Category Archives: Genetics

Poll Herefords from the 1960 – 1970s

Sandalwood Poll Hereford Stud Bulls & Females. The pictures are painted back in the late 1960’s – 1970 and are of Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane Royal Shows.

Click here to see the photos

Origin Of Modern Cows Traced To A Single Herd

A genetic study of cattle has claimed that all modern domesticated bovines are descended from a single herd of wild ox that lived 10,500 years ago.

A team of geneticists from the National Museum of Natural History in France, the University of Mainz in Germany, and UCL in the UK, excavated the bones of domestic cattle on archaeological sites in Iran, and then compared those to modern cows. They looked at how differences in DNA sequences could have arisen under different population history scenarios, modelled in computer simulations.

Read more of the article here

Hereford cattle for sale on AuctionsPlus

Click here for the full story –

HEREFORDS AuctionsPlus, an online initiative to facilitate the marketing of Hereford cattle throughout the nation, will have its first sale at noon on Friday, February 17.

Rural Marketing Agents (rma), an Australia-wide network of independent agents, has teamed with Herefords Australia to provide the opportunity for both vendors and buyers to operate with high quality Hereford and Hereford cross cattle.

The first sale could attract a catalogue of over 1000 steers and heifers with 680 already listed from Bourke, NSW, Glen Innes, NSW and Beachport, SA. Many will be EU accredited.

Initial entries include 200 March/April 2010 drop EU heifers due to calve in Spring, account the Injemira blood herd, Woakwine Station, Beachport, SA

Also an early entry is the 130 Stannum blood EU accredited Spring 2010 drop steers account Tirranna Grazing, Glen Innes, NSW.

This is the AuctionPlus website –

Profile – Boomer Creek Miniature Herefords

Tasmania is a large island off the south-east corner of Australia and this is where Boomer Creek Farm is found.    Boomer Creek takes its name from the common reference to a male kangaroo as a “boomer” owing to a booming noise heard as it bounds across land at speeds of up to 70 kmph (40 mph).    Joy and Colin Walters felt this to be an appropriate name for their farm which comprises  400 hectares (988 acres) on the East Coast of Tasmania with beautiful views over Great Oyster Bay leading out into the Tasman Sea.

View from Boomer Creek Miniature Herefords farm

Since the early 1970s the Walters have had standard sized polled Herefords then around 1994 their neighbour purchased some Lowline cattle of Angus derivation.   Colin and Joy loved the idea of having smaller sized cattle but being “red and white” breeders did some research and discovered Miniature Herefords.   Their first purchase was a recipient cow which produced Boomer Creek Atom and shortly afterwards they purchased a heifer, KT Real Roberta (imported from the USA).   This was the start of their Miniature Hereford herd.

Having always had polled Herefords it wasn’t long before the Walters realised this would be a much better option than horned minis but it was a case of “do-it-yourself” as there were no polled minis outside of the States.   Starting in 1999, they followed the American system of using small standard polled Hereford females with a miniature bull.   After considerable searching they eventually found some with frame scores between 4 and 5 and later another one with a frame score of 2 – actually of Classic size.   So began the “breeding down” programme to produce polled Miniature Herefords.

For the first five years it was a very slow process with having to keep the size down as well as eliminating horns and also keeping the breed line different.   It meant using a horned mini bull across standard polls then using a different horned mini bull to establish another line then back across a standard poll to lose the horns.   This could have taken many more years except that in 2004 another Australian breeder imported polled Miniature Hereford embryos from Straitside Ranch in the States from which two heifers and one bull – all homozygous polled – were born.   Sired by SSR Micah (a small mini bull of the LS Mt Nugget 28 line) and out of SSR Miss Misty (an estimated “large” frame score 2 as the cows used by the Johnsons to start their breeding programme were in the frame score 1 to 2 range) the bull, Boomer Creek Felix, with a frame score of 1, really sped up the polled breeding programme.   With now over 40 progeny, all polled and of frame score 1 or less, he has become the “foundation sire” of polled minis  “Down Under” .

SSR Miss Misty – dam of Boomer Creek Felix, a polled Hereford thought to be at the top end of Frame Score 2 which is not considered Miniature in the States.

SSR Micah – a polled Miniature bull, sire of Boomer Creek Felix with a probable Frame Score of around 0. Micah’s sire was a very small Largent bull, LS Mt Nugget 28.

Boomer Creek Felix now aged six and winner of the Sire’s Progeny Class in 2010. He has a Frame Score of 1 and qualifies as a true Miniature.

Normally the Walters run around 50 breeding cows of which 95% would now be Miniature Herefords, mostly polled.   At least twenty of these are homozygous polled and most of them now have three , four and even five generations of Miniature Herefords on both sides of their parentage.  The demand for polled minis in Australia has really taken off as prospective owners/breeders see the big advantage in having no horns to deal with.   Half of Colin and Joys’ herd was sold in the last financial year (including horned) with some animals going across Bass Strait to New South Wales and Victoria.   They could have sold more but ran out of available stock!

A big part of promoting Boomer Creek cattle is through showing and the Walters have been very successful even against standard Herefords and other breeds.   The animals are presented immaculately and well trained.

Joy Walters with Miniature Hereford bull, Boomer Creek Mack – Junior Champion, Grand Champion and Interbreed Champion bull in 2010. A grandson of Boomer Creek Felix.

Seven of these polled Miniature Hereford heifers are by Boomer Creek Felix.

Good breeding and presentation deserves to win. Some of B.C. Felix’ progeny.

It is thanks to the outlook and perseverance of such Miniature Hereford Studs in the States as Straitside Ranch (Betty and the late John Johnson) and Long Creek (Susan and Ron Himmelberg) and Boomer Creek (Colin and Joy Walters) in Australia that polled Miniature Herefords have become available for Hereford breed enthusiasts looking for smaller cattle without horns.     For those of us following in their footsteps we can only build on the foundation they have laid – the hard work has already been done.

Janet Poole of Riverlets Miniature Herefords (NZ) kindly wrote this article.

Webinar Course : “Know Your Genes” Session 4

Session 4 : Utilising DNA to Change Type Traits

July 11th

For those that haven’t already registered, there is still time to register for the fourth session in the free webinar course titled “Know Your Genes”.

This session will be held tonight (July 11th) and will discuss the utilisation of DNA technology to change type traits such as coat colour and polledness.

The webinar will be presented by staff from SBTS & TBTS, with leading Beef CRC scientists in attendance to answer questions and contribute to discussion.

To register for this session, simply follow the instructions on the webinars page on the SBTS website (click here). You do not need to have attended previous sessions to attend this webinar.

Important Note: For those that were not able to attend the previous three webinars in the Know Your Genes course, a copy of each webinar can now be viewed from the webinars page on the SBTS website (click here). The presentations are quite large and so may not be suitable for viewing via all internet connections. If you are having trouble viewing the file, please email