123 bulls are catalogued for the Irish Charolais Cattle Society’s show and sale at Tullamore Mart on Saturday, November 5th.
All entries are genotyped, sire verified, myostatin tested and will be pre-sale inspected.
According to the society, all bulls are fertility tested, and bulls sold within the Republic of Ireland are fertility insured.
At the sale, the purchasers of the five highest-priced bulls will each receive a €200 voucher for Greenvale Animal Feeds.
The sale will be followed by the Elite Charolais Heifer Show and Sale at Tullamore on Saturday, November 12th, where 115 pedigree Charolais heifers will come under the hammer.
Once again, all heifers are genotyped; sire verified; myostatin tested; will be pre-sale inspected; export tested; and eligible for export to Northern Ireland on the day.
Free transport is available to Northern Ireland from this sale. The purchasers of the five highest-priced heifers will each receive a €250 premium.
There will also be free first-time membership with the society for any first-time buyers at this sale.
These two suckler farmers tell us why they choose Charolais.
Hubert Nicholson from County Meath runs approximately 85 suckler cows – 75% of which are Charolais-cross – alongside his brother, Matthew.
Their focus is breeding replacement females, with milk and fertility. Apart from retaining replacements in the herd, they put all progeny through to beef.
This means as well as producing females with strong maternal qualities, the cattle must also have the ability to gain weight efficiently, grade, weigh, and pay at slaughter. This is where Charolais is “key” for the Nicholsons.
“CHAROLAIS CATTLE GIVE US WEIGHT FOR AGE”
An important tool the Nicholsons use is Myostatin testing. Hubert has found the combination of the F94L and the Q204X genes to “work quite well, with a good balance of maternal and terminal traits coming to the fore”.
To help farmers choose the right animal for them, all animals at official Charolais Society Sales are now myostatin tested.
Nevan McKiernan of the Irish Charolais Cattle Society commented:
“Some might think that the maternal-type cattle used on this farm would struggle to pay their way as good beef cattle at slaughter.”
“This is far from the case. Bulls are slaughtered at 20 months of age. All bulls grade Us, with the last batch of bulls averaging 420kgs deadweight.”
“The standard is much the same across the board on the heifers. They are slaughtered under 30 months of age, with the last group averaging 360kgs deadweight.”
He continued: “It is not too often you come across a suckler enterprise so focused on producing replacement females.”
“The fact that does not impact the performance of the cattle from a terminal point of view is extremely positive, and proof that maternal type Charolais can perform at the highest level.”
“Efficiency is so important on this farm simply because it must make financial sense. This farm is proof that maternal Charolais can tick all the boxes if the breeding policy and management are right.”
“CHAROLAIS-CROSS SALERS – THE PERFECT SUCKLER SYSTEM”
Another cross that seems to be ticking all the boxes is the Charolais Cross Salers. Not far from Borrisokane in County Tipperary, Robert Harding farms full-time.
He runs approximately 80 Salers-cross cows, most of which he crosses with a Charolais stock bull.
He sells bull calves as weanlings and brings heifers to beef. Robert finds that the Charolais-cross-Salers suits his system “perfectly”.
“I can sell my Charolais as weanlings or bring them to beef; that is the beauty of the Charolais as a sire.”
One of the most successful purchases on the farm was the Charolais bull, Knockmahon Master.
Robert describes this bull “as the best bull ever used in the herd”.
Unfortunately, Master got hurt earlier this year and had to be culled.
He killed out with a staggering carcass weight of 806kgs and graded an E=. The most recent Charolais bull he used on the farm is a son of CF 52.
Top prices for progeny
In May of this year, Robert sold his Autumn-2021-born weanling bulls at an average age of 8-months-old.
The first batch averaged 420 kgs and sold for an average of €1,230. The younger weanling bulls averaged 394kgs and sold for an average of €1,125.
Last February, Robert brought Charolais-cross heifers to the fatstock show and sale in Portumna Mart, where he received first prize and sold for the top price.
He slaughtered the most recent group of Charolais heifers at an average age of 25-months-old.
They killed out with an average carcass weight of 425kgs and graded a U= on average.
The efficiency of this herd speaks for itself. In 2021, the average calving interval of the herd was 364 days. The number of calves produced per cow was 0.99.
Robert is quick to point out that his weanlings top whatever marts they sell at.
McKiernan remarked: “It is refreshing to see an efficient, profitable, and sustainable suckling system in the heartland of Ireland.”
“Charolais, as a terminal sire combined with the maternal traits of the Salers cow, makes this system a winning combination. More importantly, as a full-time farming operation.”
If you would like to invest in Europe’s number one beef breed, you can do so at one of the society’s two upcoming sales.
Catalogues for both sales are available to view at www.charolais.ie