NI LIMOUSIN CLUB 2008 OPEN DAY
David Kenwell’s Farm Attracts Huge Crowd
The NI Limousin Club’s Open Day, hosted this year by David Kenwell at Dromore, Co Tyrone on Saturday 6th September 2008, proved to be one of the most successful ever undertaken. Literally hundreds of people flocked to the home of Kendrom Limousins in what proved to be, not only a beautiful sunny day, but one to be remembered, such was the quality of stock seen, the variety of equipment on show and the breadth of activity on hand both for adults and their accompanying children.
David and his Family had spared no effort in setting up, in paddock and in pens, a display of cattle ranging from prize-winning Kendrom Limousins right through to various grades of Limousin-cross females and including the Kenwell’s trademark West of Ireland black females with their Limousin-cross calves. At the same time, on the forecourt of the buildings, there was a massive display of tractors and agricultural machinery together with exhibits of a wide range of handling and feeding equipment and an innovative section set aside for the children. Not forgetting, of course, a burger facility where the ladies of the local Church dispensed Limousin steak burgers to all and sundry!
David Kenwell runs an extensive commercial herd of some 90 cows and he had this to say in the attractive brochure handed out to all who attended: “Farming a suckler herd today and making a decent profit is becoming very difficult but our motto at Kendrom is “Minimum input, Maximum output – at the least cost – and this is why we chose the Limousin breed.” He went on to say: “The Limousin is renowned for ease of calving – in our case the vast majority calve by themselves, though we keep an eye on heifers. They produce good lively calves, which are up on their feet in no time, and are excellent mothers. We don’t feed concentrates but the calves still flesh very easily at grass and therefore that “fancy” Limousin heifer really has the “X-factor” and is “bloomy” and sells really well. Therefore our aim is to produce quality heifers as replacements either for our own suckler herd or for sale and “beefy” bull calves for finishing.”
“80% of the heifers will be sold as breeding replacements, with the top end going to the Italian export market. The heifers are much sought after with many selling at over £2/kg with the best last year selling at 252kg for £695. The bull calves are sold either at home or through the local Marts, usually at 7-9 months of age. Finishers are always keen to buy our bull calves because of their quality coupled with good growth rates and most grade E’s with the remainder U’s. We also buy West of Ireland Limousin-cross heifers to bring on and sell in-calf, either at home, locally or exported to Scotland where we have established a sound market.”
There was a wide and varied choice of what could be seen with the following highlights:
Limousin-cross cows with calves
Pedigree dry cows and cows carrying embryos
First calved Limousin-cross heifers
Limousin-cross bulling heifers
Pedigree cows with calves
1st calved pedigree heifers
And in the Sheds:
In-calf bulling and maiden heifers and year-old heifers
Tractors & quads
Steel materials, fencing etc.
Country management items- stone pillars, gates etc
Display of Live Embryo Transfer – carried out by A I Services personnel attracting a huge crowd
Cattle Grooming and clipping – also attracted a big audience – Moses Irwin was the demonstrator, assisted by Karl Connell
Stockjudging, weight estimation, and for the children: face painting, guess the name of a calf, bouncy castle and lots more
The Executive Committee of the NI Limousin Club would like to express its thanks to the Kenwell Family for opening up their premises and allowing them to stage the Open Day at Dromore. The large crowd attending is continuing evidence of the popularity of the Limousin breed with the tremendous displays certainly living up to the highest expectations.
Not everyone is agreed on what should be the purpose of a Cattle Breed’s Open Day. Should it be a display of Pedigree cattle only, highlighting various breeding strains and cvatering mainly for Pedigree Breeders. Or should the emphasis be on the value of the Limousin to the Beef industry, demonstrating elements that make Limousin crosses so attractive to the producer and the butcher as well and aimed at the “Beef Man”. Or should it take in anyone who feels like a day out, sending the message of the Limousin’s abilities and versatility right across the farming spectrum, even to the extend as welcoming and making provision for the children, too. David Kenwell had no doubts that he stood on the latter and the result was a well-designed visual and educatonal display centered round his Kendrom herd and all that flows from this.