As tenants to the National Trust, Patrick and family moved to Columbjohn in 1983, purchasing their first limousin cow (Gorton Fleurina) with bull calf at foot for the commercial suckler herd. Subsequent breeding cows were purchased from a number of herds including Grange, Rivermead, Caswell, Lerryn and Redenham to establish the Killerton Herd.
Patrick’s approach to breeding cattle, both pedigree and commercial, has been market lead – providing quality stock required by pedigree and commercial producers, but also meeting the demands of the processors and retailers with the majority of carcases (over 80%) grading at E or U. He aims to produce top quality bulls and females, with good growth, muscle and conformation whilst retaining the importance of calving ease.
High priority has been placed upon genetic improvement in the pedigree Limousin herd, producing easy calving cattle with good all round growth and natural fleshing over the loin and hindquarters. As a result, modern well-fleshed stockbulls with excellent EBVs, temperament and mobility have been used on the pedigree and commercial herds.
The size of the pedigree herd has gradually increased with the majority of homebred daughters being retained whilst the commercial beef herd has been reduced. Built on good principles and foundations, today over 83% of the 160 breeding cows are pedigree limousin. However, careful selection of heifers ensures only those showing the required performance/correctness characteristics are used. The development of the pedigree stock has been enhanced by use of A.I. together with influential stock bulls including Lowabbey United (s.Grahams Ramrod), Grange Locarno (s.Gabarit) and Grange Nawaz (s.Gabarit), Hafodlas Auron (Saphir) and our homebred Killerton Paddy (s.Hortensia).