Des Buckley runs the Guhard Salers and Simmental herd with the help of his father Brendan, in Guhard, Lisselton, Co. Kerry. The herd was established in 2004 when two Salers were imported from France, one of these being Armade. Two further purchases were made from John Keating in Clare; Ballymackeogh Elva who is still in the herd today with a 5 star replacement index of €196 and Ballymackeogh Fawn who has a 5 star replacement index of €188. There are close to 30 pedigree Salers animals in the herd today. The Simmental herd was established in the following years with the purchase of Kiltean Tara, Ferryview Sabrina who has a 5 star replacement index of €160 and Ferryview Rosie who also has a 5 star replacement index of €165. Like the Salers, all Simmentals in the herd today, which total 15, are descended from the original females.
The fertility performance of the herd is excellent with an average calving interval of 373 days, placing it well within the top 5% nationally.
The herd’s genetics is also exceptional. The Salers have an average Replacement Index of €169, a daughter calving interval figure of -3.1 days and a daughter milk figure of 7.1kg. This ranks the herd very highly nationally, on all of these traits. The carcass weight figure is also high at 19kg.
The Simmentals have an average Replacement Index of €128, a daughter calving interval figure of -0.4 days, a daughter milk figure of 9.5 kg and carcass weight figure of 20 kg. Again, these figures rank the herd very high nationally.
Reliability figures are a vital part of the Euro-Star index and the Guhard herd is also strong here. Through participation in the BDGP, which sees the herd recording important survey data and genotyping animals each year, the herd’s reliability percentages are very high. Furthermore, participation in the WHPR programme means that important weight, temperament and functionality data is collected from the herd annually by an ICBF linear scorer. The Buckleys also ensure that insemination data and birthweights are recorded routinely. All of this data combined further validates the herd’s Euro-Star index figures.
What attracted you to WHPR?
“In an effort to improve my herd I joined WHPR. I realised that becoming involved in a performance recording programme would allow me to better monitor and benchmark my herd against the national herd. By doing this I can then take steps to improve the quality of my own herd.
The visit itself was quick and the linear scorer was friendly.
It is extremely important to me that buyers have confidence in the information I record. If a person is looking for a particular trait in a pedigree animal the information provided to me by WHPR gives me confidence in standing over the animal’s Euro-Star details. I have recorded information on these animals for generations, which makes the information provided very reliable.”