The four main traits Bluestone focuses on for a balanced Hereford bull

category Genetics

CRV partners with Bluestone Herefords in South Canterbury, which has been supplying Hereford genetics to CRV since 2014.

Stud owner Yvonne Lee says Bluestone focuses on producing a balanced Hereford bull with four main traits; low birth weight, short gestation, ease of calving and homozygous polled (hornless).

“Lower birth weight is important because we know that lighter progeny means less risk of a difficult calving. It’s fundamental to have a live calf on the ground with no calving issues for the mother. It gives farmers peace of mind and keeps costs to a minimum.

“Short gestation is highly heritable trait that has many financial and management benefits. It means more days in milk, while the increase in re-breeding time gives cows more time to gain condition and increase the likelihood of them getting in calf. This also has flow on benefits for the following season with a tighter calving pattern.”

Unique to CRV is the Fertabull Short Gestation Hereford product. Each straw contains the semen of three elite, polled Bluestone Hereford sires. This increases the length of time the semen is viable, giving farmers a greater chance of getting a cow in-calf.

The three Bluestone Hereford bulls have been carefully selected, offering the breed’s leading short gestation, calving ease and growth Estimated Breeding values (EBVs). All three bulls are homozygous polled, so no de-horning of the progeny is required. Not having to dehorn cattle not only saves farmers time and money, but also improves animal welfare and human safety.

Herefords’ easily identifiable white face marking is an effective management tool for farm staff and ensures these progeny don’t end up on the milking platform. Hereford cross-bred animals are very popular, with great saleability and high value off-spring.

Yvonne Lee recommends, irrespective of which beef breed farmers choose, they should base their decisions on reliable information and ensure they work with a registered genetics company – just as they would for their dairy semen.

“Animals are a dairy farmer’s most valuable asset and they can’t afford to waste time and money due to poor calving outcomes.”

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