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Murray Greys in NZ summer, Down Under

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waihou

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Just some photos (I hope) of a few of our small herd. Now it is February our calves are 5 to 6 months old and enjoying plenty of grass and milk. Unlike last summer when we had a drought from November to March and had to wean early and feed out all our winter supplies of hay and silage.
Pictured is Nelson at 195 days of age- he weighed 305 kgs (672lbs) at 188 days. Quite pleasing for a 2 year old heifers first calf.


His sire is Chequers Magnum pictured here at 2 1/2 years old this week. This sire is by a Tasmanian bull Woodbourn Warrior A69.

A smaller chunkier bull than we usually have, but with exceptional depth plus low birthweight, excellent milk and high EMA figures- hoping to see the figures come true in his progeny! As some of our bigger cows are now pushing 800kgs over 1700lbs we hope to modify the frame and improve the carcase quality!

This is a Magnum daughter, born 13 August and whose figures indicate she should have growth, EMA and marbling but she is out of one of our more moderate framed cows.
 

Silver

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Those are fine looking animals. Thanks for sharing, hope to see more pics.


And to think you did it without a 1.5 million dollar bull!
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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waihou said:
Just some photos (I hope) of a few of our small herd. Now it is February our calves are 5 to 6 months old and enjoying plenty of grass and milk. Unlike last summer when we had a drought from November to March and had to wean early and feed out all our winter supplies of hay and silage.
Pictured is Nelson at 195 days of age- he weighed 305 kgs (672lbs) at 188 days. Quite pleasing for a 2 year old heifers first calf.


His sire is Chequers Magnum pictured here at 2 1/2 years old this week. This sire is by a Tasmanian bull Woodbourn Warrior A69.

A smaller chunkier bull than we usually have, but with exceptional depth plus low birthweight, excellent milk and high EMA figures- hoping to see the figures come true in his progeny! As some of our bigger cows are now pushing 800kgs over 1700lbs we hope to modify the frame and improve the carcase quality!

This is a Magnum daughter, born 13 August and whose figures indicate she should have growth, EMA and marbling but she is out of one of our more moderate framed cows.

1,700 pound cows are very out of fashion on these boards but I like ‘em. Your bull looks like a million bucks to me!
 
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waihou

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"1,700 pound cows are very out of fashion on these boards but I like ‘em. Your bull looks like a million bucks to me!"
In your $US he didn't cost much over $2000!

Thanks, yes 1700lbs is getting too big for us too!
This is our biggest girl but she did have twins back at the end of July, 79 and 84 lbs. Just found them dry and feeding the next morning- and on time too. At a weighing on 6th Feb the twins had a combined weight of 499 kgs (1100 lbs) No other feed but milk and grass.


Just sent another cow to the abbatoir, she was empty after 4 calves and we left her empty last season as she was a late calver, then didn't get in calf- got too fat I suspect- graded fat at carcase weight of 1036lbs but still returned over $NZ1800. We don't differentiate on skin colour here- its what is inside that counts!


Here is our junior sire, a home bred bull by AI to an Australian bull Mount Major Kingswood. He got the yearling heifers this year plus a couple of 3 year olds which lost their calves. Totally different type but hoping when used over each others daughters they will produce some nice cattle. One can always look forward to next year!


His EBV's (EPD's) are pretty good and he has recently been scanned for fat, EMA and marbling.
 
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waihou

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'm going to say I don't care for the junior bull, could just be the picture. But I'm also going to say that based on the other cattle shown I'm not going to doubt you.

I have to say I agree with you and we probably wouldn't have looked twice at him if we were buying- but based on his EBV's and his family history we are taking the gamble, especially with his low BW over the heifers, I'll put up a photo when he matures!

At least he got his 11 girls in calf, he is still not quite 18 months old.

This is a half sister, same age by the same AI sire,
 

lithuanian farmer

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All except the junior bull look really nice to me. Post a photo when he'll mature. As for now his photo doesn't make him look pretty...
You've some nice cattle photos on your facebook page too!
 
