Charolais Bulls Average €3,610 In Tullamore

It was always going to be a buyers market in Tullamore on Saturday last, with 135 bulls catalogued to go under the hammer. However, with many lots selling privately prior to the sale and others destined for the Christmas Cracker on December 2nd, the number of bulls present was substantially less than catalogued. In total, 45 bulls found new homes, selling to an average of €3,610. The demand for quality Charolais cattle in the commercial market clearly drove buyers to be selective with their choice of bull.

Lisnagre Mc Stay ET who sold for the top price of €7,400 with breeder, Jim Geoghegan

The trade peaked at €7,400 for a 13 month old bull from well known Westmeath breeder, Jim Geoghegan. Leading the way for Jim was Lisnagre Mc Stay ET, a son of the renowned French sire, Major and the legendary Ballydownan Simone ET. Mc Stay carries a five star terminal index of €148 and a calving figure of 10.9%. Mc Stay won the final class of the day in the pre-sale show under Judge, David Bothwell of the Killadeas herd based in Enniskillen. He was knocked down in the sales ring to County Longford suckler farmer, James Donnelly.

Champion bull Roughan Malachi who sold for €7,200 with Judge, David Bothwell

The pre-sale show consisted of 10 classes which were all fiercely contested as always. Coming out on top was Roughan Malachi exhibited by Pat Mc Clean from Newtowncunningham, Lifford, Co. Donegal. This outstanding specimen of the breed is a son of Roughan Galant and Roughan Esprance, a daughter of Roughan Verygood. After a lively bidding contest, Malachi was eventually secured by the Bostonia Charolais herd in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo. The March 2016 born powerhouse sold with a five star replacement index of €72, a four star terminal index of €126 and a calving figure of 8.2%.

Reserve Champion Williamstown Meilard who sold for €6,300

Next best in the sales ring at €6,300 was Williamstown Meilard from Westmeath man, Aidan Farrell. This classy son of Meillard Rj was tapped out as the Reserve Champion of the show earlier in the day. The 16 month old bull carries both CF 52 and Excellent in his back pedigree. Securing this promising young bull was Billy Gubbins from Kilfinane, Co. Limerick. Aidan Farrell had an exceptional day in the sales ring when his other first prize winner, Williamstown Mixey flew to €5,800, selling to County Roscommon suckler farmer, Michael Connellan. This 16 month old bull looked every bit as good on paper as he did in reality. A son of Pirate and a Lyonsdemesne Tzar bred dam, Mixey sold with five star terminal and replacement index along with a calving figure of just 6.9%.

Roughan Marcus who sold for €6,000

Hitting the €6,000 mark was Pat Mc Clean’s next offering, Roughan Marcus. This March 2016 born son of the fore mentioned, Roughan Galant sold with a five star terminal index of €154 and a calving figure of 7.4%. Snapping up Marcus was Brian Cassidy from Roslee, Co. Fermanagh. Pat had a successful day at the office, selling his four bulls to an average of €5,000.

County Cork breeder, John Ward made his trip worthwhile all the way from Bantry, as he sold his May 2016 born bull, Colomane Maximus for €5,600. This thick, well made son of the former Dovea AI sire, Limkiln Hulk possesses a whopping terminal index of €161. Securing this one was fellow Cork man, Robert Good.

The Quinn family from Edenderry, Co. Offaly sold their three lots to an average of €4,100. Topping their trade at €4,900 was Ballym Mozart sired by CF 85. This April 2016 born bull headed west with Clare suckler farmer, John Mc Cormick. Ballym M+M then traded hands at €4,400, selling to Pat Vaughan from Tulla, Co. Clare. This CF 85 son carries a five star terminal index of €137 and a calving figure of 7.7%. Their final offering, Ballym Macbeth sired by Alwent Goldbar parted company at €3,000.

