Beef bulls for breeding a growing trend in Ireland - Cowsmo

Beef bulls for breeding a growing trend in Ireland

ICBF figures show a growing trend for Angus, Hereford, Limousin and Belgian Blue bulls on Friesian cows.

ICBF statistics have shown a significant increase in the use of beef breed bulls on the Friesian dairy herd in Ireland in the past four years.

While Friesian sires are by far the most popular sire for calves from the dairy herd, the use of Aberdeen Angus, Hereford, Limousin and Belgian Blue sires is on the increase.

Beef breed sires were used on 39.25% of the Friesian dairy herd of 1,205,941 cows in 2016.

This is an increase of almost eight percentage points in beef sires compared with the 2012 figures, which show that beef bulls were used on 31.4% of the 1,007,427 cows in that year.

Figures for 2016 show that Friesian bulls were used on 715,950 Friesian cows last year, accounting for 59% of all sires used.

Aberdeen Angus sires were used on 235,502, or 19.5% of all Friesian cows, while Hereford sires were used on 157,688 Friesian cows, or 13.07% of the total.

Limousin sires were used on 4.7% of all Friesian cows, being used as the sire for 57,756 cows.

Belgian Blue bulls were chosen by farmers for 23,972 Friesian cows, accounting for 1.98%.

Jersey bulls were chosen for 15,073 Friesian cows, coming in at 1.24%.


Back in 2012, Friesian sires were chosen for 66.6% of all Friesian cows, with Jersey bulls chosen for 1.95% of cows.

Beef sires were chosen for the remaining cows, with Angus sires chosen for 14.1%, Hereford for 9.27%, Limousin for 5.17% and Belgian Blues coming in at 2.86%. Sire use Ireland

Dairy sires

Taking a closer look at trends in the use of dairy bulls, ICBF figures show that while the use of Jersey bulls is still at a low level, it is increasing relative to Holstein Friesian.

There was a significant increase in the use of Jersey inseminations in 2016 relative to 2015, rising from 37,616 inseminations in 2015 to 53,262 inseminations last year.

The rising number of dairy-bred bull calves, both Friesian and Jersey, from the expanding dairy herd presents a challenge to the industry. sire ireland AI

The market for dairy-bred bull calves will be heavily reliant on outlets such as live exports to the Netherlands and Spain in order to keep a floor under calf prices.


Source: Irish Farmers Journal

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