|Speckle Parks are a carcass orientated yet maternal Pure Bred (not a composite ), breed of beef cattle. They are Polled and British Bred originating from Canada. Speckle Parks are moderate sized. Mature cows range in weight from 600 kgs. to 850 kgs. and mature bulls 1000 kgs. +. Calves average 30 to 40kgs. at birth and wean off at about 230kgs. to 370+kgs.
Speckle Park cattle come in a variety of color patterns. They are predominantly black with white top line and underline, with speckled hips and sometimes shoulders and with
a black or black roan face. The second color pattern is the leopard pattern. It is similar to the speckled pattern but there are definite black spots on the animal instead of just speckles. The white animals with some black hair on the body are considered 'leopards'. The third color pattern is the 'white' pattern. The white animals have white hair on the body and face but have black points. i.e. eyes, ears, nose, and hooves. The fourth is solid black. There is a very small percentage of blacks but they do crop up from time to time. All colours are registrable, but blacks are not permitted to be shown.
FERTILE, Hardy & Healthy
With their fine skin and hair in summer and a quick to 'slick off' hair coat, Speckle Parks adapt well to the Canadian summers as well as being able to 'coat up' when needed for their notoriously cold winters. They are tough, real tough, you can throw any harsh climatic situation at them and they survive, get back in calf, rear a good one, yet are so easy to feed and come back in condition quickly after hard times, traits that will stand them in good stead in Australian's harsh environment.
Early to reach puberty being "British bred" Speckle Park females cycle early and breed easy. The bulls sexually mature at about 12 months and make good yearling breeders.
The results in artificial breeding are nothing short of amazing. The first line of cows flushed for Australia in 2007, 24 cows averaged an incredible 11 (A) GRADE embryos per donor flushed, over double that of industry recognized average per cow any breed. The quality of the embryos described by Doctor Don Miller as "as good as you could see in a text book for a perfect "A" grade, grade 1 embryo. I have frozen non better in all my years of embryo transferring".
The bulls drew over 200 straws of semen per collection at an average age of 13 months. Consistently high quality carcass with particularly high marbling and yet less fat than most Angus and other high marbling breeds.
In Canada butchers and meat graders are very impressed with the consistently high quality of the Speckle Park carcass. It isn't uncommon to get an exceptionally good carcass from any breed, but what is IMPRESSIVE is when the carcass from a particular breed is consistently good. That is the case with the Speckle Park. Another IMPRESSIVE fact about the Speckle Park is their UNIQUE ability of being able to achieve a AAA carcass without excess outer fat cover. Most breeds are able at achieve AAA carcass but often at the expense of excess outer fat. Speckle Park can achieve a AAA carcass with minimal fat cover, thus grading YG1-AAA.
"With 35 years experience in the meat business, I have never butchered animals with such consistency and quality grades," says Martin Rijavec, owner/ operator of Vermilion Packers Ltd., Vermilion, Alberta, Canada.
Docile Nature –The key to more weight gain and less stress on man and beast. Are you sick of being kicked from pillar to post and pushed around the yards when you should be doing the pushing?
Speckle Parks are very docile animals. Their gentle disposition makes them a pleasure to work with. Accidents while working with cattle are almost unheard of among Speckle Park breeders. A well known fact in Canada.
Speckle Park animals are becoming a popular choice of 4-H beef members (Junior Breeders) throughout Canada. Their moderate size and quiet disposition make them manageable by even the youngest 4-H members. It is unbelievable how easily some of them halter break. As one 4-H member put it, "They almost halter break themselves."
Calving Ease and Good Maternal Instinct
Speckle Park rarely experience difficulty calving. The small front shoulders of the newborn calf make for calving ease. The calves come into the world at approximately 35kg. and are very vigorous at birth. Most newborns are up and sucking in minutes.
Cattlemen world wide know that a great deal of time and expense is saved and the bottom line is greatly enhanced by breeding cattle that can calve unassisted. It isn't uncommon in today's society to see the wife caring for the cattle while the husband works off the farm to supplement farm income. Speckle Parks are a wise choice for farmers in this situation. The calves weigh a fraction of the weight of those of the exotic breeds and a lot less than most other British bred cattle. Almost all Speckle Park cows, even the heifers, calve unassisted.
Speckle Parks are a docile breed, the cows are very maternal when it comes to caring for their young. They have good udders, with many people commenting on their great udder, teat shape and length of teats. They turn off sappy well grown calves from a young age.
Commercial breeders are finding Speckle Park bulls a wise choice for breeding heifers. They not only decrease the size of the newborn calf and increase calving ease but also increase the quality of the resulting carcass.
Cattlemen feeding Speckle Parks for the first time are very impressed with the feed efficiency of the breed. By many, throughout Canada they are referred to as 'easy keepers' 'easy doing'. The figures that have been accumulated on feed efficiency are a result of testing in college projects. The statistics that have been obtained indicate Speckle Park to be more than competitive when it comes to feed efficiency compared to other breeds. In the first three years that Speckle Park have participating in the Steer-A -Year project in Olds College, Olds, Alberta Canada, the Speckle Park steers consumed 5.5 lbs of feed per lb. of gain compared to 5.8 for the other participating breeds. During the first seven years on test at the Lakeland College Bull Test Station at Vermilion, Alberta the bulls showed an average of 7.1 lbs. of feed per lb. of gain compared to 7.3 for the other breeds. It would be fair to say that the tests indicate Speckle Park to be the middle of the pack when it comes to feed conversion. However, the best way to find out is to try feeding some to yourself.