Mark and Pauline Lloyd run a 1500 head purebred Brangus commercial breeding herd at Mavis Downs, situated 174 kilometres south-west of Mackay.
The Lloyd’s have owned the 5000 hectare property, comprising of Brigalow, Box and Belah country, since 1994, where they run a mixed grazing and crop farming operation.
The family has been using Brangus since 1980.
“Our parents used them initially on their home block, and we continued with them in our operation when Mavis Downs was bought,” Mark said.
“We favour the Brangus for their ability to adapt year in and year out to all conditions, they also have excellent market suitability, and a proven track record in regards to fertility and temperament,” he said.
The Lloyd’s usually join their bulls with the females from December until the end of April, with the aim of getting the MSA premium for their cattle when they turn them off to JBS as two to four-teeth bullocks at 340kg dress weight, and their heifers at 250kg.
Mark said they’re constantly striving to improve the quality of their cattle, while placing extra focus on conformation so that they can achieve a higher carcase yield enabling them to turn off their cattle at a younger age.
“We’re also always looking to improve the consistency of the fertility rates within the herd, and we only keep quiet, easy to maintain cattle on-property.”
He said they only bring in genetics with proven doing ability, and cull heavily to ensure they maintain a strong female base herd.
Mark said the family have been regularly attending the Central Brangus Classic Sale since it began to expand and enhance the genetics base of their herd by purchasing the high quality bulls available there.
“We’ve always found that the quality of the yarding offered at the CBC sale has been first-rate, and adding to the appeal is the fact that all the bulls are bred in the Central Highlands area so they’re well suited to our conditions.
“Though we don’t purchase from specific stud’s, we’ve bought Telemon genetics from the sale over the years which has helped us to maintain the strength of our breeder base.”
When attending the sale, Mark said they keep an eye on bulls with a strong sire head, length, bone, and a quiet temperament.
“Length and bone are vital for us to produce the weight gains we need for improved carcase yields in our bullocks.”
He said a strong sire head is an important characteristic for a bull to have to be able to produce potential sale bull calves.
“And good temperament is essential for earlier weight gain, meat tenderness and bruising reduction in sale cattle and is a priority for any breeding herd to improve genetics and maintain fertility.”
Mark said the challenge of breeding cattle is both rewarding and frustrating.
“On those occasions that you do breed a good product, the reward inspires you to strive to breed something even better the next time.”
Pauline said being together when their daughters Sarah, Renee and Claire when they’re home from uni and boarding school is what they look forward to most when they aren’t working their cattle.
“Fishing and learning about new ag technology are a couple of other interests Mark and I have.”
Later in the year, the Lloyd’s will be making their debut as vendors at the 42nd ABCA Sponsored Rockhampton Brangus Sale where they’ll be offering three of their best herd bulls.