The use of calf creep feeders and EasyWean nose rings has helped central Queensland beef producers Wayne and Kellie Dobe lift the productivity of their breeding herd.
They run a Brahman and Brangus-cross herd on the 20,250-hectare DeSalis Station 60km west of Gumlu, and aim to grow their herd out for the export market.
They began using Easywean nose rings in 2013 and say that, combined with the use of creep feeders, the nose rings have helped them lift the fertility of their herd.
“We aim to put them in at branding and then the mothers can clean them up a bit after branding” Mr Dobe said.
“We have found it is just a lot less stress on the mothers and the calves.
“When they come through at weaning, they have already weaned themselves.
“We use a ration in the creep feeder that only the calves can access, and that helps their rumens adjust so they are straight onto the grass with no setback.”
Mr Dobe said he had noticed a marked improvement in the fertility and condition of his breeders since using the nose rings.
“Our breeders start putting on weight straight away because they are not carrying a big calf, and they also started cycling within a couple of days of the rings going in.
“So not only are our wean weights better, but our calving percentages have improved as well.”