Read Gelbvieh Gazette February 2007.indd text version

Gelbvieh Gazette

The Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc C/- ABRI, UNE, Armidale NSW 2351 Phone: 02 6773 3373 Fax: 02 6772 1943 Email: [email protected] Editors: Michelle Starr & John Thomas

President's Report

I would like to commence my final presidents report by wishing all members a prosperous and well rained upon New Year. 2006 has thankfully passed and in most of rural Australia will be remembered as one of the driest years on record. I have just read an advertisement in the U.S Gelbvieh journal that makes the bold statement that THE CATTLEMAN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE WEATHERMAN. Certainly a true statement in regards to cattle producers in trying times. Focus on the job in hand as all the procrastination over the weather will not change the inevitable outcome. Firstly some housekeeping chores. I would like to thank John Thomas and Alison Stewart for their efforts over the past year, also my fellow councillors Brice, Allan, Sam and Malcolm for their efforts on Gelbvieh Council. There will be a space on Council this year so please consider a stint on council, it does not take up a lot of time and is a very rewarding experience. As we approach the New Year and consider how best to promote our breed I feel it is paramount we obtain kill sheet data from any breeders direct selling to meatworks. Everyone within our breed knows how well our animals perform, we have just not correlated the information and got it out to the public. We must take a leaf from our oppositions book and promote not only growth but yield and carcass qualities. This is an essential selling tool we do not have. Just recently Gary Burton had a young Gelbvieh bull achieve a 4STAR gene star rating for MARBLING and multiple stars for TENDERNESS. To realize just how good this is, there are only a handful of Angus sires with four-star ratings. I believe this type of testing of our breeds carcass merits will be necessary if we are to attract new breeders to our industry It is common knowledge that most high marbling, carcass orientated cattle lack maternal traits, what a selling point for

In this issue ...

Group Breedplan Analysis, page 2 From the Editor, page 3 Hybrids v Mongrels, Page 4 Structural Soundness in Beef Cattle, page 5 Person in Profile - Elyse Burton, page 8 Pasture Bloat in cattle, page 9 Genetic Solutions update, page 13 NAB Agri Directon, page 16 Success at Beef 2006, page 18 Getting out of the Angus Rut, page 19

Advertisements ...

NAB Agri Business, page 3 Fodder King, page 8 Norolle, page 12 Cattlefacts, page 18 Double J, page 19

our breed. At present Australian breeders have access to 4 of the top 10 sires in the U.S for carcass grade and tenderness DNA marker carriers. These sire are Landmark, Freedom (sons of), Free Agent & Carolina Fortune. Whilst this sounds a lot like a US bull promotion I urge breeders to test their home bred sires in the hope the society may be able to produce a list of both local and imported carcass merit sires to be used by breeders who feel they need this type of information to promote Gelbvieh to commercial cattleman. We are in an information age where switched on breeders need convincing to use our breed. Please remember our AGM and think-tank this year. Very few breeders bother with this, our only face to face gathering of the year and really not a lot of benefit is gained if only a few breeders support the meeting. It is essential for members to come and have some input into breed direction if we are to grow and prosper. Lets make GELBVIEH THE BREED Geoff Steinbeck, President OF CHOICE.

Preliminary NOTICE OF AGM

The Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc. Annual General Meeting will be held at Toowoomba on 17th March 2007. Venue will be advised closer to the event. It is hoped that on the Sunday we will be able to arrange visits to several studs in the area.

State Branches - Contacts 2006

New South Wales President Vice Chair Secretary Treasurer/Merchandise Victoria President Secretary/Promotions Treasurer South Australia Secretary Treasurer Western Australia President Vice President Secretary/Treasurer Promotions Queensland President Snr Vice President Jnr Vice President Secretary Treasurer Promotion Promotion Promotion Promotion Tasmania State Contact Name Geoff Steinbeck Margaret Single To be advised Caroline Steinbeck Name Sue Richards Sam Degabrielle Ted Hazlett Name David Bridges John Gommers Name Steve Magini Michelle Fleming Suzanne Kelly Clare Pugh Name Brice Kaddatz Terry O'Halloran Rob Johnson Val Rogers Chris Braithwaite Alison Johnson Shirley O'Halloran Debbie Jackson Ian Rogers Name Denis Dobson Phone 02 6769 4251 02 6764 2267 02 6769 4251 Phone 03 5825 3911 03 5192 4888 03 5628 1491 Phone 08 8431 2115 08 8572 6031 Phone 08 9833 1237 08 9525 2232 08 9772 3584 0407 532 010 Phone 07 5482 1593 07 4697 3291 07 4666 1235 07 4683 2347 07 4168 1277 07 4695 7133 07 4697 3291 07 4662 8393 07 4683 2347 Phone 0418 134 540 Fax 02 6769 4251 02 6764 2410 02 6769 4251 Fax 03 5825 3229 03 5192 4530 03 5623 4871 Fax 08 8431 2677 08 8572 6024 Fax 08 9833 1237 08 9772 3584 Fax 07 5482 7034 07 4697 3291 07 4683 2347


2007 Gelbvieh GROUP BREEDPLAN Analysis

The 2007 GELBVIEH GROUP BREEDPLAN analysis has been scheduled for March 2007. As such, it is important that we have all the relevant performance data submitted and updated onto the GELBVIEH BREEDPLAN system as soon as possible.

