Tullamore Show 2016

The Irish Aubrac Society would like to wish the following breeders the very best of luck as they exhibit in various classes at Tullamore Show this Sunday August 14th.
  • Daniel Joseph Brennan, Hill head, Ardara, Co. Donegal.
  • Francis Butler, Culvin, Streete Village, Rathowen, Co. Westmeath.
  • Francis & Jennifer Donohoe, Johnstown, Collinstown, Mullingar, Westmeath.
  • Angela Kehoe, Boley, Ballycullane, New Ross, Co. Wexford.
  • Lionel & Ernest Mackey, Ballinclea, Donard, Co. Wicklow.
  • Kevin O’ Brien, Barnaboy, Turloughmore, Athenry, Co. Galway.
  • Donal Quinlan, Cullenwaine, Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary.
  • Kelly Stephenson, Rustyduff, Donard, Co Wicklow.

An interview with Eoin Cooper

eoin cEoin Cooper was the lucky winner of our third sponsored heifer, as part of the Irish Farmers Journal Heifer & Hogget Competition.

Two years one since his winning success, Catherina Cunnane once again caught up with Eoin!

Tullamore show 2014 is one that Eoin Cooper, Beaugh, Ballybritt, Roscrea, Co, Tipperary won’t be forgetting anytime soon as he took home an outstanding Aubrac x Simmental heifer from the herd of Alfie Hanbidge, Stratford on Slaney, Co. Wicklow.

‘On the day I won my Aubrac heifer, Tulip and was absolutely delighted. Tulip joined our herd and settled in immediately, developing into a strong heifer showing a very suitable structure to make a good suckler cow. Tulip was artifically inseminated in 2015 to a Dovea Genetics Limousin bull Brooklands F0959 (KJB). I chose this bull as a first time calver for Tulip, due to its unique combination of easy calving, excellent calf quality and excellent indices. Also this bull is listed as an ideal choice to produce top quality Limousin females.’ Eoin explained.


He continued ‘In May of this year, I was becoming both anxious and excited as I awaited the arrival of Tulips new calf. I had been keeping a close eye on tulip as her due date was Mid-May and on the morning of May 20th I went out to the field to realise she was in the process of calving. After about an hour we welcomed a lovely Limousin heifer onto our farm which was calved without any difficulty.

Tulip is an outstanding suckler cow, a good milker and easily maintained. Her daughter Pink Lady is a lovely quality calf and will make an excellent replacement for the herd.

My plan for Tulip now is to AI her to an Aubrac bull or put her in calf to our own Limousin stock bull.’


Irish Aubrac Society- Raffle 2016

heifer raffle

Following on from the success of last year’s Ploughing draw, we will host a draw this year for another pedigree registered Aubrac heifer.
The selected heifer up for grabs derives from De Buitler Aubrac herd, owned by Francis and Janet Butler, established in 2010, based in Culvin, Streete Village, Co. Westmeath.

‘De Buitlier Kola’, boasts a Replacement index of €190 and is rated five star within and across all breeds.She is bred in a Gene Ireland herd from a line of five star cows within and across breeds.

Koala is a daughter to ‘De Buitlier Heidi’ (Replacemnet Index €157), who scooped 2nd prize as a calf and won the best pair of animals class along with her half-sister ‘De Buitlier Halle’ at Tullamore show back in 2013.

Her grandmother ‘Urlar Freda’ was one of the first cows purchased by the De Buitlier Herd and has a replacement index of €181 with all of her daughters retained in the herd for breeding purposes.

Her Sire ‘Ballinclea Harry’ is a stock bull bought from the Ballinclea Herd which is renowned for breeding excellent maternal traits. He currently boasts a Replacement Index of €210. All of his Pedigree Maternal offspring are being retained in the De Buitlier Herd.

His sole Pedigree Bull calf has just been sold into a Dairy herd at 13.5 months old while the non –pedigree calves were sold as weanlings in October of last year.
Tickets can be purchased- €50 for full card, €2 per line or €5 for 3 lines .

First hand experience with Aubrac Cattle

Alexander McConaghy, farms in Co. Antrim, just five miles outside Bushmills.

Catherina recently caught up with him to receive an insight into his herd of Aubracs, which was recently established.

‘I was first introduced to Aubracs a number of years ago, when I spotted numerous pictures when scrolling through my Twitter.

I visited the Irish Aubrac Society Stand at Tullamore Show in 2014. The breed won me over, so much so I attended the annual Irish Aubrac Society Sale at Tullamore Mart and purchased two weanlings from Donegal based herds.

