Te Mania Angus

September 2008
Te Mania Angus has 830 breeding cows on a North Canterbury property and nearly 2000 cows on a sister stud in Victoria, Australia.

It is one of the most influential Angus seedstock programmes in Australasia and the stud is 80 years old this year.

The annual NZ Te Mania bull sale this year in mid-June saw 115 bulls sold for an average of $5500, with a top price of $26,000.

Te Mania has now launched the Farmpure Angus beef programme to supply Progressive Enterprises supermarkets.

Edwin Wilding founded Te Mania Angus Stud in Southland in 1928 and in 1934 it was moved to the present location, Conway Flat, 160km north of Christchurch, on the Kaikoura coast.

Management of the stud passed to Frank and Jo Wilding in 1952. In 1962 Frank purchased scales and began performance recording the herd. He also started calving heifers at two years of age. In the late 1960s Te Mania began its annual on-farm bull sale, with 35 bulls initially and now well over 100.

In 1971 Te Mania was extended by the shipment to Australia of 48 females and two bulls to Mary and Andrew Gubins, of Colac, Victoria. Mary is Franks sister. Te Mania Australia has grown into one of that countrys largest Angus seedstock producers, producing over 60 bulls annually, and the two herds together are one of the largest Angus genetic bases in Australasia.

Management of Te Mania passed to Tim (Franks son) and Katie Wilding in 1982.

Tim continued with Franks emphasis on performance recording, and Te Mania was the first NZ herd to use Group Breedplan, provided by ABRI, University of New England, NSW.

With the use of EBVs Te Mania has made huge genetic gains and the introduction of objective measuring of carcass traits through ultrasound scanning has developed Te Mania Angus into the leading carcase stud in New Zealand.

2004 saw the restructuring of the Te Mania management team with John Harrington as general manager and Lindsay Haugh as beef production manager. Tim has freed up his time from day-to-day farm management to follow his passion, which is developing a branded beef programme (Farmpure), which will be the subject of the second shoot.

Te Mania Angus dominates the Australasian Angus Group Breedplan Directory with the most trait leaders - more than twice the next best performing stud.

In the annual NZ bull sale, all bulls offered are above-average in the self-replacing index (SRI) and have at least one desirable trait in the top 20% of recorded bulls in Australia and NZ.

Te Mania in North Canterbury is now 2000ha of coastal land, half owned and half leased. It comprises land on both the north and south banks of the Conway River mouth. It stretches over 12kms of coastline.

Cattle are set-stocked in the hills until May/June and then bought down on to the easy coastal country over winter for calving. Te Mania has a mild, coastal climate, although the land rises steeply as you go inland into the Hundalees.

830 Angus cows will be calving this year, and 250 one-year heifers also go to the bull, from which the herd replacements are selected after their first calf. Surplus heifers are sold as yearlings and as two-year-olds.

80-100 Angus steers are finished, being those males that didnt get into the Te Mania bull selection process.

At present all cows and breeding heifers are being break-fed on the easy country.

420 heifer calves are in the feedlot, fed a mixed ration of silage, straw, molasses and minerals.

The annual Te Mania cropping programme includes 20-30ha of kale and/or Swedes for winter fodder, 10-15ha of rapes for summer fodder, 15ha of barley for grain and straw and regrassing with Italian ryegrass.