We continue our series of Whole Herd Performance Recording Profiles with the Southern Limousins herd established thirty years ago by Tony and Joan Walsh in Leap near Skibbereen, Co. Cork. Three embryo heifers born in 1988 formed the foundation stock for the herd. Southern Limousins now operate as a closed herd and use 100% AI in their breeding program. This has resulted in a disease-free status and participating in the Limo Leader Health program.
“The herd aims to produce quality cattle that satisfy the commercial producer and the pedigree breeder.” This is achieved by careful sire selection which is based on calving ease, docility, carcass traits, maternal qualities and gestation length. The herd is based in a majority dairying area which has meant they have an added focus on producing easy calving, short gestation bulls with good muscle. These traits are always to the forefront when choosing sires for the herd. All AI insemination dates are recorded which is invaluable information with regards to gestation length, calving difficulty and female fertility. There is a good balance between replacement and terminal traits with the herd averaging 4 stars across breed for both.
Two sires that have been used to great success within the herd include Talent and Faignant, “they have contributed to the pedigree lines in the herd today, breeding quality stock with excellent temperament”. The herd currently consists of 6 breeding females. Two of these females are sired by Roundhill Saturn ET, two by Mas du Clo, a Suc Au May daughter and a Sympa daughter. Tony says that, “Phenotype is always expected to match genetic prediction and over the years culling has been used as a breeding tool to ensure only the best animals are used to breed in the Southern Limousin herd.”
Progeny from the Southern Limousin have participated in the National Bull Performance Test Centre, where their performance was evaluated against other young bulls. The results of these tests were then used to identify areas of improvement with the herd. Southern Vierra was the top Limousin bull to be tested in November 2005. Tony says, “This gave us confidence that our breeding was going in the right direction and encouraged by the result we built on and improved the breeding line and todays herd is based on that foundation.”
Why did you join WHPR?
“As performance testing and assessment have always been important to us in evaluating our breeding policy we joined WHPR in 2017. This gives us a comprehensive independent assessment of how the herd is performing. The ICBF scorer visits once a year to record data on the whole herd. We find the results produced, are a valuable resource from which strengths and weaknesses in the herd are identified and we can make informed breeding decisions. Euro Star ratings are also helpful to potential bull purchasers and give them added confidence that a bull will meet their requirements. Most sales are in the farm yard with many repeat customers. Visitors are always welcome.”
To view bulls that have been weight recorded by ICBF, click the link below to go to the Stockbull Finder. This is an online sales section for bulls from WHPR herds. Search by breed and county to filter down selections!
Stock Bull Finder