Elite Fleckvieh sale – February 15th in Dungannon Mart

Typical Fleckvieh cross cows
Typical Fleckvieh cross cows

SLATE Quarry Fleckvieh Genetics has confirmed that it will host a sale of elite Fleckvieh breeding stock in Granville Mart, Dungannon on Friday February 15th 2013. The event gets underway at 12.00 noon with animals available for inspection from 10.00am that day.

“This is our second annual sale,” confirmed Slate Quarry’s Jim Hamilton.

“Last year’s event was a tremendous success and we want to build on this in 2013. The main purpose of the sale is to further promote the benefits of milking purebred and crossbred Fleckvieh cows.

“There is strong evidence to confirm a growing demand for Fleckvieh breeding stock here in Northern Ireland. There was a complete clearance at last year’s sale and semen sales have doubled over the past 12 months.”

A total of 60 animals have been entered for the February event: 20 milking heifers – all calved within the past six weeks – 10 in calf heifers, 15 breeding bulls, 10 of which are genomically tested and five ET bulls, five elite pedigree heifer calves, which will be sold on choice, plus five first cross Holstein/Fleckvieh calves and five maiden crossbred heifers, the ten of which were born and reared at Slate Quarry Farm.

“The bulls entered for the sale represent the very elite of the current breed development programme ongoing in Austria,” Ian Hamilton commented.

The Hamilton family is currently milking 180 Fleckvieh cows on their farm in South Tyrone.

“We have an additional 40 cows to calve over the coming weeks,” Ian added.

“The cows currently going through the milking parlour are averaging 30 litres of milk per day at 4.3% butterfat and 3.55% protein.

“The breed is noted for its ability to milk well, excellent fertility levels plus good legs and feet. Cows are also very docile and easy to work with.”

Significantly, all of these traits have been confirmed courtesy of a major comparative breed trial recently undertaken at Wageningen Livestock Research Centre in the Netherlands.

“The work has shown that Fleckviehs will out yield Holstein cows over a four year period,” Ian Hamilton stressed.

“These figures take account of overall yield, component percentages plus total weights of fat and protein. Another key result from the trial is the confirmed longevity of Fleckvieh cows.”

So significant are the results of the Wageningen trial that cross breeding expert Hans Kerkhof will be discussing their significance for the Fleckvieh breed at a farmers’ meeting, planned for the Cohannon Inn, Dungannon on Thursday February 8th.

“All farmers will be more than welcome on the night,” commented Ian Hamilton.

“The event will provide a unique opportunity for local dairy farmers to learn more about the Fleckvieh breed and the tremendous potential of Fleckvieh cows here in Northern Ireland.”

For further information, telephone Jim Hamilton on 07590444732.