WIRRUNA’S BREEDING OBJECTIVE
“Wirruna’s breeding objective is to breed Bulls that are fully described and have the genetic & physical ability to meet market specifications and breeding objectives of the client. Keeping in mind that a balance is required where the female portion of the progeny are required to be highly fertile and efficient.”
The major strategies to achieve this objective are listed as follows:
- The Wirruna herd should be a role model for profitable commercial beef herds in southern, higher rainfall zones of Australia. With emphasis on fertility, the cow herd, under high stocking rates will set optimum productivity levels based on per hectare, rather than per head parameters to promote efficient low maintenance cattle.
- Cattle to be run under strict commercial stress conditions with no grain feeding for production.
- Produce cattle of moderate birthweight with optimum growth, carcase quality and muscularity that meet market specifications
- Performance test to accurately describe growth, carcase
- and fertility traits
- Maintain inherent structural soundness and docility.
- Endeavour to reduce the risk of product failure to the Bull buying client.
- Strive to make the bull sale a beginning of a relationship, ……..not the end of one.
A Profit Focus
In designing a breeding program, the important thing for a seedstock producer is to fully understand what drives profit in the commercial beef enterprises operated by the bull buying client. At Wirruna we have been benchmarking our business through Holmes Sackett & Associates Pty Ltd since 1995 and have gained an improved level of understanding of the efficiency of our beef enterprise and the factors that most influence profit in the beef production system.
Benchmarking has taught us that those who make the best returns in beef are those who can produce more beef at a lower cost of production per kg of beef. In breeding operations, around 70% of the total dry matter consumed goes towards the maintenance of the cow herd. So it is vital therefore that the cow herd is highly fertile, easy-care and run at low cost.
The cow herd must be designed and screened to be reproductively efficient with-in their environment.
In a high production system like Wirruna, this involves an emphasis on moderate mature cow weight and no tolerance for dystocia, moderate to low birthweight EBV’s. A further important profit driver is beef production/ha. This is highly influenced by stocking rate. It follows therefore that a cow-herd that can cope with high stocking rates (efficient), is highly fertile and is producing a product demanded by the market (functional) is the primary aim of the genetic program.
Artificial Insemination (AI) is used extensively with 80% of heifers AI-ed and 30% of cows AI-ed annually. Yearling bulls and some older sires are used as follow up after AI. The concentration of AI over heifers highlights our high emphasis on calving ease with new sires entering the herd.
A small Embryo Transfer (ET) program is utilized within our herd where 3 or 4 elite cows, that have successfully raised a minimum of 3 calves, are selected & flushed. Around 50 to 100 of these embryos are implanted into the lower end of our genetics.
Wirruna has a long history of selection for performance and was an original member of the National Beef Recording Scheme. We were part of the validation project to validate BREEDPLAN EBVs and we now have over 9,000 cattle Group Breedplan recorded. All cattle are run in large management groups to accurately assess performance against contemporaries.
Wirruna Poll Hereford Stud is dedicated to a high level of performance recording with BREEDPLAN as an integral part of the genetic program. The herd is rated 5-STAR in the ‘Completeness of Performance’ Herd rating system. This is considered the gold standard of performance recording indicating “complete” performance information for all the traits which EBVs are available.
Quality assurance is important to us and complements our commitment to offering a quality product.