Our first and foremost objective is to grow grass. To utilise we need good efficient converters, we have found this within the South Devon, Droughtmaster and composites, they are very efficient beef cattle. The beef cattle we breed for will be – an easy doing, good tempered, fertile animal that shows a lot of capacity – both in the meat it houses and throughout the body, length, medium frame and the willingness to perform under differing conditions. Females are the backbone of the herd – they need to have a live calf every year, grow that calf quickly so it yields well and is efficient, adding profitability. We believe if you breed for the perfect female, males follow. We submit performance data to to find these curve bending animals with strong carcass traits. We believe in performance recoding as a tool available. We use all tools to help find animals that meet beef breeders objectives – visual, weights, scan, feel, pedigree.
Fertility drives everything!!
American beef economists claim fertility and maternal traits are 5 to 10 times more important than any other traits. Davelle Balanced Breeding targets for low birth weights, good growth and excellent carcass. Put this together with the attributes of the South Devon, Droughtmaster and composites and sound type, Davelle has a package that is meeting the objectives of the beef industry backed by reliable data. We will always select animals on functional type and eye appeal first. Then we look to EBV’s. The EBV pattern we are striving looks like this –
- Birth Weight: Below average – No calves are kept over 45kgs BW.
- 200 Day/Weaning Weight: Average
- 400 Day/Yearling Weight: Average
- 600 Day Weight: Average– flattening out growth so breeding females don’t get to big
- Mature Cow: Average to slightly below average
- Milk: Average – we need to be careful if the season dries up.
- Carcass Traits: Above Average – all traits to be strongly positive
We want females to peak their growth at around 3 years old. We want animals to put on as much weight as possible with desired carcass traits and then without breeding cows getting too big – efficiency. Using figures can be fraught with danger. A good understanding is needed. The biggest number is not always the most desirable and sometimes average is good. Indexes help put all of this into context.
We are strong advocates of recording every trait possible to find genetically superior animals and the ones that will take the beef industry to the next level! We have used BreedPlan for many years for our South Devons. However with declining herds recording data we have decided to cease participating in the South Devon Group BreedPlan. We will continue to record our Droughtmasters with BreedPlan.
We have joined the Leachman Cattle of Colorado analysis (LCoC). This unique analysis allows for pure and cross bred cattle from all over the world to be compared through the $Profit index. We currently record our South Devon and Composite cattle with LCoC.
We are excited to be part of a true multi breed multi country analysis. Our previous data from BreedPlan has been exported into the LCoC analysis. The years of recording has been included and the results have been very interesting.