Early Christmas present
We have some new additions to our herd, We have purchase the 2 highest ranked EBV females for EMA in the breed, Banksia Ridge Lucy X22 and Banksia Ridge Karen F27 both with silver hiefer calves at foot along with Banksia Ridge Zoe Z19 (Pictured). Zoe has a bull calf at foot. These lovely dams will come accross in the New Year and continue to reinforce our breding obectives of producing low birth weight calves with high growth rates, positive fats and huge EMA's.
Our scanning data have been submitted and we have received our much-anticipated updated EBVs. We were very happy to see that our herd has made significant improvements in growth and carcass traits whilst maintaining a low birthweight. We are paricularly focussed on the Supermarket Index as this is the market that suits most of our clients and this is a great result also.
The kids had great success at Dookie Show again this year. We trained Katrina, Kyla's calf, in the week before the show and she behaved beautifully. Both Ted & Maisie led her by themselves for the first time at the show. We were especially pleased with Kyla's second place in the over 30 months cow class against three impressive Brahmans.
It's joining time. We used an OvSynch program as recommended by our vet with great results: 17 out of 24 cows synchronised came on heat on the first day of joining, 5 more yesterday and only 2 left to go. We use Kamars for heat detection with twice daily paddock checks and our AI tech lets us know if any are not fully on heat and need to be re-inseminated the next day (only 1 so far). Once the cows are inseminated we apply blue tail paint to identify inseminated cows and pick up any returns. Next year we will use different colours of tail paint according to which backup bull the cows are getting, and we'll identify the calves too, because that will make drafting a few days after the end of AI so much easier. Our AI team is Banksia Ridge Harry, Wallawong Vanilla and Dajory Echuca E42, with Jackpot and Jeffery as backup bulls.
We spent a very pleasant Grand Final Day with Katrina & Andrew Holland who have both Angus and Murray Grey cows. Last year they established their Murray Grey herd with some lovely young cows from Graeju Park and one of our bulls, Gazzle. It was great to see how well Gazzle has grown out and to inspect his first crop of calves, followed a very relaxing afternoon watching the footy. Thanks for the hospitality!
Our new team of Junior sires is now available for viewing and we have updated the format of our webpages to give you:
- a brief description and a picture of each animal
- their EBV graph and a link to their Breedplan page so you can easily access the most up-to-date information
- actual weights
Liam Cardile of BeefXcel came to scan and assess our yearlings and we are very happy with the results. Jingellic J11 had an EMA of 98 cm2 which is outstanding. The growth rates of our young bulls over the past 3 months has been phenomenal, thanks to our new lucerne paddocks, with Jorvic J2, Jackpot J7 and Jingellic J11 putting on over 2 kg/day - all on pasture. The top weight was Jackpot J7 at 590 kg. The girls performed well too. Holly J10 ("Buxom Holly" we like to call her) was the standout, topping the list for weight, growth rate and EMA.
Congratulations to Bill & Ann Nolan whose purebred Murray Grey steers by Mount Major Gerry were amongst the top performers at Shepparton cattle sale this week. At 7-8 months old, these vealers weighed 355 kg and made $2.15 per kg, just a few cents off the top price of $221.20.
Calving has started at Major Major and one of our new Bunker heifers, Melody H77, has had a lovely heifer sired by Cadfor Destiny. We are very excited to have another female to add to our herd.
Atriem Murray Greys Buy Foundation Females
Stephen Koch and Dr Anne Travena have purchased a line of Mount Major females to start their Atriem Murray Grey stud at Seymour in Victoria. They have selected animals from our best cow families: Josie H8 and Josie H19, Tarella H12, Holly H16, Kyla F6 and Chrissie F7. These young cows are in calf to Dajory Echuca E42, Rogialyn Gandalf G9 and Cadfor Destiny D71 and due to calve from July 20th. Steve is hoping for lots of heifers to start expanding his young herd. Congratulations on your new stud!
