Texas Angus has always had a commercial focus on its breeding operation. It has been like this for over 82 years. It has a herd of 1200 head and the female herd is run in large contemporary groups to gain the most accurate performance data and ease of management. We find this system best suits our management of pastures and time efficiency since there is only a couple of us operating the stud!
Profitability is the key driver of our operation and our herd strives to maximise kg/ha without jeopardising carcase quality. Our ultimate aim is to provide a consistent pleasurable eating experience for consumers through a balanced breeding program overseen with sustainable agricultural principles.
We inseminate up to 80% of the herd to carefully selected world-leading sires to enhance the performance and carcase quality as well as expand genetic diversity. We have undertaken a large ET program for the last 10 years to accelerate the genetic gain of the herd
The selection of AI sires is based on the following criteria;
- Phenotype they must show a powerful sire outlook with plenty of bone, muscle, fleshing ability with good strong heads.
- Good structure including feet.
- Frame score ideally between 6.0 – 7.0.
- Balanced EBV’s with plenty of growth, moderate birth, moderate milk, good EMA & IMF with rib and rump fat. These sires must be tested free of recessive genes, parent verified and have been 50k gene tested
- Good temperament.
In conjunction with AI, the best progeny of cows bred to leading world sires are infused back into the herd for further progeny testing. Using Texas-bred sires helps keep a consistent even line and maintain the family bloodlines of the herd. Fertility is one of the most important traits in any breeding program and is a profit driver.
Our herd is run under an intensive grazing program applying pressure on each cow to test the capacity of her genetic traits. Dry times are an excellent test for our herds’ fertility and doing ability. Each year every cow must calve and is classed on the performance of her progeny, which must be of a consistent high standard to avoid culling.
With the introduction of AI and ET, our breeding program over the last two decades has changed dramatically in terms of growth, length and weight. The performance and cacase level of the herd has risen substantially whilst still maintaining the softness, fleshing, muscle and fertility. Over the last 5 years our two-year-old bulls continue to average over 800kgs with an average frame score of 6.
We also offer our clients a great backup service and have now initiated an Auctionsplus Client sale every year to sell under the Texas Angus Brand (more info). Since its inception in 2011 we have sold 99% and achieved a 20c/kg premium above the market for 1600 head for our clients. Gary Dick General Manager of Auctionsplus has described our 2012 sale “as one of the best bloodline Auctionsplus sales ever held”.
In 2014 Ben and Wendy wanted to benchmark the Texas herd against not only Angus cattle but against all breeds and crosses. They wanted to identify sire and dam lines that were profitable. In a nutshell, they wanted to pinpoint the cattle that had high performance in weight gains, excel in the carcase and achieve a consistently high-quality eating experience.
So they entered 3 pens of steers in the 2014 Royal Agricultural (RAS) Beef Challenge at Wilga Feedlot at Bellata NSW. With very little experience in this type of competition and not knowing entries came from very elite seed stock and commercial herds of NSW and QLD, Ben and Wendy basically wanted to gain a greater knowledge of how the Texas genetics performed and use this information to accelerate their genetic breeding decisions.
They also knew this was the only carcase competition in the country that undertook a taste test of every striploin by a panel of expert RAS judges. Never before had the stud ever entered any carcase competitions and what’s humbling for Ben and Wendy is for the last 4 years Texas Angus has dominated this competition by receiving a broad ribbon in every class with either heifers or steers and in both domestic and export fed categories. Every year they have taken out the highest daily weight and highest or equal highest marble score of the competition.
In late 2017 with only 18 steers left, Ben and Wendy decided they wanted to enhance further their benchmarking program and enter Australia’s largest and most prestigious carcase competition, 2018 Beef Australia’s ANZ National Carcass Competition. All their steers placed in the top 50 of 492 entries across Australia and 3 steers won the fiercely contested 100-day fed Export Chiller Bullocks (300 – 420kgs) class.
It was the largest class of the competition by 330 heads, with 21 processing plants involved and entries from every state of Australia, it was quite a memorable achievement. Once again this valuable information has been analysed, and sires and dams have been identified and joined accordingly so our clients will be able to access these genetics for their herds to ultimately increased their herd’s profitability. It should be noted in all the RAS Beef Challenge competitions Texas steers/heifers had the highest marble score of the competition and placed 3rd in all the 1077 entries of Beef Australia’s ANZ National Carcase Competition.
Also in conjunction with our balanced breeding program, we’ve followed the same principles with our soils and animal nutrition. We have always been focused on sustainability and protecting our precious soil biology and animal health.
10 years ago we wanted to implement a holistic program to balance our soils and animals’ nutrition. After using the conventional farming methods of adding nitrogen and phosphorus at increased yearly rates resulting in a boom-bust cycle for our crops and improved pastures, we started to notice the health of the cattle and dams decline. It was like a light bulb blowing – we knew we had to change.
Call it fate but we accidentally meet Ian Munro of Munash Fertilisers and once we heard his holistic principles of having healthy soils and get the mindset that a dark green crop was not necessarily healthy, we were hooked! Ian implemented a long-term plan to balance our soils and unlock the nitrogen and phosphorus that were tied up in the soil which would lead to improved soil, plant and animal health and balanced our land management system that was ultimately sustainable.
It took a number of years and there were plenty of people shaking their heads at our new program but our soils were once again working for us through improved organic carbon, microorganisms, improved water retention and overall soil biology. We started to see worms and organisms again which flowed through to improve the health of established pastures and crops and our dams were once again clean and healthy. Importantly the health of the cattle improved exponentially.
We’ve also used the same holistic approach with the cattle by improving rumen health with the use of probiotics. We wanted to replicate the principles of our soil health by introducing probiotics through animal nutrition targeting rumen development. By improving the soil and gut health of the cattle we have witnessed incredible results. We believe our cattle’s performance in carcase competitions, sale bull’s longevity and herd fertility are all interlinked with our balanced land management system that ultimately is sustainable for our business.
Some examples of the old Texas Females lines
Typical Pride female Typical ET Donor
A run of heifers just been AI’d