G€N€ IR€LAND Maternal Bull Breeder Participant Dan O’Mahony demonstrating the docility of his Limousin cattle with ‘Ballygarvan Stud Helga’. Sired by ‘Wilodge Vantastic’, her dam is the famous cow ‘Rucie B’, from the Ardlea herd. ’Helga’ has a replacement index value of €132 (26% reliable).She was also the National Limousin All Ireland Heifer champion for her age at the last Tullamore Show.
Backround of the herd: The first cow and calf was purchased from the ‘Ballydaniel’ herd in 1991. More stock were bought from the ‘Luttrelstown’ herd before 4 heifers were imported from France in 2000.
Maternal Breeding: The herd has an overall maternal rating of €113 (33% reliable), and a Terminal Index of €110 (32% reliable).
Top Maternal Cows: One of the highest index cows in the herd is ‘Ballygarvan Stud Eleanor’. Sired by ‘Ronick Hawk’ and out of a homebred ‘Omer’ cow. She has a ‘Replacement Index’ value of €194 (5 stars/35% reliable), placing her in the top 5% of the breed.
Key traits of interest: Key traits of interest for the herd are Calving Ease, milk & fertility.
Recent Sires used: Bavardage, Sympa, Ampertaine Commander, Wilodge Vantastic, Brookfield Frosty (Ampertaine Abracadabra Stockbull).
Breeder’s comment: “It is very important that Bulls with good maternal indexes get used more heavily across the breed. A cow should be able to rear her calf naturally herself without any ration being supplemented in because of poor milk yield. There are excellent cow families in pedigree herds here in Ireland that have been carefully built up by breeders. It will be great to see these bloodlines getting tapped into by the Gene Ireland scheme. Animals from these herds being marked with the Gene Ireland stamp in catalogues, will also be a very positive development.