Initially there were three registered Angus herds under three different environments (1 summer dry and 2 summer wet) that formed Waigroup in 1967. Individually each herd was closed for ten years. There was very little exchange of sires during this period. The top rising 2 yr bulls were selected on growth each year and changed each year.
- We were looking for genetic recessive genes
- Checking each herd’s potential for growth
- Looking at the different environments and their effect on growth
After ten years we changed selection pressure from growth to weaning weight as the most expensive part of the beef production system. Because weaning weight is of low heritability and of much more complex genetic structure we formed an elite cow herd. Cows had to have weaned at least three calves in the top 10% of their herd.
This became the bull production unit for the Group. Top weaning weight yearling bulls were distributed to the satellite members’ herds and progeny tested. Those bulls progeny testing top, were returned to sire the next crop of calves in the elite herd. During this period a lot of progress was made in weaning weight but unfortunately due to the high cost and the severe downturn in farming economy, the elite herd became unsustainable and it was abandoned. Cows were returned to their owners and we began selecting yearling bulls based on weaning weight and yearling weight.
Waigroup now only consists of two of the original studs Pinebank and Glanworth. Both herds still contain large proportions of pure New Zealand bloodlines however we are using outside genetics to help benchmark our own cattle’s performance. All of the cattle are treated the same and are expected to perform under commercial conditions.
All Waigroup cows must get in calf as a yearling, and every year thereafter. Calve unassisted and wean a good calf. Along with being structurally correct and well-tempered.
- 2 yr bulls are sold privately on-farm in July.
- 1 yr bulls (both beef & dairy) are sold privately on-farm from October.
- Semen for sale from top bulls both modern and progeny tested at any time. Semen bulls changed yearly.