| Charolais carcasses proving ideal under new factory specs for Waterford suckler farmer
There has been a lot of talk in recent times regarding the carcass specifications which have been put in place by meat factories. How they will affect beef producers and what breed can best meet these specifications. But one man it has not affected is John Power from Glenafooka, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Waterford. John runs a 200 cow spring calving suckler herd. He finishes the majority of his progeny as young bulls under 16 months and heifers under 22 months. The majority of the cows in the herd are Limousin cross, with a small number of Simmental cross also. This year there are six charolais stock bulls on the farm. John is the fifth generation of his family to have farmed in Glenafooka and has always put his trust in Charolais as the terminal sire for his cows. He explains “For me there is nothing to touch the Charolais as a terminal sire, their all-round performance is second to none.”
The majority of the charolais stock bulls on the farm are five star bulls. In recent times John has focused more on easier calving bulls, which has reduced his calf mortality to less than 2% and has also cut his vet bills. A calf mortality rate of less than 2% from 200 cows is a remarkably low figure and highlights the calving ease of his charolais bulls. Four bulls that are performing exceptionally well for John at present are ‘Lisnagre Gavin Et’, a son of ‘Oldstone Egbert’ out of ‘Major’ dam. ‘Laheens Evan’ a son of ‘Lyonsdemesne Tzar’ out of ‘CF 52’ dam. ‘Carraigabruise Emperor’ a son of ‘Ashleigh Admiral’ out of an ‘Indurain’ dam. Also ‘Caltun Echo’ a son of ‘CF 52’ out of an ‘Indurain’ dam. “I could not ask for much more from any of those four bulls” says John.
So how does John’s charolais progeny perform where it counts? Well last year 75% of the bulls were killed under 16 months at an average carcass weight of 388kgs with a grade average of U=.Which are ideal for the new carcass specifications that have been put in place. The remaining 25% were killed at 20 months at an average carcass weight of 455kgs, with a grade average of U+. John points out that he would finish all his bulls at 16 months but it’s a bonus to have income coming in at different times of the year. As well as this it suits their system to finish their 20 month old bulls of grass. The heifers continued the same kind of performance, with 25% of the heifers being killed at 16 months, at an average carcass weight of 320kgs with a grade average of R+. The remaining 75% of heifers were killed at 22 months at an average carcass weight of 385kgs, with a grade average of U-. Outstanding averages across the board from such large number of cows and sires. A true and stark reminder of the performance and efficiency that the charolais as a terminal sire can bring to any herd.