The final date for the submission of all performance data ar ABRI is: Friday 9th March 2007

Please note that any data received after this date cannot be guaranteed to be included in the GROUP BREEDPLAN analysis. Please remember that all animals must be on file with the AGA prior to the submission of performance data. The final date for the submission of pedigree information, transfers and calf registrations to the AGA for guaranteed inclusion in the GROUP analysis is Friday February 23rd 2007. Please note, prior to the GROUP analysis, INTERIM

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BREEDPLAN reports will not be sent out after Friday February 23rd 2007 unless specifically requested. Important: Herds that do not have any post birth performance on file for their 2005 or 2006 drop calves (as a minimum) will not receive a GROUP BREEDPLAN herd report. Subsequent INTERIM BREEDPLAN analyses will only generate EBVs for animals that had both parents analysed in the GROUP BREEDPLAN analysis. Therefore it is essential that you submit as much pedigree and performance information as is possible prior to the cut-off dates for the GROUP BREEDPLAN analysis. If you have any questions about GELBVIEH GROUP BREEDPLAN, please do not hesitate to contact one of the above. If you require any pre-printed performance recording forms please let me know as soon as possible

Diana McLeish, Gelbvieh, Breedplan

Gelbvieh Gazette February 2007

From the Editor

Well I have now survived in the job for around eight months and so far no bullet holes, bruises, abrasions or broken limbs (just the odd black eye). I attended my very first Beef Australia 2006 Exposition in Rockhampton, and what an event it was. I got to meet several Gelbvieh members and also meet the Council members who I had only previously spoken to on the telephone. I can assure you that you have some hard working and conscientious Council Members who most certainly have the interests of the membership foremost in their sights. My first AGM was also an eye opener, conducted in a typical laid back Aussie country manner, without all the airs and graces normally associated with this type of event, everyone was made to feel welcome and relaxed and encouraged to participate in the meeting. We saw the election of a new Council Member, Malcolm King, the former General Manager of AGA, he was elected to replace Lesley Marchant who has left to pursue a career in the florist industry in Melbourne. We sincerely wish Lesley every success of her new venture and thank her for the time and effort she put into her period on Council. We also welcome Malcolm to the Council and are confident he will prove a worthwhile successor to Lesley. Beef Australia proved a very successful event for the breed with Michael and Wendy Jackson and Elwyn and Joanne Rea exhibiting the Grand and Senior Champion Gelbvieh Bull, Double J Zulu, who was also awarded the ultimate prize of Interbreed Champion Bull, or "The Best Bull in Australia" title. As well the Cedric Wise owned Glenisa PN

Princess X83 was judged in the top 5 cows in Australia, an extremely good result. Congratulations to the owners of these animals and to all those who exhibited their animals at the Show, many of whom also tasted varying degrees of success. These successes will hopefully change a few peoples mindset about the Gelbvieh Breed and we must ensure that we make every effort to build on this over the next twelve months to give the Australian Gelbvieh a higher profile amongst breeders and commercial cattle people. I would also like to thank our President Geoff Steinbeck and his lovely wife Cass for making me feel welcome and helping me through the early part of my initiation into the world of Gelbviehs. We have a wonderful breed of cattle and great members, but unless we continue to grow our membership we will not survive, and this would be a great tragedy, it is up to every one of us to spread the word and encourage every person who purchases a Gelbvieh to become a member. If anyone has any ideas, no matter how stupid they may seem, please contact a Council member or myself, as we are always open to new ideas and looking for ways to expand the Society. I would also like to thank those who continue to support the Gazette by supplying articles, photos or advertisements. Without you there would be no Gazette. On behalf of Alison Stewart and myself I would like to wish everyone a very Merry and safe Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Cheers, John Thomas, General Manager


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007

Hybrids v Mongrels

Hybrids vs. Mongrels ­ Balancers disprove myth From the outside looking in, it is easy to look at the market cycles that follow the trends of the beef industry like clockwork to figure profit/loss statements for producers. In recent times, management and genetics have faced increased scrutiny as indicators of profit. Even in down market periods, reputation genetics handled correctly provide security to the bottom line. As the industry struggled to find consistency in the end product, it made several bad decisions. Included in this fiasco was the increased mongrelization of the nation's cowherd. In an effort to swing the pendulum back to the middle, single breed sire groups were used by producers, generation after generation. This continued until some cattlemen realized the loss of heterosis was making a negative bottom line. As the market system gradually changed to rewarding or discounting individuals, rather than pen averages, specific packages that included the right blend of genetics and management added cash incentives through the feeding and harvest stage. To answer the question of how to best blend a balance of Continental and British genetics, the American Gelbvieh Association launched its SmartCross program, which also included the first trademarked hybrid, BalancerTM, for mainstream beef production. "With hybrid cattle you increase the gene pool and can combine more profitable traits into one animal. For instance, with the Balancer cattle, you can manage growth, milk and fertility through Gelbvieh genetics and enhance some carcass traits with the Angus genetics," says Bob Prosser, owner of Bar T Bar Ranch near Winslow, Ariz. Bar T Bar Ranch is one of the top 15 seedstock producers, according to National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), and markets Gelbvieh, Balancer, and Angus genetics. Hybrid production has less progressive producers calling foul. After all, Webster's dictionary defines hybrid as a mongrel or crossbred. As research projects were launched and cattlemen began developing hybrid cattle for use in commercial production, surprising results were achieved. "Meat Animal Research Center data is the best to look at. It shows no difference between straight bred and hybrid cattle. The biggest advantage to a hybrid is producers are getting a straight bred animal with hybrid vigor," Prosser says. "Heterosis from a maternal standpoint has a positive impact on fertility, survivability and longevity. Things we are unable to measure from and Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) standpoint. There aren't any straightbred pigs around anymore, and they are incredibly predicatable." To create a Balancer, specific steps have to be followed to guarantee the commercial producer is getting a predictable product. Tools developed for use in purebred production can be used to develop hybrids that will add

Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

uniformity to the calf crop and build in desired traits. "Selection is a key component to producing hybrid cattle. We have to build hybrids from sire summaries and data," Prosser says. "You have to start with registered parents and continue to outcross with different genetics. That is the toughest thing; we continually have to source cattle back into the program to maintain heterosis." There are many reasons for the increased use of hybrids genetics. Perhaps the most significant reason is it allows the producer to maintain the proper balance of British and Continental genetic in the cow herd. Less stress is put on management to create a marketable product and it eliminates extra costs associated with purchasing straight bred bulls of different breeds to maintain maternal heterosis. "I don't know if the hybrid idea is anything new. People in our area have been using Brangus and Beefmaster genetics for years, but the Balancer cattle work well on these cattle to improve marketability," Prosser says. "Today from a crossbreeding standpoint, most producers can't manage a crossbreeding system that includes bulls from three breeds. A system that relies on hybrid bulls and hybrid cows is a lot easier to manage." Due to the reliability of the product produced through using hybrids in a commercial setting, improvements may come at a more rapid pace. According to Prosser, this may be seen a little easier when comparing hybrids to straight breds. "If the proper job is done selecting the inputs for hybrid cattle, a producer can see drastic improvements in one generation," Prosser says. "It might take several generations to get the combination of traits in a straight bred animal." The hybrid described through the SmartCross system allows diligent producers that scrutinize production goals, the ability to add value no matter what the end product. Enhancing reproductive efficiency adds value to replacements. The right combination of growth and carcass fits another niche, or just a uniform color pattern in the calf crop adds marketability. Increasing the gene pool through hybrid production provides a positive answer in a variety of scenarios. "Through the use of hybrid genetics, we can more accurately manage maternal effects, growth and carcass in same package. Growth and fertility aren't highly correlated," Prosser says. "Carcass traits aren't enhanced by heterosis, by with hybrid cattle you have to look at the total package. The big picture is total value, and the money made year-in and year-out."

By Clifford Mitchell, Freelance Writer


Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007

Structural Soundness in Beef Cattle

(By Randall Grooms, Livestock Specialist, Texas Agricultural Extension Service. - Courtesy of Australian Cattlefacts) In breeders attempts to improve the general cattle population the pendulum has gradually swung to the extremes in fat, muscle and frame size. The one visual selection criteria to remain relatively constant is structural soundness. Bones make up the skeleton, which forms the structure for building better cattle. Webster's dictionary defines soundness as free from flaw or defect; healthy, firm strong, solid in structure. Thus structural soundness merits equal attention with any selection criteria. For example, the thickest, meatiest, best performing bull is worthless if he is seriously flawed in his structure. On the other hand, if we over emphasise structure, we can get them so correct there is not anything else worth bragging about. Any discussion of soundness must begin with the feet. The feet should be large and deep at the heel. Sound feet should be symmetrical with the toes having equal size and shape. Small feet, shallow heels and abnormal toes should not be multiplied in a breed population, if we expect them to be of long term benefit to the commercial cattle industry. The pastern should slope into the foot at a 45-55 degree angle to the ground. This allows the ligaments, the natural shock absorbing mechanism supporting the fetlock, to function properly. Cattle that are steep in the pastern absorb concussion on the cartilage covering the bone-end surfaces, creating undue, harmful pressure on the fetlock joints. The hock is probably the most critical joint for soundness. The tibia should enter the hock at an angle of 130-145 degrees. Cattle with less angle may be referred to as sickle-hocked. More angle makes the hind leg too straight. Most problems occur when cattle are too straight or post-legged. When this occurs, cattle cannot efficiently use their suspensory apparatus for shock absorption. This puts extra pressure and agitation on the cartilage, eventually resulting in arthritis, inflammation of the joint and lameness ­ causing and early end to the animal's productive life. Wild animals which have survived nature's culling program are "too sickle-hocked" to suit many cattlemen, but most knowledgeable cattlemen would rather have cattle with too much set, rather than those that are too straight in the hock. However, in the show ring, straightlegged cattle frequently get the nod because they present straighter lines and a squarer profile. It should always be remembered that buildings need a straight, square foundation but cattle are different and need more angulation in their hock to function properly. Cattle must walk great distances to forage and breed in

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a vast majority of the grass country. Those with a long free, sound stride have a tremendous advantage for mobility and longevity. Cow-hocked cattle basically lack sufficient muscling in their quarter to push the hocks apart and make their hind legs point straight forward. Slightly cow-hocked cattle are probably the most common and functional cattle available. FRONT LEGS In the front legs, a plumb line should dissect the long bones and the knee joint, from the front or side. From the front, if the knees are inside the line, it is called "knock-kneed". If the knees are outside the line, it is called "bow-legged" and this condition can also occur in the hind legs. From the side, if the knees are in the front of the line, it is called "buck-kneed". If the knees are behind the line, it is called "calf-kneed". These conditions put undue pressure on the joints and ligaments, resulting in lameness, inflammation, swelling and loss of mobility. The front legs can also be "toed-in" or "toed-out". Extremes in either direction should be avoided, but a slight "toed-out" is natural and functional. Cattle should have a long sloping shoulder, just like a good horse. If the shoulder does not slope adequately, length of stride is restricted. In the recent efforts to get cattle taller many have been selected that have straight shoulders and straight hocks. Frame size that sacrifices structural soundness is not good for any breed of the beef industry. FRAME Big framed cattle grow more efficiently and faster for a longer period of time, and that is good if it contributes to total efficiency. When frame size is analysed, four factors can make cattle larger framed: Incorrect birth dates, straight joints (shoulders and hocks), infertility or improper hormonal function and longer long bones. The first three are bad, whereas the fourth is legitimate and has merit up to a point of frame size 6-7. Cattle must maintain functionality and productivity. The shoulder blade should be smooth against the body and fit close together at the top. Bold prominent shoulders can increase calving difficulty. Evaluation of structural soundness can best be made as cattle walk. Fluid moving cattle that track straight and take a long smooth stride are desired. Cattle that have proper angulation in the shoulder, hock and pastern generally move in that manner. Short choppy strided cattle that move awkwardly generally do so because of anatomical restrictions. Other structural deformities deserve thought and consideration. Wry face or twisted nose usually affects appearance and saleability more than productivity. Parrot mouth (short jaw) and/or monkey mouth (long jaw) cattle should be eliminated immediately from the breeding herd as these are serious defects that inhibit

