Foyle Food Group (FFG) and Aberdeen Angus Quality Beef Ltd (AAQB) offer superior Aberdeen Angus genetics to suppliers of Aberdeen Angus cattle.
FFG have been working exclusively with AAQB in Northern Ireland since 1998 – a partnership which has gone from strength to strength securing a number of attractive outlets for prime Aberdeen Angus beef. More recently, producer contracts with major supermarket Tesco has meant greater long-term market security for these Aberdeen Angus cattle slaughtered by Foyle Food Group.
Analysis of data accumulated by AAQB over several years, indicated that average slaughter age and weight could be improved to further increase efficiency within the supply base through genetic improvement. The partnership was keen to encourage the use of the best available Aberdeen Angus genetics, and required a sire which was easy calving, offered short gestation and promised rapid growth.
After careful consideration, a young bull ‘Elliot Bravo T452’ was purchased from John R Elliot a renowned Aberdeen Angus Breeder in the Scottish borders. ‘Elliot Bravo’ born in March 2017 has tremendous genetic potential. This young bull had a birth weight of just 37kg and his Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) suggest he is in the top 25% of the breed for calving ease. ‘Elliot Bravo’ is a high genetic sire with EBVs in the Top 1% for several traits including; Gestation Length, 200, 400 and 600 day weights, Carcase weight and Intramuscular Fat (see table below).
FFG and AAQB made this investment to ensure suppliers could avail of superior genetics, and Tesco have communicated in the 2020/2021 contract that future Aberdeen-Angus Contracts will incentivise progeny from bulls which satisfy the criteria of a ‘High Genetic Sire’. AAQB scheme members are allocated a straw of semen free of charge for every Aberdeen Angus animal they supply. In exchange, performance data of the resulting progeny must be provided. AAQB members can also avail of supplies of Elliot Bravo semen for use in herds from which they regularly source AA calves.
The major objective of this project is to increase the efficiency and lifetime performance of cattle within the supply chain. By using this bull there is also potential to lower the carbon footprint and increase efficiency on farm by an estimated £500,000 over the lifetime of the project. Through this project, it is hoped producers will realise the benefits of superior genetics and going forward, have the confidence to invest.
The initial calving survey on 360 calving’s has now been completed on the Sire and as we expected the results are excellent.
Calving Survey Results
Bravo’s calves arrived promptly with an average gestation length of just 280.6 days in both Suckler and Dairy cows with bull calves carrying 1 day longer than heifer calves on average. An impressive 90% of Bravo calves have been born completely unassisted. Of the remaining 6% received slight assistance and 4% medium assistance and only 1 caesarean section out of all calving’s reported.
Experience from the first crop of calves from Elliot Bravo T452 confirms that he has produced calves which were born easily after a short gestation. Farmers feedback has been extremely satisfying in terms of quality and reporting calves are lively at birth with very low mortality.
Having verified the exceptional performance of our high genetic sire, the availability of semen has how been extended to suppliers across the UK and is available from our English sites in Gloucester and Melton Mowbray.
How can you benefit?
– For every Aberdeen-Angus slaughtered you are eligible claim one straw of semen Free of Charge
– Suitable if you have your own DIY Flask or If you have a link to a dairy or suckler Herd
If you would like more information in relation to this project, please contact:
AAQB (if you are in NI)
Charlotte Moore on 07881 351 298 or Eamon Kelly on 07813 176 939.