Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 February 2018

Meet Biddy - Ireland's top cow

Springhaven Biddy is the top EBI cow in the country, reports Martin Ryan on the latest rankings

Springhaven Biddy 162 EX92 is owned by Robert Troy Jnr from Newtownshandrum, Co Cork
Springhaven Biddy 162 EX92 is owned by Robert Troy Jnr from Newtownshandrum, Co Cork

Martin ryan

A Holstein in her 11th lactation is the top EBI cow in the country with a rating of €342.

Springhaven Biddy 162 EX92 is owned by Robert Troy from Newtownshandrum, Co Cork and has a lifetime milk production of 56,908kgs, at 4.22pc fat and 3.48pc protein.

Sired by Bagworth Zander Keet (BWZ), she has an average calving interval of 376 days and is a previous holder of the top position on the ICBF rankings.

Signalling a trend which is gaining considerable ground among breeders of some of the top yielding dairy herds, a Jersey cross cow with an EBI of €323 is in second place. The cow is on her sixth lactation and is owned by Rockwell College, Cashel, Co Tipperary.

Third on the list is a first lactation Holstein/Friesian cow, Ballykinash dbw Niamh 1286 G79 with an EBI of €321. She is owned by Jim Delahunt from Carrig in north Tipperary and was sired by Doonmanagh dsu Bowser (DBW).

Eight breeds share the listing of the top 2,000 EBI cows; there are Friesian, Holstein, Jersey, Meuse-Rhine-Issel, Norwegian Red, Rotbunte, Danish Red and Swedish Red.

Kieran Hearne, from the Waterford side of Carrick-on-Suir, whose herd recently topped the Top 200 herds listing, is the leading herd in the 2,000 cow EBI listing with 66 cows making the cut.

The Hearne herd is followed by the Teagasc 'Next Generation Herd' at Moorepark, which was established in 2012, with 47 cows listed. Third is the herd of David Fitzgerald, Lisnabrin, Curraglass, Mallow, with 41 cows on the list.

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The top 10 herds commanded 372 places on the list and out of the total of 2,000 listed, 92 animals were classified VG (Very Good) or EX (Excellent) for conformation.

There are 145 cows with an EBI at or over €250, while the average is €215, with €57 coming from the Milk Sub-Index and €117 from the Fertility Sub-Index.

The sire with the greatest numbers of daughters on the list is the February 2005 born bull, Highmount Kenny (HMY), with 83 daughters. He was bred by Patrick Condron and currently stands at the National Cattle Breeding Centre. He has an EBI of €172 and a reliability of 97pc, which includes €66 Milk Sub Index at 99pc reliability, and €50 for fertility dub index at 95pc reliability.

Second highest with 74 daughters on the list was the 1998 born, New Zealand bred, 50/50 Holstein Friesian bull, Hazael Eminence Dano-ET (HZO). He has an EBI of €199 and reliability of 95pc. The third was Dungourney Cremin (DGC) with 70 daughters.

The leading 10 bulls sired almost one third of the listing or 625 cows; concentrating the top breeding within a narrow range of sires.

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