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007

the cow's ability to harvest forage. Structural soundness is fundamental to longevity, superior production and functionality in the natural environment where cattle are expected to perform. It is not always a matter of black and white, there are many grey areas. Some defects are worthy of only slight discrimination whereas, other defects are very serious and the cattle should not be used for breeding purposes, but sold only for slaughter. Breeders should cull rigidly. The mating of registered parents does not automatically insure offspring worthy of registration. Very few structural defects are so serious as to render an animal completely worthless, however if these are multiplied and intensified in a breeding program, future generations can deteriorate rapidly. Never propagate genetics of unsoundness that will interfere or limit efficiency of beef production. Dr. Randall Grooms (Professor Emeritus, Extension Livestock Specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service) I was fortunate to meet Randall Grooms on his first visit to Australia in 1987 when he was an invited judge at the Brahman Convention at Cairns and where he gave a seminar and talks on structural soundness in cattle. Dr Grooms left a lasting impression for his depth of knowledge on the importance of structural soundness in cattle, and no less for his clear and direct judging style and objectivity. It is not an overstatement to say that this tall,

VERTABRAL COLUMN Figure 1. 1. Neck - Cervical Vertebrae (7) 2. Back & Shoulder - Thoracic Vertebrade (13) 3. Loin - Lumbar Vertebrade (6) 4. Rump - Sacra; Vertebrae (5) 5. Tail - Coccygeal Vertebrade (18-20) 6. BREAST BONE STERNUM (7 Sternebrae) 7. RIBS (13) - Attached to Thoracic Vertebrade FORELEG - THORACIC LIMB 1. Shoulder Blade - Scapula 2. Point of Shoulder - Shoulder Joint 3. Arm - Humerus 4. Elbow Joint 5. Forearm - Radius & Ulna 6. Knee - Carpus (6 bones) 7. Cannon - Metacarpals 8. Ankle - Fetlock Joint 9. Pastern - 1st & 2nd Phalanx 10. Foot - 3rd Phalanx, Pedal or Coffin Bone

Structural Soundness in Beef Cattle Cont ...

lanky epitome of a Texan held his audience of toughened Queensland cattlemen spellbound, and entertained, on a topic so apparently mundane as structural soundness. Randall Grooms (now retired) spent most of his working life educating cattlemen in the U.S. on the fundamentals of breeding sound livestock. During more than 40 years as an "educator" he was credited with judging more separate breeds (14) than any of his contemporaries, throughout the American continent and overseas. His services as an educator and speaker were always in heavy demand. An intriguing sidelight to Dr Grooms judging thoroughness was his ability to give an accurate and full assessment of every beast in a large class - long after all the animals have left the ring. Like some others who saw him judge cattle, I believe he was one of the most enlightened cattle judges Australia has seen. His comments on animal soundness were insightful, often entertaining and highly relevant to both stud and commercial cattlemen of all cattle breeds. This article by Randall first appeared in a 1990 edition of Australian Livestock & Property, of which I was editor. It is still as relevant today as it was then because of the continuing quest to breed bigger frame sized cattle. That quest carries the danger of breeding good looking, but otherwise posty legged sires who can't perform and breakdown quickly.

Brian Herne, Australian Cattlefacts

HIND LEG - PELVIC LIMB 17. Hip - Tuber Coxae 18. Rump - Pelvis 19. Pin Bones - Tuber Ischii 20. Hip Joint 21. Thigh - Femur 22. Patella 23. Stifle Joint 24. Gaskin - Tibia, Fibula 25. Hock - Tarsus (5) 26. Cannon - Metatarsals 27. Long Pastern - 1st Phalanx 28. Shor Pastern - 2nd Phalanx 29. Coffin or Pedal or 3rd Phalanx Gelbvieh Gazette February 2007


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Structural Soundness in Beef Cattle Cont ...

Gelbvieh Veststo announce that we have two The Association is happy

types of vest to offer members. Both are short sleeve, navy in colour with gold lining and similar in look with the option of two logos. One type has the words Australian Gelbvieh (in Gold) on the upper left hand side and the second has the Australian Gelbvieh Logo (with the Southern Cross) on the uppleft hand side. Price for both is: First Vest $60.00 (incl GST and Postage) and second or third vest ordered at the same time $50.00 (incl GST). Available in sizes Small, Medium, Large and several sizes of Extra Large. For further details contact John Thomas on (02) 6773 3126 or email [email protected]

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Left: Cate Cookson modelling the new Gelbvieh vest. Below: The alternate logo

February 2007

Person in Profile - Elyse Burton

for encouraging me when I was little, John Drummond for giving me heifers to lead and assisting me to start my own stud, Gary Wilkinson for allowing me to also work with Poll Hereford cattle, Natasha Swan for working with me in our Gelbvieh team at those early Junior heifer shows and most of all my Mum, Dad, brother Luke (sometimes) and sister Tiffany (who wont go near cattle because they are dirty) for encouraging me over the years to do what I love". In 2006 Elyse started her own Gelbvieh stud "Sweetwater Gelbvieh" with the support of her dad and John Drummond who gave her 2 heifers and then she purchased another heifer from the Magnus Gelbvieh stud when it was dispersed. The Sweetwater stud will be primarily a Black Gelbvieh stud and Elyse is now looking for new genetics to build the strength of her herd. This year she will be showing against her father and brother with the Macquarie Gelbvieh stud where the competition is sure to be fierce. She has already entered cattle for the Beef Spectacular in Dubbo and The Sydney Royal along with a number of other smaller regional shows. Some of her goals are to win the Paraders competition at the Sydney Royal and the National Allbreeds Junior Heifer Show.

Born 1st May 1992, Elyse is the youngest member of the Australian Gelbvieh Association to have her own registered Gelbvieh stud. Elyse showed her first Gelbvieh heifer at the National Junior All Breeds Heifer Show in Dubbo in 1998 when she was 6 years of age. She was entrant No.1 at this show being the youngest out of over 100 young cattle enthusiast entries in the show. (see photo). The heifer was supplied the RP Gelbvieh stud and was named RP's Nelly. Elyse has continued to compete in the National All Breeds Junior Heifer Show every year since and has won many prizes in her age brackets ranging from champion parader to herdsman and in 2006 with her own heifer Macquarie Ebony Reserve Champion Intermediate Heifer. Elyse's showing experience has now gone along way from that early start where she has now shown cattle in numerous regional shows along with the prestigious Sydney Royal on 2 occasions. In addition to showing cattle for the Macquarie Gelbvieh stud, which is owned by a syndicate including her father Garry Burton, Elyse has worked as a fitter for other breeders including Gary Wilkinson a poll Hereford breeder from Binnaway. There have been many people who Elyse thanks for their support in enabling her to pursue her dream at such a young age, these include Phillip and Joe McLauchlan, "who first started teaching me to lead and fit show cattle, Richard Sullivan for giving me heifers to lead, Margie Single

Pictured left (above): Elyse aged 6 showing her first Gelbvieh heifer at the National Junior All Breeds Heifer Show in Dubbo 1998. Above: A more recent photograph of Elyse showing her cattle in 2006.

