My name is Alan Hanbidge. I farm in Brockna, Kiltegan, Co.Wicklow with my daughter Linda and son Gordon. The Hanbidge Family have been farming here since 1850 and I am the 5th generation to farm here.
I have mainly a dairy farm with a few sheep. We sell our bull calves before they reach six weeks old and we keep our heifers as replacements.
I milked all British Friesians until 1992. I started to find it very hard to get British Friesian bulls or semen and I didn’t like the direction the holsteins were starting to take.
I was looking for a breed that would produce milk and still have a good beef calf. After seeing an advertisement for a dual purpose breed, I went to view the Montbeliardes and was immediately impressed with them.
In 1993 the first 3 Montbeliardes were bought and 5 more in 1994. After 5 years of seeing how they performed we decided to buy in some embryos in 1998 from France. A.I. was then used to breed up the herd and all except 2 cows are red and white in the herd today.
The Montbeliardes have proven themselves to be very easy to manage. They remain
healthy and trouble free.
Our herd average is 7000kg of milk per year with a 3.85% fat and 3.5% protein.
We have been selling surplus heifers over the last 6 years. In 2012 we exported 9 freshly calved heifers to Cumbria in England. The market in England is constantly in demand for Pedigree Montbeliarde Heifers and I hope to sell more to them again.
Our farm is always open to visitors to view the herd. Just give me a call to see if we are around.
Alan – 086 1981011.