The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) calf price data table this week sees Friesian bulls listed as the largest class of calves traded over the last week.

The average price paid for those aged from 10 to 20 days old sits at €50/head for the last seven days.

Not every mart is weighing calves, but data from those that are show the average weight of Friesian bulls in this age bracket is at 51kg.

Older Friesian bulls (21 to 42 days old) averaged €77/head, with weight-reporting marts showing an average of 59kg for this age band. This is a lift of €12/head compared with 2023.

A perennial of the calf trade has been farmers’ willingness at early sales to pay a higher premium, especially for older traditional beef breed-cross calves.

Angus dominates

For those that are beef-sired, Angus dominates, with bull calves aged 10 to 20 days averaging €175/head.

The older category averaged €261/head, a rise of almost €30/head compared with last year.

While bull prices have lifted when comparing the years, it’s a different story for Angus heifer calves.

Prices averaged €133/head for younger stock, while older types settled at €173/head, which is back a fraction compared with 2023.

Data for those weighed showed the older heifers averaged 57kg and bulls 70kg.

It is those weights and above that are attracting higher prices at marts so far.

Hereford prices

Hereford heifers averaged €207/head at between 10 and 20 days old, while older calves averaged €215/head.

It should be noted that these older heifers weighed 16kg/head more than their Angus comrades.

Albeit from a smaller data selection, Hereford bull calves between 14 and 20 days old made €73/head more than Angus bulls of the same age.

The number of continental calves have been limited to date. Older Simmental-cross calves have seen prices of €316/head for heifers and €309/head for bulls recorded.