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Wapiti Bulls Mating Policy

Increased scanning rates result of change to mating policy.

Tom Wylie, Lora Valley Farms, said mating older hinds with wapiti terminal sires in 2017 gave a poor result with only 64 percent in calf. The two mobs of 150 hinds had each been run with three wapiti bulls. Each mob had access to three paddocks and mating mobs had some adjacent paddocks in common. In one of the mobs, a new younger bull had joined two others, and the bulls were swapped between mating mobs for the last cycle.

At least some of these factors probably contributed to the poor result, so things were done differently this year. Wylie said mating paddocks were kept more separated, each mob kept in one paddock rather than three, mating ratios were reduced to 1:35, hinds were well prepared and more care was taken with the bull ages and social structures. Wapiti bulls joined on 5 March at weaning and red chaser stags joined from 12 April for 22 days. This led to a much improved scanning result (94.5 percent), with 75 percent in calf to the wapiti sires.

Wylie said the strategy will be pursued next year.