Introduction to the 2014/2015 Bull Trial
Clogs to Gumboots – Pushbike to Quad - at home with Limousins
In a picturesque farm setting with established trees and good solid hill country, Diana Maxwell heads off with husband Richard to bring in the 15 strong mob of yearling bulls for their monthly inspection and weigh in. Diana and Richard’s management produced well grown docile bulls in the first trial on their farm. We now head into the second year the bulls have been trialled on their Buckland Rd property near Cambridge, where they will be well prepared for their lives after sale as herd sires on beef farms throughout New Zealand. The bulls arrived at the beginning of September 2014 and will be farmed on “the road to Hobbiton” until sale time, on the property on 2 June 2015. Already the bulls have on average gained 1.5kg per day weight, since the move to their new home.
Diana and Richard visited the home of Limousin in 2013, including “Poll du Lanaud” near Limoges, which further cemented their interest in the breed. Richard and Diana are keen members of the North Island Limousin Breeders’ Group. In addition to their purebred Limousin stock they also run a variety of other cattle breeds to improve their insight into hybrid vigour, where Limousin is used as a terminal sire.
The aim of the North Island Limousin Group (NILG) Bull Trial is continuous improvement. Last year’s bulls were stand outs in terms of their growth and docility and the challenge is to once again improve the Limousins available in New Zealand.
The bull trial group want to learn and improve Limousin. Always, the questions are asked:
How can make Limousins better?
Which Limousin genetics do well?
How can we spread the Limousin breed far and wide?
The 2014/15 trial is the 21st time bulls have been put through a trial and brought to market by the North Island Limousin breeders. Many of the breeders already ”Limousin Assured” status. As well, the level of experience amongst the breeders means each bull is closely scrutinised and only the best bulls will be offered at the final sale.
The 2014/5 trial is well supported by North Island breeders with entries from Mangatawhiri, Sentosa, Ngarimu, Grayleen, Huntlands, Caberfeidh and Kivlean Limousin studs. It is great to see some new, proven AI genetics coming through as this provides previous buyers with new options for their breeding programmes. Already one of the early maturing Mandayen Guardian bulls has reached the suggested 600kg minimum weight for sale day bulls. Other AI bloodlines include Sauvignon, Highlander with bulls back to Wulfs Lowell and Redpaths Jaguar. Of course there is also still the tried and true favourites from the past. One to note is that there are three bulls which go back to the Sentosa’s much lauded matriarch, Leudal Nana, the mother of Sentosa Emperor.
Check out the pedigrees of each Limousin entrant. Many of the bulls have the distinctive F94L muscling gene, this is shown on the pedigree as AA (DNA tested) or 2A (By parentage). The pedigree will show the polledness of the bull, including the results of any DNA testing. A homozygous polled bull will deliver calves, all of which will be polled.
The links to the pedigrees are shown below.