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Our latest
(July 2016)




Variation is the necessity of progress

 Xmas is on us once again and the year has gone in a flash.  Bulls are all out and working well.  It is necessary when having a new set of yearling bulls out each year that they are observed very closely to make sure that they all are working.  It is not unusual for some of them to take some time to begin.

The season has stayed with us very well, and all stock are doing well. Calves are growing well, and those that we picked at the beginning as potential sires are living up to their expectation, with some very interesting calves are coming on.

As we are working  within a grass environment , each year shows a small improvement in cow traits and in bull growth. Ours is an ongoing and cumulative programme which is most exciting to be in.

Each year we wait for a new generation to be born knowing that it will be an advance on the last

Breeding news

To understand how our programme works there are certain basic rules you need to understand .  These rules are the bases of modern breeding techniques. “Every bull or cow is only as good as the average performance of its progeny”.

This requires some consideration, however once you understand this it is perfectly logical. Then therefore has a better son then himself or daughter then herself..  The future generations are better then their sires or mothers.  Tell that to your son and of course he will agree with you. By selecting sires out of cows that have calved every year and weaned a high rate of calf so you build in Dam traits with all their ramifications. Like fertility lends ability to cope with the environment, and ability to conceive early and rear a good calf , despite the conditions.

If the son you select is 10 kilos above average and he is out of an average cows the progeny will be 5 kilos above the sires average. In other words the son is superior to his sire by 5 kilos.  Heretability is near enough to 50%.  And believe me it works.

Pinebank, Glanworth and Shalom wish all its reader a very “Happy Xmas” and a prosperous New Year.


Pinebank Newsletter - November 2005

 Spring has sprung and calving has finished and a very good calving it has been. The weather has been unusually kind with calf survival rate high. Calves are doing very well with some exceptional and interesting calves coming on. Just as the dry weather was becoming of concern we have had a good rain and so the grass has been pushed along and it looks at the moment that we will be set up until at least Xmas. Mating groups are being sorted, always a time consuming time and bulls will be turned out very soon. Watching the calves grow it is surprising how quickly you latch onto a particular calf as one that is going to make the sires list. As you know we use approximately 4 bulls per 100 cows, mainly to make sure that we get the top bull each year so there is plenty of selection room A number of overseas breeders are coming to view the cattle so it will be interesting to hear their comments

Breeding Comments For every year that you use the same bull you are going nowhere, you stay one square one. The bull contributes the same set of genes each year and your average performance stays the same. If you are a keen breeder and want to improve your herd you must change your bulls as often as possible, going in the direction that you wish to go. This is why we change bulls every year, that and the fact that because we have a closed herd it reduces our inbreeding level. The object of any breeding programme should be to select bulls bred in the same direction as your objectives and then feed them into your herd breeding in more and more directional high performing genes. It is the average performance of your herd that you must lift not the odd high performing individual. Especially if you are selling your best bull to some other herd. Any improvement that you have made is gone.

Pinebank Newsletter - October 2005

Before beginning farming and breeding news for this month, spare a thought for all the natural disasters around the world.

We in New Zealand are thinking of all those people involved and in may cases have lost so much We have just ended what has been the best Spring ever. Survival rate in lambs has been unprecedented and bodes well for a good season. As I said in the last Newsletter twin calves continued to appear. Calving has virtually finished and we have 8 sets. We seldom allow the cows to rear twins because experience has shown us that if you have twins on a cow the stronger one dominates the weaker and so one does much better then the other. And the other problem is that after rearing twins the cow often fails to conceive the following year.

Breeding News.

The greatest breeder of all time and in all animals is “Nature”.

Upon consideration you can see that she covers all contingencies. Not only that but of course nature breeds animal that best suit their environment. In many biological species those females that fail to conceive graze the outside of the herds of females with young and so are the first to sustain attacks by predators. They also act as sentinels and again protect the nursing mothers and young of their species. Behavioural patterns are hard wired into our genes and are primally based upon survival.

The best and strongest and fittest males each year compete for the females and the strongest wins and so fertilizer the next generation. When male number one begins to tire then next one takes over and so forth. What better method could there ever be for selection,survival plus improvement in fitting environment than this. Most females are not programmed to be aggressive except in the defence of their young. This is designed because in the female of all species the female only has one progeny per year whereas the male can fertilize any number of females. You can kill off any number of males in a population and provided one survives the population continues. It wasn’t until humans took over the controlled breeding of animals and began making arbitory decisions, often selecting animals unsuited to their environment that the whole system became thrown out of balance with nature. Selection must take the environment into account to be successful and efficient. Fertility must be the first consideration in all breeding programmes because if the cow does not calve there is no profit only high cost of having to run a cow through another year when she makes no money. How many studs have a heap of dry cows?

Next year Pinebank will have calves in 18 states in North America and in 3 Canadian provinces. Slowly grass-based genetics are beginning to take its place in the grain based cattle breeding populations of the world.


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