February 28, 2017 Charolais Supreme Champion at first Commercial Show of the Year
A Charolais heifer from the Veitch Family Lisbellaw County Fermanagh, took top honours at the Northern Ireland Star of the Future Commercial Show in Dungannon and went on to secure the top price of the day.
The heifer born in April 2016 weighing 440kg, first won the Charolais championship and is sired by Ashleigh Admiral out of a Lim x BB cow. The heifer is a full sister to the commercial Charolais show champion in Fintona 2014.
Blair Dufton from Aberdeen was the master judge and when picking his supreme champion, commented “I wanted an animal which was well fleshed, well balanced, and walking properly with lots of potential for summer shows and Christmas. This was a real top of a heifer”.
Mr Dufton went on to purchase the mighty stylish calf to take home to Aberdeen for a top price of £3,400. Brigadoon Charolais sponsored the Charolais section and were delighted to see the Charolais sired heifer winning the supreme champion and selling for the top price.
February 24, 2017 The life cycle never stops at the McKelvey’s ever busy cattle farm
Behind the busy farm supplies operation in Ballynahinch, McKelvey Bros runs one of the top finishing units in County Down. Finishing 1000 bullocks and 300 heifers including 1000 head of Charolais last year. The cycle never stops says Thomas McKelvey.
“We graze 400-500, mainly Charolais because they do best at grass. You can get Charolais finishing at 16-20 months, this is where the breed has the big advantage and passes other continental breeds. We want weight for age, nothing will beat them”.
The new beef unit was built in 2012, the farm itself has 500 acres. A total of 260 acres of grass is grazed and McKelvey Bros knows the significant feeding value of grass. The remainder is for cereals and grass silage.
“Buying growing cattle lets us spread the risk. It lets us utilise the grass better and gives the best use of our intensive finishing”.
McKelvey Bros purchases cattle all year round predominately from Clogher, Markethill, Saintfield and Hilltown They particularly purchase Charolais in larger batches around the 8-12 months to grow them on grass and have them finished between December and March.
Cattle for grass are purchased in February/ March time, looking for leaner cattle and those which will give the highest feed conversion rate to maximise profit.
“We buy the top cattle at the ringside, within a price range for good commercial cattle. Similar continental cattle can be bought but they do not deliver the same growth and profit as a Charolais”.
“The Charolais has growth, some breeders take them too far, maybe to get a bit more money for them but this leaves the finisher little to gain. It’s better to sell them in a leaner condition”.
“You have to look at what it costs the breeder to get them heavier, if they are too well fed they don’t do so well. They lose condition when they go out to grass and they just melt”.
McKelvey Bros tries to keep on top of the market and have a good idea of what happens. We see gradual changes in the suckler market, cattle being sold at lighter weight – the finisher needs to get their chance to do their bit”.
All cattle at McKelvey’s farm are weighed on arrival and treated for IBR, Blackleg, worms and fluke. Marker tags are put in all cattle for easier identification and herd management.
The ration remains the same wheat, barley, sugar beet pellets and maize meal mixed in the diet feeder with silage,straw and vegetables. This mix would be fed at 4.5kg per head up to 7.5kg at finishing time. Cattle are fed twice a day, morning and a fresh run at lunch time bringing the cattle forward.
With the new reduced weight limits, McKelveys don’t want the cattle going over 700kg and incurring a penalty. So at 500kg they are put on the finishing ration.
Thomas says good minerals help with weight gain. “It helps to keep them leaner and in the better grades”.
Two loads of washed vegetables are used every week. The cattle always have fresh feed in front of them and it maximises their intake and weight gain.
“The cattle have to grow to a certain level and they need the frame on them to finish. They cost a bit more to buy but you get them to a better end price more quickly”. McKelveys aim to have in-spec cattle to achieve mainly top grades.
McKelvey Bros cattle are kept mainly on slatted floors fitted with rubber slat mats, with some kept on straw bedding. There are pens of 40 in the new building and pens of 25 in the original sheds. Finished cattle are drawn from the December to March period with 50 going for slaughter each week.
The new purpose built shed would be wanted by any beef farmer, holding over 400 head with open ends and side ventilation. Cattle are very comfortable here, hence maximising growth rates.
“Charolais bullocks averaged about 385 kg for the year with heifers coming in at 345 kg average, we have very few which are overweight”.
The business operation concentrates on bullocks as they leave a better return and finish heavier. Heifers finish quicker but the better weight gain is in the bullocks.
Most of McKelvey Bros cattle go to ABP Lurgan a mere 25 miles away again ensuring cattle remain calm and stress free as possible.
There is an air of calm at McKelveys, cattle are quiet and contented. It is a very efficient operation where the cattle can be fed in two hours, leaving plenty of time for other jobs to be done.
