lim logo1

Irish Limousin Cattle Society, Kilglass, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork

T:+353 (0)25 85036 F:+353 (0)25 85060 E:admin@irishlimousin.com Twitter: @irishlimousin

ILCS

Home

About Limousin

Herd Health

Features

Shows

Sales

Sire Catalogue

Live Herdbook

Classifieds

YMA

Regional

Links

Contact

Home

About Limousin

Herd Health

Features

Shows

Sales

Sire Catalogue

Live Herdbook

Classifieds

YMA

Regional

Links

Contact

Overview:

"Producing quality cattle while leaving a profit". This could be a key wish of any beef farmer and it most certainly is for Gerard O'Donoghue, Leap, Co. Cork. Gerard is farming in the heart of West Cork. Scenic views are a lovely feature from many parts of the 64 ha. he farms. Views of his stock are also eye catching. A suckling beef system is at the heart of this farm. Selling bulls from his suckling herd at under 12 month of age is the aim. Heifers are kept for replacements or reared as beef heifers. July and August are two key months for calving on this farm. A paddock close by to the farmhouse is where most of the calves get their first view of the world.

Ger O’Donahue

Objectives:

The target is to rear these calves for sale as lean top quality beef animals. The 2003 sales data for the bull sales emphasises this point. Over two thirds of the animals are U grade or better. The Limousin breed features strongly on the farm and in these sales. On the cow side some of the stock are 7/8 Limousin. There are also two Limousin bulls on the farm. A key feature of this farm is that good growth rate is also being obtained among the finishing beef stock. Almost half the young bulls slaughtered this year produced a carcase weight of over 300kg. All the cattle on the farm are also visitor friendly and docile.

Limousin cross weanling bull on the farm of Ger O’Donahue, Leap, Co. Cork

Limousin cross weanling bull on the farm of Ger O’Donahue, Leap, Co. Cork

Management:

So how does Gerard achieve this level of performance with his herd? What are the inputs and costs involved? Perhaps the most critical input is himself. His energy and enthusiasm for looking after the herd at calving and right throughout the year is very noticeable. His enthusiasm for development is also clear from his contact with Teagasc, the Irish Limousin Cattle Society and other farming/agricultural bodies. On the stock side most of the heifers come into the herd at 2½ years of age. A number of Limousin cross heifers have come into the herd from the holding of Margaret and Dermot Lehane, Kanturk, Co. Cork. These heifers are selected on the basis of shape, docility and milkiness.

Limousin cross cow on the farm of Ger O’Donahue, Leap, Co. Cork

Limousin cross cow on the farm of Ger O’Donahue, Leap, Co. Cork

Great care is taken in rearing replacements so as to have them in suitable condition at calving. This goes a long way towards having an easier calving season and a high number of young stock going back in calf. Another input on the breeding side is that the older of Gerard's Limousin bulls has impressive figures for food conversion efficiency.

Grassland Management.

Feed is of course an important factor on this beef-producing farm. Grass intake is monitored before and after calving to suit stock requirements. Reseeds are providing top quality swards. Gerard is a participant in the REPS 2 scheme and the grassland management programme fits in around this as well. The main group of cattle getting meals are the young bulls around and after weaning. A 15% crude protein ration is the present choice for the young bulls. Whole crop wheat is in the pit for the first time this year so how it works out is being watched with interest. Clearly there is much to be admired in Gerard O'Donoghue's farming. There is a strong emphasis on having quality stock which involves a role for cattle breeding and the Limousin breed. A close eye is also kept on the beef markets while costs and inputs are also closely watched. Gerard has many plans for further in developing the farm which looks like leading to more interesting days ahead.

Courtesy of Gerard O'Donoghue and Pat Flanery, Teagasc, Skibereen.

Back to top >>>

 

 

 

© Irish Limousin Cattle Society Limited

Tel: 353 (0)25-85036

Fax: 353 (0)25-85060

Email: admin@irishlimousin.com

For further reports, articles and information go to the relevant page or type in topic in the search bar below

 

Website by Show Business