LIMOUSIN breeders across the eastern States of Australia are counting their pennies and preparing for the dispersal of one of the country's top herds - Timor Limousin stud.
Established in 1975 from commercial cows, the stud has grown significantly to include a quality line of polled cattle and has won many accolades at shows across the country.
Principals, Charles and Vicky Carmichael, Womboyne, Gunnedah, began the stud by artificially inseminating commercial cows with semen from what were perceived to be some of the best bulls at the time - Fanfaron (UK) and Eltoro (Can) and by 1980 had about 50 first- and second-cross grade cattle.
By 1987 the herd had progressed significantly to include 100 to 110 pure bred Limousin cattle, with numbers remaining at that level since then.
The stud was founded while the Carmichaels lived at Kungari, on the Timor Road at Coonabarabran.
"It was just a small block and we used to lease country to give us extra carrying capacity," Mr Carmichael said.
A turning point in the breeding program came when the Carmichaels bought a heifer calf, Sundowner SRFX243, from an imported French embryo when it was shown at Sydney Royal Show in 1980.
This female became an important donor cow, at first being joined to a 7/8 Limousin content polled bull, Whitelakes 3W3.
There were four calves born from the flush, two polled and two horned.
Mr Carmichael said three were sold and one polled heifer, Timor Donna, was kept and became the foundation poll female for the herd, with many descendants listed in the dispersal sale catalogue.
As it stands now, about two thirds of the Timor herd is polled and the remaining horned section of the herd carries a large amount of French pure genetics to maintain true breed characteristics.
*Extract from on-farm to appear in Stock & Land, January 29.
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