Black Angus Beef Up On DDGS Wheat Pellets | The Cultivator Autumn 2019

Just 1kg a day of Manildra Stockfeed DDGS Wheat Pellets delivers “phenomenal” results for early weaned calves and breeders at one of Australia’s most famous rural properties, Belltrees, in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW.

On 9,000 hectares along the Hunter River upstream of Lake Glenbawn – home to the pioneering White family since 1831 – Belltrees today grazes more than 5,000 head of prime Black Angus cattle alongside tourism and horse-training, since diversifying from the core business of sheep when wool prices floored in the 1950s.

Managing the cattle and horse side of the family business, Antony White can be found most days working the station on horseback, alongside his dogs and the stockmen mustering, drafting and branding cattle or training horses.

Mr White said the adoption of early weaning, due to the extended dry conditions, had been the biggest change to their cattle operation.

“Common practice was to wean calves at 200kg to 260kg depending on seasonal conditions,” he said. “That’s changed with the assistance we are able to wean calves at 60kg.

“During weaning, the calves were offered 1kg a day of DDGS Wheat Pellets, with the addition of straw and pasture.

“Weaning calves earlier at 60kg requires a feed that is well-balanced in energy and protein.”

From a live weight of 180kg, calves are provided open access to DDGS Wheat Pellets through self-feeders, with daily weight gains meeting Mr White’s expected 2kg average.

The benefits of DDGS Wheat Pellets extend beyond the calves to the breeding herd – providing an excellent source of fermentable carbohydrates, protein and energy, which can be fed with a high degree of safety and little risk of acidosis.

“Early weaning provides an opportunity for the breeders to improve their condition score and allows improvements in cow conception rates,” Mr White said.

“For breeders, DDGS Wheat Pellets provide energy and protein to help the herd maintain their health and wellbeing – reserving their strength and nutrition for their own metabolism.”

Manildra Group National Stockfeed Manager Tim Wirth described the results as “phenomenal – especially in dry conditions” and ensuring the breeding stock were in their prime.

“The breeding herd is under significant pressure with current seasonal conditions – early weaning and feed supplementation reduce the pressure on the herd, improving fertility rates and condition scores,” said Mr Wirth.

Black Angus Beef Up On DDGS Wheat Pellets