Rosaleen O'Reilly - Castlefergus
The hinterland of Newmarket-On-Fergus and Quinn in east County Clare is home to the Castlefergus herd of Rosaleen O’Reilly. Farming on mixed soils, predominantly limestone-based, Rosaleen is acutely aware of the nature-rich surroundings of her local environment.
Her focus in terms of herd productivity is to get the most from a limited land base, farmed to the optimum sustainability.
The banks of the river Rhine, a tributary of the river Fergus which flows through Ennis town, provides a natural boundary to her farm. A special area of conservation, left entirely to nature without intervention, is another unique aspect of the farm having a major impact on rich biodiversity levels including trees, shrubs, wildlife and flora and fauna.
Breeding of the Herd
Currently there are 16 cows of 5th lactation or older in the herd, an indication of longevity. A mature herd is a major factor in reducing the carbon footprint.
Castlefergus OMan Cora EX91 5E and Castlefergus JYX Lily EX92 6E are both IHFA Diamond Award recipients, the two oldest cows in the herd both currently in their 9th lactations. Both award winning cows have accumulated lifetime milk yields over 95,000kgs milk each with milk solids yield to 7,550kgs, 4.28% fat, 3.64% protein.
These mature cows, trouble free with tremendous longevity and in prime health, classified to Excellent standard of conformation, are exemplary testimonials of the balanced breeding results achieved by Rosaleen.
“I try to breed for a good, strong functional cow with longevity who will transmit the qualities and characteristics that are important”
Milk recorded performance for the herd last year was 8,974kgs milk, 657kgs milk solids, 3.93% fat, 3.40% protein. Overall SCC of 54 indicates a consistantly high level of animal health throughout the year. 37% of the herd consisted of cows in their 4thlactation or older.
Currently there are 35 cows/heifers classified VG/EX on IHFA conformation.