A new British-bred Aberdeen Angus bull offering minus 4.9 days gestation length has joined the Sterling Sires line up. Oakchurch Duke N121 has calving ease direct of +2.4% and daughter calving ease, +3.1%; eye muscle depth, +5.5%; terminal index, +33; and a self replacing index of +48.
Oakchurch Duke is one of very few bulls in the Angus breed worldwide with a gestation length score below minus 4.5 days. With each day 'open' costing dairy farmers at least £3 per cow per day in lost production, Sterling Sires director Paul Westaway says this bull will appeal to dairy and beef farmers alike looking to shorten calving interval, while producing easy calving progeny with excellent growth rates.
The bull is sired by Australian bred Te Mania Berkley, out of the Nightingale Defiance E264 daughter, Abberton Duchess Duffy H170. According to Mr Westaway, the established British 'Duchess' cow family has produced exceptional individuals in the renowned Oakchurch, Abberton & Nightingale herds.
''I have always been a fan of this cow family," he says. "Combined with Te Mania Berkley, a true legend of the breed, it's no surprise that Duke is such a breed-leading bull. In particular, the ability to increase farmers' profits by getting cows back to work quicker is a game changer in the Angus breed.''
Attracted by the bull's performance figures, Sterling Sires acquired 25% ownership of Oakchurch Duke and global semen rights, with Herefordshire-based breeder Jeremy Price retaining 75%. Mr Price reports that, conformation wise, Duke has been a distinctive specimen since birth. "We were keen to keep a share in him because his gestation length EBV and other breed leading traits make him a good choice for both dairy and beef farmers looking to shorten calving interval and boost profits," he says.