Famous Kerry quad calves sold at Gortatlea Mart last night

The famous quad calves of Co. Kerry were sold at Gortatlea Mart last night (Wednesday, October 14) and will now migrate from the Howard family farm in Currow to their new home in Kilflynn.

Weighing 417kg, the lot sold for €1,000/head. According to Gortatlea Mart, the Charolais bullocks will “make the short journey to Kilflynn” to Norah Brady, who purchased the quads through online bidding last night.

Owner Patrick Howard told Gortatlea Mart that he is “delighted to see the calves stay in Kerry and hopes to give them a visit in the future once Covid restrictions are relaxed”.

Howard told AgriLand yesterday it’s time to “give them a good home now again” nearly 14 months after being born.

“Ah sure they’re spoilt,” Howard says.

“Time to get a good home for them now and let them move on another bit. Sure they’re sick of this place!”

Image source: Gortatlea Mart
In August 2019, the dam, Molly, delivered five calves – but one died.

“She’s getting a break now anyway, she’s a fine strong cow. For the calves, what can we do with them only give them a good home now again,” Howard added.

The bullocks were on offer in conjunction with last night’s online weanling sale at Gortatlea Mart.

Minister confirms €5 million for ‘dairy calf-to-beef scheme’

Meanwhile, in other news, following on from the announcement of Budget 2021 this week, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said that €5 million will go towards a new calf weighing measure to support beef farmers rearing dairy calves.

Speaking yesterday (Wednesday, October 14), Minister Charlie McConalogue confirmed that this €5 million will take the form of a dairy calf-to-beef scheme.

The minister said at a press briefing: “We’ve identified an additional €5 million for a dairy calf-to-beef scheme, to support the better integration of the dairy progeny into the beef sector.

We will have a big focus in the years ahead to ensure that the male progeny in particular that come off the dairy herd are fit for beef, and have beef credentials.

“This scheme, this €5 million, will be a welcome support in that regard, and also a welcome indicator that we want, as a policy direction, to very much ensure that the beef characteristics of [dairy calves] are something that can be profitable,” the minister added.