Grenan Herd to host Pure Friesian Club Open Day

Michael and Patrick Quealy & family Grenan Pure Friesian herd, will host the Pure Friesian Club Open Day on Thursday July 21st. Farming together as a company, brothers Michael and Patrick are tremendous exponents of the Friesian breed. Their modern and progressive family farm is a fitting host of this special annual showcase event for the breed. Located just off the N25 Waterford-Dungarvan road with the villages of Kilmacthomas and Kilmeaden in near proximity, the farm is very conveniently placed in terms of location.

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

Michael and Patrick Quealy, Grenan Pure Friesian

Beef from the Dairy herd compliments the farming enterprise

Dairying has always been a main focal point for the farm. Michael and Patrick are bringing sharper focus on breeding emphasis in recent times, implementing defined breeding plans, making select key purchase of cow families and also adopting IHFA classification service to help achieve desired herd production and quality benchmarks.

An intriguing aspect of the farm is the beef enterprise, which is run side-by-side the dairy herd, where all male calves born are reared for finishing and sold to the factory under 30 months of age. Michael rears the calves and manages the beef unit on an outside block. The impressive performance of the dairy herd in annual productivity, in combination with the successful beef enterprise, amounts to a very efficient farming system overall. It is testament to the unique attributes of the Pure Friesian.

Longevity a strong feature of the dairy herd. Milk recording performance for the herd last year averaged 6,787kgs milk, 4.70% fat, 3.60% protein, 536kgs milk solids. The maturity and longevity hallmarks of the Friesian are borne out with 4th lactation cows or older making up 41% of the herd. This mature cohort averaged 7,497kgs milk, 615kgs milk solids. Today there are 40 cows in the herd of 6th lactation or older including three cows of 10th lactation and older.

Grenan Cait 3033 GP80 (first lactation) and Grenan Bea 2344 EX91 exhibited at Piltown Show 2019

Grenan Fact File

  • Owned and managed by brothers Michael & Patrick Quealy, Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford.
  • Milking herd of 170 pedigree registered Pure Friesian cows with all heifer calves kept and reared as replacement stock, with surplus stock offered for sale annually
  • 76 VG/EX cows on IHFA classification (conformation)
  • 2021 milk recording average production 6,787kgs milk, 4.70% fat, 3.60% protein, 536 kgs milk solids
  • All male calves reared on the farm for beef finishing under 30 months of age.
  • The Quealy family will host the Pure Friesian Club Open Day on Thursday 21st of July. All are welcome.
  • Eircode X42 WP60

Grading up the herd to pedigree status was an eye-opener in identifying the legacy breeding impact of cow families. Patrick states that pedigree status attainment was the key driver of grading up. However, there was an added bonus when the grade up process identified the strong cow families underpinning the herd over many decades. Patrick continues,

“Over the years, the herd was always home-bred and we had consistently maintained a high level of records. The depth of breeding of cow families going back several generations sets IHFA breeders apart. This highlights the ability of these cow families to develop naturally into large numbers, owing to good fertility and strong longevity.”

Having adopted IHFA classification service over four years ago, the herd currently includes 76 VG/EX cows in terms of conformation.

“Cow type and quality to suit our farming system is one reason why we started using classification” says Paddy. “As someone conscious of herd production standards and herd quality we want to be moving forward always. The classification inspection gives us powerful, independent information and feedback, which we then apply to our requirements to help achieve our desired outcomes.”

The herd includes a number of strong cow families who consistently perform to a high standard, such as Aida, Rose, Alys, Lady, Chive, Ash, Bess, Lilac, Andrea, Alma, Ruby, Amber, Bea, Cait, Adele and Avril. The following is a brief snapshot of the unique Grenan families.

Grenan Adele 2507 VG86

Grenan PZI Alma 2153 VG85

  • Lifetime yield in eight lactations to date 48,180kgs milk, 3,871kgs milk solids, 4.31% fat, 3.73% protein
  • Maternal sisters from Grenan TIH Adele 1340 EX90 (longevity of 13 lactations)

Grenan Adele 2673 VG85

4th lactation yield 6,882kgs milk, 563kgs milk solids, 4.51% fat, 3.67% protein

Grenan Adele 2270 VG88

7th lactation yield 8,929kgs milk, 707kgs milk solids, 4.08% fat, 3.83% protein

Grenan Adele 2418 VG88 

5th lactation yield 7,261kgs milk, 605kgs milk solids, 4.58% fat, 3.74% protein

Grenan Alma 3075 VG85 

  • 2nd lactation yield 6,983kgs milk, 537kgs milk solids, 4.18% fat, 3.51% protein

