About Us

Shrimpton’s Hill Herefords was established in 1969 and today the herd consists of 550 females and approximately 650 support stock. 


Up to 25 bulls will be used for the 2016 mating, either naturally or in our E.T. and A.I. programmes.


Our Short Gestation breeding programme was established in 2001, selecting only for this single trait, specifically for the Dairy bull and semen markets. 


Today we are the breeders of the leading Herefords, both male and female in Australasia, for Short Gestation Length. 


Recognising this LIC (Livestock Improvement Corporation), have entered into a breeding relationship with us, to not only supply semen but also embryos exclusively to their  breeding and marketing programme.


Our relationship with LIC has meant our breeding programme has a far greater focus on , to the benefit of the Dairy Industry and especially now, with the latest induction protocol.  semen sales have grown significantly, both domestically and internationally, which along with our bull sales, makes us the largest supplier of beef genetics to the New Zealand meat industry.


Since the commencement of our breeding partnership with LIC, we have had some serious movement in genetic gain, with respect to gestation length. We have had several calves born up to a month early and the great majority of our embryo transplant (E.T.) calves arriving at least a cycle early. We are now in a position to be mating E.T. offspring with E.T. offspring, creating an  population at the outer limits of the bell curve.


Because of these results we have created a headache for Breedplan, the performance breeding programme used by the New Zealand Hereford Association (NZHA), in that the programme isn’t able to correlate our E.T. gestation length (GL) data. Our actual on farm raw data is too extreme for it to process, therefore the E.T. offspring have been assigned mid-parent EBVs, which in no way reflect their true gestation length.


Currently Breedplan and the NZHA are working to move the parameters of the breeding programme, so these animals can be assigned accurate EBVs, and be recognized for the elite animals they are.


Our annual bull sale is in late September, consisting of 140 bulls, the majority of which are sold to the Dairy Industry.


For the tenth consecutive year, Shrimpton’s Hill Herefords has sponsored the Canterbury North Otago Sharemilker of the Year. 


We are so proud to be able to call so many of the past winners of this prestigious competition, repeat clients.


Sponsoring, attending the presentation, and the subsequent field days are highlights of our calendar.


Our property consists of 1220Ha hill country, ranging in altitude from 200m to 1100m above sea level.


We also run a 120 ewe Border Leicester Stud, which was established in 1869 by John’s great great Grandfather, making it one of the oldest flocks in the country, of any breed still in the same family.


In 2019 our Border Leicester stud will be 150 years old, our Hereford stud will be 50 years old and 100 years since the McKerchar family moved to South Canterbury, from Southland.



John, Liz, Hamish and Fiona McKerchar