Barry Muldowney’s farm a suckler enterprise in Grovine just outside Kilkenny City.
A number of years back, he made the decision to move to a Simmental-based suckler herd with a view to breeding high-end replacement heifers.
Over the years, he has built his herd up and now runs 35 Simmental-cross cows calving from October to the end of January.
His ideal cow-type is a Simmental-cross as “she has the ability to calve and rear that calf to its maximum potential”.
Docility is also paramount for the suckler farmer as he is mostly handling his animals on his own. “I find the Simmental animals are very manageable, docile and a pleasure to work with.”
The Kilkenny native decided to concentrate on breeding replacement heifers for the suckler herd and, with that in mind, selected Simmental as his choice of stockbull.
He acquired his current bull, Glynwood Highwayman, at an Irish Simmental Cattle Society sale in Tullamore.
The bull is producing “exceptional” bulls and heifers; Barry sells all his male progeny as either weanling bulls in October or young stores in April at Kilkenny Mart.
He finds that quality offspring are competing with all breeds, and he has noticed that his progeny tends to out-weigh most others.
For the first number of years, Barry retained most of his heifers. However, now he is in a position whereby he has surplus females to sell.
Where possible, he likes to offer these heifers for sale at specially organised sales and will have a selection at the society’s upcoming sale next week.
Breeding heifer sale
Next Wednesday evening’s sale at Roscommon has in total 113 heifers catalogued.
- 13 in-calf heifers;
- 90 maiden heifers;
- 10 weanling heifers.
This sale will start at 6 pm sharp with viewing between 4.45 pm & 5.45 pm. This society will hold the sale online in conjunction with LSL Auctions.
You can view the catalogue, which contains breeding and evaluations, here.
Some of Barry’s heifers on offer:
The key attributes of Irish Simmental as outlined by the Irish Simmental Cattle Society:
- Maternal abilities –Replacement heifers/cows must have enough milk to rear their calves to full potential. Simmental is the breed whose background guarantees milk supply.
- Growth rate –Simmental, being a continental breed, that is very strong on growth rate, ensures that offspring will mature early, well ahead of any 30-month deadlines.
- Ease of calving– Simmental has the reputation as being a very easy calving continental breed, an attribute that is now more important than ever due to the increased number of part-time farmers involved in suckling.
- Docility– Having cattle that are easily handled and not excitable adds to improved herd performance, an objective that is easily achieved by using Simmental.
- Muscularity –Today’s Simmental bull is well muscled. This is evident by the increase in demand for Simmental weanling bull calves for finishing.
For more information, contact the society on 057 92 24577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org