Grenan KJY Ruby 2103 EX90

  • 8th lactation yield 8,177kgs milk, 677kgs milk solids, 4.79% fat, 3.50% protein

Grenan Ruby 2562 VG87

  • 5th lactation yield 7,511kgs milk, 669kgs milk solids, 5.18% fat, 3.72% protein
    • Her daughter Grenan Ruby 2903 VG85
      3rd lactation yield 6,906kgs milk, 569kgs milk solids, 4.50% fat, 3.74% protein

Grenan Bess 2673 VG85

  • 3rd lactation yield 9,405kgs milk, 725kgs milk solids, 4.16% fat, 3.55% protein
Grenan Cita 3469 - Champion of the IHFA All Ireland Awards Irish Pure Friesian Heifer in Milk 2021

Grenan Cita 2720 VG86

  • 4th lactation yield 7,600kgs milk, 593kgs milk solids, 4.31% fat, 3.51% protein

Grenan Cait 1615 EX91 4E

  • 10th lactation yield 8,71kgs milk, 634kgs milk solids, 3.77% fat, 3.51% protein
    • Her daughters
      Grenan Cait 2559 VG86 5th lactation yield 7,545kgs milk, 686kgs milk solids, 5.41% fat, 3.68% protein
      Grenan Cait 2348 VG89 6th lactation yield 8,120kgs milk, 666kgs milk solids, 4.56% fat, 3.63% protein

Grenan Apple 2904 VG85

  • 3rd lactation yield 8,455kgs milk, 626kgs milk solids, 4.00% fat, 3.39% protein

Grenan Afie 2108 EX91

  • 5th lactation yield 6,700kgs milk, 575kgs milk solids, 4.76% fat, 3.82% protein
    • Her daughters
      Grenan Afie 2680 EX 3rd lactation yield 7,971kgs milk, 591kgs milk solids, 3.70% fat, 3.71% protein
      Grenan Afie 2494 EX91 2E 5th lactation yield 8,170kgs milk,704kgs milk solids, 4.90% fat, 3.71% protein

Grenan Amber 2089 EX90

  • 8th lactation yield 8,161kgs milk, 717kgs milk solids, 5.35% fat, 3.43% protein
    • Her daughters
      Grenan Amber 2857 VG86 3rd lactation yield 7,337kgs milk, 583kgs milk solids, 4.49% fat, 3.45% protein
      Grenan Amber 2457 VG86 6th lactation yield 8,398kgs milk, 652kgs milk solids, 4.28% fat, 3.48% protein

Grenan Avril 2202 EX92 3E

  • 5th lactation yield 8,063kgs milk, 615kgs milk solids, 4.21% fat, 3.41% protein

Maternal sisters

Grenan Frans 2886 VG85

  • 3rd lactation yield 8,152kgs milk, 599kgs milk solids, 3.71% fat, 3.65% protein

Grenan Frans 2766 VG85

  • 4th lactation yield 7,087kgs milk, 644kgs milk solids, 5.53% fat, 3.55% protein

Grenan Ash 2582 VG85

  • 4th lactation yield 6,610kgs milk, 530kgs milk solids, 4.31% fat, 3.71% protein

Grenan Bea 2553 VG87

  • 5th lactation yield 7,874kgs milk, 637kgs milk solids, 4.51% fat, 3.58% protein

A farming system in harmony with Biodiversity

The farming system is finely balanced taking productivity of output and nitrates stocking rate into account. Paddy says that quality is more important than quantity, with the focus on increasing production from existing numbers rather than going up in cow numbers. The farm is managed with an ethos of sustainability and there is due consideration for the environment and biodiversity. The farm includes 12 acres of bog. While in the past there had been notions to drain and reclaim this block to increase the grazing platform, a conscientious decision has been made to leave the bog as is to nature signifying a willingness to exist in harmony with the environment and be proactive towards biodiversity.

Quality grass and grass silage is the main feed on the farm. Average meal feeding per year of circa 850kgs/cow demonstrates the emphasis on grass utilisation.

With all the Quealy family involved on the farm, the excitement is building, and a proud Déise welcome will greet everyone at the Pure Friesian Club Open Day on Thursday July 21st