Breeding Philosophy

Here at Merchiston, our breeding program aims to breed practical, high performing cattle that add value to our commercial clients breeding programs.

All of the practices are designed to further improve both the herd here at Merchiston and further improve the breeding success of both our commercial and stud clients.

How we achieve this

  1. Animal diet of predominately grass with the incorporation of grass bailage and hay.
  2. Use of E.B.V’s to evaluate and measure our performance.
  3. Evaluating and keeping tight control of fertility by:
    • Culling all females that don’t get in calf.
    • Mating all our yearling heifers at 13 to 14 months.
    • Evaluating our bull fertility by morphology testing the semen of all our rising 2-year bulls going up for sale/kept as sires.
  4. Intense evaluation of the structure of the animal both male and female by:
    • Culling animals that have poor foot structure and never trimming feet.
    • Breeding a consistent type of animal that has volume, depth, capacity, and thickness.
    • Breeding easier doing cattle that will perform on grass whilst maintaining performance.
  5. Identifying cow families and crossing these cow families to maximize maternal performance.
  6. Purchasing select females from other herds to:
    • Begin new cow families.
    • Strengthen certain traits, phenotype, and genotype.
  7. Purchasing only top bulls that meet the phenotypic requirements of the herd.
  8. Using semen from internationally successful bulls that can enhance our own breeding program.
  9. Applying common sense and good stockmanship to everything we do.