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The National Beef Herd (NBH) which is kept at Saladero Farm is a herd of approx 25 Angus cattle. The NBH evolved from a composite of breeds and types NBH Bullsof cattle from all over the Falklands to a line of mostly purebred Angus cattle. In 2008 seven Angus heifers were purchased from the Bold Cove herd on West Falkland and along with 10 heifers by Turihaua Campbell (NZ) out of the mainly Angus NBH cows, formed the new nucleus of the herd.

 

These cattle are fully performance tested with calf birth, weaning and yearling weights being recorded and the progeny selected on superior growth, carcase and cow milk and fertility traits.

National Beef Herd cattle: The key aim of the NBH is to breed genetically superior cattle and disseminate the genes from this small herd to Falkland Island farmers who are interested in producing quality young beef for the local and export beef markets. Bulls are offered for sale and/or lease each year with replacement bulls selected based on their performance considering growth rate, testicular circumference, semen quality and confirmation.  In January 2014 a selection of NBH cattle were sold at auction, including cows, calves and heifers.   The sale further disseminated genetics throughout the islands. 

Genetic material has been sourced from a selection of Angus studs in Australia and New Zealand for use over the NBH.  Semen has been purchased from both Te Mania and Lawson Angus both of which are herds that started performance recording their cattle in the Pert Angus group in the 1960's.

Both of these herds have put a lot of selection pressure on ease of calving, growth, milk production and higher yielding, higher quality carcase traits. The high performing cows in both of these herds are moderate sized, efficient cows that use food energy more efficiently and have been selected for improved pathways for partitioning fat deposition as marbling fat in preference for putting it on their backs as excessive wads of subcutaneous fat.

In January 2012, Stabilizer semen was introduced into the NBH. Stabilzer genetics are based on a multi-breed composite including Angus, Hereford, Simmental and Gelbvieh genetics. Stabilizer draws on the superior fleshing ability, marbling and moderate size of the British breeds together with the desirable milk, muscle and growth attributes of the European breeds.

Stabilizer semen was used by several farmers across the Falkland Islands in 2013 and the performance of the resulting progeny will be observed for suitability to Falkland Island conditions as they mature.

To continue to achieve genetic gain of the NBH and to provide ongoing genetic diversity, semen was purchased from the Bulliac Angus stud (Australia) for the 2013/2014 joining season. 

The Bulliac herd has been developed over 20 years and today is a herd of hardy high performing animals who continue to prove their ability to do well in poor seasonal conditions.  The Bulliac stud is based in Queensland, Australia where rainfall is marginal, leading to nutritional constraints, namely quality of available pasture.  

Bulliac places considerable pressure on their females to ensure that their sons will breed daughters capable of performing well in most situations.

Bulliac bulls are bred with market versatility in mind by producing animals which can suit a number of markets by presenting well at any age – their growth rates have resulted in above average 80, 200, 400 and 600 day weights.

For those farmers who prefer Hereford, Shorthorn, Red Poll or other beef breeds the NBH offers an opportunity for farmers to breed superior Angus cross calves having the advantage of hybrid vigour. These progeny will have superior growth rates over purebreds to meet target carcase specifications for both the local and future export markets as well as the heifers having superior milking ability and fertility because of their inherent genetic background of strong selection for milk production and fertility traits.

If you are interested in leasing NBH bulls, inspecting the herd or learning about performance recording or improved beef production from your herd, the DoA welcomes farmers and anyone genuinely interested to visit Saladero and view the herd. Please contact the Saladero Farm Manager, on 27357 to make an appointment.