FIVE years on from major groundbreaking surgery to reconstruct Te Mania Emperor E343’s knee, the 10-year-old is still collecting semen and having a large influence on the beef cattle industry of the world, writes . 24 Oct 2019
Back in 2014, the 2011 Australia record $91,000 selling Angus bull sired by Te Mania Berkley B1, underwent knee reconstructive surgery to put a spring back in his step.
“The surgery was a success and he has probably got 90 per cent normal movement back in the leg, and is still collecting semen at TLG (Total Livestock Genetics), Camperdown, Vic,” Simon Falkiner said, representing Murdeduke stud who purchased the bull.
“Naturally we never used him for natural joining for obvious reasons. He was 1200 kilograms when we did the operation.
“We used over 200kg breaking-strain Marlin fishing line for the new tendon, and two stainless steel plates either side of the joint. We did stem cell therapy as well, but we didn’t know how long it was going to last or if it was going to work.”
DROUGHT IMPACTING ARTIFICIAL BREEDING
After the six hour long surgery where Emperor was under anaesthetics, he couldn’t be immobilised.
“We were worried about arthritis so we went to the trouble of cutting the front out of a shipping container, and made a house for him out of the wind and winter weather,” he said.
“At one stage he probably got back to around 1200kg and we had to put him on a diet, because he can’t carry around that much weight on an artificial leg.”
Six months after his operation they started collecting semen again him, but the quality wasn’t great.
“We did a second round of stem cell therapy and once we did that, the semen quality came up and we have regularly been collecting semen since,” he said.
With sales notching up to around $1 million dollars (retail value), semen from Emperor E343 has been exported to about 18 countries including the United Kingdom, European Union, America, countries throughout South America, and New Zealand.
“He has had a world wide influence,” Mr Falkiner said.
“Nearly 8000 progeny are registered in Australia across 300 studs.”
After a bull that would take their stud to the next level, back in 2011 Murdeduke Angus purchased the $91,000 Te Mania Emperor E343 in syndicate with ABS Australia, Aberdeen Estate Angus and Storth Oaks Angus, New Zealand.
“We have about 35pc ET (embryo transfer) calves, 35pc AI (artificial insemination) calves and 30pc the result of natural mating,” Mr Falkiner said.
“The 30pc was letting us down; we saw the bulls we were using with natural mating in the herd were the weak link in the program. We were using homebred and cheaper bulls, so we made the decision to source the best bull that we could.”
Mr Falkiner said in the last 18 months there had been strong semen interest from commercial producers who had identified him to meet their requirements.