Story by Matt Sherrington; photos supplied
Crossing Brahman females to Gelbvieh bulls have proven to be a winning combination for Michael and Tracie Borg, who are based at Calveston Station, Clermont in the Isaac region of Queensland.
Mr Borg has been utilising the Brahman his entire life due to the breed’s adaptability to all conditions.
“The Brahman is also a very low maintenance breed, with ease of calving, quick growth, and great weight for age,” he said.
“They’re tick resistant, heat tolerant, handle the dry conditions very well, and are easy to handle.”
To enhance the article they produce, the Borgs have joined their Brahman breeders to Gelbvieh bulls for 25 years.
“We aim for a three-quarter Brahman one-quarter Gelbvieh cross, as we’ve found that the progeny have an improved temperament, great growth rates, excellent weight for age, high fertility, and top milk production.
“We think that Brahmans and Brahman x Gelbvieh are the best cattle to breed.”
Mr Borg said the Gelbvieh bulls are left in the paddock all year round and are kept on until they’re sold to the meatworks as old bulls.
“We’re very strict on culling for temperament and cows that do not produce a calf every year. Our fertility rate sits at between 70 to 80 per cent.”
The crossbred progeny produced are targeted towards the store weaner market at 300 to 330kg, and the jap ox market at milk or two-tooth at 360 to 380kg dressed.
“Turning our cattle off in these weight ranges produces the best price for age for us.”
Mr Borg said when sourcing bulls they look for good temperament, leg structure and frame.
“We want bulls that move freely and also have a neat sheath, good head with shielded eye, and good fertility.
“We don’t purchase our bulls from any specific sales. If the bull is right for us and will suit or herd, we’ll try to purchase them.”
In addition to Calveston, which they purchased in 1997, the Borgs own Mt Wilkin (2001), also situated near Clermont, Mt Bismark (2017), at Maclagan, in the Toowoomba region, and Halliford south of Dalby in the Western Downs, which they bought in 2021.
Calveston and Mt Wilkin consist of undulating buffel country, while Mt Bismark is comprised of cleared scrub country, and Halliford is forest country.
Mr Borg said they’ve enjoyed a good season to date this year.
“The cattle are in very forward condition.”