Irish Pure Friesian Open Day ’12

The Irish Pure Friesian Club open day for 2012 was held on the farm of Mar­tin and Pat Cleary, Hug­gin­stown Co, Kilkenny. The farm is sit­u­ated at the edge of Hug­gin­stown Vil­lage and is home to the Car­rick­shock Herd of Pure Friesian cows. Pat Cleary is the 3rd gen­er­a­tion to farm in Hug­gin­stown and when he came home to farm in 2002 and decided to grade up the herd to pedi­gree sta­tus. The herd had been milk recorded for a num­ber of years at this stage and the major­ity of the herd was bred from AI bulls for a few gen­er­a­tions. The herd has made rapid progress in the last 10 years since grad­ing up and has expanded from 80 cows to 120 in this time.
The Clearys had been using all AI to breed replace­ments for the past 30 years. Angus bulls ran with the heifers and tidied up the cows after AI. AI is still used heav­ily on the farm but now a care­fully selected Friesian Stock­bull is also used to breed sur­plus replace­ments for sale. In fact the herd has gone from need­ing to buy in a few heifers occa­sion­ally to now hav­ing sur­plus heifers to sell every year. The bull calves that were being kept for beef are now being reared as stock­bulls for other local farm­ers with many sat­is­fied cus­tomers over the last few years.
The herd had been bred from mainly Dovea blood­lines over the last 30 years. Some of the best cows were by Hol­w­erda Torello and Dovea Falko. In recent times a mix­ture of genet­ics has been used with some top class young cows bred from sires like Black­isle Glen Albyn, Lake­mead Foun­da­tion, Dean­gate Cen­tu­rion and Cat­lane Marker. This mix­ture of blood­lines has resulted in a top class herd of Pure Friesian cows. The herd aver­age for 2011 was 7000Kgs Milk @ 3.98 Fat and 3.56 Pro­tein, an aver­age cell count of 57,000 and the aver­age EBI of the herd is €114. The 14 week empty rate has been under 6% for the last 5 years.
The Car­rick­shock Herd won the Spring Calv­ing sec­tion of the Car­low Kilkenny Herds com­pe­ti­tion in 2011 and went on to rep­re­sent the club well at National level this year, win­ning the EBI award in the National Herds Com­pe­ti­tion. They’ve also been very suc­cess­ful in the showring with Reserve Cham­pion Cow at the Tul­lam­ore Show. This cow, Black­isle Mabel 57 EX92 was imported as a calf from the Black­isle Herd in Scot­land along with a few more heifer calves. She has proved a very use­ful addi­tion to the herd and was clas­si­fied EX92 this Spring. This was a very good clas­si­fi­ca­tion for the herd over­all with another 35 cows clas­si­fied VG.
The herd has started to attract a bit of inter­est from AI sta­tions in recent years and so far 2 bulls have been selected. Car­rick­shock Glen Albyn in Dovea who is now proven with an EBI of €146 and Car­rick­shock Piet 2 who is being mar­keted as a young sire by Genus/ABS. Some more young bulls have been genom­i­cally tested and a few more should find their way into AI cen­tres over the next few years.
The open day was a huge suc­cess for the Car­rick­shock Herd and the Irish Pure Friesian Club. Over 350 peo­ple attended and it was very well sup­ported locally.
The day started with stock judg­ing and the judge doing the hon­ours was Liam Curran,”Bayvilla” Dun­gar­van. There were three in milk classes, Heifers,Junior cows and Senior cows. Liam com­mented of the high stan­dard and qual­ity of the cows and was very impressed with the over­all per­for­mance of the herd. The aver­age yield 7000Kgs Milk @ 3.98 Fat and 3.56 Pro­tein, high fer­til­ity, EBI and SCC achieved in 2011 was of such a high stan­dard that it should make dairy farm­ers think again on the mer­its of the Pure Friesian.
Hugh Mc Eneaney the local Tea­gasc adviser went through the per­for­mance indi­ca­tors and finan­cials on the farm. The pro­duc­tion of the herd was high­lighted on the day, with 465Kgs per cow of milk solids sold in 2011. It’s a high pro­duc­tion, high fer­til­ity herd and the com­pact nature of the calv­ing pat­tern was given as the main rea­son for the high pro­duc­tion. Most cows calve in early Jan­u­ary and get to milk for a long lac­ta­tion. The aver­age milk price of €0.36c per litre was achieved on the back of very high solids.The farm is heav­ily stocked at 2.8 cows per hectare. The aver­age EBI is €113,fertility is excel­lent at €103 with a six week calv­ing rate of 70%.
Charles Gallagher,CE IHFA, in his address com­mented on the mer­its of the Pure Friesian and the role they have in cre­at­ing wide genetic diver­sity within the Black and White breed. The CE con­grat­u­lated Pat Cleary who had reserve Cham­pion at Tul­lam­ore show which was an excel­lent achieve­ment. He would like many more breed­ers to go out to local shows and pro­mote the breed. It is the “shop win­dow”. He fur­ther thanked the local Car­low Kilkenny Club, the Irish Pure Friesian Club and all who helped out on the day.
He com­pli­mented and thanked the Cleary fam­ily for host­ing such a suc­cess­ful Open Day .
The heifer sale went very well on the day with a full clear­ance of 19 in-calf heifers with an aver­age sale price of €1320. Three bulls sold to an aver­age of €1550 and a top price of €1700.

The Friesian Club and the Cleary fam­ily would like to thank IHFA and all of the spon­sors that sup­ported the Open day and espe­cially the main spon­sor Gain Feeds.

Stock­judg­ing Results:
Over 30 Sec­tion:
1. Pat Flynn 2. Tom Mur­phy 3. Michael Ryan
18–30 Sec­tion:
1. Ash­ling Mur­phy 2. Cia­ran O’Shea 3. Edward Dud­ley
Under 18 Sec­tion:
1. Larry O’Shea 2. Christo­pher Grace 3. Dar­ren Silke

Results of Herds Com­pe­ti­tion:
Pair of Heifers: 1st Bill O Keeffe, 2nd Michael Dempsey, 3rd Pat Cleary & Mar­tin Crowe
Pair of cows: 1st Peader Healy, 2nd Pat Cleary, 3rd Trevor Dud­ley & Michael Dempsey
Bull Prog­eny: 1st Pat Flynn (Bal­lykennedy Lyselle Image), 2nd Pat Cleary (Black­isle Glen Albyn), 3rd Mar­tin Crowe (Bur­fen Nau­ti­cal).
Senior Cow: 1st Trevor Dud­ley, 2nd Fran­cis FitzGer­ald, 3rd Pat Cleary
Junior Cow: 1st Pat Cleary, 2nd Fran­cis FitzGer­ald, 3rd Trevor Dud­ley
EBI: 1st Bill O Keeffe, 2nd Peader Healy, Fran­cis FitzGer­ald
Cow Fam­ily: 1st Peader Healy (Twink), 2nd Fran­cis FitzGer­ald (Molly), 3rd Pat Cleary (Buffy)
Over­all Herd: 1st Peader Healy (Firoda), 2nd Pat Cleary (Car­rick­shock), 3rd Pat Flynn (Cool­mo­han).
Judges Choice: Pat Cleary

Judge: Nigel Raffe, South Africa