Idaho rancher and Gould Ranch Cattle Company bull buyer Brian Merriman says he likes “everything” about the Irish Black® bulls he’s purchased and the progeny they produce.
“Before I bought bulls from Guy I called other buyers, who were all highly pleased with their Irish Blacks,” Brian says. “Phenotypically they’re attractive cattle and when it comes to the feed yard our commercial calves average 4.18 pounds of gain per day and a feed conversion rate of 5.69.”
Nebraska beef producer Leonard Adams was looking for moderate sized cows when he learned about the Irish Blacks. In addition to satisfying that need, Leonard found high fertility bulls that can cover between 60 and 75 cows with up to 94% conception rates.
“I sell my calves through the sale barn and have never had negative feedback on Irish Black cross calves,” Leonard says.
In the rough terrain found on his ranch, Midvale, Idaho, rancher Steve Sutton needs hardy animals. He says you have to see the vigor of the Irish Red calves to really understand their hardiness.
“Those calves have an incredibly strong will to live,” Sutton says. “On this ranch, if calves don’t get up and suck right away, they die. These calves have an incredibly high degree of vigor.”
Sutton has used a Charolais cross on his Red Angus cows for quite some time. He started using the Irish Red bulls on his replacement heifers for calving ease. Marketing times for his commercial calves generally fall between Christmas and New Year’s and around May 1.
“I just have one year of data on calves out of my heifers,” Sutton says. “But last year my summer market calves finished on grass about 30 days early and weighed between 900 and 950 pounds. This year, I sold calves in April again. They averaged 880 pounds.”
Gould’s veterinarian, Paul Chard, says his experience with the Irish Black and Irish Red bulls has confirmed the robust physical characteristics of the breed and their ability to thrive in rugged country.
“I’m not a beef producer, but it appears to me that this breed could survive just about any environment,” Chard says. “His bull-to-cow ration runs well above average and I find less than 10% of cows are open each breeding season.”
Chard doesn’t often see evidence of sickness in Gould’s herd and believes the bulls provide quality hybrid vigor in progeny.
“Guy takes good care of his customers, too,” Chard says. “His guarantee on animal quality is solid.”