Set across 1280 hectares on the Darling Downs in Queensland, Stockyard’s Kerwee property is home to one of Australia’s leading lot feeding, breeding, grazing and grain farming operations.
At Kerwee, we specialise in producing high quality Wagyu and Angus beef to meet the demands of the world’s most discerning consumers.
The location of Kerwee is not by accident – it is surrounded by some of Australia’s richest soils that help support our farming operations, is near to processing partners and sits above an exceptional water source for our cattle – the Great Artesian Basin. The Great Artesian Basin is the largest underground freshwater resources in the world, stretching over 1.7 million square kilometres. We source this fresh, clean water from 496m below the Earth’s surface. Combined with the regions stable weather, the location is ideal for primary production.
The property surrounding our feedlot supports the grazing of our own stud breeding herd up until the cattle are mature enough to enter the feedlot.
All our cattle spend the first 12 – 36 months on Australian pastures. The grazing or backgrounding stage is important to allow our cattle to reach a largely uniform weight and age before moving to a grain finishing period. It also allows cattle to:
- socialise comfortably into their new herd groups – a natural behaviour of cattle
- familiarise and acclimatise themselves with feed bunks and water troughs, which are present in the lot feeding environment.
- increase their immunity and recover from travel – backgrounding helps cattle strengthen their health before entering the feedlot and recover from any time off feed while travelling to our property.
For us, this process makes it easier to manage our cattle’s ration transition, weight gain and exit timings.
After 12 – 36 months grazing on Australian pastures, our Wagyu and Angus cattle move into our 5-star Kerwee feedlot to ‘finish’ on a natural grain ration that is free from genetically modified materials and synthetic hormones. We have up to 20,200 cattle at any one time in our care.
We colloquially refer to our feedlot as a 5-star hotel because our animals want for nothing. They have 24/7 access to clean water and shade and a twice daily feeding schedule designed to meet our cattle’s natural daily feeding patterns. Our animals roam freely in yards that are around 3000m2, which is roughly the size of 6 basketball courts put together.
Angus cattle, which supply our Stockyard Gold brand, are fed a specially formulated ration for a minimum of 200 days. Our fullblood and crossbred Wagyu cattle are on a 400 plus day grain feeding program.
On arrival, our cattle are entered into our livestock databases – StockaID and FY3000. New inductees join pens with their herd that they established during their grazing stage and remain in this group for the duration of their time at Kerwee. Animals form their own social hierarchy. It’s important to understand and respect this hierarchy to keep our cattle as comfortable and happy as possible while in our care.
Stockyard’s Kerwee feedlot is accredited under the National Feedlot accreditation Scheme (NFAS) and adheres to the strict regulations set by national government and industry bodies. We regularly exceed these standards in many areas of the production cycle.
The ratio of cattle breeds in the feedlot is:
- 50% animals Wagyu fullblood and crossbred – 400-day grain feeding program
- 50% animals Angus pure and crossbred – 200-day grain feeding program
Given the long production cycle from conception to consumption (over 3 years), we’re not able to breed enough cattle to sustain the full demand for our Wagyu and Angus products. To ensure continuity of supply, we partner with Australia’s best and most responsible cattle breeders and graziers.
We care where our cattle come from and how they are treated. So, our cattle suppliers are regularly checked against quality markers to ensure they meet our welfare, environmental and organisational cultural fit, as well as all standards set by the Australian government and industry.
Our feed is natural and free from genetically modified products.
Stockyard’s Kerwee feedlot runs a two-drop feeding program designed to meet cattle’s natural daily feeding habits. This means that twice a day all animals have a fresh ration delivered to their individual pens.
The ration we feed our animals is nutritionist-designed and specialised for our Angus and Wagyu breeds. It consists of a mix of steam flaked grain (wheat, barley, sorghum or corn), silage, straw and cereal hays, liquid supplement, molasses, vegetable oil and protein meals.
Alongside our lot feeding operation, Stockyard’s property grows feedstuff to support our Wagyu and Angus feeding programs.
The additional feedstuffs needed are sourced from local producers on the Darling Downs, where possible. Any feed ingredients supplied to the feedlot must have an accompanying completed Safemeat Commodity Vendor Declaration to guarantee that feedstuffs are of the highest integrity.
Feed is analysed quarterly by an independent body to ensure the nutritional value for each ration is correctly formulated and that no chemical residues are present.
All animals have access to water sourced from the Great Artesian Basin 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This basin is the largest underground freshwater resource in the world, stretching over 1.7 million square kilometres. We source this fresh, clean water from 496m below the Earth’s surface. A mineral analysis is regularly done on the water as well as a bacterial test twice a year to ensure its purity.
Alongside our lot feeding operation, we also grow feedstuff to support our Wagyu and Angus feeding programs.
Our rotational cropping program includes growing oaten hay, corn silage, lucerne (alfalfa) hay as well as wheat, barley and sorghum grains.
Our effluent and manure management program supports our grain production. The manure produced by our cattle is turned into certified-organic, composted fertiliser which is then used on our crops. We’re proud to be able to turn this carbon by-product into a product that helps us improve our soil health and continue to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
All rainfall run off is collected on farm and used for irrigation purposes. This method is a key component of our environmental quality assurance systems, verified by our Global G.A.P accreditation – an internationally recognised set of farm standards dedicated to the implementation of good agricultural practices.