Blondes do the business on McGartland’s farm

Lexie Johnston and Brian McGartland, both of the Blonde Club, with Steven Redmond, Dungannon mart, and Alan Carson, sponsor, discussing entries for the upcoming sale.
Lexie Johnston and Brian McGartland, both of the Blonde Club, with Steven Redmond, Dungannon mart, and Alan Carson, sponsor, discussing entries for the upcoming sale.

Dungannon based farmer Brian McGartland and his father, Dessie, have been farming Blonde cattle for numerous years.

The herd is made up of mainly three quarter bred Blonde cows with a mix of Shorthorn, which they calve from December through to March.

The cows that calve early in the year are usually synchronised and put to AI Bulls, while the rest are put to their two Blonde herd sires, Drumnafern Legend and Dernasaigh Muhammad.

Brian said: “Our aim is to breed good commercial females which are always in demand at our local market. They make excellent cows with great paternal qualities that go on to produce calves that suit today’s market.

“We find the Blonde breed provides us with an easy calving option. Although calves tend to be small at birth they are up sucking very quickly and develop very fast, leaving us top quality calves.

“Male calves go to the suckler calf sales at Dungannon Mart and are sold to repeat customers who recognise the benefits and profits of the breed. The Blonde superior killing out percentage means its carcass growth rates compare greatly with any of the other major beef breeds.”

Studies have shown that the Blonde’s outstanding conformation and ability to produce good quality carcasses, that contain more meat (higher meat to bone ratio), extra meat in higher priced cuts, than those of other breeds when crossed with a variety of dams and the advantages of the breed’s lower back fat levels, which are lower than most major beef breeds.

Testing has shown that Blondes achieve better eye muscle area than other breeds, which mean ‘much more meat and less waste for abattoirs and butchers’ meaning more profit for you the farmer.

Brian went on to say that many breeds of cattle have passed through their hands over the years, but without doubt, the Blonde has fulfilled the needs of his farm business.

The NI Blonde Sale in conjunction with the British Blonde Society will be held at Dungannon Farmers Market on Friday, March 23, and is sponsored by ASC Farm Services.

The Northern Ireland club are also presenting £100 cashback to the purchaser of the highest priced Blonde bull on the day.

There are a select entry of bulls and heifers entered for the sale, from noted herds including Ballymacan, Classic, Pinehill, Seaview, Shanvalley, Silverwood and all stock will be BVD negative and vaccinated.

The sale will run along with two other breeds, Simmental and British Blues. Blondes are expected to be shown from 11am on and sold from 3pm on. Entries will soon be available online at DFM-ni.co.uk and the British society or contact the mart for a catalogue.