Breaching the Alcatraz: Straws from ‘record-setting’ Angus cross Atlantic

The semen of a highly rated Aberdeen Angus pedigree bull – dubbed HF Alcatraz 60F by his Canadian breeders – is set to be available to breeders in Ireland in the coming days.

A half-share in ownership for Alcatraz put the buyers back a cool CAN$200,000 (€140,000) at the 2019 Hamilton Farms Bull and Select Female Sale – which is thought to be a record-selling price for a half-interest in a Canadian-born Angus bull.

He is currently being coded by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and is already on the federation’s database.

Bred by Canadian pedigree breeder Hamilton Farms Ltd, the farm currently has 50 calves on the ground from him, from 40 cows and 10 heifers.

The bull has a gestation length of about 275 days and is an easy calver.

It’s understood that Progressive Genetics and Munster Bovine imported semen straws last week for this bull, which has been making waves at the far side of the Atlantic, meaning Irish breeders will be able to look into this bull further.

The bull is jointly owned by Hamilton Farms, and the Cowtrax and BAR-E-L Angus herds, according to Canadian Angus.

The bull’s breeders, Rob and Gail Hamilton, describe the two-year-old as: “very structurally correct; great feet and legs; and moves like a cat”, adding that he is “super muscular” in shape.

The first calves by him in the UK are expected to be born in April and May, according to industry insiders, with the bull believed to be causing a stir internationally following his showing at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, US.

Alcatraz at 12 months-of-age

The bull’s semen is available globally excluding Canada where he is “off the market” at present, according to part-owner BAR-E-L.