The Hicks Beef composite herd is based on science.
The Meat Animal Research Centre (MARC) based in Nebraska conducted a trial involving 7000 head of commercial cattle with the aim of finding the best way in which to utilise hybrid vigour in commercial cattle systems. They found that the use of composites was the simplest and most effective way to capture the benefits of heterosis and breed complementarity without the hassle of implementing a rotational crossbreeding system.
The Hicks Beef composite is a maternally focused composite that is designed to thrive under heavy commercial stocking rates.
Hicks Beef Females MUST:
- Calve Un-assisted
- Wean a calf every year
- Join within 2 cycles
- Remain structurally sound
- Handle above average commercial stocking rates
The Hicks Beef Composite allows commercial cattle producers to access the benefits of hybrid vigour (increased fertility in cows, heavier steers, more calves on the ground and improved carcase feedback) whilst maintaining constant breed type.
The graph highlights that the 2020 drop Hicks Beef composite calves averages in the top 10% for the All-Purpose Index (API), in a database with 18,000,000 records that includes 16 breeds and their crosses.
Indexes are one of the most powerful tools we as producers have to improve the profitability of our herds. Rather than looking at an ever growing list of EBV’s or EPD’s producers can look at a single weighted value that accounts for all relevant economically relevant traits.
The All-Purpose Index (API) is one of the few self-replacing indexes that accounts for both the input traits and output traits. If we only account for the benefits of improving growth without factoring in the additional costs associated with the increased feed demand of additional growth, cow size will increase year on year and the kg of beef produced per hectare will not improve.