The Caddy herd, owned by the Walker family from Randalstown in Co Antrim, is home to a selection of the best Black & White dairy bloodlines in the UK.
All the cows are bred to produce large volumes of high quality milk under commercial conditions.
It takes a really good animal to stand out under these circumstances.
So it is more than significant for Alec Walker to characterise the Omen daughters now joining the milking group for the first time in this manner.
“The herd is currently averaging 9,000 litres per cow with good fat and protein percentages,” he confirmed.
“Our cows are calving the year round. We initially used Prehen Omen as a test bull. And we are really glad that we did. The first Omen daughter calved last November and we now have four in the milking group.
“They have tremendous dairy strength, excellent udders and are average in stature.
“It is our policy to calve heifers down at around 27 months. But it was very noticeable from day one that Omen daughters are very aggressive feeders. This is a key requirement if they are going to perform well in a large herd environment.”
Alec went in to point out that one of the heifers – Caddy Omen Pam – has been classified VG 86. She is projected to produce 9489 litres (305 days) in her first lactation. The Omen heifers in the milking group are currently averaging 35 litres per day.
“One of the most interesting facets to Omen is the fact that he is leaving daughters with better type than their mothers,” he added.
Ai Services’ Ben Mallon was a recent visitor to the Caddy farm.
“Omen daughters have tremendous udders, including a very strong central ligament. This means they should milk well over a long number of lactations,” he said.
“Demand for the bull is tremendously strong at the present time. He is a son of Oman and reflects all this elite sire’s dairy characteristics. There is scope to use him on almost every black & white dairy herd in Northern Ireland. The AI Services’ sales and technical teams are available to advise on how to make best use of Omen from a herd breeding point of view.”
Ben continued: “He is the Number 1 proven sire in the UK at the present time with a PLI of £605. This fully backs up his genomic proof.
“Adding to the attraction of Omen is the fact that his straws are very competitively priced. His daughters are extremely robust cows and all demonstrate a willingness to milk well. He will breed cows with excellent production capabilities, combined with a massive improvement in components.”
For further information, contact Ai Services on (028) 9083 3123.