Our years of experience have taught us that the most important factor to consider when purchasing a bull is its breeding program. We choose to buy from breeders whose programs align with our own long-term goals so that we can continue to breed elite bulls and females that provide genetic gains and more profitable, high-performance cattle for stud and commercial producers.
We have great expectations for our latest acquisition at RBWS 2019 – Samari Plains Oliver (P).
It was our pleasure to spend time with Keith and Annabelle Wilson at Samari Plains, Surat in early 2019. We were impressed by their herd in general and by Oliver in particular. We noted that Samari Plains have a breeding focus on udders, temperament and fertility, with the herd recorded on BREEDPLAN and the bulls genomics and morphology tested. These factors strongly suggested that Oliver would meet our selection criteria for buying a bull for breeding at Rockley.
BREEDPLAN figures for Oliver indicate he is above average for scrotal size and days-to calving. He is above average for EMA, rib and rump fats, IMF and in the top 23% for flight time.
Below I summarise the bull selection considerations that led to our purchase of Oliver. We looked for evidence that he is likely to be highly fertile and we assessed his appearance (phenotype) against our 7 elite breeding attributes.
Marks for Fertility
Fertility is Rockley’s priority selection criterion as it’s the number one profit driver.
- Oliver’s dam, Samari Plains Signora, conceived at 19 months. She has had four calves in a row with a days-to-calving interval of 338 and was pregnancy tested heavily back in calf.
- Oliver had a scrotal measurement of 33cm at 12 months of age.
- His scrotal circumference was 41.5cm on sale day (23 months of age).
- His grandmother was a daughter of Rockley 957, who had a tremendous record of 11 calves with a days-to-calving in interval of 375. She was culled for age in 2018.
- Oliver’s sire is a proven calf getter who easily covers his cows.
We rate Oliver and his family very highly against our 7 elite breeding attributes:
- Fertility: Summarised above.
- Structurally correct: Oliver is very sound on his feet and legs.
- Quiet temperament: Evident at our early inspection.
- Abundance of length and width: Confirmed by his weight of 826kg at 23 months.
- Clean underlines: Oliver’s sheath is light, clean and evenly attached.
- Do-ability: He showed natural fleshing ability before sale preparation.
- Sound udders: Oliver’s dam had a very sound udder that would have had no impact on her longevity.
We were specifically drawn to Oliver’s strong head and broad muzzle. He has strong bone, plenty of loose skin and is long and thick behind the hump. His classy, polled, light pigmented full sister also caught our attention.
What’s next for Oliver…
All these factors point to successful breeding from Oliver. Our short-term plan is to join him with commercial heifers at Rockley and to measure his progeny. If we are happy with them, we will then assemble a paddock of registered light pigmented and Simbrah females to produce stud and commercial animals. We expect Oliver will cross exceptionally well with Rockley LP Etheridge daughters.
To find out more about Oliver, to enquire about buying his semen and/or to talk further about any aspect of our breeding program, please call me (Ashley) on 0408 780 810.
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