Over 40 years of breeding in Laois Simmental herd

David Brickley runs the Anatrim Simmental herd in Coolrain, Co. Laois. The herd has been part of the Whole Herd Performance Recording programme since May 2017. The farm is run as a family farm, with David’s two sons having a keen interest, helping out when possible. At the moment David’s focus is on breeding animals with good conformation, high milk yield and good docility.

The Anatrim herd was founded in 1975 when Davids father Tom went to Austria and imported 8 heifers. Before they could arrive on farm, they had to be quarantined on Spike Island. Once on the farm they were subsequently bred to ‘Siegfried’ a bull that was part of Dovea AI at the time. David said, “this bull bred exceptionally well and when mated to some of our females, bred 3 animals that went on to be RDS supreme champions.”

The Anatrim herd showed extensively throughout the 80s and 90s with considerable success. A remarkable achievement by the herd was winning the coveted ‘Group of three’ class at Limerick show for 7 years in succession.

Anatrim Jacob

In 1990 the Anatrim herd imported a stockbull from Austria. This bull was Eureka. He was from a high milk yielding dam and proved to be very easy calving, with a calving difficulty of 3.70%. Many of his daughters were retained in the herd as it expanded in the 90s. Cow numbers grew to over 50 at this time. In 2000, Anatrim Jacob was the RDS supreme champion. Semen was sold off him and he went on to sire over 400 calves. He was proven easy calving with a calving difficulty of 2.80% and his progeny had excellent conformation and muscling. This can be seen in his Carcass Conformation index which is 5 stars within the breed.

The current stockbull in the herd is Kickhams Hitman, bought from Michael Keating of Mullinahone. Hitman has exceptional figures with a replacement index of €169 and terminal index of €131. His first crop of calves were born this year and David says that these were ‘easy calving and is very happy with them’.

Within the herd there are some exceptional replacement index animals. The average Replacement index for the cows in the herd is 5 stars across breed. A major contributor to this is the daughter milk value which has a massive average of 11.06kg. This is 5 stars within the Simmental breed and across all breeds. There is an extensive amount of data recording within the Anatrim herd. All calves have birthweight and birth measurements recorded, as well as calf size and vigour. This helps to increase the reliability of the calving difficulty figure of sires used and in turn increase the reliability of the calving difficulty figure of progeny sold out of the herd. This gives the buyer more confidence in the figures presented for any bull sold out of the Anatrim herd.

There are 25 pedigree cows currently in the herd and numbers are expected to be maintained at this. David says, “We were happy to partake in the WHPR programme. The programmes biggest advantage is that of making a whole lot of information readily available and easily accessible to farmers. However breeding is not an exact science so it is still very important for breeders to look at and assess the stock in front of them. We look to the future with optimism.”

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To view bulls that have been weight recorded by ICBF through Whole Herd Performance Recording, 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