The CBV herd

Development of analysis all sires to fully reflect important traits. Relentless pursuit of excellence.

  • Development of analysis all sires to fully reflect important traits.
  • Relentless pursuit of excellence in converting
    Sunshine > Forage > Beef > Market > Genetics

Kit Pharo illustrates this very well in his PCC Newsletter. ( Get to know Kit Pharo)

CBV is currently mating 1000 cows with a bull battery of approximately 60 bulls in single sire matings. A further 4-500 heifers are joined to multiple sires at "Kelso", Marlborough, Qld. The progeny of these matings are DNA parented.

We analyse 3000 head annually to find 20 – 30 sires per year for development of CBV herds. We use every scientific and management tool available that is relevant to earning margins in a practical beef business.

  • Reproduction, Speed & Reliability
  • Survival from Conception to Maturity
    • Early mating in dry season, lactating
    • Uterine survival (link to D'Occhio & Kinder articles – Will Send)
    • Unassisted births and suckling
    • No chemical interventions for flies, ticks, worms etc
    • Large groups in each analysis
    • Heavy castration of males after whole herd data is completed
  • Variable herd sizes – 1 bull in 40 – 200 females. We search for the males and females that are most capable.

"Nature & CBV – We're A Team"

"The Forces of Nature's Impacts aid Selection, this equals ‘Superior Genetics and Economics'"

CBV has developed outstanding management. Outstanding management is disciplined the relentless. The rewards are many:

  • Excellent effective genetics
  • High reliability
  • Profitable business
  • Ability to grow
  • Sound control of costs
  • The cattle work for us

The Reproductive Disciplines are:

  • Start mating October 1 every year regardless of season or pasture condition working in synchrony with Photoperiod Effect on Hormones. 
Control versus Out of Control graph Control versus Out of Control

The optimum return per hectare per 100mm rainfall is achieved with matings commencing October 1st.

  • Herds are mated in speed bands from C1 to C5
  • C1 females calving from the 1st period (of five 3 week mating periods) have their calves tagged August 15th and they are first mated October 1st to October 21st. These become the C1 group (C1 speed band).
  • C2 females calving from the 2nd period (of five 3 week mating periods) have their calves tagged September 15th and they are first mated October 1st to October 21st. These become the C2 group (C2 speed band).
  • The resulting pregnancies have been achieved on nutrition that has been falling in value since last May/June – stress always aids the selection process, whether athletes or livestock.
  • C3 group of calves are tagged October 15th, and are first mated November 1st to November 21st, on often poor nutrition.
  • C4 group of calves are tagged November 15th and are first mated December 1st to December 21st, on usually better nutrition.
  • C5 group of calves are tagged December 15th and first mated January 1st to January 21st, usually on good nutrition.

All matings cease February 21st regardless of conditions.

Quite often CBV has no useful rain until December or January, with our worst years starting with rain in March, and on one occasion in April. Stress like this certainly aids selection, whether athletes, livestock or genetics.

People, businesses and livestock all benefit from nature's challenges.

CBV's quest is to identify the females rebreeding in the first possible mating, with the usual impact from ticks, flies, worms, heat, poor nutrition and lactation stress.

All heifers are mated – females achieve their rightful position in the herd by speed of reproduction and weaning success.
All females that fail are slaughtered. These include those that:

  • fail to conceive,
  • fail to retain pregnancy,
  • fail to suckle their calf,
  • fail to protect from predators.

CBV has just one simple criteria to stay at CBV – to rear a healthy weaner for every mating opportunity, every year.

In some years the slaughter percentage has been very high, especially in first calving heifers – the first and second rebreed quite rightly claims all the unfit genetics, especially in dry years – we often have them. Natural selection at its best fit for our environment and economics. (Link to article "Material to Reflect Upon", p.3, CBV Newsletter 3 Spring 2005.)

Most of our Keeper Bulls (bulls kept for development of the CBV herd) are born in C1 and C2, always from genetics of sires and dams with outstanding calving intervals and rapid rebreed.

