5 December 2018



llyr hughes 2

Although the synchronisation project has now drawn to a close at Fferam Gyd, a Farming Connect focus site in Llanbabo, Anglesey, it’s safe to say that Llyr Hughes will continue to synchronize both his pedigree Limousin and commercial cattle for the foreseeable future.

Since the start of the project, which focuses on the potential benefits of synchronising cattle to gain a tighter calving pattern as well as increased liveweight gains, Llyr has gained some impressive results.

Following a plan developed by a breeding specialist, cows in the synchronised group were inseminated twice in June 2017 using semen from Derrygullinane Kingbull, a pedigree Limousin sire renowned for producing calves with superior growth rates. Pregnancy scanning results showed that 77% of the 55 cows included in the group were in-calf after the first service, which exceeded the original target of 60%.

The synchronised group began calving on the 12th March 2018 and finished on the 24th March, with 14 cows calving within a 12 hour period. Although this was labour intensive and required plenty of shed space, Llyr preferred this method in comparison to natural service, which meant the calving period lingered on for longer.

Calves were sold at 7-8 months old as sucklers at the local market in Gaerwen on the 3rd October 2018, weighing on average 31kg/calf heavier compared to last year’s crop which averaged at £820 for both heifers and steers. This year, steers averaged at £920/head whilst heifers averaged at £780/head.


Llyr’s top tips for making it work:

  • Attention to detail is critical.
  • Good handling systems are a must not only for practicality, but for health and safety.
  • Available space in both buildings and fields in close proximity to the yard is fundamental.
  • Always turn bulls in after service and monitor closely for repeated heats, in order to ensure the bull can cope.

The final project report will be available on our website soon.

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