushed F11 in 2011, and she now has 14 calves on the ground – embryo calves by EXAR Upshot and Circle A Incentive and 4 natural calves. Her current male calf is NURL60 by Te Mania Emperor. She has been joined to Grando J136, and we will have a number of embryos calves from her this year.
Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
5.3 73 100 109 -9.8 6.2 -0.4 3.0 116 162 124
Murray Ambush 28 G34
The mating of D113 and Anbush 28 worked very well for us - three sons have been used in our herd. G24 and G47 in particular have progeny that will contribute to our future.

She is currently pregnant to Murray Africa J122, and we expect four embryo calves this year from her by Baldrige Download - who is a very exciting American outcross bull.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
1.9 96 122 128 -7.2 4.4 -0.8 3.1 128 171 132
Murray Objective G81
This cow is making a significant contribution to our breeding program.

She is an ET daughter of the big cow, Lawsons GAR New Design 1407 A1173, who flushed so well for us. Her father, OT26, has been one of the most important outcross bulls in the United States and is increasingly in Australian pedigrees. She has calving ease, very high growth, good carcase figures and (for an Objective daughter) exceptional docility. She is in the top 1% of the breed on three of the four indices. Additionally, she graded in the top class for phenotype.

We have mated her to correct scrotal size, mature cow weight and body fat.
Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
1.5 98 137 128 -3.3 8.4 -3.4 2.6 122 159 132
Murray Grando J105
This very high-performing heifer is our own breeding on both sides of the pedigree. Her strong points are obviously growth, fertility and carcase attributes. She is currently pregnant with her first calf to Waitara Federal Pio F73, who should solve the birth weight problem but still have the calf in the top 1% on Indices.

Grando has very high feed efficiency EBVs. Federal is also very feed efficient. We know this is so, as both bulls were tested in the Angus Young Sire Programme. The mating should produce an outstanding calf.

Calving Ease Direct 400 Day Weight 600 Day Weight Mature Weight DTC Eye Muscle Area Rump Fat Intra Muscular Fat Domestic Index Heavy Grain Index Heavy Grass Index
-1.3 97 132 112 -5.5 6.3 -1.0 3.3 121 168 131
More Information
For more information about our Australian and American Angus and our bulls, please visit the links below. If you have additional questions or concerns about our animals or services, please do not hesitate to call us today. 
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