The latest breed figures are confirming that there are now 900 fully registered Irish Moiled cattle in Ireland, the UK and other countries around the world.
According to Co. Fermanagh breeder Nigel Edwards, demand for ‘Moilie’ females continues to grow.
Speaking at this year’s Balmoral Show, he said:
“Very little cross breeding is taking place at the present time. All females are fully registered and sold on for pure bred breeding purposes.
“There is now a bespoke ‘Moilie’ Beef scheme for purebred steers. This is also growing in popularity.”
Nigel runs his Irish Moiled enterprise with Michelle McCauley. They show their cattle under the prefix ‘N & M Moilies’ and farm close to Tempo in Co. Fermanagh.
Their herd currently comprises 45 breeding females.
“The cattle make tremendous use of grass,” Nigel explained.
Irish Moiled cows make ‘tremendous mothers’
“The cows make tremendous mothers. They can also be kept out the year round. In our own case we bring the cows in the week before calving. They are allowed to calve-down indoors,” he continued.
“But as soon as the calves are up and suckling, they go back outside with their mothers.”
The breakdown of Irish Moiled registrations is as follows: 500 Northern Ireland, 250 Republic of Ireland and 150 in England, Scotland, Wales and the rest of the world.
The recently launched breed society beef scheme provides membership for the whole supply chain of purveyors of Irish ‘Moilie’ Beef.
Full traceability is guaranteed from breeder to finisher, and then on to the butcher and final consumer.
Farm to fork beef box schemes have been organised from breeders right through to wholesalers and restaurants across the UK and Ireland.
Throughout the chain all animals are certified as pure bred Irish Moiled, accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity backed up by 10 years of parentage, proving DNA testing.
Farmer members of the scheme can avail of a comprehensive support network through the breed society.
A number of leading restaurants throughout the UK and Ireland are now featuring Moilie beef as a regular inclusion on their menus.
The slaughtering and butchering of the bullocks is coordinated by Lisdergan Butchery in Fintona, Co. Tyrone.
The man in charge of that operation is Ian McKernaghan, a world champion butcher of many years standing.
Breeders in Northern Ireland have the option of finishing their own steers or selling stores to Co. Down breeder Robert Boyle, who has his own fully registered Irish Moiled herd.