We were very fortunate to have Jim Green of Greens Livestock Services out yesterday to scan and structurally assess our stock. Jim is highly regarded and is at the forefront of structural assessment, having guided the Te Mania Angus program for more than 25 years, as well as doing the structural assessments for the likes of Rennylea Angus, Welcome Swallow and Paringa Livestock.
Structure was a priority when we established the Te Mooi Speckle Park program, and we believe an independent eye is of great value. Nothing improves the quality of an animal like ownership.
Yesterday was quite a test of how our program is performing from a structural perspective, and I am very pleased to report that the results were great.
The outlines of the assessment program.
Our current donor cows all scored a 5 or 6 for each of the following assessed categories:
Front Feet Claw Set, Rear Feet Claw Set, Front Feet Angle, Rear Feet Angle, Rear Leg (Side View) and Rear Leg (Hind View). Temperament tests were also conducted. Animals are assessed for calmness in a confined area where a score of 1 represents extremely quiet (touchable) and 5 represents aggressive or extremely agitated. All bar two of the donors scored 1’s with the others scoring 2.
Our P and Q-drop heifers were assessed and scored 4, 5 or 6 for all conformation categories, and all bar one of the heifers, had a temperament score of 1, with the other being a 2. Our P and Q-drop bulls also performed exceptionally well both structurally and on temperament.
Overall I wanted to measure our performance against the performance of programs that I admire, like Te Mania and Rennylea. I looked at the scores of the last 100 bulls offered for sale from each program to gauge where they sit, as both programs are assessed by Jim Green. Obviously there are some culls from the Te Mania and Rennylea programs before their sale animals were selected, so their benchmark percentages should be high, whereas all the Te Mooi Speckle Park progeny are included in the analysis.
Conformation Score Analysis
With 94% of our conformation scores in the 4, 5 and 6 range our structural soundness is in line with these very fine programs. It gives us great confidence in our selection methods and mating program. What was most pleasing was that the progeny of our Herd Sires (bulls inspected and selected by Te Mooi, and purchased by us or as part of a syndicate) scored exceptionally well. We feel we have built a great structural base to build our herd on, and we are very excited about what our program can achieve in the coming years.