Modern breeding techniques have been employed to good effect in the rolling countryside of the English/Welsh borders.
Mr Albert Prilfool, of Hillside Herefords, is a pioneer of the breed and after many years of selective breeding has developed a strain of his beloved Herefords which are uniquely adapted to the steep slopes of his 300 acre farm.
“Having observed our cattle for many years it became obvious that some of our cows travelled more freely than others across the hilly terrain – close analysis revealed that the most successful animals had slightly longer legs on one side enabling them to maintain a stable equilibrium on the move. Over a number of generations of selective breeding we have stabilised this trait and can now offer breeding stock which will reliably deliver the hillside friendly genes to their progeny,” explained Albert.
“This is a significant breakthrough for hill farmers and we expect to see considerable interest from the marginal areas of the UK. A few teething problems remain to be ironed out – the problem of cattle falling over if they turn the wrong way across the hill can be a bit disconcerting but we are confident that this can be overcome with the application of genomic selection.”
A spokesman for the Elite Hereford breeders said: “While we must congratulate Mr Prilfool for his enterprise we are confident that the well recognised qualities of the Hereford in producing low cost, easily managed cattle and a premium quality end product will continue to meet the needs of the Northern Ireland farmer.”