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