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Irish Limousin Cattle Society, Kilglass, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork

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Regardless of breeding, quality, figures or stars all young bulls and indeed cull bulls have a minimum value. This value is what can be achieved at slaughter. At todays factory prices, and all indications are that prices will rise further, most will be surprised at what Limousin Bulls will return. Limousin Bulls can be deceptive in the flesh, their kill out, muscle and feed conversion result in better that anticipated carcases.

Young Bulls

Detailed below are true examples of young Pedigree Limousin Bulls recently slaughtered (Jan 2011) by different breeders and what they returned

Age (months)

Grade

Dead Weight (kg)

Carcase Value (Euro)

16

E3

462

1,620

17

U3

469

1,655

17

U3

462

1,630

18

U2

503

1,776

19

E3

483

1,691

20

E2

434

1,562

21

U2

455

1,606

22

U2

428

1,510

The slaughter age was in the main determined by feeding, those fed intensively in the finishing period were slaughtered at younger ages compared with those fed normally. Regardless of age consistent for all were the good weights and grades. This is what you would expect from Limousin. In fact what was achieved was not consistent with the figures for many of these bulls (two and three star for beef carcase delivering four and five star performance). For what ever reason, be it data not getting into the system or insufficient scoring or other, the ICBF figures understated some Limousin Bulls beefing capability in our opinion.

Prices were 3.50 to 3.60 euro per kg. At these prices a return of 1,600 euro was easily achieved. Expectations are that price will go to 4 euro which will increase these returns to 1,880 euro for an in spec 460 kg carcase.

These animals were slaughtered for many different reasons. One reason was the unrealistic value being put on bulls by some purchasers for breeding. 1,500 euro is a figure often quoted by potential purchasers on the basis of ads on the internet or in farmer publications or a neighbours opinion. For this they expect a good bull and the breeder to stand over same. This is not realistic.

Bull buyers must be realistic and appreciate a bulls minimum value.

Breeders must also be aware of the alternatives, there are no reasons to accept silly prices.

Cull Stock Bulls

In addition Limousin cull stock bulls are making 2.65 to 2.80 euro per kg in the factory and are dying between 500 and 600 kg, returning up to 1,700 euro.

Consider this simple scenario, a cull stock bull achieves 1,600 and a young bull is bought for 3,000 the net cost is only 1,400. He serves 40 cows per year for six years giving a cost per insemination of less than 6 euro. After six years you repeat the cycle.

Given what is available from Limousin breeders many stock bulls can be every bit as good as what is available in AI. The ICBF system / figures can discriminate against stock bulls as AI bulls have more diverse offspring, more data going into the system, tend to be used on better cows, and the sire is more likely to be recorded on animal events.

In order to have more data feeding into the system for stock bulls, the bulls tag number should be recorded on the animal events sheet.

 

 

 

 

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