Spring Update

Nov 3, 2021

Mob Breeding Technique

I stumbled onto a you-tube video about mob breeding livestock in regenerative agriculture systems (if you search mob breeding on you tube the video will come up). A fascinating and thought-provoking video from Bjorg Johansen about mob breeding: it certainly has some very valid takeaway points.

Mainly to do with selection and culling of livestock, and I do not think there is too much energy going into the selection side of things. You are letting the environment select the livestock suited to your property.

My thoughts are that you should be considering that to start with; otherwise, you will have a massive fallout in the first few female generations for fertility and doability in a cattle operation sense in the first years of starting.

Bjorg’s thoughts are that we spend 80% of our time tending to the weak, sick or injured livestock for only 20% of the return, and we should be culling these animals. And the opposite is true of the productive and healthy we are spending 20% of our time for an 80% return.

In cattle scenarios, cows with assisted calvings, non-breeding low fertility, poor structure, e.g. wrong feet, bad temperaments and those susceptible to worm burden illnesses. They are to be culled, removed from the breeding herd and then bred from the rest. And he is not worried about whether or not the bulls are running with their mothers or close relatives (inbreeding). It either works out, or it does not.

Balanced Functional Fertile Females

The above statement makes much sense to me except the last sentence and is what I do here at Pentire Angus. By doing this culling, practice gives Pentire Angus a herd of Balanced, functional, fertile females (no calf, no job policy at Pentire Angus, producing our #AngusWithMuscle sale bulls. So the prospective purchasers can have confidence in those bulls producing a line of Balanced Functional Fertile females. Over the years of breeding Pentire Angus females, I have noticed that the high selling bulls in the Pentire Angus sales are from what I consider to be complex working plain jane types of cows that are very efficient and profitable in the Pentire Angus program. When you compare the quality of those bulls and look at their dams, it is hard to imagine they produced something so outstanding. This phenomenon happens regularly in the Pentire Angus herd.

But running a large mob of bulls with the cows in this style of Mob Breeding sounds like a nightmare I am not willing to deal with. Sometimes it is a big enough nightmare managing the young bulls in their Batchelor groups without throwing cycling cows into the mix. Even though in the Pentire Autumn joining the program, I multiple (two bulls) joined the cows as a backup to the AI  program.

 Spring joining season at Pentire Angus

What I have done this spring joining season at Pentire Angus is Ai the cows (primarily to Pentire Quick Stop Q39 lot 5 in 2021 sale ) then the cows already Ai will be running with two backup bulls Pentire Rocky R30 and Pentire Roast R40, who are out of the two best cows in the Pentire Angus program (in my opinion) and hopefully very influential.

Pentire Margret J40 (dam of Pentire Rocky R30) is an 8yo cow with six natural calves and two daughters in production doing a fantastic job, producing a previous Pentire Angus Sale topper in Pentire MacGyver M42.

Pentire Pride H36 pictured above (dam of Pentire Roast R40) needs no introduction as the dam of the recording-breaking Pentire Rome R22 in the 2020 sale. A grandson Pentire Scattercat S30 is my pick of the spring-born bull calves, certainly one to keep an eye on.

I am very excited about what these two young sires can bring to the table for the Pentire Angus program.

New Genetics

I am always on the lookout for new and exciting genetics (or maybe the many hours of googling and searching is time-wasting ) to bring into the Pentire Angus breeding program that will continually help keep improving the genetics of the herd for Pentire Angus clients to help make them profitable and so they can keep enjoying what they do in this beautiful industry of ours. So there will be some exciting additions to the Pentire Angus program in the future.