Ballytigue Herd hosts National Open Day 2022

The Ballytigue Holstein Friesian herd of Aidan and Sally Ann Frawley & family are delighted to welcome everyone to attend the IHFA National Open Day. The Open Day is taking place at their farm on Thursday 7th of July.

For companies looking to take a trade stand on the day, complete the forms below and return to IHFA.

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The Frawleys - Sally Ann, Sean, Laura, Aidan, Aine and Conor welcome all to their farm for the IHFA Open Day

Established as a new dairy herd in 2002, the Ballytigue herd is synonymous with quality breeding, strong cow families and efficiency of performance. National recognition of this quality in terms of production and conformation standards is such that the herd has ranked in the top three of the IHFA National Herds Competition on numerous occasions recently. Prestigious Judges Choice Awards for inspection have also been conferred.

In 2019, in conjunction with IHFA, the Ballytigue herd successfully hosted the European Holstein & Red Holstein Confederation (EHRC) Judges’ School. This was the first time that Ireland has hosted this event and 39 high-calibre judges from across the continent competed.

They judged seven classes of animals from the herd, including six classes of milkers. The quality of stock turned out surpassed all expectations with the international judges being fulsome in their praise. This whets the appetite for what lies in store ahead of this year’s National IHFA Open Day.

Coolstar Influence

Aidan’s parents, John and Ann, established the Coolstar herd. Aidan grew up on the family farm in nearby Coolrea, and was very involved daily along with his brothers and sister Desmond, Brian, John and Georgina. All the family continue the strong tradition of farming.

Participation in YMA locally and nationally and taking part in club field evenings and stock judgings played a big part in fuelling Aidan’s passion for quality breeding.

He met Sally Ann, from nearby Kilmallock, and the couple married in 2001. They set about making their own family home with a separate herd, converting what was until then a beef unit at nearby Ballytigue.

The Ballytigue prefix was registered with 35 heifers as the maiden herd and milk production began in 2002. The legacy of these heifers who laid the foundation is still very much pronounced in the herd today with the breeding lines continuing generation after generation.

Milk quota was purchased at every available opportunity in a continual quest to constantly develop and increase productivity. The adaptation of the yard, buildings and facilities to suit dairying was a significant challenge. The high-calibre of the farm layout today is testament to the investment, with hard work and attention-to-detail in the overall design.

Hosting the IHFA National Open Day is a landmark occasion for the family and Aidan and Sally Ann say that they are both proud and humbled to host what is a most prestigious event on behalf of all IHFA breeders.

Oldest son Sean is studying at third level in the Technological University of Limerick. Eldest daughter Laura is studying for her Leaving Certificate. Conor is in fifth year in secondary school while the youngest, Áine, is in 6th class in national school in Bruree. All the children are very interested in the farm and they help out on a regular basis.

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The Frawley family hosted the EHRC Judging School in conjunction with IHFA. They are pictured here with handlers Dermot McCarthy, Damion Storan, IHFA President Patrick Gaynor, CE Charles Gallagher and EHRC Chariperson Egbert Fedderson

Ballytigue Fact File

  • Aidan and Sally Ann Frawley and their children Séan, Laura, Conor and Áine.
  • Located near Bruree in south county Limerick, approx. 1km from O’Rourke’s cross on the R518 road towards Newcastlewest.
  • Farming a total of 260 acres.
  • Calving pattern 70% spring, 30% winter.
  • Milking herd consists of 140 pedigree registered Holsteins with average recorded production of 9,538kgs milk/cow, 689kgs milk solids/cow.
  • 3 million litres of milk, 3.98% fat, 3.33% protein supplied to the coop last year
  • 89% of the herd is scored VG/EX on IHFA classification of conformation including 47 EX cows.
  • Influential cow families include Rolls, Penny, Jill, Goldrose, Daisy, Erin and Shower.
  • The herd will host the IHFA National Open Day 2022 on Thursday July 7th

Grassland emphasis and soil fertility importance

A progressive management approach towards soil fertility and grassland quality is an integral component of herd performance. Aidan emphasises the importance of regular soil fertility testing and adapting management strategies based on the results generated. He is quick to draw linkages between healthy, fertile soils, with increased yields of milk solids stemming from healthy animals grazing quality, healthy pastures. 30 to 40 acres are reseeded annually, and clover has consistently been included as part of the reseed mix for a number of years.

Breeding policy and cow families

The association between functional conformation with lifetime productivity is clearly borne out in the herd.  The selection policy is for solid cows with a natural will to milk. The importance of functional conformation to allow this genetic potential to be expressed and realised is closely aligned. IHFA conformation scoring through the classification and linear scoring system is a key management aid to benchmark progress and inform strategy decisions. The herd average classification score is VG88. Parameters of performance used as a benchmark include a goal for heifers to achieve 7,500kgs milk in their first lactation with mature cows expected to yield over 10,000kgs milk.