I then made an additional purchase of a total of 11 heifers in Spring of 2015.’

He continued: ‘ I work off-farm, so I did initially try the use of AI and a synchronisation programme, however it was difficult to catch them in heat.

I purchased a bull from Ballinclea Aubracs, the herd of Ernest Mackey in July of that year and haven’t looked back since.’

‘Aubrac cattle admirable as they are small and hardy at birth, thriving every week.  As a breed they need little looking after, which is particularly important when working off-farm.

To put it simply, they tick all the boxes!’


Crossbreeding Aubracs

Morgan Hanrahan is a suckler farmer based in Westmeath, operating a calf to weanling system.

We recently caught up with him to discover more about the Commercial Crossbreeding project he is conducting on his farm at the moment!

Morgan said:

‘Having always ran a good quality continental bull with the herd, my attention was drawn to some calves developing into just average stock. After looking at different bulls, I believe I’ve found the perfect cross for my cows, the Aubrac. I sourced a young well-muscled bull locally and ran him with a few cows. Now he is going to run with Limousin heifers, with my hopes and intentions to produce an easy calved, fast developing, well-muscled calf.

After speaking with Catherina Cunnane of Derrybrack Aubracs, I’m certain I’m on the right track to top quality stock and I’m looking forward to my first Aubrac calves next Spring.’morgan


We will be catching up with Morgan next Spring once the first progeny begin to arrive!


How do you replace yours?

Replacement Beef Heifers are sourced by Irish Suckler farmers in many different ways . With the BDGP scheme there has never been as much focus in this area. Every suckler farmer has his/her own story as to how they source theirs, ICBF would like to capture as many of these stories as possible.

Whether they are bred in the herd via AI or Stockbulls, bought at the mart or sourced from local dairy herds – there is a variety of paths that replacement females can follow in Ireland before they are selected for mating.

If you are interested in sharing your story as to how you source your replacement heifers, please email your answer to the question below to query@icbf.com, in no more than 200 words:


How do you currently source/breed your replacement beef females and what are your plans for sourcing/breeding them in the future?

Please include photos where possible. ICBF will be profiling the best entries online and in their publications. We would encourage our breeders to consider sending in their stories.

ICBF- Animal Search facility

ICBF has announced details regarding their new ‘Animal Search’ facility.

This facility allows ICBF users to search for females in HerdPlus/BDGP herds.

‘This facility will have a significant impact on the breeding industry in Ireland. This feature can be used by anyone and can be found on the right hand side of the ICBF home screen.’ ICBF said. 

See article by ICBF here 

AI Update- July 2016

The roll out of genetic indexes including genomics is planned for the end of August. With this in mind the Aubrac Society has genomically tested most of the French AI bulls. For the young French bulls with no or a small amount of results on progeny, the star ratings were very low at first. Now that the genomic data will be taken into account, the star ratings of these younger bulls are expected to improve. The ICBF indexes will take into account the genomic data results and combine them with the figures of the progeny on the ground to get to the final index.
ICBF has now launched a female search for the herds in Herd Plus and BDGP. This new ICBF female search will allow the AI Advisory Committee to look up specific females to help choose an AI bull to match them with. It is an important development in that it is difficult to advise the use of a particular bull if the advisor does not know the full pedigree of the female. There has been a lot of AI used on the Irish herd thanks to the Breed Improvement Programme and we must be careful to look up the back pedigrees of the animals before making a decision. Breeders who would like advice on matching cow and bull can now text the tag number of the cow(s) to any member of the AI Advisory Committee if they want the mating to be double checked.

FRENCH SEMEN :There has been some interest shown in the purchase of sexed semen from BayonII. This semen is more expensive than normal straws and will only be brought in on order. There will probably be a new order of straws from France made in the autumn, if anyone wishes to order sexed semen please contact the office before then.

GENE IRELAND BULLS :The new bull for Gene Ireland this year is Calverstown Koala (AU2365). He is a 5 star bull with an index of € 163. His straws are available from ICBF at a price of € 5 per straw (minimum of 5 straws). Ballinclea Iveco and Slaneymill Jack are out of stock except for pedigree breeders who have signed up to the Gene Ireland Programme. These breeders can access the straws of those 2 bulls for free.

OTHER AI :Bulls available through AI companies in Ireland : The stocks of Bison in Dovea have run out. Eurogene has semen from Cesar. He is a bull recommended for cross breeding terminal stock. He is easy calving but does not seem to pass on any milk.