Kerrah Simmentals

Breeding Program

The aim of Kerrah Simmentals is to produce bulls that are a balanced package consisting of calving ease, high rate of weight gain, easy finishing, good doing cattle, true to the dual purpose origin of the breed, with a quiet nature.

In order to achieve these goals, Kerrah Simmentals consists of approximately 550 cows, all of which are registered and actual measurements recorded fully on breed plan. The number of cows allows for an accurate assessment of the individuals animals genetic merit to be made, as there are many animals with which to compare each individuals performance. From the 550 cows, each year six of the best cows are chosen and put though an embryo transfer program, which results in those cows having about 40 calves each year. All cows are run as a commercial herd, with all cows expected to perform to high standards. All cows are expected to calve as a two year old and every year following, while living on steep hill country and competing with ewes. Selection into the cow herd is dependant mainly on a heifer’s structure, temperament, ability to get in calf at 15 months and EBVS.
The Kerrah herd was originally made up of the amalgamation of several New Zealand Simmentals herds, the main herds being Puriri, Ailsa and Rissington. We also kept the elite 200 commercial Simmental cross cows that we have graded up. The choice of Simmental as a breed, was due to the superior performance of the Simmental cross cows in our crossbred herd, in growth, fertility and milking ability. The sires used within the herd have been sourced from all over New Zealand, and overseas.

Terminal

When a bull is to be used as a terminal sire all of the traits mentioned in Kerrah’s aims are important. Ease of calving is important as profitability starts with a live calf. The most efficient animals grow the fastest and quiet cattle grow faster than their flightier counterparts. With the value of feed increasing during the winter, it is advantageous if the animal is of a killable weight and condition before it reaches its second winter. Therefore, it is important that the progeny of a bull have the genetic capacity to put on condition and finish quickly. It is important the bull himself be good doing and of good structure to maintain his own condition and able handle mating a decent number of cows on hill country.
The majority of Kerrah Simmentals sires rank in the top 20% of the breed for calving ease, 400, 600, eye muscle and fat covers. Add to these powerful genetics hybrid vigour (the mating of two different breeds) to give you an extra 25% performance above their parents, a Kerrah Simmental sire will deliver you progeny that will perform whether you are selling them as weaners, store or fattening.

Maternal

In the maternal sense, these traits are equally as important. Ease of calving, both direct and daughters, is important for the progeny to have fewer calving problems. A replacement heifer that is to be mated at 15 months, to calve for the first time as 2 year old, needs to grow fast enough to reach a good mating weight. Easy finishing ability is important as half the bull’s progeny will be male, and any cull heifers need to be fat enough to kill, preferably before the second winter. Our herd is run under true commercial conditions. We like to recommend bulls that best suit our clients farming system, that come from our top cow families and that compliment the clients existing herd make up for maternal use. We actively encourage the adoption of crossbreeding and are happy to recommend other breeders of breeds that would compliment your Simmental to maximise your cow herd profitability and performance. We are selecting strains of polled red and black Simmentals that you can crossbreed with, but maintain a solid coloured herd and still gain all the advantages of hybrid vigour, added milking ability and early growth in a moderate cow frame, which a Kerrah Simmental can offer you.

 


Enquires and inspection are always welcome by either contacting
Or e-mail
{Jon Knauf 068386793}  {Alistair Milne 063285052}
jsknauf@gisborne.net.nz