Potential in Ardcairnie mob

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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After an exceptional growing season, Ardcairnie Angus co-principal Jim McGregor gives thought to what will be during the 2017 bull selling season. The McGregors will offer 82 bulls at their Maybenup property at Kojonup on Tuesday, January 31.
Camera IconAfter an exceptional growing season, Ardcairnie Angus co-principal Jim McGregor gives thought to what will be during the 2017 bull selling season. The McGregors will offer 82 bulls at their Maybenup property at Kojonup on Tuesday, January 31. Credit: Countryman, Bob Garnant

Before the start of the bull-selling season, Ardcairnie Angus stud co-principal Jim McGregor has shared some thoughts on beef herd management.

“Visitors to the Ardcairnie Angus website will know that we run as few mobs on the farm as possible,” he said.

“Currently, there’s one mob of mated mature cows (300), one mob of mated heifers (90), one mob of weaner bulls (170), one mob of mated heifers and steers (190), as well as the sale bulls and the herd bulls. At mating time, the females are split into seven smaller groups for a few weeks.

“All the measurements we do for Breedplan come from fairly large management groups.

“We feel the information gleaned highlights the genetic differences within the herd.

“Environmental influences are probably minimised this way.”

Mr McGregor said the bull mob was run together from weaning through to sale day with periodic culling, which was one reason why Ardcairnie bulls never expressed their full potential by sale day, but always grew out well.

“There is, of course, much more fighting and riding in a big mob — the bald poll is a good indication of this,” Mr McGregor said.

“They are invariably leaner but are they more virile?

“As stud breeders, we are basically gatherers of information, which we do with as much integrity as we can. A calf catcher on a quad enabled all calves to be easily weighed and tagged at birth last year. This means the genetic potential of the animal is presented on sale day rather than its potential final appearance.

“We feel our management gives the animal a reasonable chance to adapt well to its new environment and fulfil its expected role in life.

“We welcome people to come and see the bulls in their paddock before the sale on Tuesday, January 31, as well as to the sale, whether just as interested onlookers or as potential customers.”

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