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Listen to many, speak to a few

The less fortunate events of this year and the vagaries of the season remind me that it's never a good idea to be counting heifer calves too soon. It's a good lesson in life to experience some of the disappointments that befall us all and hope that I will only have to endure a few along the road.

We lost JOLIE mid-year and the current spring season has provided us with very slim pickings as far as heifer calvings.  Anecdotally, high rates of bull calves seems to be widespread.  We had an unfortunate case of a gorgeous LET IT SNOW heifer from the Lila-Zs being unable to stand, probably due to a brain lesion.  Then, there was a couple of still-borns, and again, all those bulls. C'est la vie.

On the bright side, another flush heifer from JOLIE, 12 sexed IVF embryos (by four sires) from Clydevale Informer Panda in the care of Dr Mike Bourema, and five SAVIOR embryos from Semagen Jasper Jolie.  There have been some pleasing classifications, including a BONAIR daughter, well-bought from Ingoldale, who went VG86 on her second showing.  And, a nice selection of freshly calved heifers are shaping up very well in conformation and production.  I also understand that there are 11 JOLIE pregnancies (muliple sires) in Germany, due early 2015.

Finally, a very nice addition is Semagen Goldsun Camelia from the BLITZ heifer out of the Ingoldale Camelias that came to us as an embryo.


Happy prologues to the swelling act

Since 15 March, Semagen Jasper Jolie has been housed at the BLUECHIP farm of Dean and Dianna Malcolm. She was recently photographed and the latest reports indicate that, while a shade immature, she has the goods and we expect her to develop into a cow with show ring credentials. There's a strong chance that she will show at the National Herd Development Winter Fair in July.

Semagen Jasper Jolie as a 13 month heifer.

Castel James Jolie is very close to calving and Martin Rubesam of Wiesenfeld Holsteins reports that she is in a wonderful state of readiness for the calf and for a new round of exhibitions. It was great to see one of Jolie's strongest rivals in Decrausaz Iron O'Kalibra winning the HI World Championship for 2013, so the chance of Jolie meeting up with O'Kalibra once again is an exciting prospect.

James Jolie photographed at Wiesenfelds late 2013.
Another of our older girls is set to enter an IVF program very soon. Clydevale Informer Panda VG89 has been getting outrageously fat in her Cohuna paddock and it's now crunch time as far as producing a few more girls to carry on the Penny line at Semagen. Paloma, Pandolfina and Portia are our only other members at this stage, so we're fingers-crossed for a bag of embryos to go in this spring. The second priority is to get Panda pregnant and calved in next year with the hope that she'll classify well after a fourth calf.


Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye

It's kind of the off season if it weren't for the IDW. There just doesn't seem to be much happening with the cows at this time of the year and there's not a lot to report - a good time to cast a reflective eye over things. Jolie is fit and well in Germany, pregnant to BRADNICK and due to calve in May. Embryos have been implanted here in Australia and more are set for German recipients over the coming weeks. News from Europe and the USA says that a number of Jolie's daughters are very impressive and that her ATWOOD sons have achieved high genomic scores that confound the naysayers who have taken the view that Jolie's pedigree would bar any good genomics in her progeny. Baahhh.

Back to the IDW and it's the Semex Spectacular Sale which sees us selling a FEVER daughter from the famous Italian Painky family of SCOOBY-DUU. Semagen Fever Godiva-IMP-ET will sell as Lot 24. Godiva's dam is the EX92 full sister to SCOOBY-DUU, then an 88 point FORMATION daughter, and her third dam is Go Farm Juror Painky EX92. We selected the best looking of three flush sisters for the sale, although there really wasn't much between them. Needless to say that I'm very pleased to be offering this heifer in amongst so many amazing animals going under the hammer on 22 January.

Go Farm Merry Christmas EX92, dam of Semagen Fever Godiva.