How do you know that they are happy?
You will know! They will let you know, whether it’s in the yards, changing paddocks, treating a hoof or checking a new born calf. It is much easier when your cattle come to you rather than having to chase them around a paddock!
Do they respect fences?
Yes, most of our fencing is electric and they learn about it from an early age. They can also tell when the fence is turned off, but they normally respect fencing. However, it doesn’t matter how good your fence is, if an animal wants to go through they will.
Are they quiet?
Yes, we are with the cattle every day, they are used to humans, dogs, bikes, horses, and tractors. Most of the time the individual mobs will come when called. Any animal with a poor attitude has long since gone to the bovine university in Wingham.
Do you have any calving issues?
Yes, but very few. Whenever you have a breeding herd you will always have some issues. The truth is we don’t have that many, thankfully. During 2016, we had 38 healthy calves born, all of them unassisted – which is how we like it. We do not intentionally use or seek out low birth weight bulls, we believe that if the female has sufficient frame, the correct structure, is fit/healthy and on good feed then calving issues are minimised naturally.
How much are your bulls?
It depends, on which bull you choose and how many bulls we currently have available, price can be negotiable. That said, our prices generally start at $8,000.00 plus GST for an eighteen month old bull and range upwards for AI bred bulls. Remember, a bull should not be viewed as a cost but rather an investment in the future of your own herd.
Do you guarantee your bulls?
Yes! All our bulls have undergone a thorough physical examination by Dr. Stuart Knox from Taree Veterinary Hospital. Each bull is assessed for structural soundness and evaluated for fertility, semen is examined under a microscope and a bull physical examination certificate is issued.
Our commitment is to look after the people who support us, so if there is a problem please let us know and we will endeavour to resolve any issues ASAP.
We are confident that the bulls are ready to work when they leave Dingo Bend, however, in the unlikely event of a bull proving incapable of natural service within the first six months of purchase, provided it is not caused by illness, injury or disease contracted after leaving Dingo Bend, we will:
- Provide a mutually agreed upon equivalent replacement as quickly as possible if available, or
- Provide a credit equal to the purchase price minus any salvage value that may be used to purchase another Dingo Bend bull, or
- Refund the purchase price of the bull, minus any salvage value.
This guarantee is for the value of the bull only, without interest, costs or damages. Please note that all bulls have been tested and passed fit to work by Dr. Stuart Knox and in most instances an independent veterinary report will be required to claim against the guarantee offered by Dingo Bend at the purchaser’s expense.
It is important to understand that normal care and good husbandry practices are observed as replacement or credit is not available if the bull is injured or dies for any other reason.
We therefore encourage purchasers to insure their bulls for loss of use from illness, injury or death for at least the first six months as they are most vulnerable whilst they settle into their new environment and group.
How much are your heifers and cows?
Again it depends on what you are after and how much we want to keep that particular heifer for our own breeding purposes. They have identical genetic attributes to their brothers, so they are carrying the next generation to improve the quality of your herd.
Prices depend on current market conditions; they are negotiable and generally viewed as realistic and good value for money. Our heifers and cows are bred as replacement breeders and normally only available direct from our paddocks.
Do you grain feed your bulls/cattle?
No. In the past (pre 2015) all our weaners were fed grain at weaning for about 10 days (silage is also fed at weaning). This keeps them quiet, assists with weaning and prevents weight loss during this stressful period. Yearling bulls were also fed grain during winter or dry times when feed was short and normally in combination with Oats/Rye/Clover and silage.
However, with the increased demand for “lifetime HGP free, 100% grass fed and anti-biotic free” cattle and the associated premium prices being offered, we have ceased feeding grain. Instead we now use only high quality hay/chaff and silage at weaning and ensure that we have sufficient high quality green feed available when it’s required.
Consumers have clearly indicated that they are prepared to pay a little more for beef raised naturally on grass and as a result the growth in the market for “clean and natural” beef is booming, so we now provide “grass-fed, clean and natural feed” only.
Premium rates offered by WBE on their MSA “Manning Valley Naturally” grids clearly reinforces this market trend and our vision of happy, healthy, grass-fed only cattle.
Once our bulls leave Dingo Bend they need to perform under varying conditions, therefore they are grass-fed only and have not been “fattened/muscled for sale” to improve their appearance. What you see is natural growth performance.
How do you wean your cattle?
Our weaners are quiet in nature, so although weaning is very stressful (particularly for the cows) it is fairly straightforward.
The cows and calves are separated in the yards, the cows go to the back paddock and the calves stay in the yards for the next ten days. After 24 hours in the yards the calves are weighed and a curfew (water only) weaning weight is obtained. They are then fed as much hay and silage (previously grain) as they can eat and educated to walk through the race, crush and yards morning and night.
During the next ten days they are drenched, vaccinated, tattooed and NLIS tagged.
After about 48 hours they are normally calm and settled, only then are they allowed to graze the small holding paddocks adjoining the yards.