North West Limousin Club Farm Walk 2016

Kieran and Caroline Henry from Tubbercurry, County Sligo hosted the annual North West Limousin Club Herd visit on Sunday September 25th.

Kieran and Caroline run the successful Castleoye herd of pedigree Limousin cattle and the visitors were interested in seeing the way that Kieran gets the maximum return from his grass crop. Kieran and his Teagasc advisor Tom Coll outlined the way that they ensure maximum quality grass for the stock. Kieran is also very particular in his silage making and cuts it at the leafy stage to ensure maximum feed value. Tom advised farmers on testing their silage to see what the quality is like and explained that this can inform farmers on levels of concentrates needed to ensure thrive over the winter particularly for young stock.

Kieran also explained that he uses an easy calving Angus bull on heifers which he has calving at 24 months. Most pedigree farmers wait until 30-36 months before calving their heifers. This is what Kieran called his bonus calf as the heifer is ready to calve a second calf when heifers in other farms are only calving for the first time.

After looking at some of the paddocks and cattle in the fields the group returned indoors to look at some cows and young stock. Tom Coll from Teagasc then led a discussion on star ratings and breeding for the BDGP scheme. This was a lively encounter with some speakers complaining on some aspects of the scheme and also the way star ratings don’t appear to reflect the quality of the cattle. Arthur Breden from NCBC and some of the Limousin breeders were also involved in the discussion which was very informative. There was a draw on the day for sponsored prizes and also a competition to pick the three highest maternal rated heifers from a bunch or 10 heifers.

When all the talking was finished there was tea and cakes for all with a bouncy castle for the younger folk. Overall it was a very successful venture with informative speakers discussing topics that were crucial to success in farming. Kieran was an excellent host and explained how he maximises returns from his farm. He complimented his wife Caroline and her family, the Carrs, on the help, advice and encouragement that they give him and explained that without this backup and support the farm would not be successful.

Acknowledgements

The North West Limousin Club would like to thank Kieran and Caroline for hosting the day and also a particular word of thanks to Tom Coll of Teagasc for attending and speaking at the event. We would also like to thank all those who sponsored prizes and NCBC, World Wide sires and Natural Nutrition for having stands on display. Thanks also to the ladies who provided the refreshments on the day. A huge thanks to all who attended and made the day a success.