Home' Otago Southland Farmer : June 14th 2013 Contents 4
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$71,000 paid for ‘bloody good bull’
Eye for quality: Te Anau
farmer Chris Douglas is
passionate about the
Good breeders: Monymusk Hereford cows are currently achieving around 95 per cent calving.
Top hereford bull
commands big money at
on-farm auction, Diane
Spot the difference:
Monymusk Gallant, left,
made $71,000, which
was the top price ever
paid for a Hereford bull
at an on-farm auction.
His mate Monymusk
Granade sold for $8500.
He ticked all the boxes.
He’s got the breed
characteristics and the
Hereford bull Monymusk Gallant
ticks all the boxes.
He’s got good looks and the
production figures to back up his
$71,000 price tag.
But, not even hereford breeder
Chris Douglas could believe his
good fortune when bidding for his
two-year-old stud bull reached an
‘‘It was a bit overwhelming,
Gallant was bought by a group of
hereford breeders and is thought
to be the highest ever paid for a
hereford bull at an on-farm
auction in New Zealand.
‘‘He’s just a bloody good bull and
it’s a vindication of our breeding
programme,’’ Chris said.
Chris and wife Jayne will
celebrate another major mile-
stone next year when the
Monymusk polled hereford stud
celebrates 50 years of breeding.
The stud, which is named after
the town of Monymusk in
Scotland, was started by Chris’
parents in Amberley in 1964,
using braxton bloodlines.
The Douglases moved south to
The Key in 1984 with just 17 cows,
but over the years the stud has
grown to 160 cows, including
He aims to eventually increase
the herd to between 180 and 200
The cows complement their sheep
farming operation, which com-
prises 3400 romney ewes and 900
ewe hoggets on their 571 hectare
flat to rolling hill country
property which operates under
the banner Monymusk Farms
All lambs are finished at 17.5 to
18kg carcass weight.
‘‘We couldn’t be just sheep or
cattle here – they work well
‘‘We’ve got a lot of rough areas
that suit the cattle,’’ Chris said.
Their second eldest son Henry, 28,
is an integral part of the farming
Chris, who is vice-president of the
New Zealand Hereford Associ-
ation and a director of Hereford
Prime, said the hereford breed
was increasing in popularity
because it was an efficient
converter of grass to meat while
also having a great temperament.
His aim was to breed medium-
framed cows that thrive in the Te
Anau Basin’s challenging climate.
The cows are wintered in rough
gullies, without supplements and
typically achieve about 95 per
cent at calving in early Sept-
ember. The Douglases mate all
their heifers as yearlings and
extensively use artificial insemi-
Any heifer that doesn’t produce a
calf is culled and the cows must
produce and wean a good calf
every year to retain their place in
‘‘We run an intense operation.
‘‘There’s no room for anything
that’s not performing,’’ he said.
The cows and calves are used as a
clean-up tool and follow the lambs
around the paddock in the
His main focus is breeding good
bulls for his commercial beef
farmer clients, which they put
mainly over hereford and angus
cows, and supply the dairy
industry with bulls.
The hereford-angus cross animal
is a popular cross because of its
strong hybrid vigour.
They do not purposefully breed
stud bulls but are always pleased
when they meet the quality of
their top bull Monymusk Gallant.
‘‘He ticked all the boxes.
‘‘He’s got the breed characteris-
tics and the perfect figures,’’ Chris
His eight-year-old sire Matariki
Dunstan, who has produced a lot
of successful offspring, was
recently bought back by the
The last top bull the Douglases
sold was Monymusk Discovery at
Beef Expo in 1994 for $34,000.
Their on-farm sale on May 29 was
held in their new sale ring for the
first time and was well supported
with about 130 people attending.
The bulls were previously sold on
description and before that were
sold at the Castle Rock saleyards
in conjunction with the
Duncraigen Hereford stud.
Chris said he applied the same
philosophy to picking bulls as he
‘‘They have to be the right type
and structure is important,’’ he
The Douglases also supply about
30 18-month-old cull heifers every
year to Hereford Prime at an
average 250kg carcass weight.
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