By Ann Curtin, PRO of the South West Limousin Club

The South West Limousin Club were treated to a fabulous outing on Monday, 6th June, in the beautifully located Greenacres herd of the O’Brien family, Killarney, Co. Kerry. Nestled in a valley between the Killeen and Crohane hills, along the river Flesk, the farm is located in one of the most scenic spots in Ireland.

Operating both a pedigree and commercial herd, the day-to-day running of the farm is by Seamus and Mary, with Molly (the dog) a constant companion to whoever is doing the herding! Seamus and Mary’s adult children help out when they are at home – Conor was there on the day and it’s obvious he has a great connection with the herd and indeed the beautiful environs of this slice of east Kerry.

On arrival visitors were treated to refreshments – beautifully presented by a team of family and friends of the O’Brien family. We then walked through the farmyard and viewed three in-calf heifers (which were also used for the stock judging competition) – these three ladies were by Ewdenvale Ivor, Kaprico Eravelle and Loyal and are settled in-calf to Loyal and Elderberry Galahad.

Up next were four young heifers – two pedigree and two commercials. These heifers are sired by Elderberry Galahad, Ewdenvale Ivor, Cameos and Greenacres Lorcan 2 (a son of On-dit).

Moving on, we then viewed three young bulls Greenacres Star, Special and Samson – these bulls were sons of Ivantonov, Gstaad and the homebred Greenacres Lorcan 2.

Next up were the cows with heifer calves – a magnificent display of the breed  – with Seamus’ focus on breeding Limousin. His commercially-bred cows are on par with the pedigree cows and are producing exceptional calves year on year. This group of cows are from a range of bulls including Grenache, Dieunordic, Kaprico Eravelle and Greenacres Lorcan 2. The calves are by a number of sires including Fest Noz, Procters Cavalier and Ivantonov. With two Ivantonov heifers in particular stood out.

Our next group were four outstanding in-calf cows – these ladies are daughters of On-dit, Kaprico Eravelle, Ivantonov and Fenomen.

Seamus uses AI first followed by a homebred stock bull – this year’s bull, Greenacres Ross, is now with the herd. Born on farm in 2020, Ross’ pedigree includes Loyal, Nelson, On-dit and Willodge Tonka, he has four-star ratings in both Terminal and Replacement Indexes and has a calving ease of 3.9% on cows and 7.7% on heifers.

Our next group were the cows with bull calves. Once again the cows boast a variety of sires including Haltcliffe Dancer, Gamin, Roundhill Hamlet, Castleview Gazelle – their sons are sired by Usse, Gstaad and Greenacres Lorcan 2.

Milk is one of the most important traits and Seamus’ cows have this in abundance. Docility is also a key factor in the herd – with a gathered crowd of strangers it would not be unusual for cattle to misbehave but not here in Killarney – each and every one of the Greenacres Herd stood and viewed the visitors without complaint.

Through careful selection down through the years Seamus has built a herd of milky, functionally correct, docile breeding cows with style and breed characteristics in abundance – they are a credit to him. Many of his stock have 5-star Terminal and Replacement Indexes and are of premier sale quality.

On returning to the farmyard – we were given a demonstration by John O’Connor and William Geary (two butchers of note) of the different cuts of meat and their potential value. This was very interesting and informative.

The team at Greenacres pulled out all the stops with the delicious spread presented for the BBQ – they will be a very difficult act to follow for the next open day.

Seamus and Conor gave a rundown and took questions on each group within the herd and on the dosing and vaccination used. The herd is closed for several years with replacements bred on farm.

Seamus purchased one of his first females from the Glenasmole Herd – this cow has left a long-lasting legacy. Another investment was a Roundhill Hamlet daughter from Tim and Doreen Corrigan and a Fenomen daughter from Sean O’Sullivan’s Catleview Herd.

The group of three in-calf heifers were used for a stock judging competition (judged by Sarah McElligott) – the winners of the AI straws were – John O’Connor, Orla Curtin, Eric McSweeney and Wille Geary.

We would like to thank the O’Brien family for allowing us to visit their fantastic herd and for the welcome we all received. Many thanks to the O’Brien extended family including their neighbours and friends for the fabulous spread of food.

As we were only a few miles from the Cork border it was great to be joined by some members from the Cork club.

We wish the family the very best of luck with the Greenacres Herd.

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