Over 60 years of pedigree breeding for Co. Offaly farmer

Joe Deverell runs a herd of pedigree Herefords and Simmentals in Geashill, Co. Offaly. The herd consists of around 90 pedigree Hereford cows and 5 Simmental cows, not including replacements. The herd operates under the well-established herd name Ballyaville. It is run by Joe, his son Jesse and his nephew Ivor.

Herefords have been in the family dating back as far as 1930, when Joe’s grandfather Henry Deverell started breeding Herefords in Annagharvey, Tullamore. Joes father Bob then operated under the Annagharvey prefix until 1968 when the Ballyaville herd name began. The first females in the herd were Annagharvey Rose Hopeful followed by Annagharvey Queen 2nd. Knockfin 47 was then bought in the RDS from Tim Scott, Rathdowney for 140gns in the early 1960s. Almost all of the Herefords in the herd today are descended from those 3 females. The exception is Grianan Orange K 592, who was bought as a heifer at the society sale in Tullamore October 2012. This heifer was purchased from T and A Fitzgerald, Mount Temple.

The herd has an average Daughter Milk figure of 5kg for its pedigree cows, placing it well above the Hereford breed average of 2.78kg. The average Daughter Calving Interval for the pedigree cows is     -2.38 days which is in the top 20% across all breeds.

The Deverells have a good market for bulls based on their outstanding reputation. This has seen the majority of bulls sold at home and testament to their breeding, often to repeat customers. Having said that when they do go to society sales, namely GVM Kilmallock, Nenagh and Donovan’s in Tipperary town, it usually results in a worthwhile journey.

Ballyaville Gaston (top) and Ballyaville Geordie pictured at society sales

Ballyaville Darius pictured at society sale

The farm uses a mixture of stockbulls and AI. The two most influential bulls on the herd were Boyanna Hugo and Drumakeenan Do-A-Lot. Other successful sires include Cill Cormaic Generator, Graigue Leader, Kilnagralta Polo, Gageboro Burley, Ballinvena Frankie, Ballinveney Marvel and Killeaney Pompeii.

 

Killeaney Pompeii pictured on farm in his working clothes

Gaegboro Burley pictured on farm as a stockbull

Ballinvena Frankie pictured out with the cows

There are two stockbulls currently on farm; Kilsunny Lincoln (who has exceptional figures being 5 star replacement with an index of €110 and 5 star terminal with an index of €79) and Corran Hill Countryboy (who is also a 5 star Terminal bull).

What attracted you to WHPR?

‘I had no hesitation about joining WHPR as we have being doing on farm recording for many years using software from Agrinet. In the last few years this is even easier using our smartphones for imputing everything as it happens We are also sending birth weights and measurements to ICBF for a number of years. I feel being in WHPR copper fastens what we are already doing and gives buyers the benefits of having an outside body carrying out checks. Because of the numbers of cattle involved the visit took 2 full days but we could time it for when the cattle were housed in November. Despite the length of time needed the visit was conducted with no stress on man or beast.

I feel that Pedigree breeders and the stock they produce form the building blocks for the national herd and it is vital that all information is provided to buyers. In 2018 all pedigree breeders should have a cattle scales or access to one, as a bare minimum a birth weight should be on every pedigree calf.

Every time we sell a bull, or a breeding female is a highlight and even better when a repeat buyer. In 2016 and 2017 Country Crest bought several pedigree heifers from us and it was pleasure to deal with farmers who are leaders in innovation and detail.’

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Young Bulls out at grass at Ballyaville