Our Blog

Calving 2020

Last week saw the first Anjouliette calf born in 2020. Maine Park Julie calved a 34kg heifer sired by Maine Park Layley. We have many more calves due in the upcoming months, follow our social media to keep up with the new calves.

Anjouliette heifer calf born late May

Maternal Females

Maternal ability is one of the most important aspects we look for in our female herd. We want cows that retain their milking ability from the original dual purpose Maine-Anjou. The females in our herd have also been selected for their care towards calves, to ensure the safety and survival of newborns.

Our female herd is comprised of cows with sound structure, good temperaments and meat carrying capacity. We strongly focus on having the best females we can and attribute our breeding success to these cows. Why is this? Well it’s simple, we can change the bulls we use in our herd every year, but we can’t change our females with such ease. The females in our herd are the foundation of our entire stud, just like a building – without a strong base it’s difficult to build.

Last week one of our females we have just mentioned, Anjouliette Lil calved having a little bull weighing 37kg, Anjouliette Picasso and is doing a fantastic job.

The Waiting Game

Anjouliette Lil is the first to calve in our herd this year and we’re eagerly awaiting the calf, sired by Ex-Vee Hawkeye…

Anjouliette Lil is the first to calve in our herd this year and we’re eagerly awaiting the calf, sired by Ex-Vee Hawkeye.

Did you know there’s many factors behind the length of gestation for cows? Including:

  • First calvers generally have shorter gestation.
  • It’s believed breed has the most influence on gestation period.
  • European beef breeds (including Maine-Anjou) usually have a longer gestation than British beef breeds.

Our herd calves all year round as this works best for selling beef direct to customers. Apart from a due date, we know the signals our females are preparing for calving and Anjouliette Lil is displaying these with udder development and the softening of the vulva. But how do we know the calf is coming in the next 24 hours?

Well the pelvic ligaments will completely relax. The ligaments between the tail and pin bone on each side will be sunken (or feel loose on a beefy cow), meaning the cow’s body is ready for birth – it’s usually around 12 hours after this that a calf will be born.

We selectively breed from sires with low birth weights, easy calving ability and desirable traits to work in conjunction with the dam’s many attributes. For now we just have to play the waiting game until Anjouliette Lil calves!

What’s JBAS?

Well it’s the acronym for Johne’s Beef Assurance Score. It represents more than just a concern for the Johne’s disease, the scheme is a farm risk assessment tool. Our farm has created a bio-security plan with practices to minimise the risk of any diseases or weeds entering the property.

We hold a JBAS score of 7, having had our herd tested for Johne’s disease and having clear results. In addition, we have been testing our cattle for the presence of Pestivirus for many years and have received all clear results.

It’s important to us that we protect our herd from potential contamination that could affect their integrity. We have foot washes for our shoes after visiting off farm, we have quarantine areas for cattle from other farms (even if they have a JBAS of 7 or higher for example one issue is they could be carrying seeds of pest plants ingested or on their exterior).

We’re committed to breeding quality cattle and that means bio-security a priority.