As March draws to a close, now is the time to check through forward cattle and make a final call on what will kill out of the shed.

The store ring is on fire, so there is little merit holding cattle that will struggle to reach a suitable slaughter weight and fat cover by mid-June.

These animals may be better off sold on now or put back to grass and killed over the summer or early autumn.


If the plan is to finish cattle out of the shed by mid-June, steers and heifers should weigh no more than 60kg to 80kg below your target finishing weight on 1 April.

So if your target finishing weight is 720kg for steers, they should weigh at least 640kg by 1 April.

Any lighter and carcase weight will suffer, so animals may struggle to put on enough fat cover.

Serious thought should be given to selling these animals through the live ring now, where good-quality continentals are making over €3/kg with ease.

With young bulls on track to kill under 16 months by mid-June, these animals should be in the region of 100kg to 130kg below target slaughter weight around 1 April.

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