The Faus Pedigree Charolais herd in Woodbrook, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Roscommon, was established in 2000 when John Boyd and family purchased Liscally Babe – an Indurian daughter - at a society sale.
The foundation female sowed a fruitful seed for the Boyds, as her first calf sold for €4,500 and she produced high-end females which were retained for further breeding in the herd; these included Faus Isabella, Faus Greta, Faus Lisa and Faus Daisy.
They acquired a CF52 daughter – Carrow Vivian – in 2004 as an in-calve heifer; they kept many of Vivian’s daughters and purchased additional cow families in order to increase their herd size.
Carrowbeg Magic 2 – a Goldstar Echo daughter – joined Faus Charolais last year; she was tapped forward as the female champion and the sale and was knocked down for €3,700.
“We have placed our faith in the Charolais breed because of their weight gain and docile nature; they tick every box.” John Boyd told Catherina Cunnane – That’s Farming.
[ Tricia Kennedy]
With a selective breeding policy at the fore, the current herd – which is owned and managed by John and his 15-year-old son, Desmond – consists of fifteen pedigree registered breeding females.
The pedigrees are farmed alongside a commercial herd which comprises of twenty Limousin-cross, Charolais-cross, Angus-cross and Salers-cross cows all of which are served by a Charolais bull; the progeny are sold as forward stores in Elphin Mart every year.
The Roscommon-based breeders use 100% AI on their pedigree herd; sires include FSZ, CSQ, LSP and CH4160.
“Calving is set to get underway next week and will wrap up in May; we aim to calve the herd within this period, as we want to turn them out to grass as soon as possible.”
“Our ideal Charolais breeding female has length, hair, bone and strong maternal traits – that’s the type of animal that we strive to produce year after year.”
The Boyds introduce two replacements to the herd every year in order to maintain cow numbers and offer surplus breeding stock – females and males – for sale at Irish Charolais Cattle Society show and sales; inferior types are sold at a local mart.
Bulls are sold to pedigree and commercial breeders alike; Faus Luke was acquired by a Scottish farmer in recent years.
The Faus Pedigree Charolais herd made its first appearance on the show circuit two years ago.The Boyds exhibit their prize-winning stock at several local and national agricultural shows including Mohill, Cloone, Glenamaddy, Strokestown, Mullingar and Bonniconnellan.
One of their most successful home-bred animals to date is Faus Nevada who won numerous local breed championships before she took her place on the national stage.
She was awarded the red rosette in the Best Charolais Heifer Calf born on/after April 1st 2017 class at Tullamore Show that year; the Liscally ETI daughter out of Faus Greta returned to the same venue last year and stood first in her class – heifer born on/between January 1st and August 31st 2017.
Faus Nova has also put the herd on the map; he made his mark on the show circuit before going under the hammer at an Irish Charolais Cattle Society show and sale last month.
“Shows are a fantastic outlet in the sense that you make great friends; they required hours of dedication with blood, sweat and tears.” Desmond explained.
Looking forward, the Boyds are satisfied with the herd size, as they continue to place an emphasis on quality by utilising superior genetics.
“We would love to sell a bull to an AI station – that’s a goal that most breeders have.”
“We hope to keep showing and breeding top-quality bulls and heifers for pedigree and commercial farmers in the years to come.”
“Farming is a tradition, spanning over five-generations; I am passionate about agriculture and look forward to continuing the tradition,” Desmond said.
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Image source: Faus Pedigree Charolais- credit: Tricia Kennedy