Thomas points out that “you can get a premium with native breeds (Aberdeen Angus) but, you can get the same premium with good continental grades. In essence the Charolais gives the weight we want with the conformation that we want in the shortest time.”
February 24, 2017 British Genetics are a Winner at the Swedish Mila Show
The Swedish Mila exhibition was held on 16-18 February. This exhibition is a small local farm exhibition including national shows for both dairy and beef cattle. Around 60 heifers and bulls participated in the beef cattle show with entries from the Angus, Blonde d’Aquitaine, Charolais, Hereford, Limousin and Simmental breeds.
The male champion, supreme champion and Interbreed best male was the two-year-old 2944 Lee of Simontorp. Lee is a son of the Norweigan bull Grieg of Dillerud with grandsire the British bred Cockerington Urchin. Lee got the impressive show weight of 1304 kg at only 25.5 months of age! The judges pointed out the excellent performance, muscularity but also that he had managed to keep a functional body after this impressive growth.
Swedish Charolais commented, “Their market leadership showed that functional traits and performance can be combined to a produce the complete beef cattle package. You can see this for yourself at the Charolais world congress in July 2018 in Sweden.”
February 20, 2017 Lord Leads the Charolais Trade at Stirling
Charolais bulls met a solid commercial trade in Stirling on Tuesday 21 February at the breed’s official spring sale. Bidding peaked at 25,000gns, nine lots traded at five figure sums and 111 lots sold to an average of £6121 – £161 up on the year with a 13% increase in the clearance rate to 82%.
Society Chairman Andrew Hornall commented, There was no shortage of commercial traders in the market for a Charolais bull today and no wonder with Charolais sired suckler calves topping the markets on weight for age. Everyone has tightened their budgets this year and want a breed that will deliver the weights that the supermarkets demand in the shortest time”.
The 111 lots were topped at 25,000gns by the reserve supreme and reserve senior champion Gretnahouse Lord, bred and exhibited by Alasdair Houston, Gretna Green, Dumfries-shire. Lord, a 21-month-old son of the 17,000gns Balthayock Gladiator, heads over the water to Eire to work in Co Sligo for Brendan and Greg Feeney, Bostonia Herd.
Following on at 22,000gns was the 18-month-old Newhouse Lonestar. This son of the 30,000gns Dingle Hofmeister and the home-bred dam Newhouse Flora going back to the 18,000gns Sackville Claudius, was bred and exhibited by R M Adam and Son, Forfar, Angus and took the fancy of David, Marjorie and Paul Stobart, Scotby, Cumbria.
Two bulls were knocked down at 16,000gns a piece, the first coming from David and Nick Walter, Balthayock, Perthshire with their July-2015 born yellow ticket winner Balthayock Lineup. Purchased by the Blyth family, Hartlepool, Cleveland, the breeding here includes sire Ugie Echo and dam Highland Show class winner Balthayock Fortune, sired by the 26,000gns Balbithan Vespasian.
Matching the 16,000gns price tag and snapped up by Jan Boomaars, Woldingham, Surrey, was Woodpark Longbow, one of the youngest lots of the sale at just 15-months. Longbow is sired by Deeside Gulliver and out of a home-bred dam going back to the 19,000gns Corrie Alan and was bred and exhibited by Will Short, Omagh, Co Tyrone.
Next and the first of two red-ticket winners to sell at 12,000gns was Inverlochy Landmark from John Irvine and Son, Ballindalloch, Banffshire. W and CS Robb, Mauchline, Ayrshire were the last bidders standing on this 20-month-old son of Inverlochy Hercules and Inverlochy Heiress, a daughter of the Black Isle Show champion Lochend Apache.
Another class winner to bring 12,000gns when chapped down to J and W Kellas, Keith, Aberdeenshire, was the Stars of the Future senior male champion Carwood Leo. The 14,000gns Ugie Goldcup son and August-2015-born Leo was consigned by Colin and Fiona Wight, Biggar, Lanarkshire.
The supreme and senior champion was the next to sell for a five-figure sum. 11,000gns was the price that secured the 21-month-old Edenhurst Leader from exhibitor’s A and JJ Forrest, Biggar, Lanarkshire, who had purchased him at Peter and Vanessa Vasey’s Charolais dispersal sale in October 2015. Leader is a son of the 17,000gns Cumberland Show champion of champions Sandelford Harrison ET and is no stranger to the show ring himself, previously being awarded reserve championships at the Peebles, Moffat and Biggar Shows. Jenny and John Rix, Colchester Essex were the purchasers and Judge Chris Curry commented that his choice for champion, “Is the sort of bull that ticks all the boxes for the modern beef market. A good all-rounder with smooth shoulders for easy calving, good length and very correct in his locomotion. He is easy fleshing and will breed progeny that can be finished at any stage”.
