Rockley Brahmans 7 Elite Breeding Attributes

Breeding Attributes

The Rockley Brahmans 7 Elite Breeding Attributes

Stud cattle breeders and commercial beef cattle producers rely on Rockley Brahmans to deliver cattle that meet their need for a combination of strong genetics, quiet temperament and efficiency to produce productive, profitable cattle. For decades, we have been breeding the following seven traits into our elite Red Brahmans.

1. Fertility

Stringent management and selection criteria including controlled mating, pregnancy testing and culling, ensure ‘best of breed’ results.

While one of our breeding goals is for all Rockley cattle to retain and improve their visual appeal, a second goal is fertility. Having moved our stud cattle from coastal Rockley to the highly productive country at Ungarra, we are interested to see how our females respond to reproduction pressure in this improved environment. We want Rockley females to mate as two year olds, rebreed early while lactating and continue to wean a calf for their entire breeding life. And we want Rockley males to show optimal scrotal size and semen motility at a young age to help us identify those that express early sexual maturity.

2. Quiet temperament

Behaviour modification is unnecessary as our cattle have been genetically selected for their calm and easy nature. This helps ensure smooth integration of new bulls and females into existing studs.

There is nothing more disappointing than buying an animal that is well-behaved on sale day but whose progeny display unfavourable temperaments. Selecting an animal that has a quiet temperament is easier said then done, however. Temperament is one of Rockley’s 7 elite breeding attributes. I’d like to share with you our approach to selecting and breeding calm cattle and invite you to use a checklist I’ve put together to help you select and buy well for this important trait.

3. Sound udders

Rockley Brahmans’ females have been selected and culled over decades to ensure calves have a strong start and deliver excellent weight gain to weaning.

Udder soundness is strongly correlated with a female’s lifetime breeding success, and as you may expect, at Rockley we focus on producing cows with this important trait. We also consider our high standard for sound udders when selecting bulls, something which is often overlooked in our industry.

1. Fertility

Stringent management and selection criteria including controlled mating, pregnancy testing and culling, ensure ‘best of breed’ results.

While one of our breeding goals is for all Rockley cattle to retain and improve their visual appeal, a second goal is fertility. Having moved our stud cattle from coastal Rockley to the highly productive country at Ungarra, we are interested to see how our females respond to reproduction pressure in this improved environment. We want Rockley females to mate as yearlings, rebreed early while lactating as three-year-olds and continue to wean a calf for their entire breeding life. And we want Rockley males to show optimal scrotal size and semen motility at a young age to help us identify those that express early sexual maturity.

2. Quiet temperament

Behaviour modification is unnecessary as our cattle have been genetically selected for their calm and easy nature. This helps ensure smooth integration of new bulls and females into existing studs.

There is nothing more disappointing than buying an animal that is well-behaved on sale day but whose progeny display unfavourable temperaments. Selecting an animal that has a quiet temperament is easier said then done, however. Temperament is one of Rockley’s 7 elite breeding attributes. I’d like to share with you our approach to selecting and breeding calm cattle and invite you to use a checklist I’ve put together to help you select and buy well for this important trait.

3. Sound udders

Rockley Brahmans’ females have been selected and culled over decades to ensure calves have a strong start and deliver excellent weight gain to weaning.

Udder soundness is strongly correlated with a female’s lifetime breeding success, and as you may expect, at Rockley we focus on producing cows with this important trait. We also consider our high standard for sound udders when selecting bulls, something which is often overlooked in our industry.

4. Do-ability

Our cattle comfortably handle harsh landscapes and adapt well in drought conditions. Cattle’s efficiency is assured as they are bred to be naturally muscled. In tough conditions, females have the ability to rebreed.

Customers who buy Rockley bulls can expect to buy animals that are selected for do-ability out in the paddock rather than after concentrated periods of grain feeding. This is important because bulls have the most influence on genetic gain in your breeding herd due to the number of calves they sire in a lifespan. This means that bulls with good do-ability can help improve conception results in your females and improve weights in your steers and cull females.

5. Structurally sound

Longevity is a consistent trait, based on decades of comprehensive culling and selection. Breeding females endure in herds, providing regular reproduction. Likewise, sound cattle last longer in the herd.

At Rockley Brahmans, we have a strong focus on breeding and selling structurally sound cattle. Our high standards mean you can be confident you’re purchasing Red Brahmans with strong, predictable genetics that lead to longevity and efficiency in the paddock. If you purchase Red Brahmans that aren’t structurally sound, the consequences could be dire for your stud or herd.

6. Length & width

The combination of length and width in our cattle adds weight to each animal’s carcass which, in turn, delivers you increased profitability. We measure these results from ultrasound scanning and/or abattoir carcass data.

We measure length and width when cattle are young using our elite weaning grading system, and then later in life with results from ultrasound scanning and/or abattoir carcass data. Our aim is to produce moderate framed animals that possess length and width, are easy fleshing, low maintenance and have the capacity to maintain good body condition (do-ability). Scanning data of sale bulls are submitted to Breedplan.

7. Clean underlines

In males we look for a moderately tight sheath that hangs close to the body. A pendulous sheath is more prone to injury or infection. In females the naval flap should also hang close to the abdominal wall. The navel flap in females is believed to be correlated with sheath size in bulls.

We favour sheaths that are light and clean, with a small and tight opening and where the underline is firmly and evenly attached for its whole length. A light sheath is unlikely to become pendulous, which increases the chances of injury from contact with the ground or from the animal standing on its sheath when lying down or standing up. A small, tight opening provides protection against infection, while a firm and evenly attached underline helps create the desired angle during service.

More Questions?

GET IN TOUCH TODAY

Have some more questions or need to send us a message? Head over to our contact page to get in touch with Ashley, or Chris and Sally Kirk.

More Questions?

GET IN TOUCH TODAY

Have some more questions or need to send us a message? Head over to our contact page to get in touch with Ashley, or Chris and Sally Kirk.