Aubracs In Ireland

ANIMALS

The first animals were brought into Skibbereen from the U.K. as embryos (1 heifer – 2 bulls) in 1992. Straws were taken from the best bull and used on dairy and suckler cows, mostly in the West Cork region. The next shipment of in-calf and maiden heifers arrived from France in County Kildare in the autumn of 1996.

With a few very interested breeders getting together, the Irish Aubrac Cattle Breed Society Limited was formed in January 1998. In 2007, it now counts over 70 members, and over 750 registered females of breeding age. The Irish Aubrac Cattle Breed Society Limited received official approval from the Department of Agriculture in August 2005. The majority of the members are part-time farmers who have chosen this breed for its ease of management. All registered calves born in Ireland since 2000 are inspected and linear scored.

The Irish Aubrac Society has decided to join the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation and all registrations are now done through Animals Events. The scoring of animals is done through ICBF. This will enable us to prove with official figures the capabilities of our breed and give us ground on which to carry on improving it.

The selection/breed improvement programme aims at maintaining reproduction, rearing and hardiness qualities and at identifying those heifers which will provide the ideal cow. Females must retain their milking and calving ability and their fertility with minimal interference and maintenance cost. The excellent food conversion and conformation must allow cost efficient finishing of the animals. The selection has been based on efficiency rather than show potential only. In Ireland the emphasis has been put on importing quality animals to start a very good genetic pool and retain the qualities that made us choose this breed in the first place.

We believe Aubracs have a place in Ireland as an easy kept mother breed with continental conformation and good temperament. Bulls are used widely to produce excellent replacement heifers for the Irish suckler herd. Weanling bulls have shape and quality and are much sought after by Italian finishers. The Aubrac can be out performed on any given trait by another breed but as a complete package is hard to beat.

PERFORMANCE TESTING

A large number of bull calves have been successfully tested in Tully. Here are some examples:

Bull Breeder Date of
birth
Average
daily
weight
gain
Feed
conv.
Eye
muscle
area
Feed
effic.
Carcass
merit
Overall
beef
merit
Maulbrac Oisin T. Walsh 05/02/98 1.66 5.79 112 115 133 124
Butlersgift Paudie J. Deane 27/07/99 1.77 5.45 112 119 106 117
Westfield Rocky S. Phelan 11/04/00 1.55 6.26 114 109 123 121
Westfield Satchmo S. Phelan 13/03/01 1.48 6.11 112 112 129 121
Calverstown Sultan K McCall 12/02/01 1.67 5.54 109 122 123 115
Calvers.Thunder Clap K McCall 25/02/02 1.93 5.02 110 120 115 118
Rockhill Urbano (AI) E Walsh 12/12/04 2.00 6.26 119 110 116 109
Thornhill Alex S.O Driscoll 03/01/05 2.28