Raethorn Angus

Raethorn Diamond Street

History

Raethorn Angus herd was established in 2006 when Gavin and his father Robert went to Perth to look for an Angus Bull for our commercial herd. They came back with 2 in calf Angus cows with calves at foot. Our herd was established and built up over the years with foundation purchases made from many of the famed Border Herds.

Our better cows/heifers are put in calf to quality AI sires, and we run a few recipient cows for embryos. We are aiming to put our bottom 1/3 of the herd in calf to embryos also, especially now that we can identify our very best performing breeding cows.

I hope my background as a vet has stood me in good stead for selecting good animals. Working with equines taught me about the importance of structural correctness for locomotion and preventing lameness. Working in dairy practice taught me about udder health and structure, ruminant nutrition and the link between fertility, work and profitability.

Choosing and purchasing a cow or heifer at a sale is only the start of our selection process. In North America they talk about “pathfinder” cows and select them on defined criteria. Pathfinder cows are older cows who have proven their worth over many years as measured by actual production criteria. It is possible that different cows would emerge as  “pathfinder” cows under different environments/ management systems, and so it is our philosophy to raise our pedigree cows in a “commercially” run system typical of our area/ region in Scotland. We aim to select the best performers from this system… designed to go on an perform for our commercial client farmers.

Our criteria for selecting our best cows (for breeding/flushing etc) would include;

1. Must have a live calf each year with unassisted calving ( a few exceptions eg calf coming backward).

2. Must have calved (again unassisted) as a 2 year old heifer.

3. Must consistently produce calves with above average growth rates to 200 and 400 days.

4. Must require only very minimal attention to feet/hooves and be structurally sound.

5. Good udder attachments and teat scoring continuing into old age.

6. Must have  good docile temperament and produce good natured offspring consistently.

7. In our herd we are looking to produce cows with a mature weight of around 600-700kg, which we believe is about optimum for us.

Whilst we believe EBV’s are important they also have limitations, and should be used as a tool taking into consideration their accuracy. It is probable that a good stock-person will be able to spot a cow which will outperform her indexes long before her EBV’s change to compensate for her actual performance.

Sires

Below is a list of sires we have used in our breeding programmes;

1. Raethorn Blackash; Blackash was born from one of the first cows we bought from Cheeklaw. He was a son of Cheelaw Black Betty (an HF Air Walk daughter). Typical of Cheeklaw breeding he was an easy fleshing type with an excellent temperament and left some good broody heifers.

2. Raethorn Evan; Is a son of the American bull Rock’n D Ambush and out of a MVBL Lancer daughter. We have used him over heifers without problem and he produced low birthweight, easy calved offpsring, and left some very nice females.

 

 

3. Hi Diamond Greenstone; (AI) An excellent son of Greens Premium sourced through Semex.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Peak Dot Resolute; (AI) was used over some of our heifers in 2011. He is marketed as an easy calving son of SAV Predominant 4438 out of a Basin Prime Cut daughter.

 

 

 

 

5. Carrington Park Time On B7; (AI) has been used on a number of our mature cows in 2012. He is a BT Right Time son out of a B/R New Frontier daughter so combining well proven American genetics.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Woodvale Total; (AI) has been used on a few cows as a trial. He is the progeny of two ET calves bred in Ireland and packed full of impressive North American genetics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. HF Tiger 5T;  (ET) is the sire of one of our embryo transfer bull calves. He was Grand Champion Bull at the 2009 World Angus Forum. He was top priced bull at the Hamilton’s Bull sale in 2007 when he sold for $52,000 for a half share. His full Brother HF El Tigre 28U later had a half share sold for $82,500.

 

 

Raethorn Diamond Tiger

Raethorn Diamond Tiger or “Tiger” as he is known is probably the most widely used sire on the farm. He is an embryo from Canada sired by H F Tiger 5T, out of a Big Sky Diamond Mist cow.  He has probably the best temperament we have come across, and one of the easiest calving sires we have ever used. We just know we won’t have to touch anything calving to Tiger. Dozens of his sons have sold into commerical herds. Diamond Mist was a fabulous mother cow and daughters have excelled in the UK… well worth doing some research if you haven’t heard of this cow family!!