Excellent for crossbreeding

Santa Gertrudis are key to Perrett's cross

Business features
The program: The Perretts' maiden heifers calve out at Bottle Tree Hills and are then sent to either Shepherds Hill (pictured) or Hoolah Creek when pregnant with their second calf.

The program: The Perretts' maiden heifers calve out at Bottle Tree Hills and are then sent to either Shepherds Hill (pictured) or Hoolah Creek when pregnant with their second calf.

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Santa Gertrudis have been central to the Perrett family's Western Downs-based crossbreeding programs for more than a decade.

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Santa Gertrudis have been central to the Perrett family's Western Downs-based crossbreeding programs for more than a decade.

Ted and Catherine Perrett, with their three young children Richard, Eloise and Ruby, operate the business from EU-accredited Bottle Tree Hills in Wandoan, which has been in the family since the 1930s.

The Perrett's are currently running a 700-head breeding program across their three properties, which includes two breeder blocks Shepherds Hill near Taroom and Hoolah Creek south of Roma. All progeny are brought back to Bottle Tree Hills at weaning time, which is when replacement heifers are selected. Maiden heifers calve out at Bottle Tree Hills and are then sent to either Shepherds Hill or Hoolah Creek when pregnant with their second calf.

Mr Perrett first moved to Bottle Tree Hills in 2007, but his great uncle, Dick Perrett had been utilising Santa Gertrudis genetics before that time.

"They're a good beast. We join the Santa bulls to our cows, which includes a mix of Charolais, Angus and Shorthorn crosses. Over a crossbred cow the Santa bulls add beef to the progeny without sacrificing the ability to fatten," he said.

Over a crossbred cow the Santa bulls add beef to the progeny without sacrificing the ability to fatten. - Ted Perrett, Bottle Tree Hills, Wandoan.

Their bulls are joined with the cows from November to March/April depending on seasonal conditions.

"At weaning we cull any dry cows. We preg-test annually and achieve a conception rate of 90 per cent or higher across our entire herd.

"Our joiner heifers can sometimes be a bit behind our other cows so we have begun to supplement feed them through the winter to help get them to a better joining weight."

The family aim to fatten bullocks and females to send direct to the meatworks but depending on the season they also send cattle to feedlots.

Since they've lived at Bottle Tree Hills the Perretts have been purchasing bulls from the Wandoan Santa Gertrudis Bull Sale.

"We bought three bulls at the sale last year. The bulls offered there are always high quality, and you receive good value for what you pay. Our close proximity to the sale is a benefit as well.

"I'll be heading back there this year if I don't have my numbers by sale time."

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