Ballytigue Herd – IHFA Open Day – Cancelled
The Ballytigue Holstein Friesian herd of Aidan and Sally Ann Frawley & family are delighted to welcome everyone to attend the IHFA National Open Day, now being postponed until 2021. Established as a new dairy herd in 2002 the Ballytigue herd is synonymous with quality breeding, strong cow families and efficiency of performance. National recognition of this quality in terms of production and conformation standards is such that the herd has consistently ranked in the top three of the IHFA National Herds Competition over the past three years. Prestigious Judges Choice Awards for inspection have also been conferred.
Last year the herd, in conjunction with IHFA, successfully hosted the European Holstein & Red Holstein Confederation (EHRC) Judges’ School. This was the first time that Ireland has hosted this event and 39 high-calibre judges from across the continent competed. They judged seven classes of animals from the herd, including six classes of milkers. The quality of stock turned out surpassed all expectations with the European judges being fulsome in their praise. This whets the appetite for what lies in store ahead of this year’s National IHFA Open Day.
The Coolstar influence
Aidan’s parents, John and Ann, established the Coolstar herd. Aidan grew up on the family farm in nearby Coolrea, and was very involved daily along with his brothers and sister Desmond, Brian, John and Georgina. All the family continue the strong tradition of farming. Participation in YMA locally and nationally and taking part in club field evenings and stock judgings played a big part in fuelling Aidan’s passion for quality breeding. He met Sally Ann, from nearby Kilmallock, and the couple married in 2001. They set about making their own family home with a separate herd, converting what was until then a beef unit at nearby Ballytigue.
The Ballytigue prefix was registered with 35 heifers as the maiden herd and milk production began in 2002. The legacy of these heifers who laid the foundation is still very much pronounced in the herd today with the breeding lines continuing generation after generation.
Milk quota was purchased at every available opportunity in a continual quest to constantly develop and increase productivity. The adaptation of the yard, buildings and facilities to suit dairying was a significant challenge. The high-calibre of the farm layout today is testament to the investment, with hard work and attention-to-detail along the way.
Hosting the IHFA National Open Day is a landmark occasion for the family and Aidan and Sally Ann say that they are both proud and humbled to host what is a most prestigious event on behalf of all IHFA breeders.
Their sons Séan and Conor are both boarding at Cistercian College, Roscrea with Séan studying for the Leaving Certificate and Conor studying for the Junior Certificate. Eldest daughter Laura is in St. Mary’s Secondary School, Charleville and the youngest, Áine, is in national school in Bruree. All are highly talented at sport, playing and particiating to a high level. Many titles and prizes have been won in GAA, rugby and athletics. Of course, all the children are very interested in the farm and they help out on a regular basis.
Grassland emphasis and soil fertility importance
A progressive management approach towards soil fertility and grassland quality is an integral component of herd performance. Aidan emphasises the importance of regular soil fertility testing and adapting management strategies based on the results generated. He is quick to draw linkages between healthy, fertile soils, with increased yields of milk solids stemming from healthy animals grazing lush, dense pastures. 20 to 30 acres are reseeded annually and clover has consistently been included as part of the reseed mix for a number of years.
Breeding policy and cow families
The association between functional conformation with lifetime productivity is clearly borne out in the herd. The selection policy is for solid cows with a natural will to milk. The importance of functional conformation to allow this genetic potential to be expressed and realised is closely aligned. IHFA conformation scoring through the classification and linear scoring system is a key management aid to benchmark progress and inform strategy decisions. The herd average classification score is VG87. Parameters of performance used as a benchmark include a goal for heifers to achieve 7,500kgs milk in their first lactation with mature cows expected to yield over 10,000kgs milk per lactation.
With the origin of the herd hailing from the initial herd of 35 heifers, the herd has been bolstered with some select purchases of choice cow families over the years. The increase in herd size was achieved organically, aided by the strong longevity and lifetime productivity of successful families.
Examples of some of the deep pedigree, consistent performance cow families include;
Ballytigue Sanchez Rolls EX95 4E (EX96 mammary)
- She has recorded an average of 13,063kgs milk per lactation with a lifetime combined fat & protein production of 5,275kgs milk solids.
- Her achievements include Best Senior Cow Limerick Clare Friesian Breeders Club Herds Competition and member of the winning cow family two years in a row.
- Her grand daughter Ballytigue Manouk Rolls VG88 (dam is EX90 Wyman) recorded 2nd lactation yield of 10,164kgs milk, 740kgs milk solids, 3.82% fat, 3.47% protein.
