Quality over breed, advises ICSA

20th January, 2012

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) suckler chairman, Dermot Kelleher, has advised suckler farmers to prioritise the quality of the bull over the breed itself when choosing the best bull or AI for their cows.

Mr. Kelleher said “Farmers should not be overly concerned about the breed they’re putting on their cow, be it Limousin, Charolais, etc. Instead they should be more concerned about getting the top 10% – 15% from that breed to ensure excellent conformation as well having the best potential for weight gain. It’s important to look at the ratings for the AI or bull and then make a decision which would be best for the overall herd.

“It’s not beneficial to become overly preoccupied with choosing one breed over another, the farmer needs to do what’s best for the potential of the herd. Be it the bull or AI, you have to ensure that it’s the right one for the cow and the right one for breeding. Having one bad cow means one bad calf but a bad bull or series of bad AI choices will mean bad calves throughout the herd,” Mr. Kelleher concluded.