Gene Ireland Bull Breeder of the week – Ben & Elaine Ryall, Fellfort, Watergrasshill, Co. Cork

Gene Ireland Maternal Bull Breeder Participant, Elaine Ryall with ‘Westellen Freddie L716’, taken out from bulling cows for this photo. He was born on the 19th September 2011, is a 4.5 star bull for the ‘Replacement Index’ with an index of €210 (30%reliable) and is 5 stars for the ‘Terminal Index’ with an index of €67 (32%). He is sired by ‘Tonroe Udi’ and is out of an ‘Aynho Rossiter Eric B125’ cow (owned by John Tait, Midleton, Co.Cork, who is also in the program).

 Backround of the herd: In 1956 – Ben’s father, Jack Ryall bought the herd’s first females from the Angus herd that was in Fota Estate, Carrigtwohill, Co.Cork. The Herd now has 80 pedigree cows calving 40 in the Spring and 40 in the Autumn.

Maternal Breeding: The herd has a good overall replacement index of €138 (22% reliable). The female youngstock in the herd have a higher average of €143 (16% reliable).

Top Maternal Cows: One of the best breeding cows in the herd is ‘Fellfort Madeline E408’. She was sired by ‘Drumcrow Lord Lance B407’ and out of a homebred cow ‘Miss Matilda of Fellfort’ who was sired by ‘Cashelane Vincent’. She has a ‘Replacement Index’ of €169 (20%), has had 7 live calves in 7 years and has an average calving interval of 357 days.

Key traits of interest: Calving Ease, Conformation, docility, functionality & breed type.

Recent Sires used: Shankill Melody L709,(Rosemead Jeronny F692 sired Stockbull), Drumcrow Good News (Cashelane Lord Jeremy sired Stockbull), Ballydacker George G505 (CYI sired Stockbull) and Westellen Freddie L716.

Breeder’s comment: “We think pedigree herds should be run strictly on a commercial basis.   If herd management is correct and a cow is not in calf after an eight week breeding period, she should be culled NO EXCEPTIONS.  One calf every 365 days, there is NO ROOM for passengers in suckling”.

Young Angus Bulls in the Ryall herd.
Young Angus Bulls in the Ryall herd.

Ballydacker George G505 son.


Fellfort Grafter F707 son.
Fellfort Grafter F707 son.

Scales for recording birthweights on calves.