Hazeldean has been performance testing for more than 40 years being one of the first seedstock producers in the world to embrace the concept.
Animals have been selected over many years for the commercial traits that will maximise profit.
The Litchfields of Hazeldean use selection on performance as their main criteria for improvement as it most closely follows what happens in the natural world.
In nature, genetic improvement, more commonly known as evolution, takes place due to direct selection for superiority. The gazelle does not escape the jaws of the hungry lion because of the appearance of things that might indicate an ability for a quick escape (long legs, powerful hindquarters, an alert nature) - she escapes simply because she is faster at getting out of the way. Likewise in animal breeding, the selection of indicators of productivity will never yield the same results as selecting directly for the trait in question.
This basic premise has determined why much emphasis is placed on the direct measurement of superiority and why indicators are only used at Hazeldean if there is a proven genetic correlation and selection otherwise for the trait is too slow or too difficult.
Breedplan is embraced by Hazeldean because the method of determining EBV's includes the degree of expression of a particular trait in relatives to fine tune the likely expression of the trait in the individual.
Saxen Graziers is an Angus breeding operation of approx 650 breeders. The breeding country is west of Adaminaby at an average altitude of 1200m.
The proprietors are Ineke and Guy Stephens who have been operating the business for the last ten years. Previous to this, the herd was run by Guy’s parents, Hugh and Elizabeth, who established links with Hazeldean close to 50 years ago.
The main breeding traits Saxen Graziers have been selecting for have been, growth, milk, fertility, calving ease and doing ability so that the cattle can survive and prosper in there incredibly tough winters up there in the snowy mountains.
Over the years
Saxen Graziers have bought many Hazeldean bulls with over 60% of their bull
paddock Hazeldean sires.
we continue to repeat buy is they are so sound in structure, the break down
rate is minimal, and they have all the breeding traits we are
Guy Stephens – Saxen Graziers
"As we are a totally commercial beef production business, our profitability is governed by environmental adaptation, functional efficiency and market compliance.
After much research into Angus genetics we decided to use Hazeldean bulls for the following reasons:
Hazeldean has a unique philosophy for efficient beef production and unparalleled client support.
The outcomes have proved very encouraging within this harsh environment. We have identified a marked improvement in both our yearling heifer conceptions and the ability of our bullocks to dress above 300kg with 8-22mm fat and no more than 4 teeth off grass"
Steve Taylor, Wetlands, Augathella, QLD
"After inspecting several angus studs and speaking to commercial producers who are using Hazeldean bulls in country not unlike ours we dicided to buy some Hazeldean bulls to breed replacement bulls for our 1000 head brahman and brahman cross cow herd.
We were very impressed with the simple and practical approach used by the Litchfields in shaping their stud's direction.
We were particularly impressed with the early scrotal development in their bulls and in general with the entire Hazeldean herd.
In 2000 we brought our first Hazeldean bulls to our property situated 40km east of Hughenden. The Hazeldean bulls and their progeny have impressed us in that they are quiet, practical, easy going cattle. This has led to more Hazeldean bulls joining our herd every year since.The integrity of the Litchfields, together with the guarantee that comes with the bulls makes our Hazeldean bulls a very attractive investment."
Reay and Lindy Cowan, Hughenden, QLD
"We have been using Hazeldean bulls since 1995. We join around 500 females which are run at high stocking rates compunded by our winter cropping programme. Our main outlet for steers is in the longfed Japanese market. As their preferred entry weights have gone up so has our effective stocking rate. The Hazeldean cattle respond well to this regime and we find them docile and easy to handle.
Hazeldean genetics have given us access to market premiums with our steers"
Guy and Sarah Cunningham, Gumbowie, Willalooka, SA
"I work full time off farm and it is essential that I have a low maintenance herd. I like the way the calves grow out and their ability to do well here, but the main reason I buy Hazeldean bulls is the ease of calving- I haven't had to pull a calf for 5 years, not even out of my heifers, and this means savings in management time and higher profitability.
The heifers grow out well, milk well and rear some of the heaviest weaners and on top of that seem to get back in to calf readily.
Both the herd and the bulls are quiet and easy to handle.
I sell the steer caves at 10-11 months and heifers at 15 months and my calves are always at the top of the market. My second draft heifers always top the sale with buyers usually taking them home to join straight away."
Shane Callaghan, Mansfield, VIC
When buying Hazeldean bulls I know I'm buying proven genetics form a herd expressing great maternal traits, growth, fertility and the ability to do really well under those conditions. With over 40 years of performance recording, the Hazeldean herd has a depth and balance of performance traits hard to find anywhere else.
It gives me great confidence to buy bulls from people who will stand behind their product all the way. When marketing cattle, I have great opportunities because of the Hazeldean strength in my herd. The mention of Hazeldean blood always assures me of prices at the top end of any sale we attend."
David Mott, Collingullie, NSW