It is our focus on nutrition – including a molasses-based protein and energy supplement, trace minerals, antioxidants and leucaena – that enables the Rockley program to grow and sell elite Red Brahmans. Whether you purchase a registered Rockley bull at auction or a paddock-reared herd bull, you can be confident that it is ready to perform. Our bull development program prioritises nutrition in relation to genetics, exercise and an animal’s age and stage of development. As a result, Rockley bulls have exceptional do-ability.
With nutrition as a key priority, every Rockley bull made available for sale has been given the opportunity to grow naturally in accordance with its genetic potential to achieve elite Red Brahman status. We never feed to a target. Rockley bulls are genuinely representative of the animal’s true worth rather than a pampered ‘show’ animal that has its shortcomings ‘hidden’ by fat and/or feeding tricks.
Rockley’s focus on nutrition as integral to our bull development program has led to our strong relationship with Barry Williams of Rural Supplements. In consultation with Barry, we have been able to find the crucial nutritional balance between the need for a rumen full of fibre and the demands of a fast-growing young animal. Rockley bulls consequently achieve early lifetime growth through the careful use of a molasses-based protein and energy supplement. We also feed leucaena at this stage as it delivers the quality forage protein required for the development of organs and tissue being laid down by the young bull. We add highly bioavailable forms of trace minerals such as Zinc, Copper and Selenium to optimise development, while antioxidants in the feed ensure our bull team run cool and comfortable while growing fast. Our collaboration with Rural Supplements guarantees consistency in ration quality and preparation from load to load.
Only when our sale bulls for auction reach the final stages of development are they offered a precise amount of concentrate feed to ensure they receive the energy and protein required to develop to their potential as elite Red Brahmans.
Science tells us that a nutritional plan that supports the integrity of an animal during development not only delivers immediate health benefits, but sets a course for lifetime production for our customers. A recent local study1 showed that by balancing bull requirements with a precise feed regime, a sweet spot of growth can be reached, where young bulls grow to genetic potential without compromised organ and structural development often associated with a long term or high impact, high starch diet.
Exercise is also imperative both inside and out. Just as a growing animal cannot attain full structural tone without exercise, the digestive tract also requires a full rumen and a high fibre base to fully develop for lifetime performance. All Rockley bulls actively roam broadacre pasture as they grow.
Rockley bulls benefit from our care and nutrition strategy from the beginning of their lives. While mature bulls are remarkably resistant to nutritional stress and can maintain fertility, condition and vigour in very poor conditions, young bulls can suffer ‘whole of life’ consequences if fed too much, too little or given feed of poor quality. Underfeeding can retard growth rates, delay puberty and affect fertility. Overfeeding can result in decreased testicular size, reducing sperm reserves and seminal quality. Balanced minerals and vitamins are also crucial for growing bulls. Our young bulls are fed accordingly.
Our registered sale animals are selected in paddock condition using our 7 elite breeding attributes, and we pay careful attention to do-ability. In other words, our cattle comfortably handle harsh landscapes and adapt well in drought conditions. Nutrition plays a key role in the development of do-ability and their ongoing performance post-purchase.
To find out more, please call me on 0408 780 810.