Blues put the bonus on beef!
"Blue bulls put the bonus on our beef,” asserts Samuel John Barbour, who farms between the mountains and the sea at Moneydarragh, Annalong.
A batch of nine crossbred Blues he supplied to Dunbia this month were all over 400kg at 16 to 17 months old with an average weight of 486kg. Of these nine, six were grade U and three were graded R.
“The British Blue is the ultimate terminal beef sire and has added a real beef bonus to the suckler enterprise we founded 10 years ago,” Samuel John added.
“Other breeds of bulls have been used on our suckler herd of crossbred Simmental, Charolais and Blue cows, but real progress was made when the first of our two British Blue bulls was bought from a neighbour.
“Blue bred cattle finish faster and with a better killing out percentage to leave us with more money in the hand at a time when margins are under huge pressure.
“As on many Kingdom of Mourne farms with limited acreage having off farm employment is essential so I only get a lot of chores around home done on a Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. With time limited the docility of the Blue is another huge advantage as working with quiet cattle is a pleasure and makes farming safer for all on a family farm.
“Especially as the crossbred Blue calf has a light birth weight for easier calving yet grows fast to finish early.”
Commenting fellow Kilkeel farmer Ivan Gordon, chairman of the NI Blue Cattle Breeders’ Club, noted that Samuel John’s experience with Blue bred cattle on the farm and on the meat plant docket was borne out by independent trials.
“These showed that the purebred British Blue has excellent food conversion figures, some 13% better than seen in other continental breeds. The breed also has a very high boning out percentage of up to 85% with an excellent yield of top price cuts. The meat from both pure and crossbred Blues is very lean and has a much lower fat content than other breeds, all plus points with processors, retailers and consumers.”
Ivan Gordon also reminds dairy and suckler herd owners that 22 bulls and eight females are entered for the Danske Bank sponsored British Blue Cattle Society Autumn Show and Sale in Moira Arena on Sat, Nov 3.
Conducted under National Beef Association warranty conditions the auction starts at 1pm following judging from 10.30am by Gail Ellis of Cornwall.
To attend exit the Ulster M1 at junction 9, sign posted Moira and International Airport, onto the roundabout to take the A3 towards Lisburn before turning right into Meadow Road. Moira Arena at Trummery is then located on the right beside several other businesses
For details and catalogues contact auctioneer Michael Taaffe in Co Louth, ph; (00 353) 41-9881288 or NI British Blue Club secretary Libby Young, ph; 07740 511475.
Catalogues can also be viewed or downloaded from www.britishbluecattle.org
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Source: newsroom - farmingnewsdaily.co.uk