Another to secure a price tag of 11,000gns was Bartley Finnegan’s intermediate champion Battleford Laser ET who caught the eye of fellow Northern Ireland breeder’s Stuart and David Bothwell of Ballinamallard, Co Fermanagh. This July-2015-born bull is a son of Lochend Apache and the 25,000gns Perth supreme champion Thrunton Socrates daughter, Blelack Usp.
Selling at 10,000gns was an entry from Harold Stubbs and his grandson Alan Burleigh, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh. Derryharney Lionheart who was crowned Minsups intermediate bull champion last year is sired by the proven high performing short gestation and easy calving Blelack Digger and out of Derryharney Ace who goes back to the 12,000gns Hillviewfarm Perfect. The 18-month-old Lionheart goes on to work in Abergavenny, Gwent for OTW Chandler and Co.
Three bulls then achieved 9,000gns apiece; the first was an entry from the MacGregor family of Allanfauld, Kilsyth, Glasgow. Allanfauld Lord a 20-month-old 11,000gns Woodpark Elgin son was purchased by A Paton and Co, Maybole, Ayrshire.
Next, W Dunlop and Sons, Dunbar, East Lothian bid the same price for the September-2015 born Teiglum Legend. Legend who was awarded reserve senior male champion at last year’s Stars of the Future show, is sired by the 12,000gns Ugie Goldnuget and was consigned by Clark Farms, Carluke, Lanarkshire.
The final lot to bring 9,000gns was the first of two bulls to sell for Hamish Goldie, Ruthwell, Dumfries-shire. Goldies Leslie, a 15-month-old son of home-bred pair Goldies Formidable and the 14,000gns Goldies Banker sired Goldies Dew was knocked down to TA Jones and Son, Dryslwyn, Carmarthenshire.
Earlier in the day Mr Goldie exhibited the August-2015-born Goldies Lancelot sired by the 15,000gns Gretnahouse Heman who was purchased by R Donnan, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, for 7,000gns.
David and Nick Walter were in the money again with an entry selling for 8,500gns also sired by Ugie Echo. This time selling to Bruce MacKie and Son, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, was the 21-month-old blue-ticket winner Balthayock Lookout.
The reserve intermediate champion from RA Milne and sons, Elgin, Morayshire, matched the 8,500gns selling price. Elgin Lampard who is a full brother to the 2015 reserve senior Stirling champion and is sired by the 12,000gns Caylers Gladiator found a new home with Ian Bell, Brampton, Cumbria.
Later in the sale the Milne family offered the 16-month-old Elgin Lightning. AJ Maclean, Heylipol, Isle of Tiree, liked the look of this one sired by the 14,000gns Westcarse Houdini and out of Elgin Floella who goes back to the 30,000gns Balmyle Bollinger and snapped him up for 8,000gns.
J and R Mitchell, Auchterarder, Perthshire were the next to purchase an entry from WK and P Drysdale, Blairgowrie, Perthshire. 7,500gns was the price paid for the July-2015-born Glenericht Luckygirls, a son of Dingle Hofmeister and the 55,000gns Thrunton Voldemort daughter, Maerdy Eula.
Four more entries secured 7,000gns and Alasdair Houston was the first to benefit when his 19-month-old 12,000gns Wesley Equinox son, Gretnahouse Lucas was snapped up by GR and DM Thorp, Bakewell, Derbyshire.
Newhouse Legend was the next to sell for the same price, this time to W Young and Sons, Ochiltree, Ayrshire. R M Adam and Son were the exhibitors of this July-2015-born blue-ticket winner, sired by Oakchurch Icarus.
Shortly after JM Anderson, Banff, Aberdeenshire purchased the first of two to secure 7,000gns for Neil R Barclay, Insch, Aberdeenshire – Harestone Lagan an 18-month-old by Harestone Hercules.
Also in the money for Mr Barclay was the September-2015-born Harestone Legend, who twenty-four hours earlier had been tapped out first in his class. This son of the 25,000gns Stirling intermediate champion Inverlochy Ferdie caught the eye of Greystoke Castle Farms, Penrith, Cumbria.
Leading the bids for the females at 6,800gns was the first of four top priced heifers offered by Hamish Goldie. The 20-month-old Goldies Leona sired by the 12,000gns Goldies Elation and out of the 16,000gns Maerdy Naser daughter Goldies Veil, was purchased by H and H Heron, Newtownards, Co Down, who liked Mr Goldies heifers so much they went on to purchase two more.
