An ever-reliable cross option

Charolais bulls are a reliable cross option for Middletons

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Long-term buyers: The Middleton family purchased a yearling bull, Palgrove Quinton Q253D (P), in 2020 for $13,000. For close to 16 years Palgrove has been producing the type of bull that meets the Middleton's requirements.

Long-term buyers: The Middleton family purchased a yearling bull, Palgrove Quinton Q253D (P), in 2020 for $13,000. For close to 16 years Palgrove has been producing the type of bull that meets the Middleton's requirements.

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The market versatility afforded by joining Charolais bulls with red poll Brahmans cows has been an ongoing benefit in the Middleton family's crossbreeding program for 16 years.

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The market versatility afforded by joining Charolais bulls with red poll Brahmans cows has been an ongoing benefit in the Middleton family's crossbreeding program for 16 years.

Clancy and Jackie Middleton, with their son Clancy, and his family, run their breeding herd on basalt country on Warwombie, 50km north of Hughenden, with weaners and steers moved to Mt View, 10km north of the town, while more steers and cull heifers graze on the black soil downs landscape on Renfrey Park, situated 16km south of Hughenden.

Jackie Middleton said after eight long years of drought conditions, they've thankfully had a break in the season this year.

"Our country is in the best condition it has been in for some time," she said.

Mrs Middleton said in addition to the marketing options they can take advantage of with their Charbray progeny, the Charolais bulls' traits of swift weight gain and docility are evident in the progeny produced.

"We purchase Charolais bulls with a long history of poll or homogenous poll in their bloodlines, and which provide good calving rates, and early weight gains to join with our breeding herd.

The family leave the bulls in with the cows on a year round basis.

"We spay all cross breed females at weaning. We cull hard, as we only keep red poll Brahman females. Though this process our calving percentage hovers between 75 to 85 per cent.

They sell their cross bred females to the feeder market at close to 18 months-old at 280 to 320kg, while steers are sold at close to 500kg at 24 to 30 month-old.

"The live export market is proving to be a profitable way for us to sell at present."

Mrs Middleton said solid conformation, a good long line of poll or homogenous poll in the bloodline, soundness, and the ability to adapt to the heat and in their country are prerequisites when it comes to the bulls they look to purchase.

"For close to 16 years the Bondfield family, Palgrove stud, have been producing the type of bull that meets these needs.

"Their bulls have great survivability; top temperament and soundness; good weight gain, moderate birth weight, and provide easy calving; and give us the ability to make good beef off grass. Palgrove secure the best Charolais genetics from around the world, which is evidenced by the bulls in their paddock.

"We've found that we can talk easily to staff leading up to sales to help pick bulls suitable for our needs, and the staff are excellent in responding to any follow up enquiries we have post-sale.

"We're running 15 or 16 Palgrove bulls at present, and time and again they've proven to be a great cross with our Brahman cows."

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