Liam Ryan and his son Damien run Cappanarrow Limousin in Camross, Co.Laois, at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. The farm is run in partnership, with Damien the main person involved in the pedigree cattle side. The pedigree herd is bred using 100% AI with Damien doing this on farm himself. This has allowed the herd to selectively choose the top Limousin genetics available at the point of breeding.

All AI dates are recorded through ICBF, which is crucial information for assessing the gestation length of the Dam and Sire and contributes towards calving difficulty. There are 7 pedigree Limousin females on farm with plans to increase this figure over the next number of years by retaining the females.

The pedigree herd began in 2012 when the duo decided that they would like to breed their own bull for their Commercial herd, having used a Limousin bull for a number of years. The first heifer purchased was Rodeen Elaine, by Teddy and out of a Ferry dam, in calf to the Limousin bull Limo Tanat TZN. Elaine ended up being their most influential purchase and has since had 5 calf’s and currently carrying her 6th.

A second heifer was then purchased in 2014, Keeltown Heidi. This was a 15 month old heifer by Procter Cavalier and out of a Litron Dam bred by Brendan Hanley of the Keeltown Herd. There has been 4 females out of both foundation cows. These are by Queenshead Altea, Ampertaine Foreman, Elite Ice Cream ET and On-Dit.

The most influential sire on the farms commercial herd was the Limousin bull Dauphin. The most influential sire on the pedigree herd is Castleview Gazelle (ZAG), who is a Gene Ireland graduate. Liam says, ‘his progeny are easy calving, great figures and ooze style from head to toe.’ Cappanarrow Limousin have had some great success selling pedigree bulls to suckler farmers for their commercial herds.

There were 2 bulls sold in the Autumn of 2017 for an average of €3000 at 13 months of age by Castleview Gazelle (ZAG). Cappanarrow Logan was one of the two bulls and has some exceptional figures being 5 star within and across breed for both Replacement and Terminal Index. Logan is out of Cappanarrow Jessie and has a Replacement Index of €121 and Terminal Index of €141. The other bull Cappanarrow Lee, again out of ZAG also has very high indexes. Lee is 5 star within and across breed on replacement with an index of €110 and 5 star across breed on terminal with an index of €133. Both bulls feature Rodeen Elaine in their pedigree. The herd has some tremendous terminal indexes throughout the females with an average of €123.

Cappanarow Jessie out at grass
Cappanarrow Logan as a calf at foot

What attracted you to WHPR?

‘The main attraction for me to the WHPR program was that I was able to get a yearly check on my pedigree cattle to see how well they are thriving and what their Average Daily Gains were. Another plus for me would have to be the fact that the bull has more accurate data for the farmer that purchases off me which gives a more reliable figure on his euro star index.

The farm visit for the WHPR was a very well run job with no problems, all done in a calm and efficient manner. It is essential that an animal being sold by a Pedigree breeder has the most accurate information as is physically possible. I have nothing to hide so it is just a matter of doing the job and by doing it I am getting the benefits of knowing that my animals have more accurate and more reliable figures. This adds to the sale of the animal, especially in the case of a bull which is going to have a lifetime effect on a buyers suckler herd. I get great satisfaction out of hearing that your bull was a cracker and produced super calf’s.’

Cappanarrow Luke