The Fast Track to Genetic Success.
Jersey cattle are our number one choice when it comes to recipients for our embryo programs. They are docile in temperament and highly trainable. They are small and have low feed maintenance. The most notable of their traits however lie in their mothering ability, and this is exactly what we require from them. From their easy calving and low rate of dystocia (obstructed labour), to their attentiveness and generosity with taking care of more than one calf at a time, they are the stars of our show. Jersey milk is high in protein and butter fat, our fullblood Wagyu calves grow fast and well, laying down a good foundation for future marbling potential.
Marbling potential is paramount to us, the correct nutritional balance for our calves start while they are still in utero, via how we feed their mothers. When it comes genetic selection on our Fullblood embryo program, we believe that the dam line is of highest importance. The cow has a greater than 50% influence of her calf, because besides her genetic input, she also raises, nurtures and teaches her calf. Good female genetics are harder to harvest than semen and therefore more difficult to reproduce. We take great care in selecting our donor cows. We are lucky to be working with some possibly the best start for a Wagyu calf (often even better than a Wagyu mum if she has a large calf).
Jerseys are easy to manage and are great mothers. We started preparing our first Jersey mums in 2016 and by the beginning of 2017 had the first embryos implanted. The world-renowned embryo and reproductive specialists from Brits, Embryo Plus, have done all our embryo work for us. Our first calves arrived in December 2017 and we now have many more on the way. We firmly believe that your herd becomes what you make it – and so we treat our animals with gentle kindness that engenders trust and we provide the very best nutrition for every stage of their growth. We are also vigilant and take each cow’s temperature daily so that any developing illnesses are detected before they can get a grip.
Nutrition is key!
We have developed an optimal feeding program for our animals. For the Wagyu to maintain the unique marbling that is essential for the ‘Wagyu Difference,’ sound nutritional principles need to be observed. Their nutrition has to be natural and clean, so we mix it ourselves to be in control of it. Their energies are mostly derived from fats so instead of giving them a sugary mix, our mixes are higher in protein and fat.
Basically, it consists of:
- 40% Maize silage – the whole mealie plant which is cut while it is wet, chopped up and fermented for natural preservation. The sugars are released during fermentation and the nutritional value is increased and it becomes high in Vit.B.
- The balance consists of Harmony Chop – the kernel and husk left behind when maize meal is made, giving oils (from the kernel) and fibre from the husks
- Natural proteins from sunflower oil cake – the husks remaining after the oil has been pressed – and excellent quality fresh green lucerne and pasture grass are added to the mix.
- Natural supplementation ensures good vitamin and mineral balance.