Joe and Richard Fortune, Knottown, Co Wexford.
Background of the herd: The herd was established in 1998, with the first females sourced in Ireland. Cattle were subsequently purchased and imported from France in 2002. The herd now comprises of approximately 100 breeding Salers females.
Maternal Breeding: The herd has an overall replacement index rating of €273, which makes it one of the highest ranking herds in the country, across all breeds.
Top Maternal Cows: One of the top cows in the herd is Knottown Ena (Sired by Gitan). She has a maternal index of €357 (reliability: 46%). She was born on the 17th of November 2004. She has had 7 calves, and is a very hard working cow with an average calving interval of 363 days. A son of this cow, is currently being considered for the Gene Ireland bull breeder program. Another cow of note is the imported French cow, Usance (pictured), who was the winner of the RDS maternal index award in 2013. Again, she boasts a phenomenal replacement index of €375, and is currently with her eighth calf with an average calving interval of 357 days.
Key traits of interest: The breeding policy in the herd is primarily focused on maternal traits with particular emphasis being placed on milk and docility. Regular weighing combined with accurate data recording has seen this herd emerge as one of the highest index herds in the country.
Recent Sires used: Recent sires used include the French-bred bulls Variegois, Bronson and Buron, who are all 5 stars for replacement index.
Breeder’s comment: “The Salers has a huge role to play in the future development of the national suckler herd in Ireland. The females make ideal replacements and the males finish quickly into excellent weights and grades”.