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FAR LEFT
BALLYCAIRN - BREEDING
Ballycairn Jocko
Lilian EX93-2E is
from an Italian
purchase from the
DIVERSITY AT ITS BEST
Lou Ella family.
LEFT
Ballycairn Obee
Justice Lilian
VG87, is a
daughter of Jocko
Lilian.
six lactations as was desirable.
RIGHT Ballycairn Justice Accalia
Ballycairn and the McCollums is one of the Oman daughters at
have therefore shifted and Ballycairn which have created
adapted with their herd over great breeder satisfaction for the
the years, with the focus of McCollums due to fi tness traits.
optimising milk production
feeders so each cow has the
effi ciency. Up until fi ve years
same opportunity to show her
ago the herd was milked three
potential yield and components
times a day, but with bonuses
from the same TMR ration.
paid on milk components, battles
Andrew and his father William
to maintain acceptable fertility
realised early on that health
and Andrew and his wife Jayne
traits were important in trying
having a young family with
to breed the type of cow that
children Will and Susannah,
would suit Ballycairn and their
it was a conscious decision to
selection now focuses on high
revert to twice a day. Current
fi tness bulls, endorsed by the bulls
production levels are 9000 litres
in use at the moment - Tennyson,
at 4.33% fat and 3.47% protein.
Leif, Hayden, Active, Ping and Maestro. The cow families that were sourced
The herd now numbers 250
in the late 1990’s have provided a base from which the McCollums have
cows, with 300 followers and
built, generating pedigrees that appeal to AI companies and each year
a number of freshly calved
around 15 Ballycairn prefi xed young sires are entering bull testing schemes.
heifers and young cows are
Of course Andrew gets 20 straws of each to use on his own stock and he
sold from the herd each year,
does use around 20% young sires in the Ballycairn breeding programme,
predominantly directly from the
predominantly on repeat breeders favouring the use of a young sire over a
farm to boost farm incomes.
‘mediocre’ proven sire on these problem animals.
Generally there is no calving
Longer term Andrew would like to calve every animal within 365 days,
between April and June as cow
have one herd group and continue to drive components forward by
management is harder for those
breeding from the families which have components. As the Northern Irish
freshly calved cows at grass,
milk price is not only lower than that of mainland Britian, but the costs
and heifers calve into the herd
of production are greater, he feels it is imperative to look at records of
at 22-24 months, with the two
individual cows and ensure each animal is producing and performing if
grouped herd going out to
she is to remain in the herd. The herd size has remained static for many
graze. The high yielders graze
years now as expansion is prevented by the farm’s situation, in a green
in summer while being fed for
belt overlooking Coleraine and the coastline, so maximising cost effective
maintenance +34 litres (+40
output from each animal is the focus.
litres in winter) and are buffer
The Tinnie family from Holland was one of the purchases which have
fed with TMR, while the lows
certainly worked for the McCollums. Mesland Princess 9705 was a
go out to graze at night as well.
purchased Lord Lily daughter, bred from a VG Sunnyboy and then an
The whole herd is cubicle housed
Eagle. She went onto establish the Tinnie family, producing 100 tonnes of
and the ration incorporates
milk along the way and scoring EX93-6E, as well as achieving 7 stars from
grass silage, whole crop,
her breeding legacy. She is now in her eighth lactation and all her calves
crimped wheat and straights.
have been heifers, with the oldest four all EX.
No concentrates are fed in the
The fi rst is an EX Boudewjin who is the dam of Ballycairn Garter Tinnie,
parlour or in out of parlour
THE JOURNAL OCTOBER 2009 23
e5-09 Ballycairn.indd 3 23/09/2009 12:36:17
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