The South Island Limousin Bull Trial held its monthly weighing this week (early February) with all animals enjoying pleasing weight gains. The average weight was 556kg with the top weight at 642kg. Four animals were over 600kg. As expected at this time of the year average daily growth rates slow a little as grass constitution changes. However it was still a respectable 1.1kg per day weight gain with the top daily weight gain for the month being 1.6kg. The trial is a grass-fed regime with no supplementary feeding.
The animals are looking in excellent health with fabulous coat colour. The copper bolus given at the start of the trial is certainly beneficial. As expected their temperament and handling ease are outstanding.
Running bulls from various studs over an extended period under the same conditions provides a clearer picture of the genetic differences within the group. Obviously calving dates need to be considered as well. The range of types within the bull trial also provides prospective buyers with an opportunity to compare different traits to best meet their needs.
South Island farmers generally calve a little later than their North Island counterparts with September/early October being the most common period. In the North Island July/August are the usual calving months, particularly in the northern regions.
In preparation for the sale (Monday 19 May on farm at Dunsandel) the bulls will be fertility tested, blood tested, and structurally assessed by an independent assessor over the next two months. They have all been DNA tested to ensure they are not carriers of protoporphyria.
As in past years there will be a small number of quality females put up for auction after the bull sale.
Warrick James & Gary Kennett