The View from the Irish Cattle Breeding FederationThe Gurtshane Limousin herd is run by Sean  and John Ryan, Gurtshane, Newport, Co Tipperary and it is the ICBF’s Gene Ireland Maternal Bull Breeder Herd of the Week.

According to the ICBF, the herd was founded when eight heifers were purchased from the Cookstown and Turraree pedigree limousin herds and the Gurtshane herd operates a 100 per cent AI policy.

Maternal breeding: The herd has females with maternal index ratings as high as €186, putting them at the top end of the five star category.

Top Maternal Cows: One of the top cows in the herd is Turraree Cathy, sired by MBU. She has a maternal index of €102 (reliability: 35 per cent). She was born on the 18 October 2007. Her excellent fertility is shown by her last two calvings (26 November 2011 and 7 November 2012), both by AI. She has an average calving interval of 377 days.

Key traits of interest: Calving ease, docility and fertility are the main traits of interest. When selling bulls off farm, these are the key traits that purchasers will want the bull to deliver on.

Recent Sires used:  Vision, Sympa, Palmares and Lino.

Breeder’s comment:  “The pedigree cattle here are run alongside the commercial suckler herd. They don’t get any special treatment and are reared very naturally. All of our young pedigree bulls are sold off farm so having bulls fit and ready to work is very important. Pedigree females don’t show the same level of activity when they are bulling as the commercials would so having good fertility in your pedigree females is crucial, especially when you are trying to catch them for AI.”

Image and information courtesy ICBF