Working full time as a nurse at University Hospital Limerick and running a suckler farm part time ease of calving was always the priority for Michael O’Halloran who farms at Quin Co Clare. Initially the herd was made up of 50% Shorthorn and Limousin cross cows and 50% PB Angus .” Working 12 hour shifts having a cow that can calf on her own is vital “so using AI bulls with very easy calving figures was an absolute must but it was limiting as to what breeds I could choose.
I encountered docility issues with some breeds and with a young son Ben, and elderly parents it just made working with the cattle difficult
I had been aware of the Aubrac breed but after seeing the at Ploughing in 2015 I was really impressed with their uniformity and high quality especially when cross bred
I initially bought 2 pedigree maiden heifers and today there is a small herd of 10 pure breds on the farm
All cows and heifers calved unassisted (bar 1 breech) this year, the beauty of the breed for me is the calf is born small and due to the presence of the F94L myostatin gene muscle only starts to develop heavily after 4-6 weeks and I can honestly say the cross breds are out preforming the pedigrees at the suckler stage
I see a big future for the Aubracs in the dairy herd ,calves command high prices and the dairy cross progeny has the ability to come into good carcase weights and grade well.