Breeding Objectives

The Warwick Court herd has had a very long commitment to traits that lower cost of production and increase net profit.

The genetic trends for the Warwick Court herd compared to the Herefords breed genetic trends will give our clients and potential clients, confidence in our programme. We do this by maximizing selection pressure in the ‘free traits’, fertility, structure, temperament and carcase quality and balancing the ‘cost’ traits; milk, growth and muscle. These genetic ideals have, been our objective for 30 years – a commitment to having a low cost and highly functional cowherd.

The genetic trends, are listed below in graphs supplied in the 2016 Breedplan report. Note these are for more than 180 calves born in 2015.

 

  1. Fertility – Firstly, look at the most important biological functions of a cow: calving ease and fertility. What do the long term trends indicate?
Trait Long Term Trend Warwick Court Herd Latest Breedplan Report 2015
Birth Weight Warwick Court consistently at or below breed average 0.5 kg below breed average for 2015 calves
Gestation Length Warwick Court consistently shorter gestation over 20 years -0.4 days short than breed average for 2015 calves
Calving Ease Direct Warwick Court consistently greater than breed average for the last 20 years +1.7 above breed average for 2015 calves
Calving Ease Daughters Daughters following CE direct trend +0.1 above breed average for 2015 calves
Days to Calving Warwick Court cowherd consistently better than breed average -0.3 days below breed average for 2015 calves
Mature Cow Weight Selection for moderate cows has seen a trend towards breed average -1kg below breed average for 2015 calves
Scrotal Size Followed breed average +0.2 above breed average
200D Milk Cost trait, Warwick Court consistently above breed average without sacrificing fertility 2015 average is +17kg

 

Moderate fat cover and mature cow weight are essential in a highly fertile herd. Adverse trends in these traits can significantly lower your herd fertility in one generation in tough conditions. These are very important fertility traits in a high production and low cost system.

 

  1. Growth – For 600 day growth, Warwick Court is 6kg above breed average, for calves born 2015.
  1. Carcase – The carcase traits are important as our long term commitment is for our clients to service high quality markets, and meet consumer expectations. These traits affect long term profitability on form in the range of 10% to 15% of net profit, reference Holmes & Sackett.
Trait Long Term Trend Warwick Court Herd Latest Breedplan Report 2016
Carcase EMA Warwick Court consistently at or above breed average for 16 years +0.7cm2 above breed average
Rump and rib fat Warwick Court unique point of difference, high performance and positive genetic fat At breed average or above
Retail Beef Cautions approach, linked to cow fertility follow breed average At breed average
IMF% Important trait for Herefords, ‘free trait’ for the breeder, profit driver for feedlotter and very important for the consumer Warwick Court 0.5 above breed average for 2015 calves

The breeding challenge is increasing, to optimise the balance between fat, maturity pattern and muscle in a sustainable and fertile cow herd. Our biggest challenge is to cap Birth weight, select for fast growth to 400 days.

The herd profile reflects our long term commitment to increase the net profit for our clients. By maximizing selection pressure in the ‘free traits’, which are fertility, structure, and carcase and balancing the ‘cost’ traits milk, growth and muscle.