- Other members of the Rolls family include Ballytigue Glen Rolls EX92 5E, Ballytigue Roxell Rolls EX90 2E, Ballytigue Twist Rolls EX90 2E, Ballytigue McCutchen Rolls VG89, Ballytigue Rolls 1836 VG85.
Ballytigue Sanchez Penny EX94 3E
- Recorded over 10,000kgs milk per lactation in her previous three consecutive lactations, with an average of 752kgs milk solids per lactation.
- Her daughter Ballytigue Goldchip Penny EX93 2E was exhibited successfully at the Baileys Champion Cow Competition last year placing 4th overall.
- Her grand daughter Ballytigue Mogul Penny VG88 (2nd lactation) completes 11 generations of VG/EX breeding. In both her lactations to date she has recorded over 10,000kgs milk, 700kgs milk solids
Ballytigue Gold Chip Erin EX93 3E
- Bred from an EX92 2E dam and EX92 4E grand dam who had great longevity completing 11 lactations in the herd.
- She has completed three consecutive 11,000kg lactations averaging 733kgs milk solids per lactation.
- Tracing back to Diamond Award cow Ballytigue Erin 2 EX92 4E, other members of the Erin family include Ballytigue Talent Erin EX90, Ballytigue Erin 860 EX92 2E, Ballytigue Erin 550 EX90 3E, Ballytigue Erin 1543 EX90, Ballytigue Dempsey Erin VG89, Ballytigue Boxer Erin VG 88 (2nd lactation), Ballytigue Golden Dreams Erin VG86.
Ballytigue Palermo Shower EX92 2E
- Completes 10 generations of VG/EX breeding.
- She is maternal sister to Ballytigue Gold Chip Shower EX94 2E Reserve Champion Baileys Champion Cow Competition 2019.
Ballytigue Sanchez Goldrose EX94 5E
- Bred from three generations of EX dams tracing back to Maunsell Goldrose ET VG 88.
- She has completed seven lactations to date and is due again spring 2020.
- She has calved-in consistently February/early March every year for the past seven years in a row.
- Has bred four daughters in the herd, of whom three are milking – Ballytigue Goldchip Goldrose EX91 3E (in her 5th lactation), Ballytigue Palermo Goldrose EX 2E (in her 4th lactation) and Ballytigue Seaver Goldrose VG88 (3rd lactation).
Ballytigue Boxer Knowall 2 EX93 3E
- Recorded over 11, 000kgs milk in her previous two lactations, averaging 802kgs milk solids.
- Her dam Ballytigue Knowall 761 EX91 4E is still in the herd, currently in her 7th lactation
Ballytigue Ramos Alliance EX 4E
- Currently in her 9th lactation
- Lifetime production average of 9,300kgs milk, 677kgs milk solids per lactation
- 8th generation VG/EX from the Lulu family.
Ballytigue Ross Bertha EX91 4E
- In her 7th lactation having recorded over 10,000kgs milk in five lactations.
- She is on course to surpass 3,000kgs protein and attain IHFA Diamond Award status.
Ballytigue Ponder Sylvia EX 2E
- In her 5th lactation with a lifetime production recorded average of 8,043kgs milk, 681kgs milk solids, 4.94 %fat, 3.52% protein.
Ballytigue Bluesky Crystal EX94 3E
- Four consecutive recorded lactations over 10,000kgs milk.
- Lineage traces back to Glenridge Delegate Crystal, former Baileys Champion Cow.
Ballytigue Dempsey Jill VG85
- 8th generation VG/EX
- Recorded over 9,000kgs milk, 633kgs milk solids in her 2nd lactation.
Ballytigue Daisy 1562 VG87
- This family holds a special affinity as the lineage traces back to the home herd via Coolstar Daisy 6 ET EX91 2E. Born in 1996 as an exciting ET addition to the herd she went on to produce for six lactations with a recorded a lifetime yield averaging 8,520kgs milk, 708kgs milk solids, 4.67% fat, 3.64% protein per lactation.
The IHFA National Open Day will include the Inter-Club Stock Judging, Macra na Feirme and YMA Stock Judging with the tremendous Ballytigue breeding on display. There will also be an opportunity to view the entire herd with an overview of herd performance and key parameters. To conclude this eagerly anticipated Open Day there will be a celebratory sale of choice youngstock lots from these top cow families who backbone the renowned Ballytigue herd.
Due to the current and evolving situation regarding COVID-19, this event will now be held in 2021.