On The Land

26 May, 2023

Brahmans in their blood

THE saying “it runs in the family” couldn’t ring truer for the Hayes family who run their AK Brahmans stud operation at Atherton.

By Brigitte Daley

The Hayes family (from left) Aaron, Kirsty, Adam, Kira, and Aaleah with AK Ally. Her sire is LAS5044. She is in calf to Elrose Julian and will be at the Rotary FNQ Field Days. Image: Brigitte Daley
The Hayes family (from left) Aaron, Kirsty, Adam, Kira, and Aaleah with AK Ally. Her sire is LAS5044. She is in calf to Elrose Julian and will be at the Rotary FNQ Field Days. Image: Brigitte Daley

Aaron and Kirsty Hayes and their children, Aaleah, 9, Kira, 7, and Adam, 5, have been breeding purebred grey Brahmans for about 15 years and have been a registered stud for seven years.

The stud is run on a lease property Kirsty said the family prided itself on having naturally quiet cattle and this has been proven come weaning time where the kids really shine.

“The kids take over the daily feeding and handling of the weaners,” she said.

“It only takes them about an hour to have them eating out of their hands and looking for a scratch after weaning.”

Their three young children are heavily involved within the stud Brahman operation.

“They're great company and great pets, I love sitting with them every day and patting the calves,” Aaleah said.

“I like watching the cows and seeing their calves born,” Kira said.

“I like working with the weaners and feeding them to make them quiet,” Adam said.

The rise of the Brahman in tropical Queensland dates from the 1960s and occurred only after a concerted campaign on the part of government agricultural researchers.

Queensland is home to nearly half of Australia’s beef cattle, and the vast majority of those animals contain at least some Brahman blood enabling them to thrive in north-ern Australia’s hot, dry environment, and to withstand periodic drought, cattle tick and buffalo fly.

By 2001, the infusion of Brahman blood has been estimated to have benefited the Queensland cattle industry by $8.1 billion.

Aaron said they now had a progeny of bulls they had purchased and bred themselves.

Whilst they have been breeding for temperament and producing quiet, calm animals, they do have some polled animals as well.

“We managed to obtain some of the top genetics in Australia through Lancefield and Elrose cows,” Aaron said.

“Our main bull is approaching 11 years old and is still working consistently. We brought him as a used sire and he has done a tremendous job for our herd.

“We also have another young bull we purchased in 2021.

“He is Elrose Julian, who is a son to the record-breaking bull NCC Justified ($325,000), his first calves hit the ground October last year and are very consistent and impressive.

“Another great achievement for us is us-ing our first home bred sire AK Sherman, he’s by an American sire JDH Hero and is one of a handful in Australia.

“He’s been put out with a handful of our home bred heifers and his first calves are due around September.”

The sourcing and use of their impeccable genetics has paid handsome dividends for the stud.

“A big part of the stud’s development has been through using artificial insemination (AI) and using a handful of proven bulls from the past to breed a consistent line of females which has got us to where we are today,” Aaron said.

The family works on having 10 to 15 bulls for sale each year, keeping only the pick of about 40 calves ensuring they are only selling bulls that are structurally correct with a quiet temperament whilst they are building their name.

With the herd growing they are looking forward to this number increasing as their client base grows.

They will be commencing to advertise their stud and with the quality of calves that they are producing, are aiming to sell at an annual bull sale whilst also keeping their on-farm sales growing.

The family have also helped the Atherton State High School out with the progress of their own Brahman Stud.

AK Brahmans will be on display at this year’s Rotary FNQ Field Days. They will be part of a Brahman stand at the field days with breeders coming from as far south as Mackay and as far west as Cloncurry.

This is the first time they have publicly advertised their cattle and the children are very eager to show what their family’s stud has produced.


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