Six Simmental-sired and four Angus-sired bulls were slaughtered last week out of the bull shed on Tullamore Farm, coming into an average carcase weight of 373kg at just under 15 months old.
At a base price of €4.10/kg, the bulls averaged a beef price of €4.26/kg once grading and quality assurance were taken into consideration.
This meant an average carcase value of €1,593.
Looking at the performance of the batch (Table 1 below), carcase weights varied from 325kg for a KYA-sired Angus bull from a bought-in, in-calf heifer, up to 443kg for a QCD-sired Simmental, off a fifth-parity LMxFR cow.
Overall, farm manager Shaun Diver is very happy with how the bulls are performing.
Commenting on the Simmental bulls that were all sired by Dovea Genetics bull QCD, he said: “We have used a good bit of QCD in recent years, really in the hopes of getting a heifer calf to produce a decent replacement.
"However, we use him safe in the knowledge that his bull calves will go on and perform quite well – the six Simmental bulls averaged a carcase weight of 397kg at under 15 months.
"On our cow type, there is no issue with producing a good R+ or U- grading bull from him."
Shaun said that some of the Angus bulls, while they weren’t the heaviest, they were ready to go, as can be seen by their fat scores.
Feeding these bulls for any longer would not make economic sense as they start to lay down more fat and less lean muscle.
It takes three times as much energy in terms of feed to lay down a kilo of fat compared with a kilo of lean meat.
As a batch, the average fat score was 3- which is ideal.
Shaun said that the majority of the bulls that are left to be slaughtered are either Limousin or Charolais and are not currently as well fleshed.
He hopes to have another draft of bulls next week and is keeping a keen eye on birth dates, as some of the earlier-born bulls are starting to approach the 16-month limit.