One of the country’s oldest and most respected Hereford studs will hold its twenty-third annual spring bull sale on Wednesday, September 27.
Bushy Downs will be offering 100 bulls for sale on the farm where they were reared in Ngaroma Road, Te Awamutu, says Robert Port whose father established the stud in 1943.
As for the previous 22 auctions, Trevor Hancock of NZ Farm Source Livestock will be the auctioneer. It’s a well-established relationship between auctioneer and breeder which Robert says is valued and works well.
“Trevor knows our animals and our stud extremely well and he knows the buyers our animals will suit too.”
This year the property and herd has been under the management of Kelvin and Cynthia Port. After 51 years of full-time farming Robert and Marian moved off the farm and now reside south of Te Awamutu on 4.88 hectares with a few Herefords to keep the place tidy.
Robert says it was time to let the next generation take over and he is very pleased the Bushy Downs brand will be kept up and promoted. Robert enjoyed the busy and full life, from when he and his father first worked together building the stud, and then after 1982 when he took on full management.
There were many challenges along the way but it was also very rewarding. Many client friendships formed into life-long friendships, even spanning two generations. Robert is confident that the quality of the stud will be even further enhanced with fresh enthusiasm, and direction from Kelvin.
The September sale will see 70 two-year Hereford bulls and 30 one-year bulls go under the hammer and, as in the past, the sale is expected to attract a number of previous buyers.
All the bulls are TB tested, BVD clear, vaccinated and performance recorded. They have strong feet, are well-bred service bulls and Bushy Downs totally guarantee their bulls.
Bushy Downs has a reputation for breeding bulls with good temperament which are easy to handle, and produce calves with low birth weight which grow well to achieve premium prices when offered for sale.
Robert says decades of careful breeding and handling are the reasons for the stud’s reputation for placid bulls. “We are also breeding for calving ease and shorter gestation length with moderate to low birthweight, but it’s a slow process and must be carefully managed so as not to comprise other desirable attributes.”
More than 80 per cent of the stud’s bulls are sold to dairy farmers keen to produce quality white-faced, well-marked dairy/beef calves.
The bulls up for sale are among 500 pedigree Herefords over-wintered on the property where, on September 27, members of the Port family will be hosting potential buyers and, as always, providing a fine lunch.