Laurelhill Classic highlights quality

Gareth Bell, right, Genus ABS was impressed with the Laurelhill Classic heifers on Brian Mawhinneys farm.'Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Gareth Bell, right, Genus ABS was impressed with the Laurelhill Classic heifers on Brian Mawhinneys farm.'Photograph: Columba O'Hare
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A large group of heifer calves from the top PLI bull in the UK and all in the same herd have certainly caught the eye of visitors to Brian Mawhinney’s Laurelhill herd at Doagh in Co Antrim.

The heifers are by Laurehill Classic, a sire bred by Brian Mawhinney which is the top PLI sire in the UK at £542 and which had an increase of £47 from the August to December proofs last year as well as increasing by 0.1 in Lifespan and 1.5 points in Fertility Index.

Laurelhill Classic is by Oman and is from an EX91 Loudan which was sold at the major reduction of the Laurelhill herd in 2013.

The herd, which had a production average of over 10,000 litres on twice a day milking, was reduced to 50 cows in the 2013 dispersal sale due to loss of conacre and a change in farming policy.

Brian is now concentrating on the sale of breeding stock as well as milk production.

Heifers are calved from 23 to 25 months of age and calves are hand reared until 10 days old and then moved into groups of ten.

The calves pictured here are from three weeks to three months of age and have all been the result of AI with sexed semen,

Ervin McKinstry from Genus ABS commented: “These calves will certainly be an attractive purchase when they come on the market, possibly as in-calf heifers.”