IF your are looking for quality weaned calves, then the Landmark Boyanup weaner sale this Wednesday, November 27, will be the place to be.
The Landmark sale will be the first stand-alone weaner sale for the season at Boyanup, following the cancellation of earlier sales due to the good season.
But not only will the sale provide the chance for buyers to secure quality weaners with top breeding behind them but it will also provide the chance to secure calves which have been weaned prior to sale, meaning all the work is already done.
In the past two years Landmark has hosted designated special weaned sales and these have been a huge success.
So to follow on from this, Landmark has decided to go one step further this year to ensure it is providing what the industry and buyers are wanting and has made all its Wednesday weaner sales at Boyanup weaned sales.
This means all calves offered in this sale and further Landmark Wednesday weaner sales will have been weaned for a minimum of 10 days and it has also recommended to clients to wean their calves in accordance with Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) guidelines.
Landmark South West livestock manager Darren Chatley said Landmark had chosen to go down the path of weaned sales to ensure it was offering what the buying fraternity wanted and after the success of the special sales over the last two years they were confident this was the way the industry was heading.
"The majority of producers are now seeing the benefits of weaning their calves prior to sale and are happy to support the weaning process which is a positive for the industry," Mr Chatley said.
"Whether the calves are going into a feedlot program or backgrounding environment they certainly respond much better if they have been weaned."
In the sale the Landmark South West team is expecting to yard 800 calves and feature a variety of breeding include Angus, Murray Grey, Charolais and Simmental.
Mr Chatley said the quality of calves on offer in the sale will be good and they were showing the signs of the good feed season in the South West.
"With it being the first weaner sale of the year it will provide a great opportunity for lotfeeders and grass fatteners to buy reasonable size drafts and start filling orders," he said.
"There will be a large variety of breeds to choose from and there will be a good range of weights for the buyers as well."
Offering weaned calves for a third year through Landmark in the sale will be Doug and Barbara Payne, Burradale, Capel.
The Paynes will offer 59 Angus calves (35 steers and 24 heifers), from its 80-head Angus breeding herd, which were dropped in March and are expected to weigh between 300kg-350kg.
The calves are sired by a New Generation Angus bull and are out of Mordallup and Teranga blood females.
Mr Payne said that from his previous experience of weaning prior to the sale he believed it was a very good idea and very beneficial.
"I was sceptical at the start about the weaning process as there is a perception out there that the calves lose weight at weaning but after doing it for a couple of years I haven't seen this at all," Mr Payne said.
"Yes they do lose some form of condition in the first week but after that they certainly go forward and we have had good reports from past buyers that our cattle are performing."
In terms of weaning, the Paynes weaned their heifer calves on October 10 and their steers on October 16.
Mr Payne said he liked to wean early in October as it meant there were no flies around stirring up the calves and this meant they settled down quicker.
Since weaning the Paynes calves have been running on the property's river flats which have an abundance of quality pasture.
Also to ensure the calves are ready to perform they were treated with Cydectin and Virbac Multi-Min at weaning.
Another vendor to be offering weaned calves for a third consecutive year is Dean Taffe, Amana Valley Farms, Donnybrook, who believes it is a process which has to be done as it is what the buyers want.
Mr Taffe said he didn't believe the calves went backwards at weaning if the weaning process was done correctly and the calves weren't stressed.
"We make sure we clean the troughs out every day and they have good hay and we don't have any problems," Mr Taffe said.
Mr Taffe, who also works with Landmark in the saleyards believes there are more problems with the calves going backwards when they come "straight off mum" into the yards.
"They certainly fret and stress more when they come into the yards unweaned compared to the weaned calves which are easier to move and show no signs of stress," he said.
In the sale Amana Valley Farms will offer 27 steer calves and 23 heifer calves which are sired by Bullock Hills Freightliner F513, which was the $7750 top-priced Simmental bull at the 2012 Farm Weekly WA Supreme Bull Sale, and are out of three quarter Red Angus cross cows.
These will be the first-drop of Simmental sired calves from the operation following Mr Taffe's decision to introduce Simmental genetics to add a bit more hybrid vigour to his calves.
The April-May drop calves were yard-weaned for 6-7 days on November 13 and received a 5in1 vaccination at marketing and were drenched at weaning.
Come sale day the calves are expected to weigh in the 280kg-350kg weight range.
Also seeing the benefits of weaning in previous years and going down the same path this year is Glen and Anje Walter, Danman Investments, Coolup.
The Walters will offer 60 mixed sex calves in the sale, which were paddock weaned in mid-November.
Mr Walter said he believed there was a big advantage to weaning prior to sale and if that was what the buyers wanted it made sense to take the time to wean the calves.
The majority of calves will be pure Angus based on Blackrock and Yarrumup breeding but there will also be for the first time a number of Black Simmental-Angus cross calves, which have been sired by a Bonnydale Black Simmental sire.
Mr Walter said he decided to infuse the Black Simmental genetics to produce a heavier calf at weaning time and that would also grow out.
"They are a very versatile breed and also have a quiet temperament," Mr Walter said
"We decided to go with the Black Simmental over the traditional Simmental as we already had a black female herd so we wanted to keep going down that path."
The switch is already paying dividends for the Walters as Mr Walter has already noticed in the paddock that the Black Simmental calves are bigger and quieter.
The April-May drop calves, which are expected to weigh 280kg-350kg, received a 7in1 treatment at weaning and have been drenched.
Offering one of the largest drafts in the sale will be Benard and Di Hocking, Trafalgar Holdings, Brunswick.
The Hockings will offer 80 Murray Grey-Angus cross, Angus-Murray Grey cross and Blonde d'Aquitaine cross mixed sex calves.
The April-May drop calves were weaned in mid-November and come sale day will weigh in the 260kg-340kg range.
If buyers are looking for Charolais sired calves then Buckingham Beef, Collie, calves will be a must have.
The Collie operation will offer 80 mixed sex calves which are sired by Charolais bulls and out of second cross Murray Grey and Angus-Friesian females.
The March-April drop calves will weigh in the 300kg-400kg bracket and were weaned in mid-November.
Another large line in the sale will be offered by Steve Friend, Glengila Grazing, Darkan.
The Darkan operation will truck 60 April-May-June drop Murray Grey mixed calves to the sale.
The calves were weaned in mid-November and are expected to weigh 250kg-320kg.
Acton Park, Busselton, will offer 50 mixed sex Charolais-Angus vealers aged between nine and 10 months.