Wiliam O'Sullivan - Carrigeen Herd

Farm Setting

“Standing on the shoulders of giants” is an apt phrase used by William O’Sullivan reflecting on the fact that he is the 3rd generation in his family to proudly herdbook register Holstein Friesians in the Carrigeen prefix.

Family life is at the centre of everything on the O’Sullivan farm from day to day. William and wife Fiona have two children, Hannah and Finbar. His parents, Dan and Ann, help out regularly. Indeed their legacy is everywhere to be seen around the farm. Where Ann’s stockmanship, especially around animal health awareness, is second to none. Sisters Caitriona and Julie also help out, whatever the task, whenever called upon.

This strong family bond helps overcome the pinch points in workload demand throughout the year.

Technically at the very top, in terms of achieving the key metrics of performance indicators as espoused for compact calving herds. “We have the capability and the choice within the Black & White breed to match the top herds on profitability”.

A long grazing season, beginning in mid-February right up to mid-November, embellishes the sustainability pillar of herd performance. The leader-follower grazing strategy is applied. Annual reseeding, use of 100 % LESS, application of protected urea and clover incorporation to increasing proportions within swards, all contribute to achieving the high parameters of grassland performance and benchmarked herd performance.

Breeding of the Herd

“The breeding policy for the herd reflects my goals for herd performance. Essentially the policy is to hold milk production levels, conscious of milk solids yield, increase EBI and increase protein %. I want a robust cow who is hardy. I have a preference for cows with a 70% Holstein, 30% Friesian breed fraction. This level of Friesian helps achieve the robustness required and this breed fraction mix provides a level of hybrid vigour”.

“We have the capability and the choice within the Black & White breed to match the top herds on profitability”.

Herd Performance

Herd co-op performance report 2020

  • 557kgs milk solids delivered
  • 4.25% fat
  • 3.81% protein
  • SCC 93
  • 367-day Calving Interval
  • 100% AI breeding

Prize winning herd in the Cork Club Herds Competition, including Best New Entrant and joined Highest Protein % Herd 2019.