Here at Clonagh and Jennalyn we strongly believe in female lines. A herd is a herd of cows (females) and most importantly need to be just that, feminine. Females are meant to be feminine, it goes without saying.
Bull selection and usage on the farm is aimed at breeding new and improved female lines. We do not use small muscular bulls because we believe that these bulls will not leave us females that will breed the type of cows that we want moving forward. Although there is a market for such bulls we have little interest in the bull trade although this is how most will judge our success on.
Our aim in breeding is always to produce a female. Firstly she needs a good looking head as it generally the first thing you see either at home, in a field, show or sale ring. If the head is not right we have little interest in looking at the rest. A small clean head with eyes postioned mid way down. The neck has to be slender fitting in to a smooth shoulder, a course shoulder is too muscular and should be on a bull! Most of the rest goes without saying, a long clean body with good width through the loin flowing in to the pelvic area and hips with square plates and a low tail set. We like bit of shape going right down in to the hock. Legs and feet have to be correct, if legs are not right they are the cause of most feet problems. We have a high percentage of the herd at over 10 years old and still looking very fresh. Our cows are not wintered on straw, all on slats and cubicles so they need to be correct to stand the test of time.
Another reason we aim to breed females when putting our cows in calf is to upgrade our own stock, preserve and expland on our proven family lines and to have surplus to sell each year. We try to retain the first heifer from each cow in case something happens to the cow and line, where there is live stock there is also dead stock unfortunately.
We also believe that the bull calves born to the breeding policy we have will go on and breed what our customers want. Most people see Simmental as a replacement breed ultimately so a bull bred the feminine way in our opinion is a bull that will breed the females that the customers want which is proven by the frequency of return customers to the farm.