Published on: July 6, 2017
The Atkinson family from “Katandra” Hughenden QLD, really cleaned up in the prestigious paddock to palate EKKA competition this year at the weight gain level.
We travelled to Dalby in South East Queensland early this month to see the cattle in the Mort and Co. feedlot at this stage of the competition The carcase and taste test sections are to be announced at the EKKA. (The week after our sale)
The “Katandra” black steers took out 1st, 2nd and 4th in the 100-day grained section. They were judged in pens of 6 and there were 67 pens all vying for this sought after win.
The first placed pen averaged 3.1kgs per day for 100 days. We were impressed with the quality of all the cattle entered with some of the biggest names in Queensland participating. The highest weight gain steer in the 70-day class was also won by the “Katandra Blacks” with a whopping 3.9kgs per day.
“Katandra Blacks” is the name that we (at Eaglehawk) call the breed that the Atkinson are working on, they haven’t yet decided on a name.
A bit of history…….The Atkinsons have a herd of performance Droughtmasters and came to us in 2012 after looking at a number of different Angus operations with the aim of breeding a droughtmaster/angus animal that would handle the harsh outback and tropical areas but still be attractive to the more temperate regions.
Sure, there are ultra-blacks and Brangus popping up around the place that are bred for exactly that reason but they weren’t based on the “Katandra” Droughtmaster herd.
Why is this Angus cross breed any different to any other?… I hear you ask….Well, the Atkinsons have embarked on a DNA scientific approach to back and prove what they are doing. Before they buy our bulls, they come down and sort through all the bulls and choose quite a few by sight. We then collect hair samples for Genestar DNA testing for tenderness. Those bulls that test positive for the identified tenderness genes qualify to then go into the Katandra Black program.
Why they chose us? We were on the same page I suppose…we don’t chase single traits, we certainly focus on positive fat and doing ability, maternal, calving and structure. The rest, we believe, will take care of itself.