Gelbvieh Bulls to China

Three Gelbvieh bulls, two from Ebony Lodge and one from Glengarry Gold are now at work in China. These Gelbviehs along with a number of Charolais, Simmental and Limousin bulls were purchased by the Chinese Government as part of a program to improve the quality of the rapidly growing Chinese herds. The bulls after a short period in quarantine were air freighted to China. The sale was arranged by Landmark who have intimated that there could be a call for a great number of bulls being exported next year.

8. Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc. Gelbvieh Gazette February 2007

Pasture Bloat in Cattle by HeatherSmith Thomas

Bloat has been a problem in cattle for a long time, described in historic writings as early as 60 A.D. Research during the 1940's through 1960's enabled animal nutritionists to control feedlot bloat with careful diet formulations and feed processing. Pasture bloat, however, continues to be a problem. Early Attempts at Treatment ­ As early as 1890 stockmen were using a trocar to puncture the rumen to let out excessive gas, if passing a hollow tube into the stomach was not successful in letting off gas. Useful treatments practiced for many years include standing the animal on a mound with front feet higher than hind (elevating the esphoagus so gas can escape more readily), or making the animal walk (effective if done before bloat reaches acute stages.) Other treatments involved putting a broom handle or rope through the animal's mouth to encourage production of saliva (by the animal chewing on the object) which breaks down foam in the rumen. Gas Production is Normal ­ Gas production in the rumen is a normal result of digestion, due to the fermentation required to break down fibrous fees. The active population of microbes produces large quantities of gas that must be expelled. Under normal conditions, gas produced in the rumen separates from solid and liquid contents and rises to the top. The pressure of this "gas bubble" stimulates the animal to belch; the rumen contracts and pushes the free gas to the front, where it collects around the esophagal opening. The opening of the esophagus is controlled by receptors in the rumen wall that detect when this area is exposed to liquid gas. If covered by liquid (or foam), the esophagal opening into the stomach remains tightly closed, and the animal cannot burp up the gas. This may be a protective mechanism to keep rumen fluid from coming up the esophagus and overflowing into the lungs (which would cause aspiration pneumonia). Belching occurs when receptors around the esophagus sense free gas is present. The esophagal opening relaxes, the animal takes a deep breath, which draws gas up the esophagus. Much of the gas enters the lungs; the rest is expelled through the mouth. Since most of the gas enters the lungs before it is exhaled, you rarely hear the animal burp unless belching a large volume of gas. Normal belching occurs about once a minute except during peak fermentation periods (2 to 4 hours after eating, when volume of gas produced by fermentation increases); then the animal belches 3 to 4 times a minute. This is sufficient for expelling large volumes of gas. Bloat ­ The rumen distends when the belching mechanism is impaired and rate of gas production exceeds the animal's ability to expel gas. Since large volumes are produced, bloat can develop rapidly if belching cannot occur. An obstruction in the esophagus from a blockage (as when animals eat whole potatoes, beets or apples) can cause acute free gas bloat. Frothy or foamy rumen content (which can happen

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with legume or feedlot bloat) can inhibit proper belching. Gas is trapped in the fluid, forming an emulsion of tiny bubbles. The pressure of the frothy material inhibits the nerve endings that control the opening into the esophagus. If pressure becomes severe, it inhibits all ruminal contractions. If a stomach tube is passed, the tube fills with froth and plugs up. If the rumen is distended with free gas, the gas pocket can be located with the tube and the gas will come rushing out, giving the animal immediate relief. In pasture bloat, the frothy condition was first thought to be caused by soluble proteins in rumen fluid, produced by legumes Research in Canada during the past 2 decades showed that soluble proteins alone do not account for the extreme viscosity of frothy rumen content; current theories put more emphasis on involvement of small particles and microbial activity. Alfalfa is rapidly digested, and the resultant burst of microbial activity produces large quantities of gas and bacterial slime. Pasture Bloat ­ Some farms have more problems with pasture bloat than others. In New Zealand it was noted that pastures near the sea produce very little bloat. Herbage test taken from seaside farms that never experienced bloat, and inland farms where bloat was a constant problem, showed that the sodium levels in the "no bloat" pastures were 3 times higher than the bloaty pastures. Salt tends to inhibit bloat. Anything that decreases saliva production can make an animal more likely to bloat, since saliva contains sodium and bicarbonate of soda, both of which help prevent bloat. Cattle can start to bloat within 15 to 30 minutes of being turned into a bloat-producing pasture, but there is often a lag time of 24 to 48 hours before bloat occurs. Cattle may bloat the first day, but often bloat on the second or third day. Sometimes cattle will be in a pasture for several days or weeks before they bloat ­ which may be a surprise to stockman and veterinarian. In a group of cattle, many will have severe bloat and the rest may have mild to moderate distension of the rumen. They are uncomfortable, and graze for only short periods. Factors that Increase Risk of Pasture Bloat ­ If cows are hungry when entering a pasture, they eat too much too quickly and bloat more readily. Pasture that is moist from dew, rain or frost is more likely to cause bloat than a dry pasture. Moisture on the plants reduces the amount of saliva needed for swallowing, and not enough saliva is mixed with the feed to help inhibit bloat. Low energy plants with low fibre content can predispose cattle to bloating because of lowered rumen pH and poor digestion. Short, lush pasture with too little fibre can also cause bloat. Legumes are the main causes of pasture bloat. Clovers can aggravate bloat, yet some clover pastures rarely cause bloat while some grass-only pastures often cause bloat. Perennial ryegrass has the reputation of causing bloat, maybe because it needs a high level of fertiliser ­ and bloat

