My interest in the Belted Galloway breed was sparked in the mid 1990’s when mating my dairy heifers, and the benefits from using a Belted bull for ease of calving and an instant marker in calves born. There is a strong market with lifestyle farmers, so I added a Belted stud to our business mix. They compliments the Angus very well concentrating on the maternal beef market for the Angus and on the terminal dairy market for the Belteds. There is a lot of work to be done with the Belted breed and its Society to bring them near the quality of the Angus breed and their organisation. Recently I have been the President of the NZ Galloway Cattle Society – Currently I am Vice President - I guess when you start making noise about the need for change, that unless you are prepared to put your hand up to help, you should keep quiet!
At Halland Downs we aim to:
- Breed functional, easy care stock, which are used as pasture management tools.
- Have cows that are good mothers, expected to rear a good calf every year from the age of 2 years.
- Have structurally sound cattle. Feet, legs and jaw are very important, as these basics are what enable any animal to feed, move to feed, grow, and breed.
- Have cattle that are easy to handle. Temperament is very important.
- Have cattle that have good growth rates, muscle development and the ability to put on fat in times of plenty and to sustain themselves through times when feed is short and conditions are harsh.
Over the years a different females lines have been purchased to increase breeding numbers. We have done ET and AI work with results of that starting to have an influence on the herd.
The notable Belted sires used over the years include:
- Kerrilea Noel 263 – Our first sire who displayed length and soundness and a gentle temperament.
- Peppercorn Zula – An imported bull from Australia. Zula has left medium sized, structurly sound, well balanced cattle. His temperament is outstanding, leaving good females that would go into any herd and males that carry on the easy calving trait of the Belted Galloway.
- Clanfignon Limelight – an AI bull that is crossing very well with the Lilliesleaf herd leaving well fleshed, strong quiet cattle with very good bone and structure.
- Okiwa Frank – A dun Belted bull from the famous UK dun Belted bull “Bolebec Concorde”. Frank’s progeny have been very well fleshed animals, developing the backend of the beast which the Belted breed tends to lack. The offspring have strong character and carry themselves well, moving freely on good feet and legs.