The first draft of cattle from the Thrive dairy calf-to-beef demonstration farm in Cashel, Co Tipperary, this year is almost a month later than last year. This is due to the heifers being housed for finishing early due to grass shortages. However, the average carcase weight is up by almost 15kg on the first draft of last year.

This HE5452-sired heifer weighed 542kg and at a carcase weight of 280kg had a killout of 51.7%, she graded O=4- and made €1,377.

While this indoor period does incur greater costs in terms of silage use and slurry handling, the concentrate input is the same, as they would have been fed to the same level at grass.

This HE4105-sired heifer weighed 488kg had a killout of 52.4%, a carcase weight of 256kg and graded O+4- at a value of €1,274.

It also has a benefit in terms of improving killout percentage, as well as firming up the carcase fat on the animal and reducing the yellowness of the fat, which can have a positive effect in terms of reduced carcase fat score for these animals.

This HE5467-sired heifer weighed 542kg, killout of 52.1%, carcase weight of 283kg and graded O+3+ making €1,408.

Twelve Hereford-sired heifers were slaughtered on Monday 19 September at an average age of 19 months and eight days at a liveweight of 536kg.

They achieved an average carcase weight of 279.1kg, ranging from 255kg up to 296kg.

This HE4105-sired heifer weighed 554kg had a killout of 51.3%, carcase weight of 284kg and graded O+4= coming into a value of €1,415.

All stock managed to maximise the in-spec 20c/kg bonus as they all fell within a conformation score of O= to R- and a fat score range of 3= to 4=. The average grade was O+4-.

Carcase value

In terms of carcase value, they were killed at a base price of €4.75/kg plus the 20c/kg in-spec bonus, and a 15c/kg Hereford breed bonus brought the price to €5.10/kg. Allowing for grid adjustments, the average price paid was €4.98/kg, taking the average carcase value to €1,391/head.

This HE4297-sired heifer weighed 554kg, had a killout of 53.4kg, a carcase weight of 296kg and graded O+4= making €1,474.

This ranged from €1,274 for a 255kg carcase that graded O+4= up to €1,474 for a 296kg carcase of the same grade.

Angus cattle

There were 11 Angus heifers slaughtered this week and in next week’s paper there will be a full breakdown of their slaughter performance.

Regular drafting

With these stock types, regular drafting is very important – even since the first heifers were drafted less than two weeks ago, there is another batch of heifers coming fit for slaughter.

This HE4105-sired heifer weighed 538kg, had a killout of 52.5%, a carcase weight of 283kg grading R-4= and had a value of €1,441.

Even feeding these heifers for one week extra could be very costly, as they creep into 4+ or 5 fat scores, which come with a beef price penalty.

This HE5467-sired heifer weighed 552kg had a killout of 51.9%, graded O=3= and made €1,410.