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waihou

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I probably didn't do anything to improve the looks of young Murphy with the picture I posted!
Photos of cattle can either greatly enhance their features or sadly portray them as ungainly creatures-depending on angles and positions of legs!
Here are a few more of Murphy taken earlier! I still think he is perhaps not what I would pick if looking for a bull- but when I read on another thread about figures being as meaningful, if not more so, than phenotype-I rest my case!
Taken mid December out with the heifers since 15 October



Regarding the larger cow sizes...I was under the impression that Murray Greys were moderate in size? I did not know they reached 1700 lbs. Is this assumption incorrect or do you have a bloodline that is appreciably larger? Beautiful cattle btw!
On the subject of framesize in Murray Greys, yes on the whole they are moderate as compared to the European breeds we have here, but overall the Murray Grey, like many other breeds has increased in frame size considerably over the years-at least here in NZ and Australia.
When we first started breeding back in the late 70's animals had to be frame size 4 to be eligible for registration and it was always a nervous time waiting for the measurements to be done.
Nowadays I'm pretty sure frame score 5 would be tiny and most are probably 6 or 7. The influence of North American Angus used in Australia has been the main cause for increased size- but there are always whispers of what else might have been introduced! Angus is the only base breed allowed in both Australia and NZ.

These are a few of the bulls we have used previously-most are either by Australian sires or our own breeding.

Previous main sire Kilradie Steamroller by a Western Australian Monterey bred sire



Home bred Yorkvale Kauri, by Wallawong Under the Radar (an aussie bull available by AI in USA I believe) some of our nicest yearlings are by him! He is probably the tallest bull we have had.
As a 7 month old before weaning


and very quiet too- had to open the head bail gate to fit him on the scales 1065kg with his belly on the rails at 3 years
 

TwoByrdsMG

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Really like your Radar calf and the Kingswood heifer. Also like the older silver Steamroller bull. Looks always has an impact on what we are breeding for. I am not favorable to the Kingswood bull either even after the updated pictures.

We are so excited to be importing some semen from New Zealand this year! I know the bull is large framed also so he will be used on small and moderate cows only.
 
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waihou

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We are so excited to be importing some semen from New Zealand this year! I know the bull is large framed also so he will be used on small and moderate cows only.

I was going to ask which NZ bull, but then I remembered Paradise Valley Lieutenant?
I think he is the only current NZ bull being exported at present! I would be a bit cautious about using him on small cows though!

He has some of our breeding in there. His paternal grandsire is Yorkvale Exalt. We still have Exalts mother, now rising 17, Xalt 83 here! They are a big framey family and always have high birthweights from them. Xalt has 4 daughters in the herd at present and in fact the bull calf Nelson I posted at the start of this thread is one of Xalts grandsons out of her 2016 born daughter, he was 99lbs born.

Exalt with his dam Xalt as a 5 month old calf born in 2009


Beating the Simmentals to be Supreme beef exhibit as a calf still on his mother in March 2010. He won the calf class, then beat the 3 year old bull to be male champion, then beat a Simmental cow with twins to be overall All breeds supreme champion


Just prior to going to do his duty at Paradise Valley age 20 months
 

TwoByrdsMG

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Yes it is Lieutenant. Not young cows. Mature cows. He said he was using him on heifers!

I don't use bulls like that on heifers but hey everyone has their thing.

Either way we really like the bull and the genetics behind him. I think we are importing 200-250 straws. I will have to get a final tally when he is ready for collection (which should be in a couple weeks). My husband and I decided too import 40-50 straws for us personally even though we are only running about 10-12 girls.
 

Backbone Ranch

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Great looking animals Waihou. I really like Nelson, Chequer's Magnum, and your Kingswood heifer. I will be interested to see the Kingswood bull when he matures and his calves. He's got great numbers, but I would have to agree that his phenotype could be improved upon. Xalt is really something else! I am really glad to hear that she is still producing for you.
 
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waihou

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I know this is an old thread but relating to our Mount Major Kingswood (au) bull Murphy, that earlier posts were not impressed by his looks, yes we used him for 2 seasons and he has passed on his marbling and low birthweight genes to his offspring. Twenty seven calves on the ground, never touched any of them at birth and they are growing out into good animals.
His first crop of yearling bulls are all sold and one we have retained for heifer mating is also sold when he is finished with us, for a top price we have never achieved before in 42 years of breeding Murray Greys.
His heifers are joining the herd and his two half sisters are also proving their worth, calving for the second time this spring.

