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

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Richard Tyrell farms 400 map acres on the outskirts of Edenderry, Co. Offaly. 100 acres of this is a tillage operation with the remainder to livestock production. A suckler herd is kept of 145 cows mainly bred Limousin with some remnants of Simmental blood in the older cows. All cows are mated to Limousin, with 4 stock bulls kept on the farm.

In the past Richard’s calving pattern was 60/40 autumn/spring. This system was proving too costly due to the higher feed & bedding costs.   Now this has changed to spring calving due to. To emphasise the cost factor the spring calving cows are on a diet of 50kgs of 2/3 straw and 1/3 straw while the autumn calving heifers are fed 60kgs of top quality silage maize and ration. 20 heifers are still calved in autumn mainly to give them chance to recover and grow before being let to the bull in late spring.

Limousin commerical cows

Commerical  Limousin cows and calves on the farm of Richard Tyrell

When Richard started suckling in 1987 his first two stock bull purchases were Pelletstown Gendarme, a Castle Ural son and Barnhill Liam by Hydesville Domino. Sires to follow were Leckee Pride by Espoir and Croghan Romeo (by Ferry) who sire excellent daughters with plenty of frame and their progeny always graded well. More recently sires purchased were a son of Pelletstown Newman from the herd of Roger McCarrick, a Mas Du Clo from the herd of Alfie Percy, and a Sleedagh Solomon son  from the herd of Dan Tynan.  Rischard’s most recent purchase was at the 2008 October Premier Sale in Roscrea where he purchased a classy Shire Milton son from the herd of Ray Carolan.  With plenty of muscling ability in his other stock bulls, this Shire Milton son he hopes will breed more size and be a good female breeder.

The main production system on the farm is a calf to beef system will majority of the cattle fininshed on farm. In 2008 37 bulls sold at an average 446 kgs carcase weight, with impressive grades – 1 R, 1 O, 29 E’s & U’s. Richard also sold 37 bullocks as stores which were too light to finish. The pick of the heifers are retained for breeding with the remaining heaviest slaughtered at an average 320kgs and the lighter sold as stores.To help keep costs down, ration components are predominantly grown on the farm. This diet consists of grass and maize silage, crimped wheat and bought in bulk soya.

Richard likes to deal with facts and embraces any advice or knowledge available to help him with his enterprise.  He is a member of the ICBF HerdPlus programme and finds the information he gets back he finds extremely beneficial. While he says that “ICBF may not have fully perfected the system yet, like everyone they are learning but as the information becomes more reliable it is a big help. ICBF will aid in identification of  high genetic bulls that we need for both beef & maternal to ensure a profitable system. Richard is also a member of the Kildare Teagasc Discussion Group which he find extremely enjoyable and informative. Through regular meetings and farm visits, this group stimulates the participants to share ideas and opinions and everybody learns something new.

During the summer 2008 Richard and his wife Sarah were kind enough to allow fellow Limousin breeders and beef producing enthusiasts onto their farm as part of a field evening jointly organised by the South Eastern Limousin Club and Teagasc. This event was described as one of the most informative events of its kind with the clear message that the Limousin breed is a breed of balance satisfying both the terminal and maternal requirements on the farm. The formalities were followed by a barbecue of Limousin steaks kindly sponsored by Moyvalley Meats.

ILCS Breed Development Officer Paul Sykes with the Tyrell family

Although running a large farm Richard is an active members of the South East Limousin club meetings and kindly agreed to be a steward at the Beef Expo in Kilkenny. Richard also acknowledges the role pedigree breeders play in the beef industry, through their use of top sires they are contributing to improving Irish beef genetics. This he feels is quite evident when you attend the premier sales in Roscrea and see the improvement in quality each time.

For the future it is clear that Richard will stay with Limousin. On his own farm Richard is conscious of good docility and milk, therefore he is going to use some of the society high reliability docility bulls to breed replacements.

Why Limousin Richard ?…..“Because they suit the system I have developed, I’m happy with it and I haven’t found a reason to change. Fed properly there is nothing to kill out or grade like a Limousin

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