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bred to easy-
The Dirnanean herd has been established for over 30 years, based on Swiss foundation stock we have made a priority of retaining the maternal function of these early cows – longevity, functional correctness, regular breeding and milkiness. Calving ease has been of primary importance from the start and heifers are expected to calve down at 2 years. Naturally polled cattle now make up almost half of the breeding herd and our worldwide search for polled genetics has helped improve the functionality of our cattle. At the back of every breeding decision we make is the objective of breeding a bull to suit a Luing cow to produce a commercially sound breeding heifer and a growthy, easily fleshed steer for finishing at grass.
The Dirnanean herd was one of the earliest performance recorded and we are now very confident in the accuracy of our cattle’s EBVs. We have made use of ultrasound scanning since the technology has been available, which has helped us identify cattle with greater eye muscle depth. We pay quite a bit of attention to EBVs when selecting breeding stock and making breeding decisions but don’t let it undermine the basic qualities we are looking for in our cattle – namely functional correctness, regular breeding and ease of fleshing. Breedplan hold the records for our herd and you can look through any individual’s EBVs, pedigree and progeny -
Around 50 pedigree Simmental cows are run under commercial management conditions and 15 to 20 bulls are selected each year to be sold for breeding. The herd is split between spring and summer calving so there are usually bulls available year round. We take a few bulls to the ‘Perth’ sale at Stirling in October and February but most are sold at home privately to repeat commercial customers. We like dealing this way – it gives us more time to understand what you are looking for, gives you the chance to see mothers, sisters etc and better for the bulls as they don’t have to be fed as hard as they do to look right in Perth.