Kevin McDermott aims to offer semen from high-quality bulls through his fledgeling enterprise - KGenetics.
The bovine genetics company – which is based in Inishowen, Co. Donegal – was established by the renowned pedigree Charolais breeder in January 2018.
The multi-prize-winning Ballynabreen Charolais was founded by his father in 1996 with the purchase of a female from the Hillhouse herd. It now comprises of twenty pedigree-breeding females along with a number of recipients as part of an ET programme.
Running his own pedigree cattle enterprise coupled with his experience as a former AI technician for a well-known company prompted him to embark on a new venture.
“The Charolais gene pool is getting smaller which means that Irish breeders may experience difficulty when seeking outcross bulls.” he told Catherina Cunnane – That’s Farming.
“I had a vision to introduce some of the best French Charolais bloodlines to Irish soil.”
The ambitious breeder forged a connection with suppliers of high-end sires in France – including Simon Genetic. KGenetics – which offers semen, breeding advice and embryos - was born as a result.
It offers up to fifteen different Charolais sires and also stocks Us Heit van Knedo’s semen – a red and white hybrid - 87% Belgian Blue, 12% Dutch Improved Red and 1% Limousin.
Charolais bulls include Hatenon, Japon, SC Grifondor, Helios, Horace JD, Diplo Gir, Jupiter, Invincible, Invictus, Utrillo Mic, Bobino 71 and Jingle.
The majority of the aforementioned sires have a four or five-star replacement or terminal rating, according to the KGenetics’ founder.
“Most of our sires with four and five-star replacement ratings also have five-stars for daughter’s milk.”
The majority of the sires that dominate KGenetics’ panel are well-proven, while it is also putting the spotlight on young, promising sires.
“The business is going very well. We are waiting for the first batch of calves to arrive from some of the French sires.”
“Once we get progeny on the ground, it should instil more confidence in our customers.”
“Some breeders prefer to see photos of calves born in Ireland, as opposed to pictures of cattle in France,” he stressed.
Kevin selected his current panel with an emphasis on ease of calving and short gestation; some sires have strong maternal traits, while the strength of others lie in their terminal abilities.
“Some of the French maternal bulls have larger pelvises than some of the Irish-bred bulls.”
“The animal has to look good before you cast an eye on figures. The thing of having figures and not having an animal doesn’t add up.”
Kevin attends pedigree sales across the country and sees first-hand that “quality is the main driver of price, but figures are forming part of the equation for some.”
“Breeders seem to be using the same bulls all the time. The Charolais breed more than any is looking back to bulls of the past.”
“If you open up a sales catalogue, you will see the same bloodlines appearing all the time,” he stressed.
KGenetics has continued to grow from strength-to-strength since its foundation and it has just added another string to bow.
Goldstar Othello [main image] was acquired in recent weeks in a private deal from the Ryan family’s Goldstar herd.
The March-2018-born bull is a son of Goldstar Echo – a former National Show Junior Champion. His dam – Goldstar Haidi (out of Theodat) – has numerous championship titles under her belt including Junior Cow at National Charolais Show Tullamore. His semen is available in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK.
“I would consider diversifying into other beef breeds, but I am only interested in animals that are at the top end of their breed,”
KGenetics also hopes to broaden its horizons with the development of a website and online shop in the future to grow its sales.
"We cover all 32-counties and semen can be delivered to a farmer's tank or their technician's," Kevin concluded.
For more information, please see here or phone – 086-202-0734