Carrigallen Mart held its annual show and sale of heifers last Thursday.

It always a big day in the Leitrim venue, with a number of large feeders in attendance, sourcing heifers of all weights and ages.

Heavy snow and frost didn’t dampen the trade and over 400 heifers changed hands on the day, with a clearance rate of 96%.

Top price

There is a renewed confidence again in the trade and last Thursday’s sale was no exception.

Local woman Margaret Gault had a super day out, with one of her heifers taking the overall championship in the pre-sale show for her Belgian Blue heifer.

The April 2020-born heifer weighed 715kg and sold for €2,800.

This price was matched by another of her Belgian Blue heifers, this time for a July 2020-born Belgian Blue heifer weighed 665kg.

Heifers in the 400kg to 500kg bracket were in good demand, also demonstrating confidence in the longer-term outlook for the beef trade.


Good continental heifers around the 450kg to 500kg mark were hitting €3.40/kg to €3.70/kg for the tops, while some lighter 400kg-plus dairy Hereford- and Aberdeen Angus-cross heifers were back at €2.10/kg to €2.30/kg.

The biggest appetite was for the 500kg to 600kg heifer, with a combination of factory agents, big feeders and a few in-calf heifer specialists all vying for the top heifers.

This weight bracket of heifers saw the largest increase on the average at the same sale in 2022, up over €200/head year on year.

These heifers averaged out at €2.95/kg, with up to €3.60/kg being paid for top-end heifers.

Heavy heifers were also in big demand, with wholesalers and factory agents paying in excess of €6/kg carcase weight for heavy heifers.

These heifers were up €250/head on last year’s sale, with the top heifers selling for over €4/kg, with the average for heifers over 600kg in the sale coming in at €3.03/kg.

Electric trade

Mart manager Helen Kells described the trade as electric: “We were a little concerned about the weather and whether customers would travel.

“Online bidding is a great back-up though and we had a number of big customers operating online during the day.

“Trade for heavy forward store heifers was exceptional, with a number of big feeders hungry for cattle all day.

“Our next show and sale takes place on Thursday 16 March for dry cows, while we will have our show and sale of sucklers on Monday 20 March.”

In pictures

This July 2020-born Belgian Blue heifer weighed 665kg and sold for €2,800 (€4.21/kg).

This June 2020-born Charolais heifer weighed 785kg and sold for €2,600 (€3.31/kg).

This April 2020-born Charolais heifer weighed 740kg and sold for €2,000 (€2.70/kg).

This April 2021-born Charolais heifer weighed 465kg and sold for €1,570 (€3.38/kg).

This January 2021-born Limousin heifer weighed 555kg and sold for €1,710 ( €3.08/kg).

This March 2021-born Charolais heifer weighed 660kg and sold for €2,080 (€3.15/kg).

This October 2020-born Charolais heifer weighed 715kg and sold for €2,340(€3.27/kg).

This June 2020-born Limousin heifer weighed 760kg and sold for €2,600 (€3.42/kg).

This April 2021-born Aberdeen Angus heifer weighed 465kg and sold for €1,460 (€3.14/kg).