Gelbvieh Gazette February 2007

risk increases with high fertility and fast growth. Ryegrasses are also soft and more palatable than some other grasses and can be eaten faster. The type of fertiliser used on pasture seems to effect the likelihood of bloat. Though any fertiliser that stimulates growth can make the forage more apt to cause bloat, potassium seems to be the worst culprit. Some animals are more prone to bloat than others; it is a heritable trait. The esophagus in some animals enters the rumen at a lower level and it becomes more easily covered with ingesta when the rumen is full, inhibiting the ability to belch. It's wise to cull cows that bloat repeatedly. Don't keep offspring from cows or bulls that tend to bloat. Preventing Pasture Bloat ­ There are several ways to minimize bloat on pastures: timing of grazing, paying attention to plant maturity, soil moisture, and weather. Choose a dry day and wait until dew is off before putting animals in a new pasture. If they are first fed hay (enough to fill them up) before going into the pasture, there is less chance for bloating; if they are full they don't overeat. It's safest to leave them on pasture (unless bloat is severe) rather than graze it intermittently. Disruption of grazing can lead to higher incidence of bloat (as when cattle are taken out overnight, or interrupted by storms or biting flies). Anything that disrupts normal grazing patterns will result in more intense feeding periods afterwards, which may increase incidence of bloat. Plant maturity is one of the most important factors in pasture bloat, so timing of grazing is crucial. Alfalfa is safest when plants are quite mature. Bloat potential is highest when plants are in prebud stage, and decreases as the plant grows and matures to full flower. At Kamloops Research Station in British Columbia, Canada, alfalfa 8 to 10 inches high produced twice the amount of bloat as alfalfa 20 to 30 inches high, though the plants more than 20 inches tall still carried some risk for bloat. Soil moisture is another factor; plants with adequate moisture for optimum growth are more bloating--the stems are soft rather than fibrous (the leaves are easily crushed between the fingers). Bloat potential of alfalfa is reduced if soil moisture is not sufficient for good growth. Weather conditions play a role; bloat occurs more frequently following a cool day. Moderate temperatures (68 to 78 degrees F.) permit optimum plant growth. Cool night temperatures, combined with moderate daytime temperatures, may increase risk of bloat in the fall. Cool temperatures delay plant maturity and extend the growth phase. Cattle in a 7 year test at Kamloops bloated twice as often in October as during summer months ­ on 4 different years. At the other temperature extreme, days that are hot enough to cause moisture stress and drying of plants reduced the risk of bloat. With irrigated alfalfa, there wasn't much seasonal change in bloat incidence; it occurred spring through fall, increasing with cool weather and frost. Heavy dew or

10. Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Pasture Bloat in Cattle Cont ...

frost contributes to higher incidence in fall. Under dry conditions, worst seasons for bloat are spring (early lush growth) and fall. Ranchers have thought alfalfa to be safe after a killing frost, but there is risk as long as leaves are green. The first frosts actually increase risk for bloat, preserving immature stage of growth. Frost also disrupts the plant cells, releasing bloat-causing agents and increasing the rate of cell breakdown. It usually takes several hard freezes to render the plants safe. Seeding grass-legume mixtures (with alfalfa or clover being 50 percent of less of the mix) can minimise pasture bloat, expect in soils and terrain where it is impossible to maintain a uniform stand. In some instances cattle will selectively graze the alfalfa and avoid the grass; bloating has been reported in pastures where the proportion of legume was less than 15 percent. Legumes also regrow faster than grasses after grazing. Use of faster recovering grasses (such as orchardgrass and timothy) helps reduce the bloat potential of pasture. If areas of mixed grasslegume pasture get trampled out or grass is pulled up, they should be reseeded with a balanced pasture mix so bare spots won't be colonized by clover. In a hill pasture, cattle will often stand with their heads uphill to relieve bloat. In a level field or pasture, provide a mounded area (such as near the water supply) where cattle can standwith their front legs higher, for easier belching. If bloat becomes a problem in a pasture rotation situation, mow a quarter of the fresh paddock in afternoon or early evening when pasture sugars are higher and nitrates are lower, and graze it the next day ­ using a temporary electric fence to make the animals eat the mowed part first. This will generally stop bloating, even in alfalfa pastures. Gradually increase the mowed area for each new paddock, to about one third of the paddock. Once they get used to it, cattle will eat the mowed portion first when turned in; temporary fence won't be needed to keep them in that portion. Supplements to reduce bloat - A variety of minerals have been tried or promoted as bloat-control supplements (including phosphate, calcium and potassium) but none of these have controlled bloat under experimental conditions. Antifoaming agents such as oils and detergents are more effective for prevention (and treatment) since they break down the froth in the rumen. Most vegetable oils work, and a few detergents such as poloxalene ­ the active ingredient in Bloat Guard. The latter can be mixed with grain and can be effective if each animal gets two daily feedings. It is also marketed in salt-molasses blocks and in liquid molasses for use in lick feeders. The blocks work best when scattered around the entire field using 1 block for every 10 animals. The blocks are more effective in small fields than large ones, and are not effective if placed only near the water sources. Ionophore antibiotics such as monensin and lasalocid are used for bloat protection, since bloat can't develop without a large and active population of bacteria, fungi

Gelbvieh Gazette February 2007

Pasture Bloat in Cattle Cont ...

