Leading Beef Veterinarian to Host Herd Efficiency Workshops in North West Queensland | Queensland Country Life


PREGNANCY testing is currently the “best value” in the arsenal of tools for cattle producers, according to a leading beef veterinarian.

“I think if you don’t have a pregnancy test glove or bathroom scale your business is a little behind where it should be,” Dr Ian Braithwaite told Queensland Country Life.

Dr Braithwaite, who works extensively in northern Australia with beef cattle operations, will host two herd efficiency workshops at Eddington Station, Julia Creek, April 28-29, and Gleeson Station, Cloncurry, in May.

The workshops aim to teach producers the art of pregnancy testing and how to use this information to increase the profitability of the business.

The workshops are offered by Southern Gulf NRM in partnership with Beef Sense.

The spaces are limited and aimed at decision-makers, with a practical teaching.

Dr Braithwate said pregnancy tests provide vital data to help implement profitable breeder management systems.

“This is not a pregnancy test for the sake of testing pregnancy,” said Dr. Braithwate.

“In fact, we control the mate through pregnancy tests rather than eliminating the bulls.

“We test for pregnancy to get the calving groups we want.

“My whole practice is a production practice based on fetal aging and putting cows into calving groups.

“Once you have cows in calving groups, there are very few sensitivities that interfere with that.

“If I put 1000 cows in a group to calve by November / December, the only sensitivity is the loss of pregnancy and weaning tests, which can range from 9 to 15%.

Workshops on herd efficiency.

“As a result, you have predictability.

“Out of 1,000 cows tested in calves, you get about 85% weaning.

“From there you can do precise inventory flow, which means precise sales for calves, which gives you good cash flow – and that’s what banks are looking for. “

The workshop will also cover how to measure pastoralist performance and grazing management and stocking rate.

Dr Braithwaite, who plans to perform up to 280,000 pregnancy tests for clients this season, said pregnancy tests were a particularly useful tool during drought years.

“You have to measure metrics to move your business forward,” he said.

“Unlike blanket calving for 12 months in your cow herd, if you switch to a group calving herd, you start making some pretty powerful strategic decisions in terms of destocking and when to destock. “

Good pasture, the key to success

GOOD rangeland management is a key factor in the success of cattle operations, said Dr Ian Braithwaite, Chief Production Veterinarian.

“There are three things you try to balance in a big company and that is the cash flow, the number of calves you get and the runs,” Dr Braithwaite said.

“The courses become a very important part if not the most important. What motivates calves is cow body condition score and what motivates cow body condition score is nutrition and what motivates nutrition is good pasture management.

“If we do not have sustainable management of pastures, we suffer. We don’t get calves so we don’t get cash flow.

Dr Braithwaite’s workshops are offered by Southern Gulf NRM in partnership with Beef Sense. Workshop participants will learn about pregnancy testing, profitable pastoralist management systems, and grazing and stocking rate management. For more information call 4743 1888.

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