Owen Brothers

Foel Fawr Farm, Anglesey

 

Foel Fawr farm runs a pedigree herd of 70 Hereford Cattle. It is a spring calving system where careful selection of replacement bulls is deemed essential for ease of calving and producing strong replacement heifers.

Currently the female offspring produced are either kept as replacement to the herd due to hard culling of cows that demonstrate any health or fertility problems, or finished and sold at market. The males are either fattened on-farm or sold as store cattle. 

The farm's goal is to be able to sell Pedigree Hereford Bulls and the next step in achieving this is producing estimated breeding values (EBVs).

It is impossible to fully assess the breeding potential of a bull through visual assessment alone, because its outward appearance is affected by its age, feeding and management regime, as well as by its genetics. Assessing a bull’s EBVs is therefore an essential part of the bull selection process (AHDB).

The main aim of the project is to introduce a cattle weighing system that would be incorporated with the new handling system currently on farm. This will link up to the Breedplan software where the farmer will work closely with the Hereford Cattle Society to identify which traits need to be monitored and when they need recording. The replacement heifers and potential bulls will be ultrasound scanned to measure eye muscle area, rib fat, rib yield and intramuscular fat.


The project will also contribute to the Sustainable Land Management outcomes including:

  • High animal welfare
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
     

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