Last years New Zealand top price Angus bull, Fossil Creek Hero H6 is proving to be a game changer. In the Beef industry, one of the holy grail’s of maternal efficiency is to have a sire that breeds daughters with medium or smaller frame size but leaves progeny with high carcase weight.
The size or weight of beef females is reflected in the Mature Cow Weight EBV (MWT)
It is recognised that it is more efficient to have cows with lower MWT to perform and be more profitable in the tough environments that New Zealand beef cows are frequently run in. Bigger cows usually need much more feed to maintain their own bodyweight and raise a calf.
However on the flip side of this most small or low MWT cows produce calves that either don’t grow well or quickly. Neither of these progeny traits are desirable as both lead to lower profits due to low finishing or carcase weights at slaughter or from taking many more months to reach adequate finishing weights. These factors are becoming even more critical as beef finishing systems become more sophisticated eg Fodder Beet.
In an ideal world the relationship between MWT and Carcase Wt breeding values would be very similar, illustrating a low or moderate size/weight cow that produced progeny with an equal carcase weight EBV ( Ratio of 1:1) Most Angus cattle have a ratio of around 0.5 which means that the carcase weight is half the ratio of Mature cow weight.
Three year old Fossil Creek Hero H6 is unique in that he is one of a very few elite group of bulls with a MWT:CWT ratio of 1.2. It is believed that H6 is the only NZ bred Angus bull with such an efficient maternal efficiency ratio but still maintaining above average growth rates and carcase weight EBVs.
Having an above average breeding value for calving ease, top 10% for weaning and yearling weight, top 10% for all the maternal traits including Scrotal Circumference, Gestation length and Days to Calving in addition to rib and rump fats just put this bull out in a league of his own.
Hero H6 was purchased by Tangihau Angus near Gisborne in 2014 and had a busy breeding season and according to Stud manager Dean McHardy did the job very well and came in carrying great condition.
H6 has been enrolled in the Australian Angus Benchmarking bull trial now in to its 6th year which is providing strong further evidence that Breedplan is working well. Also semen from the bull has been inseminated into commercial cows in New Zealand as part of a Benchmark programme being coordinated and run by beef and Lamb Genetics to test bulls specifically in NZ farming systems.