Your cost comes from your cows and their ability to bring a marketable calf year in year out, problem free. This is why we focus on maternal cows at Phepson Angus. Our cows must breed in 3 cycles without the crutches of winter housing or high energy feed or they are shipped.
You hear of people calving over 3 months or more. A calf born 90 days later than your first is already behind by over 100 kilos before it even starts. It really doesn’t matter what the growth rate is when your late calves are that far behind. Tighter calving saves on labour, it saves on inputs and makes your management of cohorts much easier. That is why fertility is recognised as the number one trait for the profitability of a suckler herd and that is why it is the number one focus here at Phepson Angus. It’s the cow not the bull that drives your profitability.
“After visiting Rob and seeing how he manages his grass and testing his genetics, I was very keen to purchase some of his cattle. I didn’t need to see them, I just put an order in of what I wanted, and Rob did the rest. It’s very reassuring when you find a breeder who really knows his cattle and can be trusted to send you exactly what you want. We will be purchasing more in the future.”
~ Geraint Powell, Nuffield Scholar - after purchasing 15 in calf breeding cows and a bull ~
Body condition is monitored throughout the year to observe how the cattle respond to the test of outwintering on a diet of 100% forage. Our cows fit this system.
They gain condition on spring and summer grass, calve outside with ease, provide enough, but not excessive amounts of milk to raise their calf; ensuring they have reserves to see them through the winter. Our cows are of moderate frame size but selected for large rumen capacity making them extremely efficient forage converters.
The cows lose some condition over the winter; but are able to sustain their own maintenance requirements whilst still suckling a calf through the winter on forage alone; a credit to the performance of the genetics in this herd. This makes a profitable cow.
UPDATE JUNE 2020:
Calving is under way in the Angus herd. 15 days in to official due date, 64% of the herd has calved - proving cow and bull fertility.
Above is a photo of Phepson Elton, a strong bull calf, really showing his quality at just 9 days old, and a red Angus heifer, full of character and vigour.
UPDATE AUGUST 2020:
Calving finished at the end of June, with all cows calved within 57 days and only 1 requiring assistance. Photo above shows the calves at the end of August.
It is great to see some more red Angus coming in to the herd, concentrating the unique genetic package of full native bull Red Eddard.
We have some brilliant heifers coming through, so keep an eye out for breeding stock that may become available.
UPDATE OCTOBER 2020:
We have a limited number of Phepson Angus in calf cows available this Autumn.
Fertility is the number one focus in the Phepson herd. The genetic package of these cows is focused to produce cattle that work in a low input, out wintered, 100% forage based system.
Get in touch with Rob for more information on available stock.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2020:
At the start of November the heifers were PD scanned.
96.77% in calf over a 60 day period and 90% within the first cycle.
UPDATE JANUARY 2021:
A cold snap at the start of the year brought some snow and frost to the farm. Forage utilisation in the cattle is one of the main things we focus on. The heifers in the image above have deep rumen capacity and are maintaining excellent body condition throughout the winter on forage alone.
UPDATE JUNE 2021:
A selection of 2021 born calves. Sired by Kaiser and Granite. Nice to get some more red genetics coming through in the herd.
UPDATE JULY 2021:
Due to having 75% heifers last year we will have some lovely females for sale this autumn. Probably the last available females for a few years. If you are looking for a starter herd or to expand then come and have a look. We think you'll like them.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2022:
Due to expansion and the sale of females as starter herds, we have now sold out of breeding females for the spring. Please get in touch if you are interested in our genetics as we can discuss other options to source the genetics you require.
UPDATE JUNE 2022:
Calving 2022 is in full swing. We began calving in May and only have a handful left to go. We have used native genetics in our breeding which we find gives us slightly shorter gestations, very easy calving and vigorous calves up on their feet and drinking within minutes.
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