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.
Over 30 Section:
1. Pat Flynn 2. Tom Murphy 3. Michael Ryan
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