Farming

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New focus for Blonde cattle

There will be fewer tall, leggy Blondes in Ireland over the coming years but more commercial meat machines, according to the Irish Blonde Cattle Society.

The society's new breeding strategy focuses on the commercial attributes that the breed excels in, namely easy calving, good muscling, good growth and high kill-out percentages.

The society also intends to enhance milk production, calving ease and fertility.

The Blonde (below) has many good maternal traits, including docility, which will not be ignored under the new strategy.

The Irish Blonde Cattle Society has recorded a 20pc increase in membership in the past 12 months. There are now approximately 150 members who own about 350 pedigree cows.

In August, the new Blonde website, www.irishblonde.com, went live, featuring a gallery of Blonde cattle, articles on both pedigree and commercial Blonde cattle and a classified section where breeders can source animals for sale.

The 'Irish Blonde Beef Bonanza' show will take place at the Carrick-on-Shannon Winter Fair on November 25 and 26.

This will feature the society's biggest ever prize fund. The three commercial classes will include the best bull calf under 450kg, best heifer under 450kg and the best Blonde breeding heifer under 600kg.

First prize in each class will be €1,000, second will be €500 and third prize will be €250.

For more information on the Irish Blonde Cattle Society, contact the society secretary on 086 0743931.

Indo Farming