Newford Farm, the 100-cow suckler-to-beef herd located in Athenry Co Galway, drafted 18 heifers for slaughter on 23 September.

The heifers recorded at average carcase weight of 291kg and at an average of 572kg liveweight. This equates to a kill out of 51%.

The conformation of the heifers averaged R= on the 15-point conformation when rounded to the nearest whole conformation score. This included eight heifers grading R-, seven heifers grading R=, two grading R+ and one grading O+.

With regards the fat score, there were four 3+, six 3=, six 3-, one 2= and one 2-. The average price received was €4.43/kg while the average sale value was €1,289.

Analysis completed by Michael Fagan of Teagasc shows that the heifers were 208 days at grass in 2021 and achieved an average daily liveweight gain since turnout of 0.77kg (161kg in total). Sixteen out of the 18 heifers were part of a batch of 42 heifers receiving supplementation at grass.

Concentrates were introduced to these heifers on 26 July at 2kg per head and stepped up to 4kg daily. The 16 heifers consumed an average of 222kg of a high-energy 12% crude protein ration costing €68 per head.

There are 33 heifers remaining on the farm, with 28 of these receiving 4kg concentrate supplementation daily.

There is a batch of heavier heifers which were delayed drafting in the most recent batch to allow extra time to improve their fat cover. These heifers are weighing between 600kg and 650kg liveweight and should help to increase the average carcase weight figure for 2021.

Dairy-beef heifers

There were also eight dairy-beef heifers slaughtered on the same day. These were part of the replacement heifers and were scanned empty.

There were four Angus cross and four Hereford cross heifers in the batch, with all heifers averaging 253kg carcase weight within a range from 234kg to 267kg. In terms of conformation, there was one R- heifer, three O+ and four O=.

For fat score there were two 4-, two 3+, two 3=, one 3- and one 2+. The average price received was €4.35/kg, giving an average sale value of €1,017.90.