The Importance of Nutrition For Both Females and Bulls

In the early years the majority of grass was native and not particularly high in protein, digestibility or protein and the cold winters made this worse. The ability of females to get in calf, get back in calf quickly and produce heavy weaners was found to be directly relevant to the feed available on property. This was known as non performing females were culled quickly and bulls were selected and checked for reproductivity.

Over many years (as funds became available) feed availability improved by introducing improved pasture supported by legumes. Different grasses were also trialled and selected and ultimately it was found that Rhodes Grass worked well with Blue Grass also performing well into the colder months. Stocking rates were carefully managed to ensure improved grasses were not over grazed.

In Queensland the Winter feed wedge is difficult to manage particularly for bulls when the emphasis is on long, consistent growth. Knowing that for the worst months of the year pastures aren’t sufficient to keep bulls going forwards rye grass over sown with lucerne has worked best. Bulls are strip grazed on this irrigated feed and it has been found that having dry grass available at the same time works best nutritionally. Grazed under these conditions Nangur has managed to produce paddock bulls of adequate size and weight for many years without the use of Grain.

Seasons are unreliable at Goomeri and for this reason efforts are made to manage to risk by baling improved pasture into hay and using licks. Underlying all of these actions is the belief that you get paid in kilograms of beef produced so stocking rates are geared towards this concept. i.e. it is better to have less animals producing more kilograms of beef than more animals producing less. This also reduces overheads and is a key to maintaining profitability of the cattle operation.

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