Ai Services (Northern Ireland) Ltd continues to develop its beef stud at Ballycraigy in Co Antrim with the ongoing procurement of elite bulls across a range of breeds.
“This is driven by the growing export market for top quality beef semen, the increasing use of proven beef sires by dairy farmers and the continuing requirement for AI sires by those suckler producers committed to producing calves that will always secure market leading prices,” explained the company’s Breeding Services Manager Ivan Minford.
“We are currently exporting large numbers of beef straws to the Republic of Ireland and mainland UK. And this market looks set to grow in the future. Within the dairy sector, the growing recognition of our fertility boost option as a means of improving conception rates is also helping to create greater demand for proven beef AI bulls.
“We are also seeing some growth of beef AI within the suckler sector. This is particularly the case with those farmers keen to synchronise heifers. In fact, there is growing evidence of synchronisation being used a breeding tool right across the suckler beef industry.”
The new Beef Sires’ catalogue for 2015/16 from Ai Services features three new bulls and three well proven sires, which Ivan Minford believes to be worthy of particular mention.
Woodvale Kool Jaguar is the latest Aberdeen Angus arrival at Ballycraigy. He is a former Northern Ireland Calf Champion and has truly excellent performance figures: Terminal Index £+38; Suckler Replacement Index £+35.
“We are strongly recommending him for breeding suckler replacements,” said Minford.
“However, we are also urging a degree of caution until a detailed calving survey is carried out.”
Chatam Index now adds to the already strong line up of British Blue bulls standing at Ballycraigy.
“He displays great natural muscling and shape,” Ivan commented.
“He was sired by Paulern Verdi, a bull known for his ease of calving. Index also has excellent EBVs for carcase index and growth.”
Ampertaine Ifor is the superb new Limousin offering now standing at Ballycraigy, sired by the renowned 38,000gns bull Ampertaine Foreman.
“Ifor is well-balanced with impressive muscle and shape,” explained Minford.
“We are recommending him for pedigree breeding purposes.”
One of the most outstanding sires at Ballycraigy, with a uniquely proven track record, is the Simmental bull Kilbride Farm Delboy.
He has a Terminal Index of £+100 and a Suckler Replacement Index of £+70. The extensive calving survey information to date indicates that 45% of Delboy’s progeny have a conformation score of above average.
“He is a superb example of the Simmental breed,” Ivan confirmed.
“His calves display style, quality and performance: all in the one package. He is suitable for pure breeding but on cows only.”
Thrunton Rocket is a well-established Angus bull at Ballycraigy. He has exceptional performance figures for both terminal and maternal breeding indices: Terminal Index £+46; Suckler Replacement Index £+35.
“An extensive calving survey suggests a high degree of calving ease,” said Ivan
“Of the 194 individual calvings referenced, only 0.5% required veterinary assistance.”
Conval Frank is now a firm favourite amongst Ai Services’ Charolais offerings. He was the Reserve Intermediate Champion at Stirling back in February 2012, combining a high index for performance with Charolais breed character.
“There has also been excellent farmer satisfaction expressed with regard to the quality of the calves he produces,” explained Ivan Minford.”
In total, 38 bulls have been listed in the new Ai Services’ Beef Sires catalogue, covering a wide cross section of both native and continental breeds
For further information, contact Ai Services (Northern Ireland) Ltd on 028 90833123.