Added to their tally were the female and reserve female champions Goldies Lena and Goldies Lassie, who are both June-2015-born Blelack Digger daughters and were secured for 4,000gns and 3,000gns respectively.
Also in the money for Mr Goldie was the 19-month-old Goldies Leah. Bred from the 15,000gns Gretnahouse Heman and Ugie Goldengirl, a daughter of the 14,000gns Goldies Banker She found a new home with N and S Caul, Kirkton of Auchterhouse, Angus.
Averages: 111 bulls £6,121; 12 heifers £3,220.
Auctioneers: United Auctions
Sponsored by HSBC
Monday 20 February 2017
Judge: Mr Chris Curry, Thropton, Morpeth
Class One – Bulls born on or between 06/03/2015 – 09/04/2015
1st – D Muirhead – Firhills Leroy – s. Maerdy Grenadier
2nd – RA & J Blyth – Marwood Limerick – s. Marwood Grandslam
3rd – Mervyn McKeown – Royaldowns Lightning – s. Barnsford Ferny
4th – James Jeffrey – Kersknowe Lord – s. Harestone Glenlivet
5th – David and Nick Walter – Balthayock Leander – s. Dingle Hofmeister
Class Two – Bulls born on or between 10/04/2015 – 30/04/2015
1st – NF Massie & Sons – Blelack Lincoln – s. Caylers Hustler
2nd – M & L Massie – Elrick Lucas – s. Thrunton Fearless
3rd – NF Massie & Sons – Blelack Landlord – s. Caylers Hustler
4th – JHC Campbell & Sons – Thrunton Lancaster – s. Thrunton Doubletop
5th – W P Bruce Ltd – Balmyle Leopold – s. Maerdy Hearthrob
Class Three – Bulls born on or between 01/05/2015 – 06/05/2015
1st – Alasdair Houston – Gretnahouse Lord – s. Balthayock Gladiator
2nd – I & D Goldie – Solwayfirth Landlord – s. Solwayfirth Hannibal
3rd – Adrian Richardson – Aghinure Les – s. Hillviewfarm Handsome
4th – JHC Campbell & Sons – Thrunton Lambert – s. Thrunton Gladiator
5th – Mrs J M Gilchrist – Dundas Lyle – s. Elgin Emperor
Class Four – Bulls born on or between 07/05/2015 – 20/05/2015
1st – A & JJ Forrest – Edenhurst Leader – s. Sandelford Harrison ET
2nd – David and Nick Walter – Balthayock Lookout – s. Ugie Echo
3rd – Neil R Barclay – Harestone Leeds – s. Allanfauld Gambler
4th – A MacGregor (Allanfauld) Ltd – Allanfauld Lochness – s. Woodpark Elgin
5th – David and Nick Walter – Balthayock Langsyne – s. Blelack Forester
Class Five – Bulls born on or between 21/05/2015 – 31/05/2015
1st – Hamish Goldie – Goldies Larry – s. Alwent Goldbar ET
2nd – Mr and Mrs Colin and Fiona Wight – Carwood Lucky – s. Ugie Goldcup
3rd – A MacGregor (Allanfauld) Ltd – Allanfauld Lord – s. Woodpark Elgin
4th – David and Nick Walter – Balthayock Lance – s. Maerdy Grenadier
5th – A MacGregor (Allanfauld) Ltd – Allanfauld Lochnagar – s. Woodpark Elgin
Class Six – Bulls born on or between 01/06/2015 – 06/06/2015
1st – John Irvine and Son – Inverlochy Landmark – s. Inverlochy Hercules
2nd – A MacGregor (Allanfauld) Ltd – Allanfauld Lightning – s. Woodpark Elgin
3rd – W P Bruce Ltd – Balmyle Lancelot ET – s. Balthayock Diplomat
4th – Brian Redhead and Jonathan Watson – Tweeddale Lawless – s. Blelack Blackberet
5th – Hamish Goldie – Goldies Lenny – s. Blelack Digger
Class Seven – Bulls born on or between 07/06/2015 – 14/06/2015
1st – R and H McNee – Benhar Levi – s. Goldies Escort
2nd – S & D Bothwell – Kiiladeas Lion – s. Gwenog Braveheart
3rd – Alan Lawson and Son – Alsnow Lezard – s. Puntabrava Federico
4th – Brian Redhead and Jonathan Watson – Tweeddale Lester – s. Blelack Blackberet
5th – WR Baillie & Co – Baillieston Lincoln – s. Burradon Galaxy
Class Eight – Bulls born on or between 15/06/2015 – 25/06/2015
1st – RA Milne and Sons – Elgin Lampard – s. Caylers Gladiator
2nd – Alan Lawson and Son – Alsnow Loto – s. Puntabrava Federico
3rd – Jack Nicoll Farms Limited – Mornity Lewis – s. Maerdy Hwre
4th – Hamish Goldie – Goldies Laser – s. Goldies Formidable
5th – JHC Campbell & Sons – Thrunton Lancelot – s. Maerdy Hearthrob
Class Nine – Bulls born on or between 26/06/2015 – 05/07/2015
1st – David and Tracey Nicoll – Dounreay Legend – s. Goldies Escort
2nd – Mr and Mrs Colin and Fiona Wight – Carwood Lochness – s. Elgin Emperor
3rd – WK & P Drysdale – Glenericht Luckygirls – s. Dingle Hofmeister
