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Saturday 21 April 2018

Demand rising for Aubracs as breeders laud fertility rates

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Renowned for their maternal traits, Aubrac cattle are increasing in popularity in Ireland, with more than 120 breeders now registered.

On its stand – row LF, stand 16 – at the Ploughing Championships this week, the Aubrac Society is promoting all maternal traits displayed by the breed.

Among these are its ease of calving, with newborn Aubracs averaging 38-40kg in the case of bull calves and 35-37kg in the case of heifer calves. The cows also produce excellent quality milk with in excess of 4.2pc butterfat, ensuring a high growth rate in young calves.

Aubrac cows are also known for their high fertility rates, with up to 98pc going back in calf each year, helping to reduce the costs of replacements. Top pedigree Aubrac cows in Ireland have maternal values of €364 in the ICBF index.

However, the breed's appeal is not limited to its maternal traits. Breeders maintain that Aubrac cattle are low maintenance and thrive better than other breeds on forage-based diets, resulting in reduced feed costs. The food conversion efficiency and beefing ability of Aubrac cattle has resulted in growing demand for young Aubrac bulls from feedlots for finishing at less than 16 months, after being fed 1,300-1,400kg of meal from weanling to slaughter.

Their meat-to-bone ratio is very high at 62.5pc. They also consistently grade E and U.

For more information call at the Aubrac stand at Ploughing, call Angela Lacey on 051 641106 or visit www.aubrac.ie. Alternatively, drop into the annual Aubrac show and sale in Tullamore Mart on October 26.

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