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.
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.