After a somewhat slower start, the calf trade has very much taken off as it hits peak calf sales, with stronger well-fed calves continuing to be in the highest demand.

Trends have shown that calves that are around three to four-weeks-old or 50kg plus are in high demand by calf buyers.

This trend continued in Gortatlea for its weekly calf sale on Monday, April 1.

Speaking to Agriland about the trade, Gortatlea Mart manager, Maurice Brosnan said that there were almost 1,400 calves on offer at the marts Easter Monday calf sale.

He said that calves that are being kept on farms for additional seven to 10 days are making an additional €100 to €150, compared to the younger calves coming into ring.

Brosnan says that the farmer buyers are looking for calves that have a bit more strength to them and will not be an impacted by a case of scour.

Calf trade

Brosnan said that good Angus and Hereford cross calves that were three-weeks-of-age and older, weighing 50kg, sold for up to €250 – with some reaching the €450 mark.

He noted that many of the lighter type calves weighting between 30kg and 40kg were harder sold on the day – with these calves making between €150 and €200.

Commenting on the trade for Continental calves, he said that the good, well fed four-to-five-week-old Continental calves made up €550.

For the Friesian bulls, Brosnan said that farmer-type 50kg and above calves were making from €100 up to €180, while the Friesian shipping type calves sold for between €50 and €100 on the day.

According to Brosnan, around 30% of the calves sold at Monday’s sale went for shipping with a mix of Friesian bulls, Angus and even some Hereford calves.

He also said that the online trade was very active for stronger-type calves on offer in the sale.