and protozoa (microbes that break down forage by fermentation). These drugs alter microbial populations in the rumen. Monensin is reported to reduce the severity of legume bloat by as much as 73 percent. Lasalocid is effective in controlling grain bloat but not legume bloat. Ionophere antibiotics should never be used in dosage rates higher than recommended; at hight doses they are toxic to cattle. Stockmen should also be aware that even tiny amounts are deadly for horses; supplements containing monensin should never be placed in pastures where horses might have access to them. Salt is used by many New Zealand stockmen to reduce bloat. Some of them put salt in the drinking water as soon as bloat begins and claim that it stops the bloating. Many of them have fertilized their pastures with salt for decades. Forage Classification ­ Some forages are considered risky, some are considered safe, and some in between. Grasses are usually safe, while legumes may not be. Some legumes can be pastured intensively without causing bloat. Studies in Canada (Saskatoon Research Station, Lethbridge Research Station and Kamloops Research Station) tested many types of alfalfa for bloat potential and found these cause bloat: Sarana, Rambler, Washo, Beaver, Thor, Ranger, Roamer, Anchor, Appollo, WL-316, Trumpeter and Vertus. This disproved the claims that creeping rooted varieties such as Roamer or Rambler are safe to graze. Newer varieties are being tested. The bloat-causing potential of pasture forages is related to ease with which they are digested by rumen microbes; the ones that cause bloat are digested rapidly, while bloat safe forages are digested more slowly. The lower risk group is in between. Tannins in a plant bind with the soluble proteins (the latter are foaming agents) and inhibit activity of rumen microbes. The plants that contain tannin do not cause bloat. Other characteristics that inhibit bloat are leaves with thick, strong cell walls and veins that keep rumen bacteria from invading the inner structure of the leaves. Forages that have thin-celled, tender leaves (like alfalfa) are more vulnerable to the rumen bacteria, Bloat causing forages: Alfalfa, sweet clover, red clover, white clover, alsike clover, winter wheat. Lower risk forages: Arrowleaf clover, spring wheat, oats, rape, perennial ryegrass. Safe forages: Most perennial grasses, sainfoin, birdsfoot trefoil, cicer milkvetch, crownvetch, lespedeza, Gelbvieh Guide, Summer 2006, fall rye.

Malcolm's Wedding

On Saturday the 15th of April 2006 Lauren Brier-Mills and Malcolm King wed at Mt Tamborine (QLD) with a lovely Anglican church service followed by an equally stunning reception. Guests enjoyed the occasion and the many speeches and rowdy toasts that lasted well into the wee hours. Six weeks after the wedding Lauren and Malcolm took off for an eight week honeymoon overseas! First stop was Scotland and the couple loved all they saw including the many castles they visited (they claim to have visited over 30)! Malcolm was always keeping an eye out for Gelbvieh, but more common that not, were the highland cattle (surprise, surprise). There were plenty of euro cross cattle being fattened many places and the cattle were of exceptional condition and standard. Before moving onto the next destination Lauren and Malcolm attended the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh (a show not unlike Sydney's Royal Easter Show). Again Malcolm didn't find a Gelbvieh, but did see a lot of Highland's! Next stop was England and again more green countryside and history making it down to Lands End by car all the way from Edinburgh via the Lakes district of Northern England. What a contrast in countryside. The couple of course took in all the major sites along the way, stopping in Liverpool to visit the Beetles' hometown, and the amazing Stonehenge and Buckingham Palace in

11. Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

London, and of course Harrods. After London, the couple boarded a coach bound for Paris via Dover and a channel ferry trip. From France it was onto wonderful Spain and Pamplona via San Sebastian, and Malcolm decided to take part in the `Running of the Bulls'. Lauren was greatly relieved that her new husband emerged unscathed from the run, and quite relieved to move onto ultra clean and efficient Munich, Germany and the rolling green hills and Alps. The couple visited the Bavarian sites of Linderhof and Neuschwanstein Castle (Malcolm spotting his first Gelbvieh's out the window on this trip!) before continuing their tour south down into Italy, with first stop being beautiful Venice. After Venice they continued south heading to Rome and seeing all the sites along the way. From Italy the couple flew onto the green swards of the emerald Isle, Ireland! After 3 days of Coach tour including the West Coast and Ring of Kerry the couple headed back to Dublin via Killarney (most beautiful town in Ireland) and kissed the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle! In Dublin the couple visited the headquarters of Guinness and Jameson Whiskey of which Malcolm made sure he became a master connoisseur of both beverages, taste testing many types of beer and whiskey. From Dublin the couple headed home after a stop over in the sun drenched sandy beached Phuket, Thailand so as to breakup the long trip home (and so Lauren could do plenty of shopping to her hearts content). Finally in early August the couple returned to Australia with many hours of video footage and a lifetime of memories including new friends to go visit from all over the world.

Gelbvieh Gazette February 2007


Visitors Always Welcome

"It might be dry but we're still doing OK" Left: Norolle Scarlet X2 - 21/01/02 by a Fire Power Son Mid Top: Scarlet's daughter Z28 - 17/08/04 by Peterbilt Right: N Lady in Red Z56 - 13/11/04 by Peterbilt Mid Btm: N Rhapsody W92 - 8/11/01 by Sherman Tank

"Sale Bulls" by Peterbilt, Freedom X4, Freedom Fighter X24 X4 ARIZONA A31 NPA031 at 18 mths by Freedom X4 (pictured above)

"Beef 2006 - Rockhampton Qld" NOROLLE LADY IN RED Y21 (P) b. 02.05.03 by Peterbilt Res. Senior Champion Beef 2006 with X4 Arizona A31 at foot (pictured below)

Rebecca & Chris Tonkin with NOROLLE GK ZIGGY Z37 Junior Champion Gelbvieh Bull at Beef 2006 - their favourite. Purchased from Kirrily & Gavin Iseppi. ZIggy is one of six they selected at Norolle for their Mungindi NSW property.

Visit us in QCL BEEF WEEK July 2007 Thanks to the O'Halloran and Free families Clifton for their selection and purchase of Norolle Gelbvieh bulls after visiting us during 2006 QCL Beef Week.

Special Visitors on New Year's Day 2007 Tara Mulhern Davidson & Ross Davidson `Lonesome Dove Ranch' & Davidson Gelbvieh, Pontiex, Saskatchewan, Canada, with Lady in Red T62 born 24.03.98. Res. Calf Champ. at the 1999 World Gelbvieh Conference showing in Sydney, she was never beaten again in a long show career. Interbreed Champion at many smaller shows and Interbreed Champion Brisbane 2001 - 35 breeds and 24 judges. Lady in Red T62 has had seven natural calves.

