PRODUCING top quality Angus steers is resulting in steady demand from lotfeeders, with buyers travelling more than 1000 kilometres to purchase cattle from Eric and Aurelia Milano.
The Victorian breeders run about 500 Angus cows on the breeder block, “Carramar”, Meadow Creek, and finish steers on “Victoria Gum”, Moyhu, and heifers at “The Elms”, Hansonville.
The herd, managed by Dallas Skinner, is run over a total of 890 hectares, and is based mostly on Dunoon bloodlines.
Mr Milano made the switch to Angus about 10 years ago after many years with whiteface cattle, due to the breed’s marketing options.
“We found that when we were selling calves, there was huge demand for Angus, so if buyers are demanding Angus cattle, that’s what I’m going to supply,” he said.
The Milanos have been buying from Dunoon Angus, Hoolbrook, for the past six years, and look for low birthweight figures, as well as good 400- and 600-day weight estimated breeding values.
“I buy low birthweight bulls, but the calves grow very quickly,” Mr Milano said.
All progeny is finished, with the steers going to lotfeeders and the heifers to the supermarket trade.
“We’re producing heavy steers – 500 kilograms to 650kg, and for the past few years they’ve been going to Rangers Valley feedlot (at Glen Innes, NSW), at 15 to 16 months of age.
“There’s plenty of demand for them. For the first two or three years they used to come and have a look at them, but now they just send the trucks because they know what they’re going to get. With the heifers, we pick out the best 100 to retain in our herd, and the rest mainly go to Coles at Melbourne, usually between 420kg and 450kg.”
The calves are are weaned at nine to 10 months of age for at least one week, then put on improved pastures with silage or hay.
“All paddocks have been improved with ryegrass clover,” Mr Milano said.
I buy low birthweight bulls, but the calves grow very quickly.
“We’ve ploughed and laser levelled every paddock, and we spread lime and super every year. You’ve got to have good feed, because that's what makes good cattle.”