John McDermott is a part-time farmer from Elphin, Co, Roscommon where he runs 22 suckler cows on 45 acres of grassland. Originally, John had tried different continental sires; however, it was increasingly difficult to balance his off-farm work commitments, young family and the resources required to assist cows at calving time. The future viability of the enterprise depended on finding a way to deliver extra profit with less time and resource invested.
John changed to Limousin genetics in 2011 and now the cows are all Limousin cross with half of the herd sired by a Pedigree ‘ULM’ stock-bull which he bought from local breeder, Michael Gunn. John credits the Limousin breed with changing the profitability of the enterprise.
The Limousin has been a game changer for our farm. The cows are easily calved and the heifers develop into super cows which are exceptional mothers that consistently calve unaided, are excellent milkers and produce premium quality calves each year.
The calves are all born outside in May and June. The cows are all fed on grass and good quality silage eliminating any requirement for concentrates. The heifers are weaned in February and they are supplemented with 1kg of a barley mix ration after weaning. John sells heifers between 9 – 11 months of age and he achieved an average price of €1090 for 17 daughters of his current stock-bull (son of KAPRICO ERAVELLE) last year. Bull calves are sold at weaning just before Christmas at 7/8 months of age and they receive little or no creep feeding.
The Limousin is a joy to work with. They are an easy-care, easy calving breed with exceptional milk and maternal traits. They produce very high-quality calves that grow and convert and consistently deliver for the farmer and yield top class carcasses for the processor.