Calf births strike 2.19 million head

Just over 2.19 million calf births have been registered to beef and dairy dams so far this year, figures from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) show.

Over recent years, the number of calves born on Irish farms has grown constantly, with total registrations up 11% when the corresponding period in 2011 is compared to this year’s total.

Total calf registrations:
  • 2018: 2,192,218 head;
  • 2017: 2,188,791 head;
  • 2016: 2,159,440 head;
  • 2015: 2,107,820 head;
  • 2014: 1,984,732 head;
  • 2013: 1,959,263 head;
  • 2012: 1,974,198 head.

Looking at the figures in more detail, a rise in dairy calf births is responsible for this increase. Official figures show that almost 1.38 million calves were registered to dairy dams between January 1 and October 19 – up 41,981 head on the same period in 2018.

Dairy calf registrations:
  • 2018: 1,375,353 head;
  • 2017: 1,333,372 head;
  • 2016: 1,290,868 head;
  • 2015: 1,221,022 head;
  • 2014: 1,120,641 head;
  • 2013: 1,071,771 head;
  • 2012: 1,050,239 head.

Despite the rise in total calf births, a significant decrease has been witnessed in suckler calvings between 2012 and 2018.

Back in 2012, some 923,959 calves were registered to beef cows; that figure dropped to just 816,865 head this year. In addition, the number of calves registered to beef dams has fallen each year between 2015 and 2018.

Beef calf registrations:
  • 2018: 816,865 head;
  • 2017: 855,419 head;
  • 2016: 868,572 head;
  • 2015: 886,798 head;
  • 2014: 864,091 head;
  • 2013: 858,649 head;
  • 2012: 923,959 head.

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