Introduction: Cree consists of 1000 head with 400 Stud females grazing at “Kiah”, ” Blue Haven” and “Westrock” in the Lawgi Dawes area near Thangool. Family owned and managed by Shaun & Jo McGuigan with assistance from their two sons Jake & Jed.
Jake, wife Kathleen, and granddaughter Malia, live at “The Meadows” near Jambin, overseeing and share farming the irrigation, hay growing, and fattening country.
Jed, a qualified Commercial Heavy Vehicle Mechanic & Auto Electrician, also owns and operates McGuigan & Co, a local transport business for Livestock, Hay & General Freight.
Management @ Cree: The life of a Stud Bull/Cow, has been combined to provide an insight into the Cree Stud operation.
The stud is managed with a commercially orientated focus, breeding cattle that are functional and sound, that can rear a calf with good weaner weights, re-breed each year, and do this regardless of season and environment.
Cree is 4 ½, out of 5, star rating, for performance recording with BREEDPLAN, and have been objectively recording for over 20 years. All information is recorded via live entry at the cattle yards on Stock book software, to promote accuracy and efficiency to eliminate any errors due to double handling. This is particularly important with the collection of TSU samples for DNA and Genomics applications.
November – Bull in Date, Cree Sires are joined to aged Cows.
December – Bull in Date for Yearling Heifers. (400 Day weight) (Flight Time measured)
NOTE: Yearling heifers are multiple joined for 70 days from Christmas to the end of February. They range from 12 months – 15 months at joining, and this practice identifies the early pubertal genetics. Season permitting, we do also run a blanket AI program in Early December.
These heifers calve out in Sep/Oct and their calves are birth weighed, tagged, and a TSU sample is taken and sent away for Sire DNA verification.
These females are not presented for classification until positively rebred with a weaner at foot. This system proves, early puberty, ease of calving, milking, and mothering ability and foremost rebreed rate eliminating the likelihood of covert genetic occurrences such as lactation anoestrus.
All calves are birth recorded and born before Dec 10. The first branding, tagging, and vaccination round is completed before Christmas.
ABRI for analyses. Those bulls selected for sale are drafted off, have TSU samples taken and sent away for DNA analysis. Testing includes (BVDV) Pesti Virus, Pompes, Horn/Poll, Parentage and 50 K SNP for Genomics. These bulls are then returned to grass and leucaena pastures at “Kiah”. The undesirables are banded and trucked to “The Meadows” to fatten on leucaena and grass as well.
January/February: Second and final round of branding and 2nd Vaccinations and NLIS tags are administered.
January/February: 400 D Weights, Scrotal Circumference and Flight Time are collected for Yearling Bulls and sent to ABRI for analyses. Those bulls selected for sale are drafted off, have TSU samples taken and sent away for DNA analysis. Testing includes (BVDV) Pesti Virus, Pompes, Horn/Poll, Parentage and 50 K SNP for Genomics. These bulls are then returned to grass and leucaena pastures at “Kiah”. The undesirables are banded and trucked to “The Meadows” to fatten on leucaena and grass as well.
The bulls are supplementary fed on a high roughage diet consisting of hay we grow ourselves, usually wheat, oats, barley, and millet. To this we add pro-biotics and all essential trace elements for a healthy rumen. Our preparations are never more than 30% grain composition and are fed daily.
February: Bulls Out from all females and spelled in grass pastures.
April/May Weaner weights & Mature Cow Weights are collected. (Mat Wgt) (200D Wt)
All breeding females are weighed (Mature Cow Weight) and calf at foot is weighed then weaned (200D Wt) on the same day. Cows are also pregnancy tested and the positives are bang tailed, with any failures trucked to “The Meadows” for fattening.
Yearling heifers are weighed for 600 Day weight, pregnancy tested and scanned for Carcass traits: EMA, RIB, RUMP & IMF, and all empties are trucked to fatten at “The Meadows”.
Managing disease is obtained by seasonal joining and vaccinating for 7:1, Pesti Virus, & Vibrio with a yearly booster of the first two at Pregnancy Test.
We muster one paddock each day at weaning. As each paddock is yarded, we feed the weaners out from the day before in laneways and small holding paddocks while the new mob processed through the yards. Then we yard them and muster another paddock to test and weigh. This saves costs on feeding weaners in the yards and provides handling and training. The calves from the first paddock weaned have been let out and yarded 7 or 8 times by the end of the weaning process and most of the handling has been completed.
At the completion of weaning all calves are drenched, with potential breeding heifers vaccinated for vibrio and pesti virus and turned out to grow on grass pastures.
Bulls identified as Auction sale bulls are drafted into smaller mobs and moved in to closer grass and leucaena paddocks for sale preparation.
May/June: the sale team is presented for classification.
Paddock bulls are grazed on Leucaena and grass and are also available for sale anytime.
June: Sale team including private sale bulls and the Cree Sires are Semen tested. (% Norm Sperm)600 Day Weight
Rocky Repro employs an Australian Accredited Cattle Vet to come on property and he/she examines all bulls internally, measures scrotal circumference and takes a crush side semen sample and measures motility. A semen sample is taken back to the laboratory for a Morphology test to count % normal sperm and to identify any defects. An AACV certificate is then processed on each bull and is sent with all Cree bulls to the successful purchaser, when delivered after sale.
The bulls are vaccinated on this day with a yearly booster for 3-Day, Vibrio and Pesti virus.
600 Day Weights/Carcass: EMA, Rump, Rib, and IMF scans are done by David Reid.
We believe the leucaena environment that the bulls are raised in prepares the bulls for the harsher environment they will encounter after sale. Like brigalow and mulga type country the leucaena has a harsh stick base which tests the animal’s soundness with regards to eyes, sheathes, testicles and feet. high roughage diet consisting of hay we grow ourselves, usually wheat, oats, barley and millet. To this we add pro-biotics and all essential trace elements for a healthy rumen. Our preparations are never more than 30% grain composition and are fed daily.
The benefits of this are two-fold. One, bulls still must forage in their paddocks, and because of the high roughage and low grain in the diet their rumen maintains healthy bacteria able to turn grass into energy. This practice negates any let down period after purchase, and ensures their future soundness, both physically and reproductively. Secondly it allows us to control growth rates and present bulls in what we believe to be optimum working condition at around 1kg per day life gain.
Our goal at Cree is to provide future sires to stud and commercial operations that have the ability to provide positive genetic gain across the range of profit driving traits simultaneously.
All bulls are sold with Assurance, AACV certificate with the full breakdown of Morphology results and a health declaration.
Cree offers a sale catalogue online, and a paper copy with transparent information on each animal.
A supplementary sheet, with Raw Data: Birth date, Fat scan: EMA, RIB, RUMP, IMF, scrotal size and % Norm Sperm is available 1 week prior to sale. These bulls are offered for sale at the end of August on property at “Kiah” Thangool.
We look forward to seeing you at our 7th on property sale.