Fertility is not an issue for the 200-cow pedigree British Friesian herd run in partnership by IFA dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey and his brother John.
"Milk solids and yield are what we look for in bulls," says John.
The breeding season on their farm at Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford, will begin on April 14. It will consist of six to seven weeks of AI, followed by three stock bulls -- one British Friesian and two Angus -- to mop up.
The cows will mainly be inseminated with the Dovea bull GIZ, who has an EBI of €103, with a strong emphasis on milk production traits.
"He is strong on fertility at €89 but has good milk figures, including +41kg of milk and he's positive for butterfat and protein," explains John.
For the heifers, the bull of choice is RVJ, another Dovea bull, who has easy calving traits.
"In the past, we've used a lot of TIH and CPA on the cows, while SMZ and SLN were used extensively on the heifers," adds John.
With 200 cows to serve, heat detection is vital. "We use tail painting, keeping it topped up regularly," explains John.
"We've never used a vasectomised bull because of the safety issue with them."