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Why the Programme?
The Beginning
The Present
The Future

The future as we see it is one of fine tuning what we have now, eliminating those harder keeping females, those that don't have the fat covers, those that lack the fleshing, and looking to grow on the maternal strengths, further grow on the carcass traits we are getting while not losing sight of the calving ease attributes that our herd now has.

We have already experimented with line-breeding on C & B Western and that has been successful. We are now awaiting our first line breeding results on Paymaster, something extremely exciting, and something that we are anxiously awaiting the results on. If that turns out as we anticipate, then we will go further with that programme.

We got really lucky for a second time in our breeding of Simmental when we learned from other friends out of Canada, The Dominion Cattle Company, of an exciting new double polled Bavarian Fleckvieh bull called Zimbo. He has the King of Fleckvieh, Haxl, on both the top and the bottom line of his pedigree. He has Zamutu on the top line, and with that we hope for tremendous fat composition in his progeny if other Zamutu bloodlines that we have monitored are any indication to go on. His first calves are yet to arrive.

Blending the Canadian, South African and German genetics to produce polled, good calving ease, easy fleshing and early finishing cattle is our next endeavour, cattle with balanced ebv's.

And how to balance those ebv's? Easy, and we have been doing it for years now and we are surprised that more of our fellow breeders are not doing it. Simple maths, accepting that multiplying two negative numbers does not lead to a positive number.

Our numerous low birthweight cows can be bred to higher birthweight bulls. Cows that have negative maternal calving ease can be bred to bulls with positive direct calving ease and positive maternal calving ease. Cows with low fat covers can be bred to bulls highly positive in fat ebv's. Cows with smaller ebv's for EMA can be bred to bulls with high EMA ebv's. Cows with low milk can be bred to bulls with positive milk. Clearly, getting the balance with every single mating is not possible, and it is utterly impossible to achieve this by single sire mating. It is our belief that the only way, the only way, that balancing ebv's can be achieved is by intensive use of Artificial Insemination. Ideally, we might breed 150 cows to 150 different bulls to more quickly balance out the ebv's of any resulting progeny, but simply, there are not 150 bulls out there that meet our criteria. Even with intensive use of A. I., breeding to balance those ebv's is not a one stop shot, not possible in one generation, but it is possible within three or four generations. We now have cows that have what we consider as near perfect ebv's for our operation, cows with positive dce, positive mce, above average growth and good carcass and fat traits.

And as for ensuring we maintain and enhance the polled gene base of our herd? Given that nearly ninety percent of our herd is now polled, that also seems relatively easy, though not absolutely certain. We only use homozygous polled sires over our horned cows. We will use a heterozygous polled bulls over double polled cows, and we will use horned bulls only over cows that are double polled and which have at least three generations of polling behind them on one line.

We confess that we are not quite there yet, but we can see where we are headed. It is a fascinating game.

"At Hampton Downs Simmental, belief is everything, to make the ordinary extraordinary, to take the boundary and extend it. And we believe in our philosophy-The Power of Dreams.