Irish Moileds grazing Binevenagh
Irish Moileds One Of The Most Hardworking Suckler Cows In The Cattle World!
Outwintering cattle normally means “survival of the fittest” with land being poached and tramped into gutters, but that is certainly not the case when it comes to Irish Moiled cattle grazing on their natural habitat, in fact it is quite the opposite, the Irish Moiled is one of the most resilient, hardworking suckler cows in the cattle world.
The key to the Irish Moiled’s success in being outwintered is mainly due to their medium size, a mature Irish Moiled cow usually weighs in at no more than 550kg to 600kg making them light-footed on the ground. Neither evolution, time, nor man has changed the Irish Moiled, an indigenous breed of livestock to the Island of Ireland. This native breed remains true to its origins, our farming ancestors bred the Moilie to be suited to the marginal land found throughout the island of Ireland with cold harsh climate conditions in the winters, whilst being able to produce both a calf for the farm and milk for the house, even for a period when forage is not in plentiful supply, ‘she milks from her back’! The Moilie has not lost its great foraging ability and will graze a wide variety of plants including ash, ivy, and willow to continue to fill her belly even if grass is not plentiful. Nowadays, the Moilie is still mainly grazed on marginal land areas, however their foraging and grazing ability is more noted as a conservational benefit, helping to encourage the growth of a wide range of plants and habitats.
Renown for reaching puberty from a noticeably young age they can calve down before two years of age. Even when nutrition is sparse, the Irish Moiled will thrive and produce adequate milk to rear a calf of good quality, all due to the breed’s good foraging ability and excellent food conversion ratio from the poor-quality forages.
Calves born, are quickly on their feet and within a short time of getting their bellies filled, calves are seen skipping showing all the positive signs a farmer wants to see. A quick to learn and an instinct the calf will soon find a hiding spot that is warm and sheltered while its mother will roam quite a distance away to get what she needs to provide for her and her calf. One thing is for sure the mother knows exactly where her calf is and does not give its location away. It can be a few days before a farmer gets to see the calf, but he can rest assured that the calf is being well looked about by its mother.
No one wants for anyone the cost and that feeling of dismay at losing a calf or worse its mother at calving time. Every farmer is different in their outlook and which system suits them. The Irish Moiled has earned her right in being an economical suckler cow which needs to be considered, the breed will half expenditures – with smaller birth weights, a lively calf, less intervention, or costs associated at calving time, a cow with plenty of milk, the breeds medium size means they require less feed and forage, they are eye-catching in colour, naturally polled and can be outwintered.
The Irish Moiled Cattle Society have organised an online time auction of elite bulls and a limited number of females through auctioneers Harrison & Hetherington. Taking place from 12 noon on Thursday 6th May concluding noon Saturday 8th May. For further details or entries please contact Irish Moiled breed Secretary Gillian on 00447842185008.