My Blonde Obsession And Where It All Began

Written by Ken Hill from Milltown Blondes;

My name is Ken Hill and my obsession began in 2012. Previous to that I had purebred and crossbred Charolais cows
producing excellent calves that made top prices in the mart. But when i counted up the expense and the work
involved and more so the calves dying after a few days it didn’t pay and something had to give. Being a part time
farmer and only seeing the cows twice a day wasn’t working. There when they calved 40kg plus calves wasn’t the
issue, it was holding these big massive calves up to a cow that would kick the brains out of you and face you every
time you appeared in the shed. Farming isn’t worth dying for. I needed more manageable stock and easy calving and
less mortality.
Off to the factory, mart and some private sales went the Charolais cattle. Kept a few quiet heifers and that was it.
Farming is in the blood and just wouldn’t give up so what next. Advert on DoneDeal “7 blonde cross calves for sale” –
never heard of them before. Thank goodness for Google – docile breed and calm temperament and easy calving.
Arranged a viewing of the calves went and had a look. Immediately i was in awe how they just stood and allowed me
to handle them not used to that! Came home talked it through, had the money – decided to buy and few days later
collected them. These meant bucket feeding and the usual calf duties but manageable as they were all good feeders
and enjoyed their crunch as well.
Time flies and a year passed by – soon time to produce future stock. Went looking for a bull and purchased a
purebred non registered Blonde bull by Kilmoney Bruce. Fine big lad and extremely quiet. Off out to grass went the
heifers and himself along with the few Charolais heifers. Extremely hard working lad and by the autumn and
scanning time all was in calf. Spring came and time to see what happens. First calved on her own calf up and sucking
in a matter of minutes – brilliant. One after the next – 12 heifers calved and only assisted one because i was there,
no vet, no calving jack and some calved alone as i was working. This can’t be real – no deaths, no vets bills, all
healthy mad to go. Weanlings did well at mart, didn’t get the big prices but expenses less than half.
2014 is where it has really taken off – i purchased another 4 Blonde crossbred ready to serve heifers and 2 purebred
heifers. Another successful scanning all in calf. 6 heifers and 12 cows all calved with only 2 assisted and all alive. The
bug had struck and onwards and upwards. Wanting to register some of the calves i did more research and purchased
a son of Blackwater Ainsley, purebred and registered. I loaned out my other bull, just in case and knowing i would
have a fall back. Summer came and went all scanned in calf. Bigger and better calves appeared unassisted and
healthy allowing me to work away. Better prices at mart and less expense.
Farming is an addiction and so enjoyable when all works out. More purebred females as weanlings purchased and a
few mature cows. Some of the not so good sold on, and at this stage in 2016 no Charolais cattle. Converted to
Blonde entirely and so happy. Now 2018 and i have 15 purebred females, 15 crossbred Blondes, still my Ainsley bull,
a Terelton bull and a Baltra bull just lately. My only real Vet bill is for the annual herd test and medications are
minimal. My weanlings are getting better each year and more demand for them.
Every day you learn something new from other breeders and fellow enthusiasts. I can’t say i have the best or near
the best but i am a happy Farmer and that’s what counts. They are so enjoyable to work with and docile. Calves
thrive and just get on with it. Mothers have milk and take good care of their offspring. I sold my first 2 weanling
purebred bulls this year and was extremely happy with my rewards. One for a beef herd and the other to a dairy
farmer – Milk and grass fed with creep feeding in autumn weaned at 8 months and sold in spring. I can only get
better at it and would like to thank some of the breeders i have come to know well and trust. More to come i am
sure as the process develops.

Sean Galvin – Terelton Blondes
Dessie Donohoe – Baltra Blondes
Ollie Naughton – Stonelea Blondes
Michael Creed – Derryleigh Blondes
Martin Lyons – Mountbrown Blondes
Kieran Gillick – Lislea Blondes

Regards Ken Hill – Milltown Blondes, Co Cavan 089 4182260.