Our member profile today comes from Aled Jones, Wernol Salers.
I (Aled) farm in partnership with my brother Endaf and Mother Catherine and run a herd of 100 pedigree Saler cows – Wernol Salers in Chwilog near Pwllheli on the Llyn peninsula in North Wales. We also run a caravan park, Parc Wernol and holiday cottages in converted farm buildings.
Farm size, other stock
The farm is 400acres mostly down to permanent pasture lies around 50m above sea level. There are 150 pedigree Lleyn ewes lambing in mid Jan/Feb around 180 lambing %. Texel, Hampshire and LLeyn rams are used, also 300 ewes taken in for wintering.
100 pedigree cows using 4 Salers bulls. Calving takes place 1st April onwards outdoors where rarely assistance will be needed. Normally around 70% calve in the first 3 weeks. All cattle are in high health scheme SAC, BVD acc and Jonhes Level 1. About 20 heifers are retained each year and will calve at 24 months. With most of the rest sold as bulling heifers privately or in Welshpool. Any heifers not suitable would be finished. We run a strict culling policy where any cows showing problems or late calving are culled.
Foundation cattle – A few heifers were first brought in from France in 2008, we then brought heifers from John Elliott Drumlegagh Northern Ireland and Harri Pritchard Felin Salers North Wales.
Stock bulls are Drumlegagh Granville he was purchased in Castle Douglas where he stood overall champion in 2015 for 8500gns. The latest bull is Drumlegagh Hamish which has won many championships and bull of the year 2016 & 2017. A French bull Illamani has also been imported from the Fourtet herd. We look for easy fleshing cattle of medium size with good udders.
Salers are very easy calving with only one heifer requiring assistance last year. Salers work well for us with the tourist business, being easy calving and very fertile which reduces the workload, when the tourist season is busy. There is great demand for heifers from commercial farmers and pedigree breeders requiring high health heifers because of their easy calving and their milk ability. There is also the ability to be able to run a closed herd with only bulls being brought in now.
Male calves – 2 or 3 of the best bulls are kept each year these are sold at around 12/16 months. The rest will be finished as bull beef at around 13 months of age averaging 360kg deadweight grading R/U 3.