  • Sire Selection (No actual figures on web – Link direct to email screen (yet to decide on email address – with Request for ‘All Sires List' in subject line)
    • Do-ability & Thrift
      • We analyse the absence of loss in the dry season plus the ability to gain fleshing rapidly in the green season.
      • Do-ability appears to be a very accurate measure of true adaptation on top of the successful rebreeds data as is evident in the trends as presented in the CBV Speed Band Calving Groups (No actual figures on web – Link direct to CBV Newsletter 6 Summer 2006).
    • Fleshiness
      • Fleshiness is a rapid gain of muscle rather than weight based only on raw frame. Weaners and yearlings mostly have modest groceries, usually poor to medium quality grass. This challenges the best to assert themselves very clearly.
    • Gentle natured cattle
      • Quiet cattle have been a pre-requisite to Alf Collins for over fifty years, and have rewarded us with low operational cost, high quality carcases, and the pleasure of having always worked cattle with our children from an early age. This is customary in many of our clients herds as well.
      • You may not be working with children but with inexperienced staff, or short-handed and naturally gentle natured cattle will make your day.
      • Interestingly the ‘CBV Tom' family of cattle have exquisite good nature, highly heritable for many generations, with some of our best reproduction, and excelling in all the other important traits as well. What a bonus!
      • Recent information has been referred to me from Australian and North American research, of naturally gentle cattle and their positive relationship to Elevated Immune Response, increased downstream carcase value and welfare based marketing. Naturally gentle cattle have many direct and indirect routes of rewarding their owners.
    • Early puberty
      • Selection for early puberty has been a valuable trait in CBV progress when related to the number of maiden heifers advanced pregnant at the earliest possible time. The year prior to mating is often on lower quality nutrition and heavy stocking rates to optimise "kg per hectare per 100mm" of rainfall, and "kg gained per year per 100kg" of stock inventory. Link to article in "CBV testimonials"
      • With an early initial calf crop, the females have the maximum mating days available to them for the first rebreed, (or second pregnancy). In most parts of the beef cattle world that is the hardest to achieve at low cost. This is achieved from their own inbuilt genetic ability, regardless of the environmental or economic stresses.
      • Yearling bulls are measured monthly at CBV for testicle diameters as well as body weight, to 600 days of age, to determine those potential sires with genetic trend to reach sexual maturity early, on low nutrition, and often at low body weights.
      • All yearling heifers are mated at random to their sibling males from October 1 to February 21, to find the most capable and precocious stock. This is not practical in open commercial herds, as the success rate is insufficient over any ten year period. This does illustrate to us though, some of the most extraordinary adapted genetics, and is well worth our effort to continue the search for outlier genetics.
      • As a result the ‘Days to Calving' analysis for the Brahman breed shows an unbeatable trend for CBV.
      • All this data is available to our clients on our Bull Data Sheets on selection day and Bull Sale days to aid our judgement.
      • The CBV composites are grazing in the same group as our Brahmans, and it has been illuminating to see F1 progeny of highly promoted breeds and sires simply crumble under our costs and stress levels. This has occurred in the traits of do-ability, thrift, survival and reproduction.
      • CBV has developed some very productive composites as a result of measuring crosses of at least 10 breeds and many combinations for 25 years. The most adapted breeds are CBV Brahman, and Boran from Kenya.
      • CBV was a collaborator and joint financier with CSIRO to introduce these cattle sourced via Zambia and later purchased from the consortium. We multiplied and analysed Boran and Tuli, as purebreds and crosses for many years. Many failed. The survivors have been excellent genetics in our search for adapted cattle.
      • From CBV we take the time to visit in our clients paddocks, and the best time for us is usually dry season, to gain a realistic picture of conditions, economics and expectations. We realised many years ago that very few people can afford to ‘prepare' maiden heifers for mating with abundant grass or supplements.
      • Our clients are professionals in raising cattle and high inputs are neither practical nor acceptable. This makes CBV genetics valuable in their eyes and their bottom line. Strong repeat business is normal, and appreciated by us.
    • Vigorous Bulls
      • Our most precocious family of cattle is the CBV Tom genotype, and are the gentlest natured to work with, plus what we call advanced work ethic. This seems to apply to both males and females.
    • The same cattle are vigorous grazers and easy travellers. That is vigour; an overall wellness and ability to thrive in any challenges or stress.
    • Wall to wall high speed reproduction data stacked for several generations combined with other important function traits have engineered a powerful CBV Sire Battery.
    • Ask for our All Sires List (Link direct to CBV email address – yet to decide on email address)
  • ‘Selection of Keepers, Sale Bulls, Cutters'
    • Prospective buyers and clients often attend our selection drafting day to be more familiar with the whole CBV program.
    • CBV never starts with a number of bulls as the selection target. In some years we have higher or lower mating success. Consequently we select and categorise keepers and sale bulls into price groups related to commercial beef earning capacity. Castration rate is quite severe as we also value good steers.
    • CBV has always operated commercial beef herds, both breeding and finishing stock. We are in harmony with the costs and requirements of the store buyer and the carcase market.
  • ‘Management & Analysis of weaners to 600 days'.
    • Weaners are paddocked as one group often with our co-operators' purchased weaners, in mobs of 1000 to 1500 animals. Our adapted composites are included in the Brahman group to determine that no useless cattle are protected from challenge.
    • We have determined that most of the claims made of adaptation of F1, composite, and part adapted breeds crumble dismally when pastured with the highly adapted CBV Brahmans and CBV composites.
    • CBV cattle are not treated for ticks, worms, or flies.