Gene Ireland in action
One of the highest profile graduates of the Gene Ireland programme in recent years is the Limousin bull Castleview Gazelle, more commonly known by his AI code ZAG. Bred by Sean O’Sullivan in Co Kerry, he was identified by the Gene Ireland Limousin committee in autumn 2013 and subsequently purchased by NCBC. His semen was distributed via Gene Ireland in spring 2014 and he proved to be one of the most popular bulls ever involved.
As can be seen in Table 1 below, the considered selection and subsequent robust progeny testing of a bull like ZAG vastly reduces the risks associated with using a new AI bull. He was selected from the Castleview herd which has a long history of data recording and his pedigree was stacked with high reliability AI sires like Ampertaine Commander and Ronick Hawk. This means that ICBF can much more accurately predict his genetic potential from an early age and therefore his evaluation is much less likely to fluctuate compared to say a bull coming from a non data recording herd with an unproven pedigree. ZAG was predicted by ICBF to be a very high index bull before siring any progeny and he is still a very high index bull with more than 30,000 progeny now contributing to his current evaluation.
Table 1. ZAG Evaluation over Time
There are currently over 200 ZAG daughters contributing to his evaluation with many more to be included in the next evaluation which is due to be published on 4th September.
Pictured here is a ZAG sired first calver with her HCA calf at foot. This cow was bred by Patrick O’Flynn in Co Cork. She is genotyped with a Replacement Index of €118 and first calved at 24 months.
The advent of genomics has now further increased the level of confidence herdowners can have in the use of new AI bulls. This is evident in the average Replacement Index reliability of the current Gene Ireland panel standing at an impressive 43% compared to 28% for the 2014 panel. These exciting new high index sires are listed in Table 2 below and the full Euro-Star evaluation for each bull is available on our Animal Search facility. Further information on the programme is available by calling Niall Kilrane on 045 521573.
Table 2. List of Bulls Currently Available via Gene Ireland
|Name of Bull
|JOHNSTOWN LOYD 1039
|GAVAN SUMMIT (W)(P)
|RUBYJEN HERES JOHNNY
|ARLINSTOWN HOTSPUR 4TH
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