September 23, 2016 Charolais the choice for Suckler Calf Producers

Ian MacCrae selling his Charolais cross calves at UA Stirling on Monday, which averaged over £1000, topping at £1080.

Ian MacCrae selling his Charolais cross calves at UA Stirling on Monday, which averaged over £1000, topping at £1080.

Ian MacCrae, Point Farm, Tighnabruaich, Argyll

Using Charolais bulls helps Ian MacCrae achieve the best possible price for the 11-13-month-old store calves he sells through the ring.

“At the age I sell my calves at, it’s the Charolais crosses that make me the most money. They definitely achieve the best weight for age,” he says.

Mr MacCrae buys his bulls at Stirling, focusing on ease of calving and good weight gain, whilst making sure they look the part too.

David Rock, Knock O Ronald, Gargunnock

Stirlingshire-based David Rock has no qualms over the reliability of Charolais bulls, having bought just three in the 25 years since he started using the breed!

“The bulls I have bought have certainly lasted well for me, and with my system, selling suckled calves, I’d certainly say that Charolais are the best option,” says Mr Rock.

From his 45-strong suckler herd, he sells eight-month-old calves, with his lot of 22 January-born calves averaging £827 at UA on Monday (233p per kg).

“Considering the overall trade is well back on the year for stores, I’m only down 9p per kg compared to last year, so I’m happy with that.

“I buy stretchier type bulls and with those I’ve never had any calving difficulty – in fact, in all the time I’ve used Charolais bulls, I’ve very rarely had to calve a cow, and I’ve always managed to get a good trade for the suckled calves,” he adds.

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