Interbreed Champion Pair Brisbane 2001 Right - NOROLLE LADY IN RED T62 Left - NOROLLE ABSOLUTE POWER U77 Sire of ZULU - Interbreed Champion Beef 2006

Clyde & Alison Johnson - Ph: 07 4695 7133 - Fax: 07 4695 7166 - Email: [email protected] - Web: "Norolle" 495 Heckels Road, Millmerran - Situated 33kms south of Millmerran and then 4.95kms in - off the Millmerran-Inglewood Road 12. Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc. Gelbvieh Gazette February 2007


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007

Gelbvieh Success at Beef 2006

As everyone will no doubt be aware Gelbvieh had a very successful Beef 2006 with the title of Best Bull in Australia going to "Double J Zulu", owned by Michael and Wendy Jackson and Elwyn and Joanne Rea. This was a fantastic result when you consider the quality of the animals he was up against on the day. As well, Glenisa Cattle Co's magnificent "Glenisa PN Princess X83" finished in the top five cows in Australia. This gave Gelbvieh its best result at Beef Australia events since the Norolle Cattle Co's Bull, "Norolle Polled Right Choice", and Cow, "RP's Madonn S 410", were adjudged joint Champion of Champions with a Charolais pair in 1999. Following are a few of the results. The Gelbvieh breed was judged by Anthony Coates, who did a fantastic job.

Category Male 12 & Under 15 Mths Calf Champion Male Calf Reserve Champ Male Female 15 & Under 19 Mths Junior Champion Female Reserve Junior Champ Female Male 15 & under 19 Mths

Placing 1 2

Animal Midas Astro Boy A006 Midas Aviator A002 Midas Astro Boy A006 Midas Aviator A002

Shown By CR & JL Braithwaite CR & JL Braithwaite CR & JL Braithwaite CR & Jl Braithwaite Glenisa Cattle Co CR & JL Braithwaite Glenisa Cattle Co CR & JL Braithwaite Norolle Cattle Co Glenisa Cattle Co Glenisa Cattle Co Norolle Cattle Co Glenisa Cattle Co CR & JL Braithwaite Glenisa Cattle Co Norolle Cattle Co Glenisa Cattle Co Norolle Cattle Co Glenisa Cattle Co Jackson Pastoral Co Jackson Pastoral Co Jackson Pastoral Co

1 2

Glensia PB Showtime Z143 Midas Opal Z011 Glenisa PB Showtime Z143 Midas Opal Z011

1 2 3

Norolle GK Ziggy Z37 (P) Glenisa Z-Draw Z93 Glenisa Z-Bilt Z94 Norolle GK Ziggy Z37 (P) Glenisa Z-Draw Z93

Junior Champion Male Reserve Junior Champ Male Female 21 & Under 30 Mths Female 30 & under 48 Mths Senior Champion Female Reserve Senior Champ Female Grand Champion Female Male 21 & Under 24 Mths Senior Champion Male Grand Champion Male Exhibitors Group

1 1 2

Midas Windlass Y013 Glenisa PN Princess X83 Norolle Lady In Red Y21 (P) Glenisa PN Princess X83 Norolle Lady in Red Y21 (P) Glenisa PN Princess X83


Double J Zulu Double J Zulu Double J Zulu

1 2

Glenisa Cattle Co CR & JL Briathwaite


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007

Getting out of the Angus Rut - Gelvbieh World, By Lori Maude.

JEFF GOODSON IS A YOUNG cattle producer that like many fe1l into the rut of using Angus on Angus in his commercial cowherd. He realized he needed to produce more pounds of calf per cow to make his cattle operation profitable. Goodson has a moderate sized Angus-based cowherd. Most of his cows weigh 850 pounds to 1,000 pounds, which works great for him since pasture to buy or rent near Chickamauga, Ga., is expensive. "The smaller framed cows are more efficient and take a lot less feed than a big cow," says Goodson. "I run about 85 head of mama cows and about 15 replacement heifers each year, so 100 head is the upper limit to run on my pastures." Like many farmers today, Goodson has an off-farm job with a custom sign business, Goodson Graphics, as well as a custom haying business. His cows have to be troublefree and efficient. He looked at alternatives to Angus bulls and found them with Crawfish Creek Farms. "Jeff wanted black bulls, but all I had at the time were two red Gelbvieh bulls," says Michael Gardner, Crawfish Creek Farms manager. "With his cows being mostly Angus he wasn't going to have a lot of red calves. The two bulls were above breed average for calving ease, below average for birth weight and still had above breed average weaning weight EPD's." The spring 2006 calf crop resulted in six head of red calves, mostly out of his black baldy females, and the rest black calves. The only calf that was pulled was an abnormal presentation, so calving ease wasn't a problem even with Goodson's smaller-framed cows. Even more impressive is the weaning weights for this calf crop. Goodson said with Angus-sired calves he would wean them at 9 to 10 months of age with average weaning weights of 400 to 450 pounds. He would then background the Angus-sired calves at least 45 days or until they averaged 500 pounds before selling them at the local sale barn. The Gelbvieh-sired calves weaned at 7 to 8 months of age averaging 550 plus pounds. "The Gelbvieh sired calves are weaning earlier with more pounds, which is a win-win for me," says Goodson. "The cows have longer to get back into condition before the next calving season and I don't have to feed the weaned calves as long before selling. I will still wean the calves and background them 30 days before I sell them, but I don't have to push them hard trying to get more pounds." "I now have a structured calving season and will shorten my 2007 calving season again to improve on 2006," shares Goodson. "I'm also sure I won't go back to using Angus bulls again. I have a Balancer and a purebred Gelbvieh bull now, so I feel like I'm on the right path to get more pounds without sacrificing calving ease."


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007

Gelbvieh Council 2007

President Geoff Steinbeck Phone: 02 6769 4251 Email: [email protected] Treasurer Brice Kaddatz Phone: 07 5482 1593 Email: [email protected] Vice President Alan Kelly Phone: 08 9772 3584 Email: [email protected] Councillor Sam Degabriele Phone: 03 5192 4888 Email: [email protected] Councillor Malcolm King Phone: 0427 876 987 Email: [email protected]


Australian Gelbvieh Association Inc.

Gelbvieh Gazette

February 2007


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