It would be strange if a CF 52 son did not feature somewhere along the line and one of the last bulls into the ring reminded everyone he is still right there. His 13 month old son, Tonroe Mandm from Vincent Callaghan in Swinford, Co. Mayo hit €4,800, selling to David Creighton from County Roscommon. This bull sold with a performance packed pedigree, which included a terminal index of €186, a replacement index of €53 a calving figure of just 6.2%.

Killoneen Mighty exhibited by local man, Thomas O’ Rourke from Daingean then exchanged hands at €4,250. This 17 month old son of Lisnagre Hansome sold with a solid set of indexes, including a terminal index of €152, a replacement index of €78 and a calving figure of 10.2%. Buyer here was a suckler farmer in County Cavan. Not far behind Mighty was Tullyharnet Mojo sired by the maternal French sire, Tombapik. Property of Noel Laverty from County Monaghan, Mojo sold with one of the best set of indexes in the catalogue, comprising of a five star terminal index of €142, a five star replacement index of €110 and a calving figure of 7.6%. He sold to suckler farmer, Tom Noble from Northern Ireland.

The Crossdrum Felix son, Baurnafea Myles exhibited by John Bambrick from Castlewarren, Co. Kilkenny traded at €4,000. He headed west with suckler farmer, Dermot O’ Reilly from Claremorris, Co. Mayo. Two lots then shared the price tag of €3,800, the first of which was Whitepark Mike exhibited by Patrick Hillary from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. This Cavelands Fenian son ticked all the boxes on paper, with a five star teminal and replacement index, along with a calving figure of just 6.7%. He found his new home with fellow Ballinasloe man, Harry Mellody. The second lot to find a new home at €3,800 was Makief Mattie exhibited by Derek Woods from Killeshandra, Co. Cavan. This 15 month old bull is a son of Fiston and a Blelack Digger daughter. He was also very attractive on paper, selling with a five star terminal index of €140, a five star replacement index of €122 and a calving figure of 5.6%.

Other leading prices included:

€3,700 for Feakle Major by Alwent Goldbar and exhibited by Michael Green

€3,600 for Goldhill Motivator by Fiston and exhibited by Padraig Murphy

€3,500 for Clewbay12 Mojo by Voimo and exhibited by Charles Hughes

€3,450 for Ballyfinnane Milo ET by Panama and exhibited by Kenneth Clarke

€3,300 for Goldstar Macbeth ET by Tombapik and exhibited by Martin Ryan

Next Society show and sale is the Elite Heifer show and sale which takes place this Saturday the 11th of November in Tullamore Mart. Download Catalogue here – Download PDF Catalogue








Charolais making remarkable Genetic Improvements according to latest ICBF evaluations

How do we measure progress, one of the answers definitely must be achieving our objectives. The recent evaluations released by ICBF show that the Charolais breed in Ireland are achieving rapid genetic improvements in their Replacement traits over the past number of years. The genetic trend graphs below also show that Charolais cattle in Ireland are driving ahead for traits such as ‘Carcass Weight’ and ‘Carcass Conformation’. To improve on Terminal traits, Replacement traits and at the same time produce easy calving cattle, is not such an easy task. It is for this reason that it is inspiring to see that the recent evaluations clearly show that the Charolais breed in Ireland is consistently improving on Calving Ease, Carcass Confirmation, Carcass Weight, Milk and Fertility, all at the same time.

Graph 1 – Genetic trends for the Terminal and Replacement Index in Pedigree Charolais Cattle

The genetic trend for the ‘Terminal Index’ in pedigree Charolais cattle in Graph 1 reflects the outstanding progress that Irish Charolais breeders have been making in breeding generations of Pedigree cattle that are far better for terminal traits than their predecessors. However, the remarkable improvements that must be noted from this graph is in the Replacement Index over recent years, in traits such as Milk and Fertility.

Graph 2 – Genetic trend for the Milk Index in Pedigree Charolais Cattle

As can be seen in Graph 2, the ‘Milk Index’ in pedigree Charolais cattle has been improving gradually over the past few years.

Graph 3 – Genetic trend for the Calving Interval Index in Pedigree Charolais Cattle

A lower figure is desired for ‘Calving Interval’, which according to Graph 3 indicates that fertility is consistently improving in the pedigree Charolais population.

