The Mereside herd of pedigree Limousins was established in 1983 and is managed by Roger and Susan Hazard and their two sons Duncan and James.
Having admired the Limousin breed from around the show rings and having had previous experience of using Limousin sires in the family dairy herd, the Hazard family were well aware of the potential of the breed in terms of growth rate and carcass production.
The early purchases that have formed superb families were from Dan Haak’s (Uplands herd), the most successful being Uplands Tamara, who has been a prolific breeder and has 30-40 progeny or relations in the herd to date.
Other purchases included Lumbylaw Upside, Tankersley Trixie and Broadmeadows Urycine. All females were bought with one thing in mind, the potential to breed good hard working cow families, with plenty of breed character.
Numbers have since grown at a dramatic rate and in order to introduce different bloodlines to the herd, 1992 saw the arrival of Ginette by Colibri from Pierre Gillet who bred Talent. French breeding has since played a dramatic role in the herd’s success as regular bulls have been bought from France and still French females are being added to the herd.
1994 saw the herd’s biggest investment to date in the form of the £12,000 French bull Imprudent. Bought to produce good, strong females with plenty of milk, yet he was also capable of producing stock bulls for the future.
The following year, numbers had built up so much so that the family held an on-farm herd reduction sale averaging £3200. The success of that saw another in 1997, just after BSE, and the sale averaged £2300. In 2003, the family decided to cease with milking to expand the Limousin herd, but before doing that, they held a reduction sale of 50 head in Carlisle which averaged £2500.
Having gradually expanded since then, the Mereside herd has firmly cemented itself as one of the most successful in the Eastern region. Their show record over the years has been fantastic with one year alone resulting in 50 rosettes from four beasts at four shows. And on a herd competition front, the herd has won the overall herd area competition, six out of the last eight years entered.
The emphasis now is on building up the genetic base of the herd with the use of AI. Sales off farm by AI bulls have reached £9000 in the last year alone and many females are sold to establish foundation herds in the area.
AI now forms a huge part of the herd’s management with 70% of females calving to AI bulls. Plans are underway to expand the herd further with a push to go to 150 cows and then on to 200 cows with the top end of the herd being put to the best sires possible, while the rest of the herd will be put to known, proven sires capable of producing good quality commercial bulls.
2013 saw a welcome return back to trading at the Carlisle sales and we kick started the return with the sale of Mereside Godolphin, an October 2011 born Plumtree Deus son out of Mereside Dawnmarie for 40,000gns to Willie Barron, Durham.
- MEMBERS OF HI HERD HEALTH SINCE JANUARY 2006
- JOHNES MONITORED
- IBR ACCREDITED
- BVD ACCREDITED SINCE MARCH 2010
- FIRST QUALIFYING IBR TEST PASSED 2011 (FIRST TIME TESTED FOR IT)