Examples of some of the deep pedigree, consistent performance cow families include;

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Ballytigue Sanchez Rolls EX95 4E (EX96 mammary)

Ballytigue Sanchez Rolls EX95 4E

  • She has recorded an average of 13,133kgs milk per lactation with a lifetime combined fat & protein production of 5,325kgs milk solids.
  • Her achievements include Best Senior Cow Limerick Clare Friesian Breeders Club two years in a row.
  • Her granddaughter Ballytigue Manouk Rolls VG88 (dam is EX92 3E Wyman) recorded 2nd lactation yield of 11,391kgs milk, 847kgs milk solids, 3.92% fat, 3.52% protein.
  • Other members of the Rolls family include Ballytigue Glen Rolls EX92 5E, Ballytigue Roxell Rolls EX90 2E, Ballytigue Twist Rolls EX93 4E, Ballytigue McCutchen Rolls VG89, Ballytigue Rolls 1836 EX, Ballytigue Golden Dreams Rolls EX93 2E and her daughter Ballytigue Alex Rolls 1843 EX.
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Ballytigue Sanchez Penny EX94 4E

Ballytigue Sanchez Penny EX94 4E

  • Recorded over 11,000kgs milk per lactation in her previous four consecutive lactations, with an average of 1,016kgs milk solids per lactation.
  • Her daughter Ballytigue Goldchip Penny EX94 3E was exhibited successfully at the Baileys Champion Cow Competition 2019.
  • Her granddaughter Ballytigue Mogul Penny EX94 2E is a third generation Ballytigue bred EX94 dam. In her three completed lactations to date she has recorded over 10,000kgs milk with milk solids to 938kgs. Her daughters include Ballytigue Casper Penny VG87 in her second lactation and Ballytigue Rager Penny VG87 2-year-old, VG88 mammary, 12th gen VG/EX.

Ballytigue Gold Chip Erin EX94 5E

  • Bred from an EX92 2E dam and EX92 4E grand dam who had great longevity completing 11 lactations in the herd.
  • She has completed five consecutive 11,000kg lactations averaging 754kgs milk solids per lactation.
  • Tracing back to Diamond Award cow Ballytigue Erin 2 EX92 4E, other members of the Erin family include Ballytigue Talent Erin EX90, Ballytigue Erin 860 EX92 2E, Ballytigue Erin 550 EX90 3E, Ballytigue Erin 1543 EX91 2E, Ballytigue Dempsey Erin VG89, Ballytigue Boxer Erin EX92, Ballytigue Golden Dreams Erin EX91 2E
  • Ballytigue Alex Shower VG 88
  • 11th gen VG/EX dam
  • Her dam Ballytigue Palermo Shower EX95 3E is maternal sister to Ballytigue Gold Chip Shower EX94 2E Reserve Champion Baileys Champion Cow Competition 2019.

Ballytigue Palermo Goldrose EX93 4E

  • Sixth generation VG/EX dam from Maunsell Goldrose ET VG88
  • 4th lactation yield 11,690kgs milk, 897kgs milk solids (327 d)
  • Her dam Ballytigue Sanchez Goldrose EX94 5E recorded a lifetime yield of 76,336kgs milk, 5,132kgs milk solids in a lifetime of seven lactations.
  • She is maternal sister to Ballytigue Gold Chip Goldrose EX93 4E and Ballytigue Seaver Goldrose EX 91 3E.

Ballytigue Bertha 1867 EX91

  • 3rd lactation yield 9,850kgs milk, 753kgs milk solids, 4.19% fat, 3.45% protein
  • Her grand dam Ballytigue Ross Bertha is an IHFA Diamond Award recipient for 3,000kgs protein production
  • She is maternal sister to Ballytigue Punch Bertha VG86, VG 2 Year Old with a yield of 9,614kgs milk, 718kgs milk solids in her first lactation

Ballytigue Ponder Sylvia EX 2E

  • Currently in her seventh lactation with a lifetime yield to date of 61,383kgs milk, 5,174kgs milk solids, 4.94% fat, 3.49% protein
  • 5th lactation yield 10,576kgs milk, 892kgs milk solids, 4.90% fat, 3.53% protein
  • Daughters include Ballytigue Miracle Sylvia EX and Ballytigue Manouk Sylvia VG85

Ballytigue Manouk Jill EX92 2E

  • Lifetime average yield/lactation in four lactations to date 12,236kgs milk, 926kgs milk solids, 4.21% fat, 3.35% protein
  • Her daughter Ballytigue Epic Jill VG86 (VG 2-year-old) is an 8th gen VG/EX

Ballytigue Ponder Colleen EX92 4E

  • In her seventh lactation with average production per lactation to date of 9,668 kgs milk, 713kgs milk solids, 4.00% fat, 3.37% protein.
  • 5th lactation production 11,244kgs milk, 856kgs milk solids
  • Milking daughters include Ballytigue Alex Colleen EX and Ballytigue Red Colleen 2006 VG88 (VG 2-year-old)

Ballytigue Daisy 1562 VG87

  • This family holds a special affinity as the lineage traces back to the home herd via Coolstar Daisy 6 ET EX91 2E. Born in 1996 as an exciting ET addition to the herd she went on to produce for six lactations with a recorded a lifetime yield averaging 8,520kgs milk, 708kgs milk solids, 4.67% fat, 3.64% protein per lactation.

With the origin of the herd hailing from the initial herd of 35 heifers, the herd has been bolstered with some select purchases of choice cow families over the years. The increase in herd size was achieved organically, aided by the strong longevity and lifetime productivity of successful families.

The IHFA National Open Day will include the Inter-Club Stock Judging, Macra na Feirme and YMA Stock Judging with the tremendous Ballytigue breeding on display.  There will also be an opportunity to view the entire herd with an overview of herd performance and key parameters. To conclude this eagerly anticipated Open Day there will be a celebratory sale of choice youngstock lots from these top cow families who backbone the renowned Ballytigue herd.

All are kindly invited to attend the National Holstein Friesian Open day on Thursday July 7th