Drop calves were a super trade at the weekly sale in Kilrea Mart last Thursday, with prices regularly passing the £300 barrier for beef sired animals.

This five-week-old Angus bull calf sold for £400.

Underpinning the trade was a strong presence of buying agents around the ring, competing with farmers purchasing calves directly for rearing.

Calves commanding the most buying interest were generally between two and four weeks old, as well as being sired by Belgian Blue and Aberdeen Angus bulls.

Top quality Blue bull calves from AI sires, and vaccinated for pneumonia, were an easy sell. Prices regularly made £275 to £380 for animals between 14 and 20 days old.

This 18-day-old Belgian Blue bull calf sold for £290.

At the upper end of the trade, Blue calves sold to highs of £415 for a pair of bulls just over two weeks of age.

Belgian Blue heifers were highly sought after and calves from two to three weeks old typically sold from £270 to £330.


Across a big entry of Angus calves, quality was hugely variable and this had a big bearing on the prices paid.

This two-month-old Limousin heifer calf sold for £275.

Good quality Angus bull calves around one month old regularly exceeded £300, with prices rising to highs of £400 for a bull calf just shy of six weeks old.

Younger Angus bull calves around two weeks old typically sold between £240 and £280, with plainer types selling back below the £200 barrier.

This pair of 14-day-old Belgian Blue bull calves sold for £415.

Price trends on Angus heifers were similar to bulls, with buyers more active on good quality lots with a bit more age and showing better conformation. Lighter, plainer calves sold from £120 to £160.


Limousin calves were a solid trade, with prices ranging from £260 upwards to £390 for strong-framed bull calves.

A small entry of Simmental calves were easily sold, with prices topping £375 for a well-bred heifer, while Hereford calves sold from £180 to £260.

Friesian bulls sold from £40 to £80 for stronger, older calves, although numbers were limited.

Fleckvieh bulls made £100 over Friesian calves, as did a small entry of Montbéliarde animals.

This 18-day-old Simmental bull calf sold for £275.

This two-month-old Angus heifer calf sold for £340.

This 15-day-old Belgian Blue heifer calf sold for £290.

This two-month-old Montbéliarde bull calf sold for £200.

This 15-day-old Angus bull calf sold for £260.

This pair of six-week-old Belgian Blue bull calves sold for £375.

This 18-day-old Simmental heifer calf sold for £375.

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