Pedigree Charolais Breeder Christy Comerford reveals how he built up his Knockmahon Herd
07 Aug 2015
Posted in: Agri Finance
Building a pedigree herd from scratch takes hard work and dedication, which may be why Kilkenny farmer, Christy Comerford, wasted little time in getting to work on his Knockmahon Herd of Charolais cattle.
Winner of the Charolais Heifer and Overall Charolais Champion at the AIB National Livestock Show last year with Knockmahon Hyacinth, Christy reveals: “I got going at about 6 years of age and bought my first calf, a Charolais. I always had a love after that for Charolais cattle. “
Brought up on the picturesque farm in Castlewarren, Kilkenny, Christy now lives there with his family – his wife Marguerite and daughters; Colette, Cynthia and Christine. A bustling family farm, over the years he has steadily built up the herd from his first purchase.
He explains: “Three animals is all I ever purchased and now I have 54 pedigree cattle and over 100 commercial cattle.I love farming. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I have a couple of kids as well and they are interested already, so hopefully it will stay as a family farm.
“The two eldest ones are mad into it, they love giving names to the pedigree cattle,” he says. “There are a few battles over it, who gets to name who. Hopefully they keep it up in years to come and keep the herd going. I would love to see them carry on the tradition and build up the name.”
Attendees at this year’s AIB National Livestock Show will get the chance to enter to win a calf from Christy’s herd in a ‘Guess the Weight’ competition beside the AIB Marquee at the show in Tullamore.*
A covetable prize, Christy says the calf will be a great addition to any herd. “She’s about six months old and by a Scottish bull called Handy Man. She’s well-bred.”
He adds: “Whoever wins her, I wish them the best. She will make a good foundation for a pedigree herd. I hope she will go on and be as good for them as she is for me”.”
A natural cattle-man, Christy works around the clock to take care of his livestock. With work starting from early in the morning, seeing the herd thrive is a fitting reward.
“I get up, have breakfast and go out into the fields to see if there is anything wrong. There are days when you could plan something and you get a swing around,” Christy explains.
“The winter is the toughest time with cows calving. There are some weeks that I don’t get any sleep but when you get a good calf out on the ground, it’s worth it all.”
He adds: “To be a farmer, you have to have a love for animals and a good nature to be able to handle cattle properly. I think if you’re good to them, they will be good to you. I look after them like children and put the best effort into taking care of them.”
A stand-out success at the AIB National Livestock Show last year, Christy says coming home with a rosette brings added benefits. “What I noticed this year after winning at the AIB National Livestock Show is you’ll have a lot more customers for stock you have at home as well,” Christy explains.
“To even have an animal there is a great achievement. It’s the best show in the country. It’s any cattleman’s dream who’s into cattle to bring home a rosette from the AIB National Livestock Show.”
Christy adds: “To be able to go to the AIB National Livestock Show and win is like a young Kilkenny hurler winning a medal. I get as much a kick out of that. You get the same kick out of bringing home an All-Ireland medal for an animal as you do from bringing home a GAA medal.”
Watch Christy discuss his win at the AIB National Livestock Show in the video below:
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