Breeding Program

Motivation - We enjoy what we do and are happy to stand by what we produce.

 

The Kenny's Creek Program

The selection and breeding program at Kenny's Creek is driven by a systems based approach that has at its heart a rigorous and a non-emotional approach to genetic selection. It seeks to produce trouble free performance bulls for our clients. A brief summary of the key points of our approach is as follows;

 

Sire Selection

Kenny's Creek has been at the forefront of making use of structural information, with every animal in our breeding herd scored at least every two years. With over 200,000 individual items of data collected, we utilize the data to rank the performance of sire and cow lines. This has sometimes given surprising feed back that enables us to react very early to structural issues inherited by new sire lines.

We take the attitude that a new sire has to "squeeze its way" into our program. We comprehensively examine sires including viewing progeny, dams, granddams, sisters and any other family members available.

Nearly all bulls used by us have at least 100 daughters on the ground which allows us to assess inherited structure and particularly udder conformation.

We don't feel it is noteworthy to boast a high cull rate of bulls presented for sale, as this demonstrates a lack of research and homework on matings. A low cull rate for us means more predictable progeny for our clients' herds. We aim through tightly researched breeding principles and by using high accuracy parents to reduce mistakes and minimize surprises.

Once sires have passed this assessment we then look at EBVs. We keep in mind that some of our clients sell steers to the domestic market and some look at the B3 Index. We are not a "one - index" breeder but do give emphasis to 400 day performance, as a large proportion of our clients sell steers at this age and most importantly aim to have their heifers at close to 300 kilos for joining.

The objective of yearling growth is a key fertility trait that has paid great dividends in our own commercial herd.

 

Females and Embryos

Since commencing the stud in 1987 our stud female sale's policy is driven by the desire to see our genetics represented other Angus herds.

We have produced and sold 350 bulls over the past twelve months and the majority of those have emerged from our embryo program. As a result, the females represented in our selling program are the flip side of that program and represent the elite female side of the flush program.

Over the years we have put forward females that really challenge us as to whether to sell them or not. We always overcome the desire to retain everything within our own clutches, as we have a strong belief that to replicate our stud prefix via the quality of our females is both a worthy industry outcome and important to the integrity of our program.

The breeding program that we continue to operate at Kenny's Creek is both disciplined and rigorously evaluated by independent review. We have, to the best of our ability, removed the emotion from our selection process and rely very much on the objectivity of structural assessment and progeny investigation of all sires that we use. We place a very high emphasis on the evaluation of multiple generations and as a general rule will not use sires until they have recorded yearling progeny on the ground.

The only exception to these protocols are when we are keen to benchmark a new sire and have gained comfort by an on the spot visual evaluation of the sire and a detailed appreciation of the pedigree. This is evidenced by the embryos that we have on offer in the Embryo Section of this website. We have been encouraged to offer some matings that have not been previously available. The embryos offered are from the most elite of the thirty five donors in the 2011 flush program.

 

International Benchmarking and Global Network

Keeping in mind requirements of our clients for functional cattle we have looked to the USA and New Zealand as a source of genetics to supplement the predominantly Australian based genetics of our herd. As the Kenny's Creek herd have such strong carcase qualities we have found that we can complement the New Zealand bloodlines well and incorporate their excellent structure and functional qualities. We are annual visitors to overseas breeders who we regard as leaders in their country.

 

Independent Evaluation

Our protocol for breeding soundness has four elements to it.

Firstly, assessment of structural soundness. All our animals have been assessed independently for structural soundness. In the case of our females this starts at their first lactation and continues at regular intervals through their lives. No females remain in the donor or breeding program that have short comings on their structural assessment which includes a rigorous 'life time' evaluation of temperament.

Structural soundness is also assessed in all sires introduced to the program. We use a range of trusted consultants in the event we have difficulty in evaluating the bull ourselves. To allow a new bull onto our sire list we review his female progeny for at least the first generation but also as many generations as possible.

Secondly, physical evaluation of penile function. This test is carried out by a qualified Veterinary Scientist and is performed on all sale animals.

Thirdly, physical observation of serving ability. While difficult and time consuming no test better indicates a bulls libido and unmistakeable ability to serve a cow than a serving ability test. All bulls are confirmed as achieving a satisfactorily mount and service of a cow. This test is performed under Veterinary Scientist's supervision, from a welfare perspective, and is independently verified for each bull. No short cuts allowed.

Fourthly, evaluation of testicular function. Experienced testicular palpation is an extremely accurate method of detecting semen quality problems which may interfere with natural mating. Any abnormalities are thoroughly checked with a semen quality test.

 

Independence and Transparency

Kenny's Creek is not "mortgaged" to anyone else's program. While we have alliances with Fink Beef Genetics in the USA and Fossil Creek Angus in New Zealand, this has benefited all parties and we are in no way tied to each other. We do not have to compromise our objectives to suit any other players other than our own clients.

All the information that we collect and that will help clients in making an informed decision is published in our catalogue.