Hazeloch opens its doors for first time

Hazeloch opens its doors for first time

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Fleckvieh Simmental stud Hazeloch will take part in Beef Week for the first time this month.

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Gippsland Fleckvieh Simmental stud breeders Leeann and Mick Burgess will open their gates this month as the only Fleckvieh stud in Victoria to showcase the "dual purpose" breed.

Renowned for their meat and milk, Hazeloch Fleckvieh Simmental stud will offer two bulls and a number of cows when the property goes on show for Stock & Land's Beef Week on January 31.

Located at Hazelwood, less than two hours east of Melbourne, the Burgess' will open their gates for the first time to showcase the Fleckvieh Simmental cattle they've bred for more than a decade.

"We breed because we love them," Mr Burgess said.

"They're nice and gentle and they're one of the better breeds out there in my opinion because you can stand here and look two paddocks away and know which one is which because of their markings and their different shades."

The stud prides itself on breeding poll cattle with trusted genetics mainly for beef production, however, the breed is also known for its milking ability.

"We have four bulls here at the moment with 32 breeders and then we grow out a few heifers and replacements each year," Mr Burgess said.

"Originally we had some Simmental and crosses and whatever but we kept leaning towards the Simmental Fleckviehs and that's what really lead us to starting the stud."

In 2006, the couple purchased 10 females and a bull from Tennysonvale Simmental Fleckvieh, Illabo, NSW, and has since grown their herd up to 70 head in total.

"Our main bull now is our Brenair Park from down Geelong way and we've had him for five years but we've also got another Tennysonavale bull which has been very good," Mr Burgess said.

"About every four years we'll introduce another bull as the daughters of both of them are coming up so that's the reason we have two bulls so they can go over each other's daughters."

Cattle at Hazeloch are grass-fed across three properties totalling 70 hectares at Hazelwood, and despite the late autumn break in 2019, the cattle have presented in forward condition.

"We had nothing but dust late last April and it was quite a worry and last season we used twice the amount of fodder we normally would to keep going but we were much luckier this season compared to a lot of others," Mr Burgess said.

"We just kept the feed up to them. We don't have crops or use cereal but we've continued to feed them grass and use silage."

"Fleckvieh and Simmentals are very similar ... Fleckvieh is very popular throughout Europe and in other parts of the world and that's due to their dual purpose to provide milk and beef," Mr Burgess said.

He said the breed's dual purpose for milking and beef production was increasingly enticing people to research about the why they suit Australian conditions.

"They are a very inquisitive breed because when you're out in the paddock, they'll always be around you even with strangers and people can't get over how quiet they are," Mr Burgess said.

"Our bulls are extremely quiet and they've never been halter-trained or broken. They're just naturally quiet cattle.

"When you use those bulls over a pure Simmental you're going to get better milk without losing the beef on them so there's plenty of benefits to have them."

Stud principals keen to share passion and vision for breed

While Hazeloch Fleckvieh Simmental breeders Leeann and Mick Burgess will open their for Beef Week, they insist it's not just to sell their cattle.

However, the stud will offer two bulls and a handful of breeding females to prospective buyers.

"We will have a rising two-year-old and a three-year-old ready to work plus a few girls which will be for sale," Mr Burgess said.

"But it's not about selling on the day. It's about awareness and promoting the breed because that's what we really want to do."

"We want to keep it going and survive because it's a pretty tough job."

Hazeloch will be one of 10 studs which will take part in Beef Week across central and East Gippsland on Friday, January 31.

"We're looking forward to meeting new people and sharing the passion we have for our cattle," Mrs Burgess said.

"Mick is pretty obsessive and once he starts something he does it properly so we're really striving to be the best we can be."

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