Ensay stud Newcomen Herefords has expanded their sire selection with premium bulls from Tasmanian studs Valma Herefords and Quamby Plains.

Paying $30,000 and $16,500 for Valma Herefords’ top two bulls, respectively, and $22,000 for Quamby Plains’ top bull – a combined cost of $68,500 – Barry Newcomen of Newcomen Herefords believes he received value for his money.

“Lot 7 (Valma Savage) was $30,000; he is a very nice bull,” Mr Newcomen said.

“He is just a good bull all around – not too high in the birth weight, so he’ll be good to join the heifers; he is just a really good bull, and since he has been home, he has just been getting better and better.

“I’ve paid a lot of money for bulls over the years…so I think this bull at $30,000, it is hard to say whether he is as good as the others or not, but he is certainly a good a bull and I think he is well worth the money.”

Lot 11 (Valma Safehouse), priced at $16,500, was the bull Mr Newcomen really wanted.

“I expected to have to pay a lot more money for him, he is perhaps not quite as pretty a bull as Lot 7, but he’s got fantastic growth figures, he’s muscly, he’s terrific, and he’s got really good hind quarters, he will put some weight in the progeny,” Mr Newcomen explained.

“I’ve been going more into polls, and I find that they’re not quite as heavy and as meaty as the horns I have been breading over the years, so I think this fella will really put some meat into my poll progeny.”

Both the bulls’ breed plan figures are well balanced; Savage has a good head, good scrotal and hind quarters, dark in the coat, a preference for Newcomen Herefords, and a quiet temperament.

Safehouse should put weight on anything he sires.

Newcomen Herefords purchased Lot 7 and Lot 11 from the Valma Herefords auction in Tasmania at the end of March, with the bulls arriving at the Ensay stud in mid-April.

Mr Newcomen is now waiting for his top bull, purchased for $22,000 from Quamby Plains in mid-April, to arrive.

“He’s got good figures,” Mr Newcomen said.

“I’ve seen the bull; I went over to Tassie about a month ago and had a drive around both those studs.

“The Quamby Plains bull, he’s another one with a lot of meat on him, and he’s got good figures to match it, so I think he will put a lot of weight and structure into my cattle, not that I haven’t got it now, but I think he will improve it.”

While BreedPlan figures are important in any bull, Mr Newcomen says a good bull has the right structure.

“He’s got to have good feet, good temperament, good colour, good shaped legs, all those sorts of things have got to be right,” Mr Newcomen said.

“I think these three bulls I’ve got fit that; I think they’ve been good buys, and they’re good bulls, and I’m expecting, I am very hopeful, they will breed well for me.”

Barry Newcomen and his brother established Newcomen Herefords in Ensay 63 years ago, dissolving the partnership after 34 years in 1994.

Mr Newcomen and his wife have continued to manage Newcomen Herefords, calving about 350 cows annually.

“We’ve got a few more two-year-old heifers calving out than normal this year,” Mr Newcomen said.

“We’ve got 80, which is the most we’ve ever had calving, and up to date, 64 have got live calves, which is a record for me.

“We haven’t lost a calf out of heifers calving yet; we’ve pulled two of them, they were alive, easy pull, but to get 64 calves without a loss is an outstanding achievement for us, or for anybody.”