Gelbvieh cross option working well for Teys

Teys ticks Gelbvieh utilisation off the bucket list

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Investigating the use of Gelbvieh genetics as a cross option with his mainly Droughtmaster breeding herd has been on Wayne Teys' bucket list since the breed entered the Yeppoon region in the early 1990s.

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Fusion: One of the Weetalabah Gelbvieh cows Mr Teys purchased at the 2019 February All Breeds Sale with Droughtmaster x Gelbvieh progeny.

Fusion: One of the Weetalabah Gelbvieh cows Mr Teys purchased at the 2019 February All Breeds Sale with Droughtmaster x Gelbvieh progeny.

Investigating the use of Gelbvieh genetics as a cross option with his mainly Droughtmaster breeding herd has been on Wayne Teys' bucket list since the breed entered the Yeppoon region in the early 1990s.

This interest came to a head two years ago when Mr Teys purchased two Gelbvieh heifers at the February All Breeds Sale from the Nixon family at Weetalabah stud.

"It's the great temperament, maternal instincts and hybrid vigour of the breed that caught my attention. In the two drops of crossbred calves I've had to date, the progress in relation to those traits is evident. They're just as hardy as the Droughties as well," Mr Teys said.

"I've received a couple of cross bull calves that I'll hang onto to put back over my Droughtie cows. While the herd will mainly remain pure Droughtie, I wanted to practically explore crossbreeding as it has always been an interest of mine, and to date it's showing its worth," he said.

A two-month old Drougtmaster x Gelbvieh from the most recent drop of calves Mr Teys has produced.

A two-month old Drougtmaster x Gelbvieh from the most recent drop of calves Mr Teys has produced.

Since purchasing his 60 hectare property, Squatters Castle, at Lake Mary, near Yeppoon, in 1983, where he has lived since 1988, Mr Teys went through many breeds before settling on Droughtmasters 10 years ago.

"Introducing the Gelbvieh is just a way of trying to get a bit more out of my cows."

He said even if he's not looking to buy in a given year, he still tries to attend the February All Breeds Sale, to inspect the various composite breeds, and to have a yarn with those attending.

"Julie Nixon has been very helpful and friendly. She has given me a lot of useful information about the Gelbviehs. I send her pics of the cross calves so she can see how the females are performing."

It hasn't been an easy ride for Mr Teys, with drought, a cyclone, and fire creating major obstacles in his efforts to improve his herd and country, which was initially bare scrub.

"I had 160mm in October last year, then nothing until just before Christmas when I received 80mm, then their was another gap until a storm delivered 20mm last week. While the most recent falls have freshened things up for a fortnight or so, the fact that my dams haven't been bywashed for three years shows how dry it has been.

In 2015 Tropical Cyclone Marcia caused extensive damage to Mr Teys property.

"It made a mess of the clean-up work I'd been doing, I had to basically start from scratch. I lost several buildings in its wake as well."

The bush fires last year also took a toll as he lost 40 per cent of his paddocks.

"All I can say is a big thank you too the RFSQ and SES Rural Fire Brigade. I feel grateful that I fared better than others, my neighbour lost all his paddocks."

A six-month-old Droughtmaster x Gelbvieh calf in Mr Teys' operation.

A six-month-old Droughtmaster x Gelbvieh calf in Mr Teys' operation.

His bulls are in the paddock with the cows all year with the objective of ensuring all calving is completed by Spring/early Summer.

"My neighbour purchases all the weaners I produce and sells them to the meatworks as three-year-old's at 400kg dressed. It's a solid arrangement, I've been getting good returns from him. I remember getting 150c/kg in the mid-1990's and now it's up to 550c/kg, there has been a big jump, especially in the last two years.

"I also sell cull heifers, and older cows (10 to 12 years old) through the Gracemere Saleyards, where the market is strong at present."

He's achieving a 90 to 95pc fertility rate in his females, which he said comes down to good land management and supplementary feeding.

"It makes a big difference and is worth the investment.

"I recommend Brachiaria Humidicola, it has outlasted all the Rhodes Grass here, and the cattle find it quite palatable. I've also established Seca Stylo and Vareno, Wynn Cassia, and Pangola. Of my 60ha, 53ha is productive land, I've just left some trees at the back of the block to act as a wind break.

"Being in phosphorus-deficient country I feed the cattle a dry lick year-round. This has been key in helping them keep their condition and performing in the dry."

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