Limousin bull trial celebrates 10 years
At a time when most breed societies have stopped running multi-breeder bull trials, Limousin New Zealand continues to use these to support its members.
The annual South Island Limousin Bull Trial is now in its 10th continuous year providing a focus for its members to compare genetics and to promote quality bulls to potential buyers on a level playing ﬁeld.
Breeders select their best yearling bulls and send them to the trial farm in Dunsandel during August. Each month the animals are weighed, temperament scored and inspected with those not meeting the high standards of the management team being culled.
“Breeders realise that it is their reputation on the block so they only send their top bulls. The trial farm provides an even playing ﬁeld because the animals are grazed under the same management system. The impact of environmental differences on entry gradually reduces overtime and the true genetic differences start to shine”, says trial convenor Gary Kennett.
“It is really hard to compare bulls when run on different country. There are differences in feed regimes, calving dates, climate, preparation for sale, etc – the bull trial takes all of that out of the equation.”
During the trial hair samples are taken for DNA analysis and the data entered into Breedplan. During March, Bill Austin comes out and scans the animals for fat cover, intramuscular fat and eye muscle area. Scrotals are also measured. This data is also entered into Breedplan. Each bull is also fertility tested and structurally assessed.
“By sale day, there is a lot of reliable EBV data available for each animal which is helpful to buyers in their decision-making. There is always a range of types available to suit all buyers.”
Limousin are a French breed with excellent carcase qualities. They tend to be moderately framed with a higher percentage muscle to bone.
They are amongst the best breeds for carcase yield. Easy calving with explosive growth rates, they work very well over British breeds as a terminal sire.
“In the UK Limousin are by far the most common beef breed for cross-breeding. In Australia and North America they are recognised for their ability to add muscle and weight to carcasses.
“The modern Limousin is a far cry from its predecessors. The breed was the ﬁrst to docility score (1995) and the impact on temperament from selecting sires with higher docility EBVs been remarkable.”
“A Limousin bull represents excellent value for money because they tend to live a long time and be competitively priced. The progeny is well sought after with premiums being paid for calves through to prime stock.”
This article was brought to you in association with the following New Zealand businesses… Limousin New Zealand, Black Creek LIMOUSINS,