Speckle Park sires are more than holding their own against Angus bulls on the Kooroongarra property of Jeffery and Kellie McLoughlin.
The central Queensland couple decided to try the more novel breed in 2020 after watching its performance at the nearby Missingham family's Dorroughby stud for a couple of years.
"We liked the look of the Speckle Park bulls and their progeny and our research highlighted the breed's strong performance in commercial cattle breeding operations in environments similar to ours," Mr McLoughlin said.
The McLoughlins have 100 Angus breeding cows on their 550-hectare property and do some winter and summer cropping, mainly for grazing and a bit of grain.
They are in the Toowoomba region, which is a medium rainfall zone with brigalow soils and is characterised by gentle slopes across paddocks.
The pair have traditionally mated their Angus cows to Angus and Hereford bulls.
In 2020, they bought a traditional Speckle Park bull and a Black Speckle Park bull from the Dorroughby stud.
The Black Speckle was put over a mob of 70 Angus cows alongside an Angus bull.
The traditional Speckle was used over the remaining 30 Angus cows.
Progeny from both groups was born in spring of 2021 and has been performing well.
The steer progeny will be sold at about 20 months of age and at weights of 350-400 kilograms per head in March-April of this year.
Heifers will be retained for breeding with Speckle Park and Angus bulls.
Growth rates for both the steers and heifers have been exceptional to date, according to Mr McLoughlin.
He said the Speckle Park calves from the traditional and the Black Speckle bulls were growing well, looked good in structure and had a very even temperament.
"We were a little skeptical about how they would go compared to the Angus and the Hereford-cross progeny," he said.
"But, from day one, they have been more than holding their own against the purebred Angus calves in growth, looks and temperament.
"When the temperament is good, it makes for ease of management."
Typically, the McLoughlin's will join their cows in August for an eight-week period to ensure a tight calving.
All stock are grass-fed on native and improved pastures, mostly grasses, as well as on oat crops sown in winter and sorghum crops sown in summer.
They are run in small mobs and rotationally grazed on small areas that change about every month using temporary electric fencing.
Genetics are important, and bulls are selected on visual appraisal for structure, muscling and temperament.
Mr McLoughlin also checks Estimated Breeding Values for low birthweight to ensure ease of calving.
The Dorroughby Speckle Park stud uses top Australian genetics and outcross genetics imported from Canada.
Mr McLoughlin said he planned to expand his breeding herd in future and keep using Speckle Park and Black Speckle bulls, alongside one Angus bull.
"We will likely reduce our cropping operation and have more cows - and Speckle Park sires will certainly be part of that," he said.
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