This bull, his son Overlord, has Wallawong Under the Radar (au) on his dams paternal line, is out of a 2 year old heifer. He was hunted for his marbling scores by a commercial breeder, in the top 2% of internationally recorded Murray Greys. He weighed 880 lbs on 19th September and piled on the weight on grass alone since then, pictured at 14 months off to his new home this week.. We feed entirely on grass (hay and silage in winter) and outdoors year round.
 

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TwoByrdsMG

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waihou,

The Overlord bull is definitely a better phenotype than the bull in the original post.

We were rather disappointed that we didn't end up getting that import semen from PV. Couldn't collect import grade semen- though I suspect the feed/care from the collection facility was the cause.

We ended up buying the Wallawong Under the Radar semen and are expecting our first calf in January. I am hoping for a heifer!

It is interesting to know that the frame is larger on those genetics. I don't particularly want to increase frame size. Our largest females are in the 1500 lb range which is on the high side of ideal for us.
 
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waihou

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TwoByrdsMG, yes frame size of the Wallawong UTR will be bigger than your current ones!

Our overall cow size was getting a bit big, well over 1650lbs I would expect so have tried to downsize with our latest bull purchase, but improve the carcase EMA and IMF% !

This is heifer Mulberry at 2yrs old with Overlord at 24 hours, BW 97lbs and at 4 months. She has a heifer by the same sire this year, 88lbs BW.
Her sire was Yorkvale Kauri, by Wallwong Under the Radar, who grew into a fine bull!
 

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Backbone Ranch

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I like the looks of the Overlord bull! I would have to agree that he has a better phenotype than his sire. How is Murphy looking, now that he is a 3 year old? I believe that there are some breeders in the US who are using Kingswood semen on some of their cows, but I do not recall who they were. We have some straws of Wallawong Under the Radar in the tank, but I think it will be a few more years before we start breeding to him with more frequency.
 
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waihou

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I like the looks of the Overlord bull! I would have to agree that he has a better phenotype than his sire. How is Murphy looking, now that he is a 3 year old? I believe that there are some breeders in the US who are using Kingswood semen on some of their cows, but I do not recall who they were. We have some straws of Wallawong Under the Radar in the tank, but I think it will be a few more years before we start breeding to him with more frequency.
Murphy went off to the abattoir in April, after 2 years in our small herd and no-one wanting to buy 3 year old bulls in autumn. With his daughters and half sisters in the herd of 25 females we needed a new bull!
Pictured is Murphy aged 30 months.

Also pictured a 2 yr old heifer by Mount Major Kingswood(au) with her first calf (by Murphy) Yes half brother/half sister line bred!) He has just been sold to a commercial breeder chasing carcase quality, especially marbling-but first we get to use him over our 14 month heifers!
 

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Jeanne - Simme Valley

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I did want to make a comment on "chasing numbers". IMO - numbers are a tool. Too many people are actually "chasing" numbers and don't bother to be critical of the actual animal. So glad to see some of the breeds are asking for foot & udder scores. Chasing marbling can lead to light muscled, light boned cattle.
I am not directing this comment to your cattle. Looks like you have a good eye for what you want to keep in your herd. Nice cattle.
 

TwoByrdsMG

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Jeanee- I agree on the "chasing numbers". The phenotype, temperament, udder, maternal keepability, scrotal and other traits come before carcass. I have never had someone complain on the beef we raise for them so I will only use the numbers as a tool if I am trying to decide between equal quality animals to retain and need to narrow it down further. I would also like to understand a baseline on the bulls we produce.

We are very particular on females that we add to and/or keep in the herd based on phenotype. I guess that's why we have such small numbers too- less than 20 females. My husband just says that I'm too picky but if all the ladies are front pasture cows who do you put in the back pasture?

Waihou- I won't keep cows that big. I also have been castrating any bull close to or over 100 lbs. I don't own a calf jack and don't want to. Only had to pull 2 calves in the 10 years we have been breeding cattle.
 

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