4th – JHC Campbell & Sons – Thrunton Lex – s. Burradon Garibaldi
5th – Neil R Barclay – Harestone Leon – s. Inverlochy Ferdie
Class Ten – Bulls born on or between 06/07/2015 – 23/07/2015
1st – Bartley Finnegan – Battleford Laser ET – s. Lochend Apache
2nd – Will Short – Woodpark Legend – s. Corrie Alan ET
3rd – David and Nick Walter – Balthayock Lineup – s. Ugie Echo
4th – David and Nick Walter – Balthayock Lightning – s. Balthayock Dante
5th – JHC Campbell & Sons – Thrunton Liberator – s. Maerdy Hearthrob
Class Eleven – Bulls born on or between 24/07/2015 – 09/08/2015
1st – Mr and Mrs Colin and Fiona Wight – Carwood Leo – s. Ugie Goldcup
2nd – R M Adam and Son – Newhouse Legend – s. Oakchurch Icarus
3rd – John Irvine and Son – Inverlochy Landward – s. Blelack Giggsey
4th – Alan Lawson and Son – Alsnow Location – s. Puntabrava Federico
5th – David and Nick Walter – Balthayock Lanyard – s. Ugie Echo
Class Twelve – Bulls born on or between 10/08/2015 – 01/09/2015
1st – Gilbert Crawford – Coolnaslee Lofty – s. Maerdy Fiend
2nd – Harold Stubbs & Alan Burleigh – Derryharney Lionheart – s. Blelack Digger
3rd – Neil R Barclay – Harestone Lagan – s. Harestone Hercules
4th – Neil R Barclay – Harestone Lava – s. Inverlochy Ferdie
5th – Hamish Goldie – Goldies Lancelot – s. Gretnahouse Heman
Class Thirteen – Bulls born on or between 02/09/2015 – 19/09/2015
1st – A and M Williams – Castellmawr Llew – s. Goldstar Gentleman
2nd – Darren & Donna Knox – Drumshane Leroy – s. Balthayock Hamish
3rd – John and Jenny Rix – Wissington Lawrence – s. Wissington Highflyer
4th – Valerie & Paddy McDonald – Glencoe Lennon – s. Clyth Diplomat
5th – Alasdair Houston – Gretnahouse Leapfrog – s. Blelack Digger
Class Fourteen – Bulls born on or between 20/09/2015 – 18/10/2015
1st – Neil R Barclay – Harestone Legend – s. Inverlochy Ferdie
2nd – Clark Farms – Teiglum Legend – s. Ugie Goldnuget
3rd – Alasdair Houston – Gretnahouse Longbow – s. Wesley Equinox
4th – RA Milne and Sons – Elgin Lightning – s. Westcarse Houdini
5th – RA Milne and Sons – Elgin Lochness – s. Westcarse Houdini
Class Fifteen – Bulls born on or after 19/10/2015
1st – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Llanwern – s. Hambourg R
2nd – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Loretto – s. Maerdy Ulm
3rd – Hamish Goldie – Goldies Leslie – s. Goldies Formidable
4th – Will Short – Woodpark Longbow – s. Deeside Gulliver ET
5th – W and A Oag – Shebster Lord – s. Goldies Eddy
Class Sixteen – Heifers born on between 01/01/2015 – 01/06/2015
1st – D Sawrij – Swalesmoor Leigh – s. Balmyle Headline
2nd – D Sawrij – Swalesmoor Layla – s. Balmyle Headline
3rd – D Smith and Sons – Lawersbridge Liz – s. Lawersbridge Ferocious
Class Seventeen – Heifers born on after 02/06/2015
1st – Hamish Goldie – Goldies Lena – s. Blelack Digger
2nd – Hamish Goldie – Goldies Lassie – s. Blelack Digger
3rd – Hamish Goldie – Goldies Leah – s. Gretnahouse Heman
Senior Male Champion
A & JJ Forrest – Edenhurst Leader – s. Sandelford Harrison ET
Reserve Senior Male Champion
Alasdair Houston – Gretnahouse Lord – s. Balthayock Gladiator
Intermediate Male Champion
Bartley Finnegan – Battleford Laser ET – s. Lochend Apache
Reserve Intermediate Male Champion
RA Milne and Sons – Elgin Lampard – s. Caylers Gladiator
Junior Male Champion
Esmor Evans – Maerdy Llanwern – s. Hambourg R
Reserve Junior Male Champion
Gilbert Crawford – Coolnaslee Lofty – s. Maerdy Fiend
Hamish Goldie – Goldies Lena – s. Blelack Digger
Reserve Female Champion
Hamish Goldie – Goldies Lassie – s. Blelack Digger
A & JJ Forrest – Edenhurst Leader – s. Sandelford Harrison ET
Reserve Supreme Champion
Alasdair Houston – Gretnahouse Lord – s. Balthayock Gladiator
February 10, 2017 British Charolais Cattle Society appoints Peter Phythian chief executive
Peter brings 35 years of experience of working throughout the food chain – from grass roots to retail. He moves to the post from Eurofins where, as business manager he worked with the global company’s feed analysis, genomics, food legal advice and BRC audit divisions.
