The CAFRE Hill Farm Development Centre, Glenwherry herd currently comprises of 100 spring calving suckler cows. The main focus at the CAFRE Hill Farm Development Centre is the integration of the livestock enterprises and environmental management. The farm is partially situated within the Antrim Hills Special Protection Area (SPA) for Hen Harrier and Merlin.
The herd are calved from mid-April through to mid-June, with a suckler calf to beef production enterprise in operation. A three breed rotational crossbreeding programme is in place to maximise hybrid vigour which consists of Aberdeen Angus, Shorthorn and Limousin genetics. Herd replacements are AI’d to easy calving Aberdeen Angus bulls.
All progeny once weaned are transported to the CAFRE Abbey Farm for finishing, with some heifers selected as replacements and the remaining heifers and steers finished between 22 - 24 months of age.
The performance of the 2017 born steers and heifers at slaughter is summarised in Table 1 below. The early maturing breeds Shorthorn and Aberdeen Angus required less days to finish (heifers -13 days and -29 days) and (steers -27 days and -66 days), respectively) and had greater carcass weight compared to their late maturing Limousin bred counterparts. Carcass conformation score was greater for the Limousin bred heifer and steers, whereas carcass fat score was greater for the Shorthorn and Aberdeen Angus animals.
|Gender||Breed Type||Age (days)||Weight (kg)||Conformation score||Fat score||Carcass weight (kg)||KO (%)|
The results shown above are from one year’s slaughter information.
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