17-year-old IHFA Diamond Award cow eases into retirement

Laune Bess 522 EX90, 14 completed lactations – A lifetime’s achievement

Laune Bess 522 EX90

Richard & Breda Langford 

A restful and contented on-farm retirement awaits Laune Bess 522 EX90 3E. This follows a productive milking lifetime yielding in excess of 124,000kgs milk production and 9,400kgs total milk solids in 14 lactations. Born in January 2003 Bess is now aged over seventeen years old. Breeder and owners, Richard and Breda Langford of the Laune herd, who farm near Killorglin in mid-Kerry, are rightfully proud of their prestigious pedigree registered Holstein Friesian home-bred cow and they have honourably and respectfully decided to let her live out her days on the farm at her leisure, basking in well-earned retirement.

IHFA Diamond Award status was conferred on Bess when she attained 3,000kgs protein production and also scored to Excellent (EX) standard of conformation. Her total lifetime milk production is; 124,422kgs milk, 4,877kgs fat, 4,526kgs protein, 3.92% fat, 3.64% protein.                                              

She calved-in as a heifer at less than two years of age on January 26th 2005 Bess calved-in for the 14th time on 21st February 2018. An achievement of fourteen completed lactations within fourteen years. Her lifetime calving interval rating is 367 days. In total she was in-milk for 4,102 days with an average lactation length of 293 days. Her consistent ability to regularly go back in-calf promptly each year is such that she only surpassed 305 days in-milk in four lactations, with lactation length extending to a max of 309 days in her 4th & 12th lactations.                                              

She first attained Excellent on conformation in her 11th lactation scoring EX94 for feet & legs, EX91 for rump and VG88 for mammary on IHFA classification.

With a milking platform of 73 acres and a further similar sized out block for youngstock and silage, the Laune herd is all spring calving. 107 pedigree registered cows were milked last year with Richard describing the land type as limestone type soil. 

Laune Bess 522 EX90

“A five-month winter is the norm here most years. The Holstein Friesian is the breed of choice for me to suit my farming system. Over time the breed has proven itself to be very efficient converters in terms of milk solids production, is adaptable to varying conditions and generates a healthy overall return considering milk output, sale of replacement stock and cull cow and calf revenue”.

Laune herd co-op performance report 2019

• 612kgs fat and protein per cow, an achievement 24% higher than the co-op top 10%
• 21.8 litres/cow/day, 28% higher than the co-op top 10%  
• 85% spring 6-week calving rate (top 14% of co-op suppliers)
• 373-day calving interval (4-star performance)
• SCC 87 (top 6% of co-op suppliers)

IHFA Classification captures Longevity
Cows in 4th lactation or older make up 43% of the Laune herd. There are 24 cows of 6th lactation or greater. In total there are 29 cows scored to VG/EX standard of conformation on IHFA classification. 13 of the 14 cows in their 8th lactation and higher are scored VG/EX.  

Bess Cow Family
The Laune herd was graded up to pedigree status in the past and Laune Bess 522 is a home-bred family. Her dam, Laune Bess 144B, born in 2003, recorded a 3rd lactation yield of 7,988kgs milk, 596kgs milk solids, 3.90% fat, 3.57% protein. Her grand dam Laune Bess (ASR) was born in 1995 and she had a high Friesian percent influence with her sire Glensillagh Bellboy, bred by Des O’Connor, Tarbert. Bellboy was a Pennsprings Mr C son from a Moneymore Victor (100% FR) dam scored VG, with the line tracing back to a cow family from the Bracklyn herd of Capt. McCarthy. 

Laune Bess 144B had only one Holstein Friesian daughter (sired by MFX – Mars Ferro) thus Laune Bess 522 EX3E is truly a matriarch of tremendous fecundity such that her powerful influential legacy now extends to 8 generations with a total of 38 family members in the herd, all achieved through natural breeding. Her quality breeding of production and conformation is consistently transmitted through the generations with there now being 10 VG/EX descendants in the herd.  

Laune Bess 522 EX90

Her daughters include;

Laune Bess 812 EX90 3E
• Total lifetime milk production 80,368kgs milk, 3,025kgs fat at 3.76% and 2,905kgs protein at 3.61%.
• Nine lactations in nine years. As a 23-month-old heifer, she calved on February 1st 2008 and calved regularly every year with her 9th calving on February 5th eight years later.
• 8th lactation recorded yield 10,829kgs milk, 798kgs milk solids, 3.79% fat, 3.58% protein.
• Daughters include Laune GSX Bess 363 EX90 currently in her 7th lactation, Laune Bess 712 VG87 currently in her 6th lactation, Laune Bess 715 GP83 (1st lactation score).

Laune Bess 704 EX90
• Lifetime total milk production 66,447kgs milk, 4,927kgs milk solids, 3.89% fat, 3.53% protein in seven lactations.
• She surpassed 9,000kgs milk production in five consecutive lactations.
• 5th lactation recorded yield 11,646kgs milk, 844kgs milk solids, 3.80% fat, 3.44% protein. 

Laune OOK Bess 284 VG89    
• Lifetime production of 45,628kgs milk, 3,567kgs milk solids, 4.10% fat, 3.71% protein in six lactations.
• 2nd lactation recorded yield of 7,343kgs milk, 609kgs milk solids, 4.44% fat, 3.86% protein.
• Her daughter Laune Bess 716 VG85 is currently in her 3rd lactation.

Laune Bess 2000
• Born in ’17 she is the youngest and last Holstein Friesian daughter of Bess 522 and Richard is very happy with her quality and performance so far.
• 1st lactation yield last year of 7,292kgs milk, 570kgs milk solids, 4.36% fat, 3.46% protein.
• Calved in on her 2nd lactation in February this year, gaining time such that her calving interval rating is a very favourable 315 days. 

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