He began his career on the family’s Lancashire farm managing both pedigree Charolais and commercial cattle. After graduating with a diploma in agriculture, Peter worked with the Meat and Livestock Commission and the European Food Safety Inspection Services before being appointed MLC Commercial Services’ chief executive. He is a member of the Meat Innovation Group and in his spare time likes to watch Wigan Warriors Rugby League.
Peter commented, “I am delighted and honoured to be joining the British Charolais Cattle Society and I’m very much looking forward to meeting members and working with all members up and down the beef chain – breeders, commercial farmers, auction marts, processors and retailers, and to subsequently making a positive difference.”
BCCS chairman, Andrew Hornall commented: “David Benson has constantly demonstrated his unwavering commitment to professional excellence and to development of the Society over a period spanning almost three decades. It’s that solid foundation which David’s vision has forged combined with Peter’s leadership skills which I am confident will take the Society on to the next chapter. Peter has experience and expertise that will enable us to meet the industry’s ever evolving challenges and embark upon a very exciting new phase of our journey of growth and increasing brand awareness.”
February 10, 2017 CHAROLAIS – KING OF THE TERMINAL SIRES
The suckler system at Wester Rarichie featuring Stabilisers and Charolais was recently highlighted when hosting a workshop entitled ‘Profitable Breeding for the Future’ by SRUC.
The event was held at Wester Rarichie, Fearn, Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands where Stewart Whiteford of JM Whiteford & Co played host to over 80 interested farmers.
He admitted that getting cows to be profitable without BPS is hard work but he is heading in the right direction. The key to this he says is herd health, genetics and quality of feed.
His simplified system uses three breeds, Stabilisers and Aberdeen Angus, criss-crossed to produce replacement cows and the Charolais as terminal sire.
With the aim of making the herd more easily managed, more cost-efficient and to utilise land that was not suitable for cropping, Mr Whiteford decided to ‘downsize’ from predominantly Belgian Blue cows 10 years ago and move to Stabilisers, which he considers to be the ideal suckler cow.
“The Stabiliser has proven dam lines, are not too heavy weight and you can get bigger calves out of these smaller cows.” he says. “The cows are very consistent and produce calves that are like peas in a pod, up to pens of 14.”
For his terminal sire, Mr Whiteford has been using Charolais for nearly 40 years which in his words is ‘the king of terminal sires’. He was firstly attracted by their fantastic length and has been buying his Charolais bulls from the same breeder since the early 1980’s, looking for bulls which are easily fleshed.
He has bought privately for quite a number of years now, preferring to see them naturally grown and ‘field ready’, not over pampered. Bulls are the only animals brought into the herd which is accredited for BVD.
The herd of 190 cows calve in the summer starting on June 1st and in this last calving, assistance was given to just six cows. Heifers are calved at two years of age. Cows are kept for 10 calvings with their first, second and last to the Stabiliser and Angus bulls to produce replacements which are now hefted to the farm.
After their second calving, they run with the Charolais for 12 weeks, being fed 1kg cobs/head/day over the bulling period from August until early October, followed by draff fed on the field for the following six weeks.
These cows in the herd which have run with Charolais bulls are out wintered on a hard standing area with a building for shelter, having come off grass in November according to weather conditions. They are fed on ad lib silage and have access to straw from the bedding in the shed.
The first and second calvers and the oldest cows are housed throughout the winter period. The herd aims for a moderate size cow (under 700kg) and rearing percentage in 2015 was 95% which was helped by several sets of twins.
