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

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At the well attended Teagasc Grange Derrypatrick open day (Sept 2012) the benefits of Limousin were again in evidence.

Derrypatrick operates as a grass based spring calving suckler herd on a low cost principle

  • High Stocking Rates
  • Low Cost
  • High Grass use system
  • Restricted cow feed

The key driver for Gross Margin is cost of production. The annual cost of keeping a cow comes in at between €500 and €800 depending on system, so it is very important to have what Teagasc describe as a good working cow.

Such a cow:

  • is easy to maintain, low cost feed efficient
  • is fertile, will produce a calf every year
  • has milk, to rear her calf
  • has beefing ability, so calf will develop into a good carcase

It was LM cows that came out on top under these headings, their progeny performed best to weaning and continued to perform best to slaughter. In addition they had the best pregnancy rates and were the easiest to maintain.

Researchers said that good sucklers must have beef, milk and fertility. When pushed their opinion on the ideal Suckler Cow was the daughter from a LMxFR Cow and a LM Bull. This is no surprise as this type of bred LM cow is producing the goods on many suckler farms.

Now that researchers have identified the ideal suckler cow type the next step for the Derrypatrick herd is to cull out the non performing cow types and focus on beef finishing systems. Here trials will be on finishing period, age at slaughter, grass v concentrates etc.

Teagasc have been sourcing breeding heifers with selection based on visual appearance, LM with dairy in the background and the new ICBF maternal index. They found LM crosses difficult enough to source highlighting the market opportunity that is out there for dairy and suckler farmers using LM to sell suckler replacements. They may also breed some replacement heifers using a LM Bull or LM AI. The replacement heifers are targeted to calve at two and a half.

Grange-2

LMX suckler replacement heifers purchased by Grange, as part of their plan to replace non performing cow types with ideal suckler cow types. These are due to calf in March 2013.

Grange-1

LMX suckler replacement heifers purchased by Grange, as part of their plan to replace non performing cow types with ideal suckler cow types. These are due to calf in March 2013.

Teagasc Grange Derrypatrick summary results 2011 to 2013

Cow Type

LM x FR

LM x SI

CHX

Calving

March

March

March

Cow Pregnancy Rate end May

88%

86%

75%

Cow mature weight August (kg)

630

670

720

Progeny weight at weaning (Bulls) kg

330

295

280

Progeny weight at weaning (Heifers) kg

306

272

270

Yearling ADG at grass (kg per day)

1.48

1.32

1.35

Bulls Live weight at housing 15 months

555

500

490

Bulls Carcase Weight (kg)

431

418

399

Bulls Grade

U+

U+

U=

Bulls Kill Out %

62.5

61

61

Grange-3

Bulls ready for slaughter, LM contempories died U+, 431kg carcase at 62.5% kill out.

 

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Tel: 353 (0)25-85036

Fax: 353 (0)25-85060

Email: admin@irishlimousin.com

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