FARM OPEN DAY WITH CATTLE FEED EFFICIENCY UNIT
By the kind permission of the Norrie family, you are invited to the Denhead of Arbirlot farm open day on Tuesday the 27th of February. The open day will include a farm tour around the well-known, Glentyrie Stabiliser herd. Currently located on the farm is the Stabiliser feed efficiency unit which is testing a group of bulls from the herd. This is the first time the feed efficiency unit has been in Scotland and we are very excited to have it on demonstration for you to see.
11 am 27th February
Denhead of Arbirlot, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 2QR
Based in Angus, the Norrie family have farmed Denhead of Arbirlot for five generations. Brothers Douglas and Frank, alongside Frank’s son Robin, farm the 450-acre mixed arable and beef farm. Home to a 160-cow Stabiliser suckler herd, which is well known across the UK.
The Norrie family have been involved with the Stabiliser breed for around 20 years, officially becoming a Multiplier and breeding stock producer in 2017. The herd have introduced new genetics through US embryos, AI and purchasing bulls and females, placing a strong emphasis on phenotype. The goal is to become a closed herd in the near future, introducing new bloodlines through embryos and AI alone.
During the farm open day, you will see for yourself that the herd has been built around a strict selection process focussed on a particular type and style of cattle, combined with figures. Since becoming a Multiplier the Norrie’s have established a strong customer base, and a demand for their maternal, efficient, easy-fleshing stock. With that in mind, the herd is planning to expand, increasing cow numbers to 200 by 2025. This is thanks to additional grassland and an available shed to rent.
Grazing ground is part of the arable rotation, with 3-4-year grass leys incorporated in the spring/winter barley rotation. Cattle are rotationally grazed, and the Norrie’s place a watchful eye over kg of beef produced per hectare, rather than per cow. Concentrate is not fed to any of the females on the farm, a great tool to find out the top forage performers and manage costs. Bulls which aren’t suitable for breeding are fattened at home on home-grown cereals. On average they leave the farm at 13-14 months, 370kg deadweight, with 90% reaching U’s and the remaining leaving as R’s. These will also be available to view on the open day, alongside selected breeding bulls which will be available this spring.
FEED EFFICIENCY UNIT
Always looking to improve their herd, the Norrie’s are the first to host the newly transportable Stabiliser feed efficiency unit. A facility which has been sited in Yorkshire for the past 12 years. During this period around 1800 young bulls were tested for feed efficiency. This data was used to create the UK's first ever feed efficiency EBV's, an invaluable tool to select low-intake, high-output cattle.
Now transportable, the feed efficiency unit can be used on farms across the country. Historically, farmers from across the UK sent their cattle to Yorkshire, but to allow herds to remain closed, the feed efficiency unit can now go to them. This allows us to test new bloodlines which have not yet been tested and improve EBV accuracies further. Data from the Norrie bull trial will head into the Stabiliser database and contribute towards higher accuracy EBV’s for the bulls on trial, and their relations. You will be able to witness this trial for yourself, with a group of 26 bulls on trial at the moment.
PLEASE REGISTER BELOW
We look forward to seeing you on the open day and ask if you could please sign up at the bottom of the page so we can cater accordingly.
We are trying to produce beef that meets market specification and make the most profit possible. Using Stabilisers we are achieving our objectives, we have a low cost, low labour cow and good quality finishing cattle that meet the needs of the market.- Mel and Pete Momber, Hampshire
I’m excited by the prospects the Stabiliser can deliver for us. The proof was there based on scientific research, backed up by a large gene pool and precise management systems. It seemed the perfect breed for our farming system.- Will Evans, Machynlleth
On weaning in May at 10 mths old the Stabiliser calves were on par with the Blue and Angus calves. These were turned out to grass until early September then housed. This is when I was surprised by the differences between the breeds, the Angus averaged 480kg, the Blues 490kg but the Stabilisers were 530kg.- Robin Talbot, Laois – Ireland
In 2011 we bought 46 Stabiliser heifers plus 3 bulls and sold our 3 Belgium Blue bulls. The results were clear to see, by the time we pregnancy tested our 100 cows later that year. We went from historically having 15% barren cows to only 3% barren in a 9 week mating period.- Jeremy Iles, Gloucester
I have found Stabiliser cows to be very forage efficient. Their ability to put weight on in the summer months means I can save on winter feed costs. This has allowed me to keep more cows on the same resources.- Jono Cole, Cornwall
We have an easy-care system that is as profitable as any other beef enterprise. We benchmark our herd against the AHDB industry figure and we sit comfortably ahead of the top third performers. I believe we are now producing a carcass with the conformation and eating quality consistency that the market wants.- Dan Burling, Cambridgeshire
Docility, feed efficiency tested, easy calving, hybrid vigour, fertility, growth AND carcass traits from highly maternal cattle, what’s not like?- Robin Norrie, Fife
We aim to get most out of grass as possible. The hardy nature of the cattle seems to suit this system very well. Hardly any assistance is required during calving, combined with the excellent calf vigour produce healthy and strong calves which further reduces labour costs.- Llion and Sian Jones, Conwy
We’re over 10 years into our Stabiliser journey, we’re reaping the rewards. Moving to the Stabiliser has been a game changer for efficiency and job satisfaction, allowing us to increase cow numbers on the same area and finishing bulls averaging over 380kgs at 13 months. Our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner!- Peter and Jackie Storrow, Pembrokeshire
Stabiliser cattle are a specialised suckler beef breed with the added bonus of hybrid vigour. The cattle are multi-trait performance recorded to produce EBV’s, this has a huge positive economical effect on our business. All of this is crucial for us to have a financially improving suckler herd on the farm.- Harri Parri, Llyn Peninsula
We chose the Stabiliser breed for their docility and easy calving traits, but with the added benefit of turning grass into meat. We soon saw all of these traits were true. Our first home bred steers were finished off grass at an average age of 19 months.- Dyfed Roberts, Anglesey
Despite our rainfall, we outwinter our cows on kale, the stabiliser cow will lay down excess fat, and successfully rear her calf. During the winter considerable cost savings are made. By changing to Stabiliser cattle I keep approximately 50% more cows as they only weigh 650Kgs, which meant more beef being produced.- Matthew Cooke, North Devon
We started using Stabiliser bulls 20 years ago. The fertility of the breed has enabled us to calve our own heifers at 24 months and reduce our calving period to nine weeks. This together with their good temperament has encouraged us to increase cow numbers. Consequently, the farm is now producing a lot more kilos of beef.- Edward and Ellis Griffith, Pwllheli
Minimal labour is required at calving time, with easy calving cows and calves up and suckling in no time at all. This gave us the ability to increase our cow numbers with no extra labour. The growth rate of Stabiliser cattle is exceptional, producing high weaning weights whilst converting feed efficiently.- John and Ianto Pari, Gwynedd
We started using stabiliser genetics in 2016, we have not looked back since, they exceeded all our expectations. Changing to stabilisers has enabled us to calve heifers at 2years old with no problems, cows wean a higher percentage of their body weight, we have increased cow numbers without any need for extra labour.- Carys Jones, Camarthenshire