Eustace Burke, Clontead Aberdeen Angus, Carrigaline, County Cork will host an on-farm sale of 14 bulls, in conjunction with Cork Marts and MartEye at 1pm this Thursday (March 25th, 2021).
The Clontead herd was founded in 2003 and has since scooped multiple prizes, including All-Ireland Aberdeen-Angus championship titles across an array of categories at agricultural shows nationwide.
Speaking to That’s Farming, Eustace, the proprietor of Clontead Aberdeen Angus, said:
“In recent years, I have tried to breed for feed efficiency and growth rates. We are the first herd to have a fully online sale on-farm in the beef circles, especially with traditional breeds.”
“I am looking forward to the sale, but I am nervous at the same time. When you are the first to do something, you will always be nervous.”
“I have confidence in our bulls. They are the best group of bulls we have ever had. I also feel we have an advantage as we are running a high health herd. So hopefully, that appeals to farmers.”
“We are willing to hold the bulls for three weeks on-farm after the sale. If farmers want any additional vaccines to fix their herd programmes, we can facilitate that.”
Eustace feels the star entry of the upcoming sale is lot number 2, Clontead Pluto V311.
According to the breeder, the bull is in the top 1% of the breed; he has the highest Dairy Beef Index of €125, with the highest DBI carcass ratio available.
“He is four-times the breed average for carcass. As a group of bulls, they are carrying two-and-a-half times the breed average for carcass weight; it is something we concentrate on massively.”
“All our bulls are high indexes, so a lot of our entry are in the top 10% of the breed for replacement value and terminal value, but also Dairy Beef Index.”
“There is a concentration on easy calving. We have marked out the bulls to use on heifers and the bulls to use on cows, clearly in the catalogue.”
“All their bloodlines, birth weights and figures from ICBF can be found on MartEye, including pictures of the bulls. Furthermore, the bulls have all been genomic and myostatin-tested, are vaccinated for IBR, are Johnes-free, and fertility tested.”
The pedigree breeder outlined that most of his clients are farmers who wish to achieve a premium price for their calf in the sales ring, or when slaughtering progeny.
“While selling from home, we have bred what customers have wanted. We have sold bulls to the UK, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, and Romania.”
“If you look at the calf rings and the strong rings, it is Angus that are leading the way; it is down to the premium. If you take a look at Angus bulls’ gestation and the calf value you are getting, it outweighs any other breed in the calf ring. A dairy cow is doing about 2 kgs of milk solids a day, and a kg of milk solids is worth €5.”
“So, it is €10 a day for a dairy cow, and on average, the Angus has at least a ten-day shorter gestation period than most continental breeds. It is not even just the gestation; it is getting them back in-calf that bit quicker,” Eustace concluded.
You can find more about Clontead’s bulls on MartEye’s website here.
Additional editing by Catherina Cunnane