Established in October 2010 off the back of ceasing pig production at Liley Farm, the Liley Aberdeen-Angus herd currently numbers 100 breeding females, with a view to increasing to 130 breeding females.
Heavy investment in proven dam lines has seen the arrival of the 24,000gns Rawburn Edith K180, the 16,000gns Rawburn Ellen Erica H880, the 10,000gns Rawburn Kinannie L326 and the 8200gns Belhaven Eye Catcher L345, all of which have been purchased at either the February or October Stirling sales.
Other investments have seen private purchasers from the Rawburn and Belhaven herds including Belhaven Eston Eternal J176 who is in the 2013 show team and dam of some of the Rawburn herd’s top performing sires.
Embryos from Canada have also been imported to further enhance the elite genetic base of the herd with a view to offering both pedigree and commercial breeders outcross sires.
The current plan is to have a nucleus herd of 20-30 elite breeding females which will form the donor base for ET work, along with the remainder which will be put to top quality, high performance sires that the breed has to offer.
What is key to the success of the herd is that it is managed on a commercial footing, paying close attention to feed conversion ratio’s, growth rates and meticulous daily monitoring of inputs, all valuable lessons learnt from the pig sector. Bulls are weighed once a month with daily live weight gains, intakes and feed costs scrutinised.
Showing is undertaken to enhance the herd’s profile and will be in attendance at Newark and Notts, Northumberland, Royal Highland Show, Great Yorkshire, Border Union and the National Aberdeen-Angus summer and winter National Shows, as well as a few local shows. Winter Shows will also see a strong team in attendance for calf shows across the UK and Scotland.
As well as having bulls and females for sale privately, bulls are often forward at the main Society sales in Stirling and Carlisle.
The Liley herd is also part of the Biobest Health Scheme, is Farm Assured, Breedplan Performance Recorded and is in a TB Area 4 for testing.
The herd also works closely with Asda and ABP on their BeefLink scheme finishing commercial stock for the ABP plant, an enterprise we are looking to grow considerably in the future.