Orari Gorge Herefords
About Orari Gorge Herefords
The Nithdale Polled Hereford Stud was started over sixty years ago by Rosa Peacock’s father Charlie Tripp at Nithdale Station near Gore.
In 1991, soon after Rosa and Graham took over Orari Gorge Station from Charlie, the decision was made to move the stud in its entirety to Orari Gorge Station.
The stud has now been at Orari Gorge Station for over 30 years, in 2010 we decided it was logical to rename the stud ORARI GORGE HEREFORDS.
Charlie Tripp’s original main objectives are still the focus of the stud today; to breed structurally sound cattle with good conformation, constitution and high fertility. The stud heifers are run with the commercial heifers from weaning through to their first calving at two years old. Much of this time is spent on the hill to keep them fit for calving in a mob of nearly 300 which creates a lot of selection pressure.
Females have to get in calf at 15 months, calve unassisted and get back in calf every year. They have to wean a good calf with poorer mothers culled each year. At 18 months, every heifer goes through a full independent structural analysis and any heifer failing any of the 7 categories is culled. They are also muscle scanned for eye muscle (EMA), fat covers and marbling (IMF). Any heifers that are dry or late, poor muscle scan, haven’t grown on as well as hoped, or poor conformation are culled at this stage to ensure only the best heifers go into the herd.
The cows are made to work through the summer cleaning up pastures to maintain pasture quality for fattening stock and then after weaning they go out onto the tussock country for the autumn and winter at around 2,000 to 3,000 feet, frequently subjected to snow.
We have been performance recording for over 50 years with rigorous culling for structure, conformation, fertility, milk, growth and carcass values. All progeny are weighed at birth and regularly through their lives. They are all scanned for muscle and fat as yearlings. We also take scrotal measurements then as this measures early reproductive maturity.
All the bull calves are run as one mob from weaning right through to our main sale in June at 20 months. This helps improve the accuracy of their EBVs and helps us make accurate comparisons between animals with none getting any favourable treatment. It also ensures we have an efficient, predictable and reliable product which we are proud to stand behind.
To help the accuracy of our data, every calf born this century has been sire verified by DNA. The whole cow herd has been tested for, and proven clear of, all genetic defects. Every calf is genomically tested at the highest level to enhance Breeding Values.
We have always been early adopters of technology to help improve the herd from breeding values to Embryo Transfer (ET) and Artificial Insemination (AI). We have also been strong supporters of research. We were part of the B+LNZ Maternal Cow Project which involved weighing and body condition scoring every cow three times a year for four years and comparing that data to production data. We were also part of a joint project between Lincoln University and the NZ Hereford Association which involved our cows wearing GPS collars to study their behaviour on the hill. This was the largest project of its type in the world.