Parthenaise in Ireland
Parthenaise were first imported into Ireland around 1997. Since then the breed has enjoyed a relatively slow but steady increase in popularity bearing in mind that they have to compete with many other continental breeds well established in this country since the 70s and 80s, many of which only had to compete with the traditional Irish and English breeds, when, they first arrived into Ireland. There are approx fifty pedigree breeders in Ireland and many Parthenaise bulls on duty round the country. The number of breeders are increasing each year.
It was not until the figures started being returned from the progeny of UNIVERSAL, UNI, (the first Parthenaise bull introduced into an Irish AI station) that people took note. UNI's Suckler Beef Value of €246 being returned are matching that, and surpassing most of the other continental breeds.
From the latest batch of bulls to exit Tully research station a new Parthenaise bull Slieve Bloom Dominator has emerged as the top performing bull from ten different beef breeds.
Other Irish bred bulls in Irish AI stations include Kyle Chap which is a new bull in Dovea and is a half brother to UNI, Lisnagranchy Carlo who was reserve champion to UNI at Beef Expo '08, Cambridge out the Supreme Champion cow Ulia at Beef Expo '08. Many other top French bulls are available through the Society.
WHY PARTHENAISE ?
"Judging from recent inquiries, interest has grown ten-fold over the past 12 months, with more and more potential new breedersextreemely enthusiastic about purchasing parthenaise cattle to cater for higher value markets. "
Farmers Journal 15/9/2010
Martin Ryan, Wexford Farmer
"Parthenaise" - the obvious breed for the future!
After fattening bulls and bullocks in the EU & R grade for approximately 25 years, I feel qualified to recommend the Parthenaise as the breed for suckler farmers in the future.
Up until 2004 I had always bought Belgian Blue, Charolais & Limousin cattle for both grass finish and yard finish, but, then I stumbled across a few Parthenaise cross weanling bulls and I was so impressed that I had to have more & I sourced both bulls for yard finish & bullocks for grazing - the results were surprisingly good.
In 2006 I took a trip to France to see where the breed came from. It is a region South of Nantes on the west side of France. I visited 12 different farms and I could n't believe we had n't seen this breed in Ireland before 2002. They originate from the oxen that pulled the plough before the horse and that is what gives them their excellent temperament. In both France and Italy cross breeding is non existent in the suckler herds.
I bought seven purebred heifers in calf & three which I had AI'd in Ireland. Three years later I am so impressed with the breed that I think Irish farmers must go purebred with their suckler herds. If you think about it Belgian Blue purebreds have a serious calving problem, Limousin purebreds have a very questionable temperament and Charolais with heavy bone lack the meat yield or high grade category. The Parthenaise are very easy calving, are excellently muscled and have exceptional temperament.
Colin and Janet Tyner, Farmers in Co.Wicklow:
Impressed by the potential U grade progeny and easy calving reputation of the Parthenaise breed, Colin and Janet Tyner decided to import 3 heifers and 1 bull from the parthenaise region of France in 2006. They are farming near the south Wicklow village of Shillelagh, with 80 spring calving suckler cows and 250 ewes. With these numbers ease of calving is an important consideration especially on the 20 or so heifers going to the bull every year.
Spring 2008 saw the arrival of their first Parthenaise pure and crossbred calves when 17 heifers calved. 16 live calves arrived from these heifers. Having decided to start a small pedigree Parthenaise herd alongside their commercial herd they now have 6 progeny from their original imports and two 15 month old bulls ready for sale. All the bull calves from the commercial herd are sold to the live shippers at one year old. This year's Parthenaise crossbred yearlings were recently sold for more than 2euro/kilo.
With 2 seasons calvings with their Parthenaise bull they are pleased with their decision and they are now planning to keep their crossbred heifer calves as replacements for the commercial herd.
George Steacy, Farmer in Co.Wexford said:
"My name is George Steacy. I farm in north County Wexford. I have 60 suckler cows in a calf to beef enterprise. Three years ago I decided to introduce Parthenaise cattle into my herd. Temprement, ease of calving , with good conformation were the qualities that I wanted .
My experience so far is that Parthenaise cattle are very easy to calve, even with heifers. The cross bred cattle have improved conformation and are more placid . I intend to introduce some of the heifers as replacements into my suckler herd. It will be very interesting to see how they perform as cows.
I have two young Parthenaise bulls to sell later on this year."
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Eddie Keogh, Farmer in Co. Wexford said:
"We have been calving down to Parthenaise for the past four years (Kilcrea Andy). I found him a good active bull and easy calving, on mature cows and heifers. Parthenaise I have found to be a docile breed of stock, dual purpose for the weaniling trade or for finishing and they make good replacements for the Suckler herd. They have good size and good milk strain.
On the farm we finish the heifers for the butcher trade under 20 months, which is easy enough done with Parthenaise .... average 390Kgs carcase .... the bulls being sold as weanlings and forward stores. This year we have finished thwm under 16 months and more of them under 18 and 20 months. We found the Parthenaise respond well to Ad-Lib meal feeding and to put on good fat score at a young age with a kill out % averaging 62%."