Mobbs family ahead of the pack at High Spa Angus stud
Brian was running a herd of commercial Angus cows when he sold his petroleum business, Kookaburra Gas which operated 25 service stations in 1986.
He wanted to concentrate on the farming side of the family business so, with his brother Wayne, started High Spa Angus stud, on three properties near Daylesford.
They bought their first stud cattle from Tibooburra Angus stud at Hoddles Creek and The Basin stud in South Australia, and have used artificial insemination and embryo transplants to build herd quality.
“I’ve been a strong advocate of Estimated Breeding Values as Swarovski Crystals an indicator of performance since we started,” he said.
“Unless you can measure it, you can’t really ascertain the value of the animal.”
As a result, High Spa has immaculate records of the performance of each of its 400 registered breeding cows and every animal, embryo or straw of semen that comes in and goes out.
The family showed cattle for a decade as a means of gaining exposure and potential customers, but Brian said showing was no longer relevant to the commercial sector.
“Forty years ago, the only way for people to choose cattle was by going to the Royal Melbourne Show or local show,” he said.
“Since then EBVs have been established and they’r Swarovski Crystals e much more reliable.”
Breedplan data for the period since 1994 shows the High Spa herd has recorded steady improvements in growth, fertility and carcass traits, in many years tracking ahead of the national breed average reported by Angus Australia.
Growth traits for 200 day, 400 day and 600 day weight have all more than doubled, from +14kg, +32kg and +36kg in 1994 to +43kg, +78kg and +98kg last year.
Brian said they were happy with the comparisons.
“There are some traits that we consider to have a bigger economic impact than others,” he said.
“We don’t look back at EBVs, we believe each year is a step in the right direction.
“We try to get a good, commercially viable animal.
“We believe our cattle are good honest cattle.
“We don’t think we’ve got the most expensive or the cheapest, but they are good honest cattle.”
High Spa was one of the first studs in Australia to undertake on farm testing for net feed intake, charting the quantity of mixed dry feed required for an animal to put on 1kg of weight.
It’s usual for a steer to require 6kg of feed to gain 1kg, but animals which can gain weight on less feed are more profitable, especially in a 100 or 150 day feedlot period.
Using a unit from Ruddweigh Australia, the Mobbs’ helped develop Breedplan EBVs for net fee Swarovski Crystals d efficiency.
They also have taken part in trials to determine the relationship of the hormone insulin like growth factor (IGF 1) to feed efficiency, fattening and marbling in cattle.
High Spa steers are put into a Swarovski Crystals feedlot at weaning, grown to weight specifications, and most are supplied to Certified Australian Angus Beef.
About 50 bulls and 140 heifers and mixed age cows are sold each year.
“We cull heifers to keep the cow herd relatively young and to offer good genetics to buyers,” Brian said.
“It’s no secret that we cull for temperament.
“If we can’t handle them, we don’t expect anyone else to.”
High Spa bulls are sold as yearlings for two reasons: efficiency and faster improvement of herd genes.