Graph 4 – Genetic trend for Carcass Weight in Pedigree Charolais Cattle

Graph 5 – Genetic trend for Carcass Confirmation in Pedigree Charolais Cattle

Graphs 4 and 5 clearly highlight the rapid gains made by Charolais breeders in Ireland with regards Carcass Weight and Carcass Confirmation. However, the key item to note from these improvements is the fact that they are being achieved in conjunction with Calving Ease. The Charolais breed average for Calving Difficulty continues to come down, reducing from 7.55% in 2014 to 7.15% at which it currently stands.

“Charolais deliver weight for age like no other breed”

Pictured at the recent farm walk in Donegal are, from left to right – Nevan Mc Kiernan (ICCS), Aidan Murray (Teagasc), Andrew Palmer (Suckler Farmer), Brendan Mc Feely (Chairman Donegal Charolais Club), Raymond Palmer (Suckler Farmer), Gary Fisher (Teagasc), Basil Bothwell (ICBF).

The Donegal Charolais club held a farm walk on Raymond and Margaret Palmer’s suckler farm in Castlefin, Co. Donegal on Wednesday evening last. The Palmer’s run a sixty cow suckler herd, which is split between autumn and spring calving. The herd of cows is made up of a mixed batch of Simmental, Limousin and a small number of Charolais cross cows. There is two Charolais stock bulls run on the farm. Raymond’s explanation for constantly using Charolais is simple ” Charolais deliver weight for age like no other breed”. The current stock bull on the farm is the Blelack Digger son, Carrickbrack96 Jordn, who was purchased at the 2015 Christmas Cracker show and sale. His first crop of calves look extremely promising.

Carrickbrack96 Jordn


Progeny of the Blelack Digger sired stock bull

The average calving interval of the herd is 368 days, Raymond hopes to get this below 365 days this year. The number of calves produced per cow per year is 0.97, which is up there with the best performing suckler herds in the country. The male progeny on the farm is always sold as yearling’s, while the females are finished of the farm between 18 – 24 months. The advantage of using Charolais is they give Raymond phenomenal weight for age at a year old, and the heifers kill out ideally for market specifications at 20 months.

10 month old Charolais cross weanling bulls by a Sesame bred stock bull

The eleven Charolais weanling bulls which were born last autumn weigh on average 464 kg. They have a average daily live weight gain of 1.35 kg/day since birth. Since weaning in May, they have gained on average 1.66 kg/day. The remarkable thing about their performance, is the fact they were only introduced to meal five week’s ago. Currently they are on 4 kg/head per day. Their primary diet is top quality grass, which on the Palmer’s farm is exceptional. These weanling’s are the progeny of Trenamullen Homer, a Sesame bred Charolais bull which was used in the herd.

16 month old Charolais cross heifers sired by the Sesame bred stock bull

Below are the kill out’s of some Charolais cross heifers which were finished on the farm recently:

24 Months U3= 435 kg
25 Months U4- 358 kg
24 Months U3+ 345 kg
24 Months U3= 345 kg
24 Months R3+ 346 kg
24 Months U3= 382 kg

A enjoyable and informative night was had by all, the cattle and the hospitality certainly did not disappoint. Speakers on the night included Basil Bothwell from ICBF, who talked through what buyer’s should look for when purchasing young bulls. Nevan Mc Kiernan from the Irish Charolais Cattle Society discussed the highest replacement and terminal index Charolais bulls currently available in Irish AI. Suckler farmer Raymond Palmer and his Teagasc adviser Gary Fisher outlined the performance statistics of the cattle on the farm and the factors which affect their performance. They also explained the grassland management practices implemented on the farm. The final speaker on the night was Aidan Murray, well known Teagasc beef specialist. Aidan analysed the herd’s key performance indicator’s and explained how well the herd compares with the National suckler herd.

Suckler farmers at the event look through the impressive Charolais cross weanling’s on the farm