Commercial Blonde herd competition winners 2016!!
The Creed family Inchegela Co Cork
Micheal Creed and his wife Kathleen , son Mick and daughter Martha farm 75 acres owned and 60 leased , 45 miles from Cork city beside Inchegela Co Cork . The farm is between 1000 and 1200 feet above sea level , The suckler herd numbers just under 100 cows predominantly Belgian Blue x Freisian and Blonde x Belgian Blue/Freisian .
4 Pedigree Blonde bulls are used all sons of top Ai sires Arawn , Aneto , Landais and Ark Diego .
Calving is split 50:50 between July and November , Cows calved in July are back incalf all going to plan before winter housing , these cows receive no concentrate during the housing period just a straight forward silage/straw and mineral diet . Once housed the calves are kept away from the cows and they are sucked twice daily , after christmas this is reduced to once daily , creep is available to the calves at an average of 2 to 3 kgs day depending on age . All these July born calves are weaned by 1st of march , with the July calving cows being turned out in mid April to the lesser pasture .
November calving cows get 1 to 2 kgs of ration per day after calving to help get back incalf quickly plus the same silage mix as above , these cows will be weaned by the 1st of august .
The target animal the Creeds as trying to breed is the 1/2 or 3/4 bred Blonde yearling heifer( breeding type ) , sold from home at 10 to 12 months of age . Over the years Micheal Senior has built up a strong customer base for this type of heifer and finds demand very strong . The bull calves are sold through local marts or privately .
Micheal bought his first Blonde bull in 1992 and has gone all Blonde since then, he finds the easy calving , length and stylishness of the blonde very important traits that add value to his suckling enterprise
Fergal Keavney herd comp
Fergal farms on a part-time basis in Athenry Co. Galway.
He runs a small herd of 25 suckler cows. He keeps a few pure breds but his main focus is producing top quality Blonde x calves. Fergal’s cows are 90% Blue x British Friesian. He purchased his first Blonde Bull in 2012 from Glenwood Blondes. This Bull runs with all cows and is producing super quality stock. Fergal remarks that his weanling sales prices have risen 200 euro per calf since going Blonde. 50% of his cows calf down in Autumn and remainder in early spring. A big emphasis is put on grass land management and producing top quality early silage. Very few nut bags around here!
The Blonde calves are easily born and up on their feet very quickly. Fergal finds this an excellent trait as he works off farm during the week. All his weanlings are sold at 8 months old. The heifers are sold on-line for breeding and the males sold to a local farmer for young bull beef production. Quality not quantity here in the fields of Athenry.