Maternal Bull Breeder participant and Hereford breeder Joe Deverell with his best cow Ballyaville Portia and her week old bull calf Ballyaville Hamlet. Portia is 12 ½ years old and has produced 11 calves with an average calving interval of 359 days.

Background of the herd:

Joseph’s grandfather began breeding pedigree Hereford cattle back in the 1930’s. The herd has been passed on through his father to Joe himself.

Maternal Breeding: The herd has an overall maternal rating of €35, which places the herd at about average in the Hereford breed. The females in the herd >12 months have a maternal rating of €32 while females from 0-12 months have a rating of €53.

Top Maternal Cows: Joe’s best cow is Ballyaville Portia. Portia is a 12 ½ year old cow out of Kilnagralta Polo and has had 11 calves with an average calving interval of 359 days. She has a maternal index €163 (5 stars) and is also 5 stars for milk and calving interval (fertility). Portia’s mother Ballyaville Laura was also a good breeding cow, living to 12 years of age and producing 10 calves.

Key traits of interest: Key traits that Joe would like to improve in his own herd are fertility and milk, while he feels that the breed as a whole should be mindful of calving ease and ease of fleshing.

Recent Sires used: Parkhill Pompeii X (S931), Lisrace Lifeliner (LLF), Graceland 1 Giovani (GGA).

Breeder’s comment: “The bull breeder scheme will be central to identifying the best new bulls and bloodlines and in turn maintain and improve quality. It will also help to build the profile of the herd”.