Females are the real strength of the limousin breed.
The F94L gene lets them be heavier muscled than other breeds without any adverse functional effects such as reduced milking ability, fertility, or calving ease that you would encounter in other high yielding breeds or individuals.
Talana have placed more and more emphasis on fecundity and maternal traits in our stud females and have allowed those selection criteria to set the type of female that we retain in our herd. Our heifers are raised entirely on grass and are expected to be a good weight and cycling when it is time to join them at 13 to 15 months of age so they calve at around 24 months. Selection for these traits over multiple generations has left us with a female herd that is early to mid maturing, with the ability to grow quickly and be in good body condition at joining age. They are expected to be heavy at calving, raise a solid first calf and re-join on time. If they don’t, they are out. At the same time we select for conformation and docility and general type but primarily each animal has to be productive in a real- world environment.
As you can see, Talana is first and foremost a maternally dominant stud herd, rather than one that is paternally biased. Our selection and breeding practices for the females sets the type of bull that we produce. Our females are early to mid maturing and so are the bulls. The girls tend to be a slightly heavier bone type (for Limousin) and are deep sided and thick-made with abundant fleshing, and so are the bulls. To go in calf early the heifers need good doing ability and this means a tendency towards fat cover which is why those traits are also found in our bulls. We only keep those females that can raise a heavy calf (milk, early growth rate) and go back in calf so the bulls tend to have larger scrotal circumferences.
So, the bulls we produce really are the product of the females we keep as well as the dams we choose to have a greater influence on the herd by using a son. This also means that we can wholeheartedly endorse them not only for commercial terminal breeding programs, as Limousin are generally used, but also as producers of replacement heifers and breeders, because we know that their daughters will work and work well.