From a health point of view, Mr Whiteford prefers that stock is outdoor on grass wherever possible, rather than housed which also adds to the simplicity interwoven in his system.
“It’s a very simple system to run, taking one person 50 minutes to feed the cattle, dropping one round bale to every 20 cows.”
In September, calves are introduced to a creep ration of dark grains, barley and a mineral/vitamin supplement. They are weaned in March and sold through the live ring at Dingwall at 12 months of age, with 120 steers and heifers averaging 420kg and £1000 over the last two years.
He states that the high health status of the herd underpins its performance. He puts his money where his mouth is, giving his weaned calves a pre-sale treatment of respiratory vaccines and wormers plus an information package of sire, EBVs and feeding regimes.
Mr Whiteford works closely with his local vet on the herd health plan and says that the money he spends on vaccines is worth it. Stock is weighed, primarily for the purpose of ensuring correct dosage of vaccines. “My eye and the health programme is my guide to performance.”
In 2015, 44 Charolais x bullocks averaged £1148.75 (276p/kg), 38 Charolais x heifers averaged £959.86 (254p/kg), 21 Aberdeen Angus x bullocks averaged £1045.71 (254p/kg) and 14 Stabiliser x bullocks averaged £1045.71 (250p/kg).
Prices were down 20p/kg across the board in 2016 but with a tighter calving and better performance, weights were up an average of 20kg per head, a 5% increase.
Most of the calves are repeat purchases, with the majority of them finding homes in Aberdeenshire. “I don’t push the calves so it gives the finisher plenty of scope to finish them as they wish, fast or slow, feed intensively or graze them. The frame is there for them to work on.”
“You can see why the Charolais x heifer is becoming even more popular, with the ability to finish it at 400kg yet a good finisher will still be able to meet the weight targets with Charolais x bullocks.”
February 9, 2017 Welshpool Charolais sell to 5,500gns
Charolais bulls met a strong commercial demand at Welshpool on Thursday 9 February, topping at 5,500gns with 18 bulls selling at an average of £3675 – up £225 on the year.
Topping the lots and securing a price of 5,500gns from Mr HT Jones, Cardigan, Ceredigion, was the 16-month-old Trefaldwyn Laird who was the first of four of the top lots to be sired by the renowned easy calving and short gestation bull Blelack Digger. Laird who is out of the home-bred dam Trefaldwyn Brilliant going back to the 25,000gns Perth supreme champion Mowbraypark Orlando, was bred and exhibited by Arwel Owen, Welshpool, Powys.
Earlier in the day Mr Owen sold the 17-month-old Trefaldwyn Leader, another Digger son this time out of the 10,000gns Trefaldwyn Usk daughter Trefaldwyn Dream. He was knocked down at 4,200gns to DLG Price and Co, Llandiloes, Powys.
The second highest price of the day of 5,400gns was secured by Messrs Boden and Davies, Mellor Cheshire for their blue ticket winner and February-2015-born Sportsmans Luthur, a son of the 70,000gns Royal Welsh supreme champion Barnsford Ferny and a homebred dam going back to the 55,000gns Perth intermediate champion Thrunton Voldemort, who took the fancy of Carl Thomas, Montgomery, Powys.
Flintshire vet Esmor Evans was also in the money with bulls making 5,000gns and 4,400gns respectively. His highest priced was purchased by DG and E Williams, Welshpool, Powys was the 15-month-old Digger son Maerdy Lofty, who was tapped out first in his class earlier in the day. Then moments later Maerdy Lleuad sired by the Royal Welsh supreme champion Maerdy Ulm was snapped up by RI and G Davies, Wells, Powys.
Commanding a 4,200gns bid from TW Jones and Son, Knighton, Powys was Caylers Lennox, another sired by Digger. This November-2015-born lad was bred and exhibited by Caylers Charolais, Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire.
The Caylers team went on to sell Caylers Longbow, a 15-month-old son of the 10,000gns Thrunton Goldeneye and Caylers Ballerina, a daughter of Doonally New. KR Williams, Camborne, Cornwall liked the look of Longbow and purchased him for 3,800gns.
Next at 4,000gns was the 21-month-old Moelfre Liam who was placed second in his class at the Royal Welsh Show last year. Kevin Thomas, Castlenewydd Emlyn, Carmarthenshire was the breeder of this Goldies Eddy son who goes on to work at Welshpool, Powys for Tirnewydd Farms.
Making 3,200gns was a lot exhibited by Wyn Rees, Llandiloes, Powys. The May-2015-born Hendy Logic sired by Sandelford Gucci went home with GW Roberts, Criccieth, Gwynedd.
