Hello fellow and future Miniature Hereford Breeders.
We own a 400 Hectare Farm on the East Coast of Tassie, approximately 25 km south of Swansea. We normally run around 50 breeding cows of which 95% would now be Miniature’s, mostly Polled. We also run around 800 fine wool Merino sheep. The East Coast is traditionally dry and at the moment we are experiencing the worst drought on record, which has been going for two years.
We had been running regular sized Polled Herefords for some 25 years before our neighbour started breeding Lowlines, which are much better suited for our drier climate being smaller in size, needing less food, maturing earlier and off the property six months sooner than our bigger cattle. But being red and white breeders we found out about Miniature Herefords and brought our first Mini in embryo form in 1996. Our next Mini was a Heifer we imported from USA in 1997.
Joy had previous experience with Showing Red Polled Shorthorns for a local breeder back in the Seventies, so we decided to start Showing in 1998 with our first Mini’s, Atom and Roberta. Coincidently we met Tony and Pam Bryan just down the road from us, who also had a Mini bull and heifer and we managed to talk them into Showing with us at both the Hobart and Launceston Shows and have enjoyed a friendly rivalry since.
Last year with us, the Bryan’s and Bridgewater High School, there was a total of 24 head entered at each Show. The bull we entered took out Grand Champion Miniature Hereford Bull and cow took out Grand Champion Miniature Hereford Cow, and both were polled.
In 1999 we started Showing Led Steer Cattle, which are judged on the hoof and then on the hook. The class we entered in was for steers up to 18 months old and between 300 and 380 kilograms of which there are around 20 cattle of all breeds. We performed very well coming 3rd over all and have received ribbons each year since with achieving Grand Champion Steer of all classes in 2003. So when we first started showing we were considered a ‘small’ joke with the other breeders, but now they take us a little more seriously.
Having always been Polled Hereford breeders we could see the value of breeding Mini’s without the horns and started breeding down from stud polls we purchased in 1999. It has been a really slow process since then to get the poll gene right, even with importing Mini poll genetics from the States. However we are now finally getting Miniature ‘Polled’ Hereford calves in numbers on the ground.
Colin & Joy WALTERS
10922 TASMAN HIGHWAY
LITTLE SWANPORT TAS, 7190
03 6257 7580
03 6257 7580