O’Leary backs a different ‘Napoleon’ in latest stakes

The Gigginstown Angus herd, owned by well-known business man Michael O’Leary and managed by Joe O’Mahony, has shed light on the reasoning used to locate and use the highly-rated Angus bull ‘Carrigroe Napoleon‘ during the breeding season.

With a replacement index of €166 and a terminal index of €71 on the latest evaluation run, ‘Carrigroe Napoleon’ was selected using the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) Stockbull Finder.

Commenting on this, O’Mahony explained: “Being the top bull on the ‘Stockbull Finder’ and having numerous high-indexed animals in his back-pedigree made him stand out on the ICBF bull search engine.”

Having been weighed several times on his home farm – by Clonakilty breeders, the Appelbes – and being weighed by the ICBF as part of the federation’s Whole Herd Performance Recording (WHPR) visit, the bull has had a consistent weight gain of 1.6kg per day.

As noted on ICBF Stockbull Finder, ‘Napoleon’ weighed over 900kgs at 19 months.

The fact that the bull was also genotyped was very important to the Gigginstown enterprise, as this “dramatically improved the accuracy of the bull’s figures”, according to O’Mahony.

Genetic trend shift

On the topic of replacement index, the ICBF recently noted a reversal in genetic trend in the index in a review of the Beef Data and Genomic Programme (BDGP).

According to the organisation, after years of decline in key maternal traits, genetic trend for replacement index has now turned around and is generating “significant additional gains” for participating beef farmers.

Already, this gain is worth some €80 million to participating beef farmers (in terms of current and future profitability from these four and five-star females), with an expectation that this will rise to some €600 million by 2030 – at which stage the cumulative benefit of the scheme will be fully realised, the ICBF said in its review report.

In addition, the benefits of the scheme is flowing into non-BDGP herds – as these herds are also indirectly accruing the benefits of better replacement heifers and breeding bulls as a result of the BDGP, the ICBF claims.