Another to bring 3,200gns when chapped down to RH Phillips and Co, Claines, Worcestershire, was Killerton Lawyer. The 20-month-old Lawyer was crowned 2016 Beef South West young continental bull of the year for breeder and exhibitor Patrick Greed, Exeter, Devon and is sired by Alwent Goldbar.
Just behind at 3,000gns was Wissington Lemonade consigned by John and Jenny Rix, Nayland, Essex. The man behind the money on this September-2015 born, Thrunton Hammerstein son was BM Robinson Jnr, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire.
Averages: 18 bulls £3675, 1 Female £1,050
Auctioneers: Welshpool Livestock Sales
Thursday 9 February 2017
Judge: Mr Steve Hookway, Newent, Gloucestershire
Class One – Bulls born on or between 17/02/2015 – 05/04/2015
1st – JD Leavesley – Newroddige Laird – s. Esgob Ferrari
2nd – Boden & Davies Ltd – Sportsmans Luthur – s. Barnsford Ferny
3rd – William Owen – Deunawd Lotus – s. Kiltybane Highflyer
4th – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Lester – s. Falleninch Bodelavie
Class Two – Bulls born on or between 25/04/2015 – 10/07/2015
1st – Highfields Park Farm – Chameran Logan – s. Thrunton Fairfax
2nd – Patrick Greed – Killerton Lawyer – s. Alwent Goldbar
3rd – JAW Rees – Hendy Logic – s. Sandelford Gucci
4th – Boden & Davies Ltd – Sportsmans Lezard – s. Barnsford Ferny
Class Three – Bulls born on or between 20/07/2015 – 28/08/2015
1st – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Larpy – s. Maerdy Dynamite
2nd – William Owen – Deunawd Luis – s. Kiltybane Highflyer
3rd – Jenny and John Rix – Wissington Logan – s. Wissington Highflyer
4th – Arwel Owen – Trefaldwyn Leader – s. Blelack Digger
Class Four – Bulls born on or after 04/09/2015
1st – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Lofty – s. Blelack Digger
2nd – Caylers Charolais – Caylers Longbow – s. Thrunton Goldeneye
3rd – Jenny and John Rix – Wissington Lemonade – s. Thrunton Hammerstein
4th – Caylers Charolais – Caylers Lennox – s. Blelack Digger
Class Five – Females
1st – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Jasmine – s. Maerdy Dynamite
2nd – Kevin Thomas – Moelfre Liana – s. Anside Foreman
3rd – Esmor Evans – Maerdy Joyance – s. Maerdy Dynamite
JD Leavesley – Newroddige Laird – s. Esgob Ferrari
Highfields Park Farm – Chameran Logan – s. Thrunton Fairfax
February 1, 2017 Northern Ireland Sweep the Board at the Charolais Youth National Stockjudging Final
52 finalists from throughout the UK came to the Livestock Event at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on Wednesday 6 July to compete in the Charolais Youth Stock Judging Final as part of the annual National Charolais Show.
The Northern Ireland region came out on top when they secured first place in each of the age groups as well as claiming the Fairway Trophy for the highest scoring team. They started with the senior 19 to 26 year old section where Kevin Reavey was the winner of the Gretnahouse Pepetual Trophy. Then along with his team-mate Eimear McGovern, they claimed the Fairway Perpetual Trophy for winning the pair’s competition with a total of 272 points. This is the second time that 20 year old Eimear has lifted the trophy having previous shared the honour with her sister in 2014.
A delighted Kevin who is currently studying for his property degree to qualify as a chartered surveyor also works at Hilltown Auctioneers two days a week as his goal is to become a livestock auctioneer. In addition he works on the family farm where his dad established their Charolais herd in 2010. He will be travelling to Moulins, France in November for the French National Final of the Charolais Show as part of his prize along with fellow competitor Edward Robinson, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire who was a close second him with 140 points.
Taking top spot in the intermediate 15 to 18 year old section and winning the Alwent Perpetual Trophy was the 18 year old Bartley Finnegan, Dungannon, Co Tyrone who had the top score of the day with 148 points. Runner up on 139 points was Andrew Adam from Scotland followed by George Hollinshead from the North Midlands who scored 138.
The junior eight to 14 year old section winner and taking home the Cockerington Perpetual trophy was 13 year old Erin Quigley, Macken, Co. Fermanagh with 137 points. Oliver Robinson, Towcester, Northamptonshire came a close second with a score of 134 and last year’s winner Hannah Knox from Colchester, Essex stood third with 132.
Master judge Arwel Owen said: “The competitors are a credit to their regions and I was impressed to see such a fantastic turnout. Charolais Youth has gone from strength to strength in the past few years as the Society invests more time and energy into the future of their young stock people and it is very pleasing to see such keen competitors coming from far and wide”.