On Wednesday 9th August 2017 the Stabiliser Cattle Company held an open day on Sean Hayden’s farm in Urlingstown county Tipperary.
Tipperary farmer Sean Hayden explained to 80 visitors how he got involved with Stabiliser Cattle. Sean was invited to visit Stabiliser breeder Billy O’Kanes farm near Ballymena county Antrim and upon seeing how the breed had transformed his lifestyle, performance and most importantly profit Sean decided to take the plunge and invest in his first Stabiliser bull in late 2013.
Now Sean is farming 30 pure Stabiliser cows and 57 commercial cross cows running on 49.31 hectares. Sean’s plan in the future is to upgrade to a herd of 100% all pure bred Stabilisers. Sean’s herd was originally made up of Continental cross cows that were struggling to make money. Sean remarked “the calving difficulty was very high and some of the cows were mad”. Now it’s “almost like running a dry stock farm” Sean said. The cows calve themselves 99% of the time even the heifers. The calves are small and hardy weighing only between 30-35 kgs and get up and suck straight away. “I only pulled 2 calves this year and this was because a neighbour’s bull broke in and sire two calves!!”
Looking at Sean’s 2016 figures his mortality at birth was a mere 1.3% with 100% of his heifers calved before 24 months of age.
Sean has taken nearly 100kg off his average cow weight since 2013 which enables him to keep 15% more cows per hectare. The Stabilisers’ progeny have great food conversion efficiency and have a better growth rate resulting in animals finishing faster which in turn reduces winter feed costs.
Sean’s 2016 bulls sent to slaughter ranged between 12-15 months of age and graded from U+ to R- averaging 341kg carcass weight.
The attentive audience received presentations from Sean, Duncan Pullar and Richard Fuller which generated some really good questions.
After a tour of the herd visitors were served refreshments kindly sponsored by AIBP.
Thanks to Sean and his family for putting on such a great event!