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Monitoring Regrowth

Josh Gill of Merrivale farm assessed the contribution to velvet value regrowth makes.

The farm is a mixed venison and velvetting enterprise. Velvet is the main passion and they are setting the bar high for themselves. They are on track to achieve average two-year-old weights of 4kg within three years. Bought-in sires must be cutting at least 7kg by age three and mature homebred sires must be cutting over 10kg to earn the key to the mating paddock.

Last year Gill recorded the average weights and values of regrowth. Weights varied from 0.9kg average for three-year-olds, up to 1.82kg average for stags seven years and older. Overall average was 1.52kg per stag that cut regrowth. A total of 364 stags produced regrowth which was about 70 percent of all stags 3 years and older. He said the regrowth contributes 10–12 percent of the overall value of the velvet harvest, noting that it is cut at a time that suits herd management, and not necessarily the optimum time for value and quality.

Aside from the value of regrowth, recording regrowth against individual animals was invaluable for culling decisions.