We have always considered ourselves as commercial breeders first and foremost and this has heavily influenced our breeding program, just as significantly as our genetics.
Our performance track record is a genuine reflection of the success of our breeding program. Our footprint continues to grow having sold bulls into every state in the country with the attraction of new clients originating from ‘word of mouth’.
Clunie Range cattle are often referred to being ‘made of tough stuff’ which is due to our breeding philosophy and the fact that we are not a stud producing pampered cattle that have never had to work for a living. Our females work for us – rather than the other way around. We believe in placing pressure on females via higher stocking rates on mostly native grass country. We have semen and morphology tested for many generations, this combined with strict policies on selection for high fertility in the females, we feel that the successive generations of selection pressure enabled production of a highly fertile herd that can produce results in diverse and tough environmental conditions. Our females are also evaluated by the performance of the progeny they produce. This pressure has allowed us to gradually produce a very tough, adaptable animal that can handle adversity and perform under pressure.
We have also been focused on carcase performance and feedback since the beginning and have always been more interested in lines of cattle that give a more advanced understanding of the genetics.
After completing a degree in Agricultural Science, Brett was able to build some really interesting and unique industry-wide experience which has helped shape the stud’s direction and performance.
At the time, ICM was one of Australia’s largest privately-owned Agriculture companies, Brett held a role in the department of Research and Development. ICM was primarily focused on growing the potential for Grain-fed beef into new markets of Japan and South East Asia. It was determined that there was much work to be completed in researching the relationship between live cattle as they enter a feeding system and the direct correlation in carcase quality and suitability to end users’ specifications.
The influence genetics had on production areas such as efficiency and quality were a major focus for ICM as their saw an extension role in communicating findings back to producers which is where Brett’s role with the company came into play. The role included assessing thousands of domestic and export cattle for numerous hotel and restaurant markets, supermarkets and butcher shops. Now the landscape has changed with most of these specific markets replaced with boxed product from major processors. Feedlot management, carcase grading, boning room experience and later grain fed marketing and export – all of which created a unique experience within the meat industry that has helped Brett at Clunie Range, to understand how complexed and dynamic the industry is. The fascination with carcase and feedback has always been a dominant force for our operation.
Continuing to Focus on Carcass Quality
- Proven track record of producing lines of high value carcases;
- Proven track record of consistency;
- Understanding of the relationship between the live animal and resultant carcase quality;
- Databank of feedlot performance and carcase feedback;
- Retained ownership;
- Branded Beef Programs;
- Market versatility.
Carcass quality of our herd is something we feel passionately about. Here at Clunie Range we have a history steeped in branded beef programs, retained ownership and heavy involvement within all areas of the Beef production chain which has seen a large bank of carcase feedlot performance data related directly to our sire lines.
Don’t just take it from us!! …
“We processed Clunie Range cattle exclusively for many years, and built a client base that appreciated the consistency in quality, high levels of marbling and yield through the boning room” – Jason Kim, Korean Meat Importer
“Bindaree Beef Group have a number of key quality beef brands highly recognised in both domestic and international meat markets. We have had a long association with Clunie Range Angus and their clients. We acknowledge the quality of the cattle and the high levels of marbling regularly obtained.” – Andrew McDonald, CEO Bindaree Beef Group
Clunie Range fed a line of 120 heifers at Freestone for an average of 110 days. The quality of the heifers created considerable interest with feedlot visitors. The entire mob averaged 2.31kg per head, per day after 100 days and the dressed equivalent of 56.6% from an empty exit weight. The consistency of the mob was impressive. It’s a big step up for the British bred females being fed for this length of time compared to the usual short-fed domestic program. The heifers were a pleasure to handle and their performance was excellent, marbling as high as score 6. – Wendy Bryce, Freestone Feedlot Manager.
The Principle of Lee Pratt Pty Ltd, George Pratt was particularly pleased with the carcases level of muscling and ‘salt and pepper marbling’ (ie; abundance of very fine flecks of marbling which is preferred over coarse marbling) with low levels of subcutaneous fat. – George Pratt, Lee Pratt Beef
Our balanced breeding program we think places herds like Clunie Range in a very strong position moving into the future.
We have sufficient size to make genetic progress quickly and having a commercial herd run side by side with the stud cattle allows us to see those genetics perform on grass, in the feedlot and also on the hook.
Our commercial cattle are also single sire joined and individually identified and while we don’t routinely collect birthweights on the commercial cattle we do record birthdates and sire and dam info. Through Our commercial herd we have been able to build a huge databank of data that allows us to fine tune our breeding selection.
Also our association with the Golden Angus brand has allowed us a unique opportunity to follow large numbers of steers through the feedlot, and have been able to follow these steers on an individual basis and collect birth to feedlot entry performance, feedlot performance, and carcase data including, EMA, Marble score and meat fat colour etc all related to individual animals. Our experience has allowed us to actually do what most seedstock producers talk about or would like
We run relatively large synchronised AI programs and use mostly yearling bulls as back-up bulls. We have been hit hard in our area with extensive drought years and as a result of our operation being basically a commercial herd we have had some impact on our AI and ET results.