Cattle marts report: A bad day at the office for some of us, but 500kg animal is still fetching good money

“The days of the plain animal are well over,” cattleman Gene Daly said to me in Bandon mart on Monday.

And Gene, as usual, was talking sense. In Bandon on Monday, the plain light bullock was about as desirable as a jail cell in Rio de Janeiro.

I got caught myself on Monday, as I attempted to wave bye-bye to a few plain bullocks who had been residing on this farm for the past year. 

Cattle haulier Michael Crowley took them to the mart on Monday morning and Michael bought most of them home again on Monday evening.

It was what they call “a bad day at the office”. 

But I couldn’t complain really, for who hasn’t had a bad day in the mart every once in a while? That’s the business we are in. You take the bad with the good. And besides, over the past few years, most of my days in Bandon have been of the good variety.

The animal leading the charge in the marts, and indeed in Bandon on Monday, was the 500kg bullock. 

With Angus and Hereford bullocks commanding €2/kg or thereabouts, good Friesians were selling from €250 up to €350, for fleshy lots.

A prime example of this on Monday was a lot of seven Friesians I spotted, weighing 500kg and selling for €850 a head. Another lot of seven weighing 487kg made €780. All were born in early 2015.

Continental bullocks in Bandon on Monday sold from €450 with the kilo to €700 over the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €300 to €600 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks in Bandon made from €200 to €400 with the weight. Heifers in Bandon on Monday made from €300 to €550 with the kilo.

While dry cows made from €50 under to €550 with the kilo. Bandon had a smaller number of calves on offer (110 calves) with mart manager Tom McCarthy reporting that “calves are selling very well.”

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm heifer 575kg 1000

6 Hr heifers 530kg 1000

1 Sim heifer 400kg 800

4 Hr heifers 377kg 730

1 Sim cow 765kg 1300

1 Fr cow 720kg 1040

1 Sim cow 765kg 1300

Two of my children, Robert and Denise, have been coming to the marts with me a lot over the summer, and Bandon on Monday was their last hurrah before returning to the dreaded school books and the classroom.

And what better way could there be for any youngster to spend your final holiday hours then stuck in a mart holding a pen or a piece of paper for your father as he scratches his head trying to figure the whole thing out. It’s the kind of thing childhood memories are made of.

And of course for children who might now perhaps be pining for the old mart as they return to school, reassure them that there is always Macroom mart on the Saturday. 

Never let it be said that we deprived them of the mart when they were growing up.

And speaking of that ever popular weekend mart in Macroom, on Saturday, dry cows sold there from €150 under to €560 over the kilo. Continental bullocks sold up to €725 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen bullocks sold from €240 to €575 over their weight.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Hr steers 475kg 990

4 AA steers 460kg 950

1 Lm steer 360kg 880

1 Lm heifer 505kg 1100

1 Ch heifer 440kg 935

1 Ch cow 700kg 1260

1 Fr cow 580kg 890

Kilmallock mart on Monday had 1,137 cattle (10% up on the same sale last year), with the highlight of the day being the sale of a strong calf for €730.

And what kind of calf was he? Well, he was a 22-week-old Charolais bull, if you must know.

“The trade for bullocks and runner type calves was sharp,” Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart told me “with runner type calves selling for up to €730, and younger calves hitting €400 each.”

Bullocks in Kilmallock on Monday sold for up to €2.54 per kg. Dry cows made €2.00 per kg. Heifers hit a high of €2.42 per kg. 

Weanling bulls sold for up to €2.62 per kg. Dairy stock hit a high of €1,150 (paid for a two year old calved heifer). In the suckler ring, an 11-year-old Charolais cow and her Limousin heifer calf sold for €1,390.

Kilmallock

Monday

3 Fr steers 397kg 850

2 Sim steers 345kg 810

2 Hr steers 340kg 715

5 Ch steers 493kg 1120

1 Ch heifer 330kg 800

6 Hr heifers 345kg 730

1 Fr cow 490kg 745

“Cattle numbers are holding well, with prices a little easier for plainer lots of Friesian cattle. We had a good trade here for quality Continental heifers and forward dry cows,” Dungarvan mart manager, Ger Flynn, reported after Monday’s cattle sale.

Dungarvan

Monday

5 Lm steers 645kg 1300

10 Fr steers 577kg 1010

1 BB steer 565kg 1200

4 Ch steers 497kg 1100

2 Lm heifers 572kg 1130

6 AA heifers 510kg 995

1 Fr cow 780kg 1125

Next we move to Kanturk mart where, after Tuesday’s cattle sale, mart manager Seamus O’Keefe gave us the following report. 

“On Tuesday, we saw 420 animals go through the sales ring, with prices a little easier than the previous week. Heifers here made up to €2 per kilo with Friesian bullocks making up to €320 with their weight.”

Kanturk

Tuesday

2 AA steers 730kg 1300

5 Lm steers 505kg 1262

1 Fr steer 750kg 1210

1 Hr heifer 585kg 1195

1 Lm heifer 615kg 1120

1 Ch heifer 465kg 995

1 Fr cow 640kg 950

In Kanturk mart on Tuesday Hereford and Angus bullocks made up to €600 with their weight, with continental stock hitting €700 with their weight. Dry cows sold from €50 to €300 with the kilo in Kanturk mart.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 535kg 1140

2 Lm steers 340kg 920

5 Hr steers 430kg 970

5 Fr steers 477kg 785

1 Ch heifer 515kg 1040

1 Au heifer 520kg 1160

1 Hr cow 685kg 1030

In Skibbereen on Friday, dry cows sold from €145 under to €345 with the kilo. Continental bullocks here made from €400 to €710 with the kilo.

Hereford and Angus bullocks made from €325 to €570 with their weight. Friesian bullocks in Skibbereen sold from €215 to €390 with their weight. Heifers in Skibbereen on Friday sold from €305 to €640 over the kilo.

Weanling bulls here sold from €350 to €590 over the kilo, while heifers fetched from €275 to €495 with their weight


Lifestyle

Munster offers so many hidden gems with bargains, ideas and must-have products for the interiors enthusiast who is always on the lookout for something new, writes Carol O’Callaghan.Made in Munster: So many treasure troves for the interiors enthusiast

Aileen Lee in conversation with ceramist Hedi O'Neill.Made in Munster: 'My advice? Be free in your style’ - Ceramist Hedi O'Neill

Red lips are hot for autumn but can you make them part of your everyday makeup? Rachel Marie Walsh thinks so.Code red: Making a statement with red lipstick for the everyday look

Welcome to the Autumn/Winter edition of ieStyle.Don't miss the Irish Examiner's free glossy 'ieStyle' magazine

More From The Irish Examiner