Supplementation Compliments Genetic Improvement.
The Sandys run 450 Hereford base cows on 4 properties from Swifts Creek to The Gap near Omeo in a partnership between Peter and his uncle Jim.
The altitude ranges from 300 – 800 metres above sea level. The herd is split with 270 being pure Herefords and the balance being crossed with shorthorn bulls to produce the well-known roan cattle that are so sought after in the mountain calf sales every year during March.
The Sandys use plenty of Anipro during the year and have done for a long time. They began during a drought when looking for alternatives to help get the cattle through a tough period, this began a long and rewarding association for both the Sandy’s and Performance Feeds. During the drought period whilst using Anipro their pregnancy rate was 90% while others in the district were sitting at around 60 to 65 % conception rate. “A huge advantage”. When those females calved 73% of them calved in the first 3 weeks. Peter was pretty happy with the results. Rod Hancock, Anipro serviceman, suggested putting the bulls on Anipro too before the next joining period and seeing if the percentage of cows that calved in the first three weeks improved. They duly did this the following year and had 79% calve in the first three weeks. This allows for a very even line of calves come sale day, this consistency is something the Sandy Partnership cattle are renowned for.
Peter would highly recommend every producer that calves in the autumn to use Anipro it’s a huge gain.
For the last 4 years the calves have been weaned with Anipro, this year due to 170 mm of rain between Christmas and mid-January they didn’t use Anipro as they were concerned the calves wouldn’t take it with the amount of green feed on offer, “it was like Spring up here “.Things have turned pretty dry and hot now, Peter thinks now they probably should have as the calves may not have the same bloom on them as they have had in previous years. They also give the first calving heifers Anipro, as it helps them to settle down and cycle sooner assisting in keeping the tight calving pattern.
Along with the cattle the Sandy’s also run a pure merino flock, with an average micron of 17.5 – 18. A top ram is purchased from Pendarra Merino Stud every couple of years to put over 70 selected ewes from the Sandy’s flock to breed rams for the rest of the flock. 50% of the rams in the last years drop have a comfort factor of 100%.
The sheep are put on WeatherPro GP through the green feed period and this has eliminated any foot abscess issues which used to be a problem in the flock. During the dry feed period the sheep are switched over to FibrePro 40S to assist them in utilising the dry feed on offer.
Peter believes using the WeatherPro along with superior genetics has seen them improve their wool cut and quality enormously. For the past five years they have received a supreme clip of the month award for their clip ,” hoping to crack the supreme clip of the year one day. “ This year their weaners cut wool with a length of 105 – 115mm and they were penalised for over length wool! In future they will look to shear the weaners at 10 months.
It is great to hear a story of dedicated Performance Feeds product users who are achieving terrific results through a combination of supplementation and genetic improvement.