Illness reduces gains in weight in Gympie Carcass Classic
WEIGHT gains for the 2018 Sullivan Livestock Gympie Carcass Classic were lower than in the previous year.
This was largely due to an outbreak of respiratory problems during the early days.
Thought to be caused by one animal being infected and a carrier of pesti virus, the problems were spotted and treated immediately.
Gympie veterinarian Dr Justin Schooth said the pesti virus, while not being particularly serious on its own, stressed the animal's immune system, and along with the added stress of getting into the feedlot meant other problems could occur.
Dr Schooth said if the animals had been in a commercial feedlot and not tied to a time frame the tops would have been taken off and the others left on feed a bit longer.
It was noticeable that most animals that were affected had started to do well, A few of the lighter weight animals still had harsh coats, so a bit mort time, 10-15 days, would have been an advantage.
Average weight gain was 1.25kg per day, about 400g per day below 2017.
Animals 'sort of' divided into three rough groups of those who were close to either being below the 200kg dressed weight, or above the 280kg weight required to meet the market specifications, or were somewhere within the range.
Many animals will rely on dressing percentages to meet specifications.
The heaviest animal at the end was a 510kg santa-cross steer from the Cooke family that gained 1.36kg per day.
It was commonly thought by graziers around the ring that this animal would have trouble getting below the 280kg dressed limit.
As is normally the case at the final stage, cattle were brought into the ring at the Gympie Saleyards in small groups and with the urging of Barry McIntyre and Mick Senini, both from Nolan Meats, comments were encouraged from owners and others.
The Classic is basically an educational opportunity to enable graziers to gain experience and knowledge on what cattle suit their conditions and how they can be grown to meet market specifications.
While the comments provided an opportunity for levity and banter, they also showed the immense amount and depth of knowledge possessed by the graziers around the ring.
In the comments, one of the main issues was animal temperament, with the comment being quiet animals put on weight more rapidly and do not have problems in the feedlot.
There were pleas from some of the more long-term exhibitors for graziers to continue to support the Classic as a great learning tool and networking opportunity.