Thursday, July 7, 2022

Finishing focus

Charolais cattle are popular for their early finishing ability and the flexibility that offers farmers. Charolais Breeders New Zealand president Brent Fisher said breeders had focused on the animal’s early finishing ability to offer farmers more flexibility in the markets – for example, being able to finish heifers earlier at 200kg for local trade or up to 300kg for export. Good growth rates were accompanied by a higher yield and dressing out percentage, Fisher said.

The terminal sire was the first of the European exotic breeds imported to NZ and Fisher said their structure and temperament had improved over time.

The 90-odd Charolais breeders in NZ are represented either by Charolais Breeders New Zealand or the New Zealand Charolais Cattle Society.

Fisher said the two organisations worked together to jointly promote the breed.

“There’s always room for improvement, but overall I think the breed’s in good health,” he said.

“I think that with the advent of EID (electronic identification) whereby people are following what is happening with their cattle a lot closer, and yield grading, that will give the Charolais a real boost because the information will be there.”

New Zealand Charolais Cattle Society president Wayne Semenoff agreed that Charolais were performing well.

“We’ve got people who use them and are quite pleased with the growth rate and grading,” Semenoff said.

He said Charolais off-spring could reach finishing weights for market as early as 16 months, but they could also be finished at two-and-a-half years without sacrificing grading or losing any quality.

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