Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 March 2018

Kerry gold - the five-year-old Limousin remains the top choice beef breeding sire


Castleview Gazelle was bred by Castleisland-based vet Sean O'Sullivan
Castleview Gazelle was bred by Castleisland-based vet Sean O'Sullivan

Martin Ryan

A pedigree Limousin bull, bred in north Kerry, is the most popular bull with beef breeders nationwide.

Five-year-old Castlevew Gazelle tops the ICBF sire usage ratings for the second consecutive year. He holds a 50pc lead over his nearest rival on the Top 10 Beef Breeding Bulls listings.

Bred by Castleisland-based vet, Sean O'Sullivan, in his Castleview Pedigree Limousin herd, the bull was snapped up by the NCBC before he got to public viewing at a pedigree sale at Roscrea.

"When Rose Goulding (NCBC) saw him she liked him and offered to buy him for the centre. I withdrew him from the sale. He has done very well for them," said Sean.

"He was a small calf at birth, but he had very good breeding from the dam and grand dam and he has turned out to be very easy calving," he added, describing him as a "once in a lifetime" bull.

He is out of Castleview Camelia and by the sire, Ampertaine Commander. He has an index of five stars for replacement and four stars for terminal, across all breeds, replacement value at €152 and 65pc reliability.

Cornamuckla Lord Hardy is the leading choice of dairy farmers for cross-breeding
Cornamuckla Lord Hardy is the leading choice of dairy farmers for cross-breeding

Ms Goulding said that she was very impressed by the bull when she saw him on the farm where he had been bred. Her judgement has been strongly supported by his popularity with breeders since he came into the AI service.

"He is bred by a very good sire and also has excellent breeding on the dam side. He was light at birth which is good for easy calving and he is quiet - he ticked all of the boxes," she said.

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"I also like to purchase from breeders who are good at providing information on the bulls. Sean O'Sullivan is excellent at it."

He was progeny-tested through Gene Ireland Beef in 2014, and took seventh place on the Top 10 of beef bulls being used on dairy cows, a list on which only two continental breed bulls were listed.

"Gringo is also a good bull from the same herd," she added referring to Castleview Gringo, seventh on the latest ICBF Top 10 beef bulls listings. He has some of the same dam line breeding as Castleview Gazelle.

Charolais and Angus

Two Charolais bulls, Fiston and Cavelands Finian, are second and third respectively on the listings.

Angus bull, Cornamuckla Lord Hardy 222 - the leading choice of dairy farmers for cross breeding - sits in fourth.

Fiston is one of only two bulls from the 2015 Top 10 retaining a placing. He has moved up from third place to second with the scale of usage remaining stable.

The growing popularity of Angus is reflected in the only other bull from the 2015 list - Cornamuckla Lord Hardy 222 which has moved from seventh to fourth place.

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