The Autumn break has been outstanding, we have now had over 200mm (our normal growing season rainfall) since the 16th of March and it's still raining. Mild conditions with temperatures around 20°C have seen plants grow like it's spring! We have been grazing the early wheat and the cows have not made a lot of progress in eating the feed. It is growing faster than they can eat it. The lucerne is still growing and the young bulls are steaming ahead: they have never seen so much feed. I made sure that they were full of hay before they went in the paddock as bloat is a real concern. Weather predictions are indicating an El Nino but in real terms it means a 70% chance of a decile 1-3 year, 10% chance of an average year (decile 4-6), and a 20% chance of it being wet decile 7+.
Local soil moisture probes are showing a full profile down to 100cm, so even if it does turn dry we should still be in a good position in spring. A decile 1 year would be challenging for crops for grain but with stored soil moisture at least they will have enough for a good hay crop.
We have had a magnificent start to the season, with over 100mm of rain in the last few weeks. The weather is staying warm and the grass is growing like it is spring. The wheat we have sown for grazing is jumping out of the ground the cows are looking with much anticipation at the upcoming feast.
Triple Treat for NZ
Much to our delight Neill and Jane Burke of Chequers MG, have had the embryos that they imported finally hit the ground. Three beautiful heifers look like their mother. Sarah and are planning a trip to go visit the new arrivals.
As part of our continual focus on quality, we have progressed through the BJD program and now have MN3 status. This means are cattle are eligible for sale to all states in Australia.
After a pretty dry summer, the new lucerne in our Northside paddocks has finally flowered so we can let the cows in to graze it for the first time. The cows are very happy to be grazing again. We have some rain forcast so fingers crossed we will have some good regrowth.
South Australia tour
Crowbar, Carolyn of Dajory Murray Greys and myself went along to the South Australian Beef Week visiting Lindsay Murray greys on the way over, Elywarra Sands, Bottlesford, Kilmainhan and Banksia Ridge were visited. We looked 100's of wonderful cattle over the 3 days and were very impressed in the quality of the animals that were on display. I collected quite a shopping list (I mean photos) .
Beef Week and the RASV Heifer Challenge
A scorching 43c summers day greeted visitors for beef week , despite the heat we had a busy day most pleasing was the numerous new people to the breed and a visit from Tasmanians Charles and Janet Wallace Woodbourn Murray Greys. By late afternoon when the judging for the RASV heifer challenge was conducted, the heifers were very reluctant to leave the shade, after some poking and prodding some of them walked to the water trough, the judges commented that they were definitely the most quietest heifers they had inspected. Pictured left to right, MM Josie H3, MM Jenny H15, MM Josie H8.
We have had a heat wave with temperatures of 40-45°C for the last 5 days. Finally, the cool change is coming through and it looks like it is only 39°C today. The cattle have had plenty of water and shade, and have coped really well. It was a cool 25°C this morning and it felt wonderful after the heat. Roger and Shazza had the right idea using the water troughs as swimming pools.
Weights and measures
We took advantage of a break in the heatwave to get out and weigh our 2013 calves. It was also a good opportunity to vaccinate and record hip heights and body condition scores. We all get excited to compare our own sires with the ones that we use in our AI program. Sarah has weights entered and graphed with average daily weight gains and a break down by sire by the time I make a cup of tea! Then we spend a relaxing hour looking over the results.
We are open for beef week on day seven and we are very excited: it is always good to meet new people and talk about cows. This year we have some calves by The Glen Bass F226, Cadfor Destiny and Echuca on display. We certainly have a excellent drop of young calves and I am sure that they will grow into an excellent crop of young bulls. Anyway we are looking forward to seeing you, let's hope the weather is kind.
Special Christmas delivery at Mount Major Murray Greys
Taking a walk on Christmas Day, we were delighted to find a new calf in the paddock: Jasmine - named for Davo's niece Jasmine who was also born on Christmas Day - 18 years ago. She is a late calf for us, as her mother Mount Major Tarella was flushed to produce embryos for Chequers Murray Greys in NZ. Sired by Echuca, Jasmine should grow into a excellent cow.
Mount Major Murray Greys, B274 and her daughter Emma F2, graced the cover of the 2013/14 Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society Annual. Photographer Serana Hunt, of Photo8, kindly allowed the breed society to use some of her photos of our herd for this year's annual. Davo is always very eager to get his copy of the annual but it was certainly an early Christmas present this year to see our cows on the front cover.