The “Churchclara” herd of the O’Keeffe family hosted the Irish Pure Friesian Open Day on June 19th and it attracted an excellent attendance from all over Ireland.
Bill, Phil and Matt O’Keeffe milk over 200 Pedigree Registered Friesian cows near Clara, Co. Kilkenny.
The herd was Graded Up to Pedigree in the late 1990’s and the family have grown and developed the herd significantly over the years.
This is a highly efficient Pure Friesian herd, with excellent grassland management, outstanding fertility, producing a high volume of milk solids developed from a solid cow family genetic base.
Recently the herd has enjoyed numerous successes at Shows.
Bill enjoyed considerable success at Emerald Expo 2015 taking the Champion and Honourable Mention Friesian titles, the top EBI award and was also crowned Premier Exhibitor.
68% of the herd is Classified in the top two grades of Conformation.
Average milk production for the herd last year was 6,057 kgs Milk, 4.22 % Fat, 3.62% Protein. SCC for the year was 64.
Average Calving Interval was 367 days, with a 9 % empty rate after a ten-week breeding season.
There are plans to further expand and develop the business with Bill setting out herd targets of 7,000 kgs Milk average, 8 % Milk Solids and higher, and an empty rate of 5%.
IHFA C.E. Charles Gallagher said that the Pure Friesian serves as a prolific source of genetic diversity and breed efficiency. “The O’Keeffe’s Churchclara herd is a prime example of modern Friesian breeding.”
The Open Day consisted of stockjudging, followed by an introduction to the herd and a demo on Linear Scoring/Classification. A sale of 12 Heifers and eight Bull Calves concluded the proceedings.