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Pure Friesian Open Day, hosted by the Dunum Herd
August 20, 2021 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
A Family Tradition- Pure Friesian Breeding over Four Generations at Dunum !
Large crowds gather in Doon for a showcase of Pure Friesian breeding
The Crowe family farm, DOON, Co Limerick on a gloriously sunny Summer day was the setting for the Irish Pure Friesian Open Day on July 18th last. A large crowd in excess of 500 people were treated to a walk through the impressive “DUNUM” pedigree Pure Friesian herd.
Charles Gallagher, Chief Executive and Tom Murphy, President of IHFA welcomed everyone to the Open day.
Everyone received a great welcome and there were no end of refreshments, teas and coffee’s available all day.
Father and son Paddy and Martin&family farm in partnership milking 100 cows Spring calving pedigree pure Friesians.
This is the fourth generation to milk Pure Friesians.The Crowes resisted the temptation to use Holstein Genetics when it was the trend to do so back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. This has served them well producing very impressive results.
The “Dunum” Herd was founded in the spring of 1953. Timothy H. Crowe bought 3 pedigree cows: Ballylane Wallflower, Connello Jess and Example Farm Snowdrop. The herd is located in East Limerick at Carrigmore, Doon. The land has a limestone base contributing to a well drained farm. It is nestled at the foot of the Slieve Felim mountains overlooking East Limerick. The grazing block consists of 36ha which presently supports 102 Spring Calving Pedigree Registered Pure Friesian cows, filling a 609,000L quota for Kerry Agribusiness. Almost all of the milking platform has been reseeded in recent years. All of the latest grazing technologies are utilised, commencing with the spring rotation planner, followed by the weekly grass wedges and culminating with the autumn rotation planner. This is facilitated by software from Agrinet.
The farm has undergone a major investment programme over the last number of years with new housing, slurry storage and a new 20 unit Dairymaster milking parlour installed in 2009.
The herd average for 2013 was 6,696kg 4.38 % Fat 3.51% Protein, 529kg milk solids.
The average production for 4th + lactation was 7,333kg 4.43 % Fat 3.53 % Protein 580kg milk solids.
IHFA Type classification is an integral service towards herd management. Currently there are 11 cows classified EX (Excellent) and a further 38 classified VG (Very Good).
The herd average EBI is € 158. The calving interval in 2013 was 377days and the average SCC was 112.
All Heifer calves are reared as replacements and bulls are reared for breeding with approx 50 breeding bulls sold annually.
Emphasis on herd health is an area of priority, the bulk milk is screened quarterly for a range of diseases and cows are tested twice yearly for Johnes. This level of testing and monitoring is an important management aid in maintaining a healthy trouble free herd.
Martin, although very busy managing a Pedigree herd of Pure Friesians also finds time to run a successful Agricultural Consultancy business.
Master Judge for the Stockjudging competition was Kevin Flynn,”Reary”Herd,Clonaslee, Co Laois. Competitors listened eagerly as Kevin outlined his placings and reason giving in the Heifer, Junior Cow and Senior Cow classes. Kevin complimented the quality of the animals in the stockjudging and remarked that these and the rest of the herd were a tremendous exhibition of Irish Pure Friesian breeding.
Martin then on behalf of the family welcomed everyone to the Open Day and followed up by outlining the breeding and cow family background on the herd.
Lisa Ring, ICBF gave an outline of the excellent performance of the herd in terms of fertility-Calving Interval 377 days and a six week calving rate of 75%. Milk Solids average at 529Kgs per cow.
Francis Fitzgerald, Secretary of the Pure Friesian club thanked the Crowe family for hosting the Open Day. He acknowledged the quality of the herd and commented that the family had worked extremely hard in getting the herd to its current level.
Martin Crowe, Chairman, thanked everyone for coming on behalf of the Irish Pure Friesian club. He recounted that the family have always held a special affinity for Friesian breeding ever since Tim Senior established a milking herd in 1953. Martin thanked Charles Gallagher, C.E. and the staff in IHFA for their help in organising such a successful day.
The Chairman also thanked Master Judge Kevin Flynn and all the sponsors in particular Roches Feeds who were the main sponsors, also trade stand holders for their support.
Charles Gallagher, C.E. thanked the Crowe family for being wonderful hosts of the event. He thanked the Pure Friesian club for their help in the lead-up to and on the day. Charles noted that the Irish Pure Friesian was very much an important element within IHFA as the Black & White breed offers wide genetic diversity. He remarked on the need to reflect later maturity in milk production of the Pure Friesian in the EBI formula. The Mature cows were producing 50Kgs extra of milk solids above the herd average.
This characteristic is a major benefit of Pure Friesians in addition to reflecting the renowned easy care, dual purpose benefits of the breed.
Presentations were made to the Crowe family by Richard Whelan, Chairman of IHFA.
1. Tom Julian, Cappawhite, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary
2. Eddie Barrett, Lehenaghmore, Cork, Co. Cork
3. Liam O’Brien, Birr, Co. Offaly
1. Rory Hannon, Fedamore, Co. Limerick
2. Brian Long, Thurles, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary
3. Bill Hannan, Crecora, Co. Limerick