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Irish Limousin Cattle Society, Kilglass, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork

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Clare Limousin Club Field Evening – Ennis Mart, 12th August 2011

County Clare is synonymous with Limousin breeding in Ireland. The County has the largest number of Pedigree Breeders in the country and this was clearly in evidence as Pedigree and Commercial Farmers displayed almost 70 animals in Ennis Mart on Friday 12th August. We saw excellent examples of Progeny from many Limousin AI sires as well as Progeny of Stock Bulls who are clearly doing a very good job on commercial and pedigree farms throughout the county. All animals displayed on the night also had their ICBF Euro Star evaluations displayed with many people commenting on both the visual quality and high genetic merit of the animals. As well as the animals, a number of AI companies and other trade stands were present on the night

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Section of the crowd at the Clare Limousin Information evening

Alongside this display of Livestock, Teagasc’s Vivian Silke spoke to those in attendance about the importance of suckler cows producing ‘A calf per cow per year’. Telling the audience that while it is always nice to produce an outstanding calf from your herd, the reality is that these calves are often more trouble than they are worth on account of losses associated with calving difficulties, losses soon after calving, health issues and the failure of the cow to go back in calf that year. Quoting recent ICBF statistics, the average calving rate of cows in Ireland is 0.78 calves sold per cow per year or four calves every five years, targets for suckler farmers should be 0.95 calves/cow/year. Vivian highlighted that economically it is far more profitable to produce a consistent bunch of quality calves that are calved easily, born hardy and healthy and gain weight quickly and efficiently. Undoubtedly these are traits of the modern Limousin when used as a terminal sire.

With reference to the well publicized Teagasc led Derrypatrick Herd, situated in Grange Research Centre, Vivian showed that the animals with the best Liveweight Gain from birth to weaning, and even post weaning were born to Limousin x Friesian cows. These animals were between 30 and 50 kg heavier than their counterparts at weaning and have maintained this difference over the winter and at grass this year. Vivian also highlighted the lower liveweights of the cows producing these heavier calves, ‘lighter cows are easier to manage, especially on heavier soils and cheaper to maintain year round’ this added to the production of heavier calves points to greater profits for the suckler producer using this Limousin x Friesian cow type. The data coming from Derrypatrick undoubtedly puts Limousin bred animals at the top of the list when choosing a Maternal Sire in commercial herds and we eagerly await the information coming from Derrypatrick as animals are slaughtered and the herd matures overall. Interestingly 2nd calvers are showing the same characteristics as last year with calves from the Limousin x Friesian having an ADG of 1.1kg compared to the other three breed types which are all below 1kg ADG.

The AI companies in attendance all spoke to the audience to outline their selection of Limousin semen, advising suitable sires for Maternal traits, Terminal traits, Weanling producers and beef finishers as well as those bulls recommended for pedigree breeding. These companies all donated prizes of semen on the night and these were offered as prizes for guessing the killout weight of a Limousin cull cow with good conformation displayed on the night - she weighed 815kg – highlighting the high value these animals are currently achieving in the mart and the factory and the opportunity that exists to improve your herd by bringing in some high value replacements at little or no extra cost, indeed many of these replacement animals, with high genetic merit and high health status will be seen at the many ILCS-run commercial breeding heifer sales being run this autumn.

Sean Lyons kindly provided his bull for a guess the weight competition to round off the evening with the prize plaque donated by John Shannon Financial Services. This was won by local woman Anne McLoughlin from Barefield, Co. Clare who guessed closest. Sean’s bull weighed 1095kg, a very impressive weight for a bull who is running with cows.

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John Shannon Financial Services presenting the prize to Anne McLoughlin Barefield

Over 400 people were in attendance on the night including Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher of Dragon’s Den fame who launched Pedigreecattle.ie’s all new store opening in Ennis mart shortly, he informed us that he was currently the only candidate to have a herd number! Sean was very impressed with the quality of the animals on display and remarked on the size of the crowd – a sign of how important the Agricultural industry is to Ireland and how Limousin cattle have an important part to play in the future of beef production in Ireland, we wish him and Pedigreecattle.ie all the best in their respective ventures. On behalf of the Clare Limousin Club we would like to thank Irish Limousin, Paul Sykes and the Limousin Office Staff for all their help, the ICBF for the genetic information displayed, all who attended, provided cattle, held trade stands, offered prizes on the night and especially Martin McNamara, Manager of Ennis Mart for making the facility available to us, a great evening was had by all. Go raibh mile maith agaibh.

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Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher  viewing some of the exhibits

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Society President John Mc Inerney  Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher  with his wife Trisha with Paul Sykes Limousin Society Secretary

Andrew McInerney – Vice Chairman, Clare Limousin Club. 

 

 

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