Pure Friesian Open Day 2019 – Firoda Herd

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The Firoda Herd of Peadar and Maureen Healy yet again hosted the Irish Pure Friesian Club Open Day on Thursday 11th of July. They last hosted the event on the farm in 2009.

The Firoda Herd is noted for high solids, size and milk and for breeding many bulls for the AI industry. The cow type bred on the farm over the generations is Pure Friesian which has developed and adapted well to grassland management on the heavy clay soils of the Castlecomer plateau – a constant challenge to farmers in the region.

Milk recording and AI have been used on the farm for over 60 years. The herd of 120 cows, with an average yield of 6,500kgs milk at 3.74% fat and 3.63% protein, is a very impressive achievement on these heavy soils. The herd maintains a 360 calving interval and the longevity bred into these cows is remarkable with up to 10 lactations over four and five generations.

The excellent conformation of the herd is well recognized with 43% of the cows scoring VG or EX category by IHFA Classifiers.

The herd has many accolades with six cows receiving IHFA Gold and Diamond Awards when they have achieved a lifetime yield of 3,000kgs protein. The herd has also featured prominently in the National Herds Competition and Pure Friesian Herds Competition.

The results of the Pure Friesian Herds Competition were announced on the day with awards presented by sponsors FBD.

Herds Competition Results – Sponsor FBD
1st – Micheal Spillane, Mountain Herd, Fethard, Co. Tipperary
2nd – Bill O’Keeffe, Churchclara Herd, Churchclara, Co. Kilkenny
3rd – Michael & Oliver Dempsey, Barrowvale Herd, Ballybrittas, Co. Laois
Highest Inspection Award – Micheal Spillane, Mountain Herd, Fethard, Co. Tipperary
Highest EBI Award – Michael & Oliver Dempsey, Barrowvale Herd, Ballybrittas, Co. Laois

A Stock Judging Competition was held on the day with results tallied and prizes presented to winners by representatives from Dovea Genetics who sponsored the competition. Tom Murphy of Swiftsheath Herd, Co. Kilkenny, was Master Judge.

Stock Judging Competition – Sponsor Dovea Genetics
Master Judge – Tom Murphy, Swiftsheath Herd, Co. Kilkenny

Over 18
1st Pat Cleary, Hugginstown, Co. Kilkenny
2nd Chris Walsh, Carrick-On -Suir, Co. Tipperary
3rd Liam O’Brien, Birr, Co. Offaly

Under 18
1st Sam Dudley, Templemore, Co. Tipperary
2nd Jack McGrath, Kilworth, Co. Cork
3rd Christopher Walsh, Carrick-On-Suir, Co. Waterford

The event was very well attended with over a thousand dairy farmers visiting from Cork to Donegal and also from Northern Ireland. Everyone was made very welcome with refreshments available throughout the day. All donations collected went to the Irish Cancer Society Relay for Life charity.

Congratulations to Peadar and Maureen & family for hosting a very successful Open Day. The event was capped off with a well-attended Celebration Sale of young stock. A total of 20 heifers and 6 bulls were offered for sale. There was a 62% clearance and the sale average worked out at €1,742 with prices ranging between €1,400 to €2,300.

Among the highest lots were:
Lot 10 – Firoda LFK Snow, a five month old out of Firoda VML Snow and Sired by Lakemead Randolf sold for €2,300
Lot 3 – Firoda JRB Twink sold for €2,000. Born in January 2019 to Firoda LFK Twink 5 VG86 and Dovea Jubilaris, her grand dam has yields of up to 8,648kgs and her fourth dam exceeded 10,000kgs.
Lot 12 – Firoda JRB Judy went for €1,900. Also sired by Dovea Jubilaris, her dam Firoda PZI Judie has milk yields of 8,234kgs in her third lactation.

Other top prices included

Lot 21 – Firoda Jubilaris 16 was the top selling bull at €2000
Lot 15 – Firoda 4424 Sandy sold for €1850
Lot 1 – Firoda JRB Sandy sold for €1800

Peader Healy, Firoda Herd, host of the Pure Friesian Open Day 2019