THE Davidson family at Roper Downs in Middlemount saw a great return on their investment in Charbray genetics during the CQLX weaner sales held in mid-2018.
Will and Zoe Davidson live on the 5504ha property with their children Tait and Wyatt, Wills' grandfather Neville, mother Toni, and his younger sisters Tammy and Jess.
There they run a pure Charbay herd of 1000 breeders and 300 heifers on predominantly rich brigalow country which is bordered by red tableland ridges.
Trading as Davidson Pastoral, the family breed and sell weaner steers, usually at 270kg to 280kg, through the CQLX saleyards at the June weaner sales. Heifers not kept in the paddock are also sold through Gracemere at close to 25kg lighter than the steers.
"Our 2018 steers averaged 307.2c at 274.8kg to make $843.91/head, to top at 314.2c five times. Our best pen topped the sale when they sold for 310.2c at 338.9kg to return $1051.36.
"Our heifers averaged 252.2c, weighing 245.1kg to make $621.74, and our best performing pen, and also our heaviest heifers at the sale, averaged 258.2c at 309.1kg to return $779.57."
The family saw the potential of the Charbray when they were on their previous property in Beaudesert.
"We had Santa Gertrudis breeders there, and then we went into buying in steers to grow them out to bullocks, which is how we noticed the Charbray steers were always outperforming the other breeds. From that experience we decided the weight for age and marketability of the Charbray was something we wanted to hone in on when we made the move to Middlemount.
Will said when they bought Roper Downs from well known breeder Jarvis Collins, a good line of Red Brahman females came with the purchase.
"We produced a first-cross Charolais x Brahman which we have built our herd on. We became pure Charbray seven seasons ago, and we've solely been purchasing Charbray bulls for nine seasons, generally by purchasing generational bred sires."
He said their Charbray cows have proven to be highly fertile over the years.
"We don't have too many bad years with pregnancy rates, they're normally in the high 80 per cent to low 90pc range.
The Davidsons run a five month joining period from late October to late March to allow for the lead of their weaners to hit the ground in early Spring.
"This allows us to target the June/July weaner sales for selling.
"Season depending, we follow the market and sell earlier or later in the season. This provides us with a six week window to choose our sales.
"We've sold as early as May, and as late as mid-July, we just look at what is going to work best at the time."
To keep quality genetics flowing through the herd, the Davidson's usually purchase between three to 10 bulls at the Charbray National Sale each year.
"There is a large variety of vendors at the sale and they're always offering their best of the best bulls. We'll be heading down there again this year."
He said at the sale they target sires which are standing on good bone, with good weight for age, thickness over the rib, high EMA, and a quiet temperament.
"We bought a really good poll bull, Colinta Lincoln, there for $10,500. He was an RNA show winner which produced great calves for us last year with good bone and length. They're the lead of our weaners.
Further ahead, Will said he has been looking at eventually buying country to live on with Zoe, Tait and Wyatt.
He said he's also set aside 150 cows with the idea of possibly registering a stud.
"We've pulled a better line of cows out of the herd, and we're looking into what's involved with that now. That'll be a few years down the track."