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

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Jimmy & Betty Brady have been running a commercial suckler herd since1981. From their 18-cow herd bull calves are castrated and sold as stores. Some heifers are kept every year as replacements and the rest are finished to slaughter. Once you arrive in the farmyard you get a sense that Jimmy and Betty pay a lot of attention to detail. The cattle sheds are very well planned and maintained with cubicles at the back of the slats for all the cows. The calves have access to a straw bedded creep area. The Brady’s started their suckler herd with three 1⁄2 bred replacement heifers. PTT was the first AI sire used followed by FL16 and FL18.

Limousin cross cows on the farm of Jimmy & Betty Brady

In 2000 they made a decision to use only the top AI sires including sires recommended by the Irish Limousin Society. Some of the sires used from the outset were Highlander, Ferry, Genereux and Gamin, Ulysses was used extensively for his milk qualities. In latter years they have used Malibu, Lino, Pacha 08, Parisien, Mas Du Clo and Rocky.

Jimmy and Betty have a strict breeding policy, which results in calving starting in October and finishing in December. Cows that don’t go in calf easily are fattened and slaughtered. Cows that are over ten years old that develop any problems are also culled. This means that their cowherd is relatively quite young and trouble free thereby keeping running costs down.

Jimmy Brady with some of his suckler cows on his farm in Co. Westmeath

They place great importance on ensuring that all breeding stock calf easily, has good legs and feet. Likewise their cows must be fertile and possess good maternal traits with the ability to produce and rear quality calves. They also feel that it is important to allow breeding heifers chance to grow and develop which is why they plan first calving at three years of age.

Betty Brady demonstrates the importance of docility in their suckler herd.

When you walk through the cows in the field you can see the results of Jimmy and Betty’s attention to detail over the years. Every cow on the Brady farm display’s excellent conformation with length, width and good locomotion. Coupled with all these qualities is very good temperament, which allows even visitors an opportunity to walk up and stroke any of these cows.

There is no doubt in Jimmy and Betty Brady’s mind of the important role the Limousin breed has played in being able to achieve all they set out to do and the pleasure they have derived from working with such a great breed of cattle.

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